DT 26357 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26357

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26357

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

As with his previous puzzle this one from Shamus is a pangram. I thought that it was a bit easier than his usual standard and was torn between two and three stars for difficulty, so I’ll be very interested to read your comments as to whether I’ve got it right.
If you want to see an answer highlight the space between the curly brackets under the relevant clue.

Across Clues

7a  Conventional and revolutionary paintings, say, in spectacle (8)
{STRAIGHT} – we want an adjective meaning conventional or respectable. Reverse (revolutionary) what paintings are examples of (say) inside a synonym for spectacle.

9a  Union left in case of emergency (6)
{EQUITY} – insert a synonym for left or departed inside the outer letters (case) of EmergencY to get the name of the actors’ union.

10a  Nimble agent set about run (4)
{SPRY} – put a secret agent around R(un).

11a  Ranter’s not composed, one without chance of success (3-7)
{NON-STARTER} – an anagram (composed) of RANTER’S NOT.

12a  Obscure meaning with note put out in mystery (6)
{ENIGMA} – the definition is mystery and it’s an anagram (obscure) of MEANI(n)G from which N(ote) has been removed (put out).

14a  Gold adds piquancy to patronage (8)
{AUSPICES} – start with the chemical symbol for gold and follow this with a verb meaning adds piquancy or makes more exciting to make a term for patronage.

15a  Transport needed when one’s late? (6)
{HEARSE} – cryptic definition of a vehicle that is traditionally driven quite slowly.

17a  Girl facing river and extension to building (6)
{ANNEXE} – start with a girl’s name (think of the former MP and would-be dancer) and add a Devon river. I don’t like the use of girl here (or woman in 3d). The definition here makes the answer pretty obvious but if you had to get it simply from the wordplay then “girl facing river” is so vague that you’d never get there.

20a  House in confines of wood, one in literary thriller (8)
{WHODUNIT} – put the abbreviation for house inside the outer letters (confines) of WooD and add a single (one) to make a literary thriller in which the villain is normally only unmasked on the final page.

22a  Elizabeth receiving request for container (6)
{BASKET} – place one of the many abbreviations for Elizabeth around (receiving) a verb meaning to request to make a container.

23a  No longer useful like an old reference book? (2,3,5)
{ON THE SHELF} – a phrase meaning no longer useful (used particularly to describe a single woman who is now unlikely to marry) is literally where you might keep an old reference book.

24a  Hotel found in largely early part of London (4)
{SOHO} – a cosmopolitan part of London is made by putting the letter for which the word hotel is used in the Nato alphabet inside SOO(n) (most of early).

25a  Dog that is at rear of Scottish island (6)
{COLLIE} – this working dog is made by putting the abbreviation for that is after the name of a Scottish island to the west of Mull.

26a  Growing obsession about heads of royalty in view (8)
{THRIVING} – the definition is growing. Place an informal word for a special interest or obsession around the initial letters (heads) of Royalty In View.

Down Clues

1d  One to get money from measure in case of necessity (2,1,5)
{AT A PINCH} – this phrase, meaning in case of necessity or in the last resort, is a charade of A (one), a verb meaning to exploit or draw money from and an imperial measure of length.

2d  Some following last character that’s clownish (4)
{ZANY} – a synonym for some (as used, for example, in “Do you have some news for me?”) goes after the last character in the alphabet.

3d  A woman left out programme for meeting (6)
{AGENDA} –  we want A followed by a woman’s name (think of the double Oscar-winning actress and current MP for Hampstead and Kilburn) with L(eft) removed to make the programme for a meeting.

4d  Abandon joint set to be cooked (8)
{JETTISON} – a verb meaning to discard or abandon is an anagram (to be cooked) of JOINT SET.

5d  Question rises possibly about family having peculiar quality (10)
{QUIRKINESS} – this peculiar quality is an abbreviation for question followed by an anagram (possibly) of RISES around a synonym for family.

6d  Goddess at that time embraced by a European (6)
{ATHENE} – an adverb meaning at that time comes between (embraced by) A and E(uropean) to make the Greek goddess of wisdom.

8d  Hundred turning up to worry islander (6)
{TONGAN} – an informal word for a hundred (in particular 100mph) is followed by a verb meaning to worry or harass which is reversed (turning up, in a down clue) to form an inhabitant of a group of islands in the South Pacific.

13d  Sum of money supplied by foreign character and lord for relative (10)
{GRANDCHILD} – this relative is a charade of an informal word for a thousand pounds (or dollars), a letter of the Greek alphabet equivalent to X and an abbreviation of Lord.

