DT 26351 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26351

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26351

Hints and tips by Gazza

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

This is a thoroughly entertaining Ray T puzzle with lots of very amusing clues. It also has a mini-theme with the two parallel down answers at the outer edges of the grid having a connection. Let us know what you made of it in a comment.
The answer to each clue is hidden between the brackets under the clue. Highlight the space between the brackets to make it appear.

Across Clues

1a  Assuming sweetheart ought to call round (11)
{SHOULDERING} – the definition is assuming in the sense of taking something (a burden or responsibility, for example) upon oneself. Take the heart of swEet and around it place words meaning ought and to call.

10a  Antelope from Africa’s Eastern region (5)
{ELAND} – put together E(astern) and a synonym for region to get an antelope from Africa.

11a  Taking the old lady out? (9)
{MATRICIDE} – cryptic definition that causes a guffaw. Taking out is a slang expression for a trip requiring no return ticket.

12a  Bury crowd outside cold and cross (9)
{INTERSECT} – a verb meaning to cross is constructed from a synonym for bury followed by a group of people with a common interest (crowd) around C(old).

13a  Gold French sea shell (5)
{ORMER} – a charade of a heraldic tincture of gold and the French word for sea produces an ear-shaped shell.

14a  Legendary Trojan boss (6)
{HECTOR} – double definition. The name of a mythological Trojan hero is also a verb meaning to control (boss) in a bullying manner.

16a  Family head getting endless abuse (8)
{DOMESTIC} – the definition is family as an adjective. Start with a spherical structure, for example a head, and add an informal word for abuse without its final K (endless).

18a  Make gay seaside town, it’s heard (8)
{BRIGHTEN} – a verb meaning to make gay sounds like a seaside town on the South coast. What makes this clue very funny is that this town styles itself the gay capital of England.

20a  Shock treatment? (6)
{HAIRDO} – cryptic definition of a styling (possibly in the Barnet area?).

23a  First Letter to the Corinthians (5)
{ALPHA} – Corinth is in Greece so their first letter would be …

24a  Dosing is a treatment in doctor’s opinion (9)
{DIAGNOSIS} – an anagram (treatment) of DOSING IS A.

26a  Get up too sharply? (9)
{OVERDRESS} – get up here means applying clothing rather than rising from bed, and sharp is being used informally to mean stylish.

27a  Long period of time before new leader (5)
{YEARN} – a verb meaning to long is a period of time followed by the first letter (leader) of N(ew).

28a  Bureau where ink’s wet struggling with grid (7,4)
{WRITING DESK} – this bureau is an anagram (struggling) of INK’S WET and GRID.

Down Clues

2d  Centre of earth in high temperature core (5)
{HEART} – put the central letter of eaRth inside high temperature to get a synonym for core.

3d  Urged on dancing bear (7)
{UNDERGO} – a verb meaning to bear is an anagram (dancing) of URGED ON.

4d  In Amsterdam, seldom finding young woman (6)
{DAMSEL} – an old-fashioned word for a young, unmarried woman is to be found in the clue.

5d  Control straddling old time cycle (8)
{ROTATION} – a word meaning cycle is a verb meaning to limit or control around (straddling) O(ld) and T(ime).

6d  ‘Number One’, a little offensive (7)
{NOISOME} – string together the way you might write ‘number one’ and an adjective denoting a limited quantity (a little) to make an epithet meaning offensive or smelly (although a ‘number two’ would probably be even more so!).

7d  Old flasher seen in the street! (7,6)
{BELISHA BEACON} – this orange flasher (now largely replaced by more sophisticated arrangements) used to be seen (in pairs) next to a 9d as a warning to approaching motorists. Wonderful!

8d  One losing weight takes a medium size (8)
{DIAMETER} – this is the size of a circle as measured by the longest possible straight line traversing it. Someone attempting to lose weight goes round (takes) A and M(edium).

9d  ‘On the Road’, it’s in black and white (5,8)
{ZEBRA CROSSING} – this is nothing to do with the road films of Hope, Crosby and Dorothy Lamour. It’s literally black and white markings on the road. [Libellule thinks that ‘On the road’ is an allusion to the Jack Kerouac novel of that name rather than the Road films, and he’s usually right on literary matters! Ray T has now confirmed that Libellule is indeed right.]

15d  Lame Conservative leader ruffled (8)
{CRIPPLED} – a synonym for lame is the initial letter (leader) of C(onservative) followed by a verb meaning ruffled or disturbed.