16d  Ominous woman of devotion around home (8)
{SINISTER} – an adjective meaning ominous is a female member of a religious order (woman of devotion) going around the usual crossword shorthand for home or at home.

18d  The plane flying is a Jumbo (8)
{ELEPHANT} – a welcome return for an old chestnut. This jumbo is an anagram (flying) of THE PLANE.

19d  Way shown by second elder, say, with time (6)
{STREET} – this way or thoroughfare is a charade of S(econd), what an elder is an example of (say) and T(ime).

21d  Wait for sycophantic follower after departure of Queen (4,2)
{HANG ON} – what we want is an informal phrasal verb meaning to wait. Start with a sycophantic follower and remove ER (the Queen).

22d  By the sound of it, support in the past (6)
{BEFORE} – an adverb meaning in the past sounds like be for (support).

24d  Bar established among friends, a venture (4)
{SAVE} – hidden (established) in the clue is a preposition meaning bar or with the exception of.

The clues I liked included 9a, 5d and 21d, but my favourite today was 14a. Let us know what you thought in a comment.


81 comments on “DT 26357

  1. Quite a quick time for me but a couple needed some thought, so I would say 2.5 for difficulty, which is sort of what you are saying, isn’t it? I liked 26a, 18d and 22d. Thanks to Shamus for the fun pangram and Gazza for the explanations.

  2. Hi Gazza, a lovely puzzle from Shamus today, entirely doable I think for us CCers, with our books etc. it became obvious quite soon that it was a pangram and that helped, I just couldn’t see where the letter B was going to go, because I’d put a C at the start of 22a, therefor was stuck on 22d! I also got held up in the top l/h corner because I’d convinced myself the answer was to do with ‘spending a penny’!! Like the picture of an ‘eco’ funeral at 15a, what a way to go! fav clues 15a and 18a I know its old but I like it :) Thanks for blog Gazza it always makes good reading

    1. I think 3 star for difficulty because there are a few there that need looking up for me, the first part of 25a for example, it was worth looking up, what a lovely place

  3. Not so quick for me! I had to put this one down for half an hour and come back to it later. I got stuck on 12a, which totally threw me. Thanks to Shamus and to Gazza.

  4. Took twice as long as yesterdays puzzle. Some good thought-provoking clues. 12a was quite neat, along with 5d. Is 20a an acceptable word, I thought it was hyphenated. No undergarments today, but a trip to W1.
    Didn’t bother to check for it being pangram, but I dont think it would have helped me. Just a different train of thought processes I suppose. 2.5 for difficulty again.

  5. Lovely puzzle today. I didn’t need any of the hints but always enjoy reading them, especially when they include a photo of the most wonderful dogs in the world – in my opinion anyway! Some of the clues took a fair bit of thinking about so probably a bit nearer to 3* for me – the ones that took the longest were 7 and 12a and 5d. I got in a bit of a tangle with 20a because I thought that it was spelt with a double N in the middle and that was clearly not going to work. Favourite clues were 14 and 26a and 1, 5 and 18d. One day I will remember to look out for a crossword being a pangram – always forget even when I’ve got some of the less common letters in.

  6. I think closer to a two star than a three star for me. Enjoyable, but no one clue particularly stood out for me today. Many thanks to Shamus for the crossword and to Gazza for the hints.

  7. I convinced myself that there must be a breed of dog called a ‘Mullie’ (25a) because Mull was the only Scottish island I could think of that would fit! I think 20a is slightly more acceptable than ‘helluva’ a couple of weeks ago.

    Favourite was 14a.

          1. Well done Jezza, they are cross between cocker spaniel (father) and Basset Hound mother, most people when they see them say lab and spaniel, if I knew how I would post a pic of them, but them maybe all our dogs would fill this page!

        1. Some people say that our dog is a sprollie (anyone want to guess) – we don’t care as she is just unique and makes us :grin: every day!

            1. Yes – both parents were collies and three of her four grandparents were too but one grandfather is unknown and, probably springer spaniel. Yours sound very nice.

              1. Did you know that with first ‘x’ , as dogs are called when both parents are thoroughbred but not the same breed, are accepted back into the kennel club after mating back four times! At least that’s what we were told, you dog must be nearly all Collie then Kath 99% pure breed? Ours are called Angel and Shadow. Makes a change from talking about the weather, which by the way has become decidedly cloudy – yuck

                1. No didn’t know that – not sure that there is any such thing as a thoroughbred collie – they are a motley lot and come in all shapes and sizes. Ours is called Annie and is very definitely more collie than anything else, certainly as far as brains and behaviour go. Let’s not talk about the weather – pretty horrid here in Oxford too.