17d  Most curvy butt one had in prime (8)
{BENDIEST} – put a synonym for butt and I (one) inside another word for prime or of the highest quality to get a superlative meaning most curvy. I don’t feel that I’ve explained this very well – perhaps an illustration would help.

19d  Hard condition gripping a skinflint (7)
{HOARDER} – someone who keeps everything for himself (skinflint) is H (hard, pencil classification) followed by a synonym for condition around (gripping) A.

21d  Cross one day out around mid-evening (7)
{ANNOYED} – another word for cross or angry is an anagram (out) of ONE DAY around the central letter (mid) of eveNing.

22d  Clergyman beginning to preach on incendiary activity (6)
{PARSON} – the first letter (beginning) of P(reach) is followed by the sort of incendiary activity which is a crime.

25d  Starts to seem not altogether perfectly sane (5)
{SNAPS} – this is a superb all-in-one clue. An informal verb meaning loses one’s self-control is formed from the initial letters (starts to) of the last five words in the clue.

I enjoyed so many of the clues today that it’s difficult to make a selection. Having considered 18a, 20a, 6d, 7d, 17d and 25d, I’ve finally plumped for 11a as my clue of the day. Let us know what you think!

89 comments on “DT 26351

  1. Apart from one clue, I would give this 2* difficulty but definitely agree with your 4* enjoyment. I have to thank the Gnome for pointing out the obvious with 25d. I knew it was initial letters but didn’t get the right ones until the law kicked in. Clue of the day was the brilliant 11a for me too. Thanks to Ray T for the great puzzle and Gazza for the very entertaining (4*?) review.

      1. Where is Barrie, has he been seen at all last week? he wasn’t around the week before, he must be filming again, I would agree with Barrie today Gazza, this would be a 3* for me

        1. It’s good to know you’re back, Mary, and I hope you had a good holiday. I was wondering about Barrie too. Hope he hasn’t given up on us :-)

          1. Barrie is off on a film set – in a supporting role – in 3D and in costume. Will be interesting to see if he had time to tackle today’s Ray T and how he found it difficulty-wise.

  2. Nice one from Ray T. I used to dread a Tuesday but now I find his puzzles an enjoyable challenge. Thanks also to Gazza for the blog.
    Fav was 7d which took me back to my childhood. I fancy not many people under thirty would have a clue about this piece of street furniture. now that it is a veritable zoo out there with pandas,zebras and pelicans.

    1. Hi Nubian, I put pelican beacon for 7d at first!! I think the crossings with Belisha beacons are called Pelican crossings?? I have never encountered a Panda on the street though have obviously come across many Zebras and Pelicans
      ‘A very big bird is the Pelican, his beak can hold more than his belly can!’ :)

      1. I was walking through Birmingham city centre and saw a sign “Humped Zebra Crossing Ahead.” A few moments latter, lo and behold, I saw a Zebra walking across in front of me with a big smile on her face!

      2. Mary

        Welcome back!

        The pelican crossings were controlled by lights not beacons – have a look in your big red Chambers.

        The pandas were police cars, not crossings. [Whoops, just checked on Wikipedia and they did exist from 1962-67]

          1. There are also Pelican,Puffin,Toucan and Pegasus crossings.I seem to remember the odd Panda car roving around asw ell.

        1. Big Dave,
          Having been reading this crossword blog for quite a while now I read the information about the bloggers for the first time yesterday. Didn’t know that you lived in Hanley Swan – how lovely. We grew up in the middle (and I really mean RIGHT in the middle) of Castlemorton Common. Used to have to get the one and only bus going into Worcester in the morning to go to school and the only one coming out of Worcester in the afternoon so we went through Hanley Swan twice each day for years. It took a very long time but was worth it to live in such a lovely place.

    1. 25d is the only one my brother (the expert) could not do today and I had to point it out to him – well done me :) !

  3. Doh! Got really stuck on 16a – thanks – perchance I’m not sufficiently connected headlessly assocaited with the home!!

  4. HIgh value entertainment from Ray T today. 11a was a laugh out loud moment and was top of the list for me too. I also enjoyed 18a and 7d. I found this a lot easier than Ray’s recent puzzles – closer to a 2* for me – sorry Barrie!

    Many thanks to Ray T and to Gazza for the notes.

  5. Hi all back from hols and although I bought the newspaper everyday I just didn’t find the time to do them after last Tuesday, so it has taken me a little while to get back ‘into the swing’ so to speak, hope Geoff has been taking care of the CC in by abscence or has everybody progressed to the genius level?? after putting pelican beacon for 7d! I was stuck on 14a and 15d though I knew this should be crippled, eventually saw the error of my ways :) fav clues today 11a, 18a, 26a, don’t quite ‘see’ 20a???

  6. 2.5* then. I completely failed to spot the down clues connection. I’ll have to blame laptop and CluedUp – I don’t tend to look at the grid in the same way as with pen and paper…….
    I generally like RayT’s puzzles, and this was very enjoyable. Preferred the wittiness of 18a to 11a as best clue.

  7. What a wonderful puzzle today – big thanks to Ray T and to Gazza – even though I didn’t need any hints today I always enjoy reading them. So many lovely clues – almost too many to pick them all out individually – 11a has to be my absolute favourite but also 18 and 20a, and 7 and 9d. For some reason I spelt ‘Belisha’ ‘Bolisha’ which did rather screw up 10a for a while! 13a was a new word for me but easy enough to work out and then look up. Beautiful sunny day here in Oxford so off to do some gardening now.

    1. We had lovely sunshine most of the time in Torquay and surrounding areas it is so depressing to come back to gray skies, enjoy the sunshine Kath, Geoff must be out in the sun too as there’s no sign of him yet today, think I’ll go buy some pansies to tempt the sun back to my garden :)

      1. Glad that you had sunshine for your holiday, Mary – good to have you back.

        The pelican rhyme that I know is :-
        A peculiar bird is the pelican
        His beak can hold more than his belly can
        He can hold in his beak enough food for a week
        And I never can see how the hell he can

        1. Kath – thanks for poem – it recalls bad memory of some 5* yrs past – Clifton Zoo – small boy in shorts (shortly after cleverly answering parental trick question ‘Which do you want to go on – camel or elephant?’ – ‘Camel first please’) confronted by eye-2-eye pelican – warily offered remains of picnic lunch to gaping stomach loosely connected to black-eyed beak – only to be nipped in rear-end by another member of the flock – and no neither of them got what was by then a highly prized and succulent cheese and tomato sandwich.

            1. And then there was the crocodile – or was it an alligator?!! Gnats are the worst I’m sure you agree.

          1. My pelican story. I went for lunch to a fish-and-chippery on the New South Wales coast where there was a sign saying that the café would not replace any food lost to the pelicans, which actually came up and begged at the tables! Impressive, as they are quite large birds. I decided that their collective noun is a clatter, as that’s what they do with their beaks to attract attention.

            1. I think that pelicans are definitely to be avoided – along with crocodiles, alligators, gnats and, worst of all as far as I’m concerned, wasps!

  8. Thanks to Gazza – needed his extra clues with a couple today and his photo clues always make me chuckle…….. It’s finally stopped raining on Anglesey – although that may be tempting fate…….Hope Mary had a lovely holiday.

  9. Gazza,
    I think in 9d the reference to “On The Road” is referring to a famous novel by Jack Kerouac….
    Other than that, this was a top notch puzzle. 11a and 18a stood out most.

    1. Thanks, Libellule,
      I did think that it might be a reference to the novel, but thought that “in black and white” made more sense in relation to the early Road films. Is there anything black and white about the novel (other than all books being black ink on white paper)?

      1. Gazza,
        I took it to be black ink and white paper, but he also wrote the book as a “stream of conciousness” scroll allegedly in three weeks using a typewriter…..

  10. Jolly nice puzzle, hugely entertaining, but mostly over my head! Got slightly more than halfway with it. I’m reminded I’m still firmly in the CC, but slightly sidetracked by signing on the dotted line for a newish car with next to no road tax :grin:

    Thanks to Ray T and Gazza for the (occasionally slightly risque) review.

    Welcome back to Mary! Hop you had a good week.

    1. Thanks Geoff, hope you’ve been keeping the CC under control or have they all graduated whilst I’ve been away?? :) Enjoy new car :)

  11. I too would only rate this as 2* for difficulty, but 4-5* for enjoyment. I seem to be on RayT’s wavelength. Found the quickie tougher!
    Favourite clues were 11a, 23a and 26a.