        2. Think Jezza is probably right but can’t quite picture them – I imagine that whatever shape they are, and however long or short their legs are, one thing is for sure – enormous ears?!

          1. Not too big Kath but nice and floppy, even though they look alike one has the spaniel nature and one the stubborn nature and the obsession with food (thus she is fatter) of the Basset

            1. Hi Mary,
              I’ve got 2 first generation labradoodle’s Bitza is a white standard Poodle and Golden Labrador and Petra is a Black miniature Poodle and Chocolate Labrador, so I’ve got no idea what their pups will be like as we’ve just mated them, looking forward to finding out though. :D

  8. Two star for me and a fun enough puzzle. I would probably agree with your favourites gazza. Thanks to you and to Shamus.

  9. I haven’t been doing the CC for long so I’m still learning new tricks. For instance, I now know about pangrams in crosswords and that would have helped with 9a and 20a. For its simplicity of construction and the smile it put on my face I enjoyed 18d. Thanks for the hints Gazza. I would put it as a 3* today but would like to think it would be 2* if I were to attempt it in the not-too-distant future – if you see what what I mean!

  10. Thoroughly enjoyable puzzle from Shamus. After yesterdays 2* this is closer to a 3* for me. Hints not needed but when Gazza is on duty they are always unmissable. Wonderful Morcambe and Wise
    today.
    Thanks to Shamus and Gazza.

  11. 21d was my favourite today: it was another one of the clues I only really appreciated once I’d got the answer…

  12. Saturday’s blog had quite a bit of discussion on the merits or otherwise of CluedUp.
    Well, this morning the Cryptic key on the ScrewedUp home page opened a crossword, which I solved in very quick time. I then opened up this blog to find I did a completely different puzzle. DT26187 as I found when going back to the homepage, and all the other puzzles are similarly old. So, I’ve still got this one to tackle…….
    I’m sure I must have done 26187, didn’t recognise it, and it wasn’t particularly good. And I was quite upbeat about CluedUp in my Saturday comment. Bah…..

    1. Hi Chairman, poor you, mine was fine, I would have been devastated to have done the wrong one and have to start again, never mind I’m sure you will cope with this :)

      1. Thanks, Mary. I should have paid more attention to the crossword number. Never thought about it. I didn’t actually open up CluedUp till after 12. There we are – I suspect I’ll enjoy todays crossword better than 26187…

    2. They had a crash at about 11.30 and when they came back the home page had reverted to sometime in March this year. They also seem to have lost everyone’s accumulated points. I hope that the guy who claims to do all the puzzles in about two minutes every day hasn’t lost all his points permanently – what a tragedy that would be :D

      1. It was supposed to be scheduled maintenance!

        “Dear subscriber,

        Just a reminder that CluedUp will be unavailable for one hour from 11am to 12pm tomorrow (Tuesday 28 September), whilst maintenance takes place.

        Users are advised to log out of their accounts before this time.

        We expect that the site will we be up and running soon after the scheduled downtime has passed.

        Sorry for the interruption and thank you for your patience.

        Best wishes,

        Daniella Gomés
        Puzzles Editorial Assistant “

    3. A strange coincidence that 26,187 also has the same answer to the answer that caused me most trouble today (12a), and in roughly the same place on the grid. (You can tell how bored I am at work!) :)

  13. As I finished it completely unaided, I must agree with Gazza’s 2* rating. Also, for once, understood all the word play. However, had to check the Scottish Island – never heard of it. Didn’t notice the pangram. Enjoyed the Morecambe & Wise!!

        1. Mine are unique Franco but there is a breeder nearby actually breeding them, she is the same one we had ours off, but at that time they were a ‘kennel mistake’ , because they are such a good natured mix, she has decided to breed them alongside , Cockers and Bassets, she might call them something else e.g. Bassiels!

  14. 2* only for Shamus today, I didn’t really like this much I’m sorry to say, though I did like 25a as I’ve been there several times (ferry from Oban ). Thanks Shamus and Gazza.

  15. I’ll never get used to crosswords!
    Yesterday everyone seemed to think it was a bit harder than normal but I found it very easy and more or less wrote the answers straight in.
    Today you all seem to think it easy but it took me about twice as long as normal!
    Perhaps that’s why we keep on doing them!
    Thanks to Shamus for a good workout and to Gazza for the, as usual, entertaing blog.

  16. Definitely a 3* for me today. Don’t know technical term for grid where all the first letters don’t interlock but I hate them!

  17. A nice step up in difficulty from yesterday. I liked 22d best. 16d seems very familiar. I thought one clue using the device in 9a and 20a would be enough – and at first I thought there was a third one in 1d!

  18. Good to see a lot of chat today, so the puzzle must have been interesting, and I thought about 3*. Today’s Quickie is a pangram too, Sports and Sheilas! Also by Shamus, I assume?

  19. Thanks to Gazza for his excellent blog as usual and all for comments. Glad the clues didn’t cause too much head scratching!

      1. Mary, It’s hats off to you time if you found this easy or straightforward, I thought it was a real stinker in places esp 25a (won’t reiterate the discussion but collies are def not pedigree dogs), 12a and 22d none of which I thought were easy. After yesterdays lovely puzzle, I can’t say I enjoyed this one little bit.

        1. I didn’t find it easy Barrie, I still needed my books etc. bit it was one of those puzzles where I seemed to understand what the setter was looking for and that is 75% of it for me, if I then don’t know the word I have to use all available ‘help’ :)

  20. Enjoyed todays puzzle and went for a long bike ride to clear the head.
    25a I got straight away as I remembered a few weeks ago in the quickie there was a 4 letter word and the clue was Scottish island. I took about half an hour to hit on the right one but I put it in the memory bank and hey presto up it came today.
    Thanks to Shamus and Gazza.

      1. No starting again tomorrow for another month or so, outside location this time so it;s all a bit weather dependent. No I didn’t finish it, I thought it was a bit of a stinker after yesterdays lovely puzzle.

        1. we seem to be cross posting here :) I hope that when you are a big star earning major money you will still be visiting the blog? good luck with the ‘outdoor’ bit

            1. Barrie, what’s the name of the film? When does it comes out? I’m sure that we would all like to see it and then guess which one is Barrie? Roll out the Red Carpet!

              1. Sorry can’t say at this time, but I can tell you that Martin Scorsese is the Director. It won’t be out until Xmas 2011 but it should be a doozee being in 3D and HD. You should be able to spot me, my acting is a bit like my golf, done with great enthusiasm and a minimum of talent.

                1. I’m sure that you are being far too modest about both your acting ability and your golfing prowess!

                  Martin Scorsese – now I’m impressed!

                  “Taxi Driver”, “Raging Bull”, “The King of Comedy”, “Goodfellows” and “Gangs of NY”!

  21. Solved this fare from Shamus rather quickly.
    I felt it to be a kind of bread and butter pudding!

    I liked 5d, 13d & 20a. 15a is an old conk! 18d a good laugh. 8d took me back to my motor-biking days – I had a Beezer 500 but a colleague had an Ariel Square 4 1000cc and by god didn’t that shift.

  22. I haven’t visited here for a while but with autumn beckoning and less distractions in the garden there’s more time for solving. I’m certainly out of practise but got there in the end with a little help from this blog. Liked the chat about the dogs, I have a border collie not the conventional black and white but a red and white.

    1. What is a red and white? Ours is a tricolour – ie mainly black and white but with a few little bits of lightish brown. Have noticed – observation only, rather than knowledge, that the tricolours all have little eyebrows – think it’s something fairly primitive as they can lie in the garden with their eyes shut, fast asleep, but, because of the eyebrows, they look as if they are wide awake, therefore, fending off attackers.

      1. Hi Kath. Although they are called ‘red and white’ the actual colour is brown and white where the brown can occur as various shades though in my dog’s case it is actually a reddish brown. In short, the ‘red’ colour only occurs when the recessive gene for this colour is inherited from both parents. Border collies are generally black and white because the gene for the black colour is dominant over the red. Probably sorry you asked now!!

  23. I’ve said thanks in a previous post but once again I would like to say to Shamus a big ‘Thank You’ for an excellent crossword which I found difficult but doable – perfect! It can’t be easy producing such fare and I really do appreciate it.

  24. Did several over breakfast and all but three over a pub lunch with a friend, after whizzing around in my lovely (nearly) new Polo TDI and just got back to it after spending the evening fiddling with a new phone. Finally worked out 20a, then guessed 19d (but don’t understand the hint yet) and failed on 28a, RIV, very crafty!

    Good puzzle, but, sorry Gazza!, didn’t read all the review.

    1. Hi Geoff, 19d is S for second, followed by ‘tree’ which is what an elder is :), with t for time at the end, does that help at all?

  25. Ps Big Dave can anyone come to the pub at Euston or is it only for real officianados (which I’m definitely not yet!)

    1. Agenda is described in Chambers as a plural noun often used as a singular noun. The ODE says this “USAGE: Although agenda is the plural of agendum in Latin, in standard modern English it is normally used as a singular noun with a standard plural form (agendas).”

      Agendum is in neither Chambers nor the ODE

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