            1. If you look at 4d and 8d in the Toughie, you will ‘see’ the theme to which Gazza and I allude!

  12. Hi Gazza, for 2d, I got to the answer by putting the centre ‘of earth’ which is ‘ear’ inside ht for high temperature to give ‘heart’ – is this wrong??

      1. well how about this then —– a double definition i.e. ‘ centre of ‘ and ‘ core’ anagram of earth indicated by ‘heat’ which is ‘high temperature’ — No? not that way either? :)

                  1. Kath go to top of page, there is a heading FAQ, click on this , then scroll down the list until you come to the topic ‘ how do I use emoticons’

                    1. Thanks – have found that. So how do I get one of them into a comment? Actually, this could be a long process so don’t worry! Will wait until husband comes home!!

                    2. Husband home now and has shown me how to do them – my comments tomorrow will be liberally spattered with faces – what kind they are depends on the crossword and my ability to do it or not!

  13. I actually have to buy the newspaper these days as I’m having a problem (temporary, I hope) with Clued Up, and it is quite different doing the puzzle on paper. That said, I enjoyed today’s and managed to finish it with a bit of electronic help. I liked those crossings and was glad of the number of anagrams. 11a took me a while to find, as did 16 and 20a, but the one I liked best was 23a. :-)

  14. Shorts wrecked – long lost/outgrown – ‘don’t mess with birdies’ lesson learnt – assume I have outlived the ‘perps’ – I was only a nipper after all. But am still wary of anyone with wings including angels, the RAF and ……

      1. …. birds/bats/archaeopterices/pterodactyls/exocets/mightflys (precursors to mayflies)/dragons (they are in those hills)/parachutists/gliders/hang-gliders/kite-fliers/butterflies (xmt swallowtails)/aphids/wasps+wasps+wasps/flies (all of them)/mosquitoes/gnats/….. – how big a list does West Wales recognise/need – going back under the bed now to avoid any interaction with things with flappy things.

        1. The Byrds you must be scared of them, what about the Turtles and the Teddy Bears is it just that you don’t like Animals?? :)

          1. Jemux, Did you attempt today’s Toughie? Or were you frightened off because the setter was “Warbler”?

  15. Thanks to Ray T for a very enjoyable puzzle today. Favourite clues, 11a, and 18a. 11a reminds me of the joke..

    ‘I took the mother-in-law out last night… one punch.. absolute beauty !’

  16. Setter here. Thanks again to Gazza for the review, and to everybody else for your comments.

    I did have Kerouac in mind when I was writing 9d, but strangely, before the one which is now in production, there doesn’t appear to have been a film made of the book.

    Have a good evening all.

    Ray T

  17. A very enjoyable puzzle to solve even though i fell asleep while doing it – possibly too much Chilean Carménère (the lost grape of Bordeaux) at lunchtime.

    Some very good clues : I liked 11a, 20a, 23a, 28a, 7d & 9d. Suited my age group!

    Welcome back Mary – did you get sunburnt on the English Riviera?

  18. Another enjoyable offering today coupled with the equally enjoyable hints from Gazza. Liked 11a, 18a and 7d and 9d. Sadly old enough to remember both!

  19. 17d and 26a stumped me. Was out the loop yesterday – at Lord’s for the ODI – terrible trouble getting a bet on. Laugh!

  20. Having “lurked” here for several months reading, learning and inwardly digesting all the help available, I’ve plucked up the courage to post because, for the first time, I’ve managed to complete, without help, both todays cryptic AND toughie. One on the up train to London and the other on the return. I agree that neither was 4 or 5* difficulty but I’m apt to struggle with a 2* so this was a welcome boost to the ego!
    Underwear and street furniture – what a combination.

    Best to all here,


    1. Nice one Nigelg! Hope you call back in.
      As you say – an accessible day for solvers all round.
      I have to say that I was not on an Internet today to download other puzzles but I managed these two plus the Times, the Private Eye puzzle by Cyclops and also the ‘Craptic Crossword’ in VIZ magazine (set by ANUS). The latter has been questioned on Derek Harrison’s Crossword Centre (Link on the right) because, although the puzzle is clearly puerile and involves swearwords and words from Roger’s Profanisaurus, it has clearly been set by a professional (who has not put his hand up yet!).

      1. Thanks for the welcome. Didn’t know about the VIZ crossword, but I do attempt the Cyclops puzzle regularly -if only to guffaw at the surface readings. The Times is a little out of my league. Maybe I’ll get promoted.


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