DT 26360 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

DT 26360

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26360

Hints and tips by Gazza

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

I was somewhat perturbed this morning to find that CluedUp thinks that today’s puzzle is number 26, until I had confirmation that it is the same one that appears in the paper with the correct number. It’s trickier than Giovanni’s puzzle last week and I found it quite entertaining (especially since the rival attraction of watching the Ryder Cup has been temporarily suspended by the Welsh rain). Let us know your thoughts in a comment.
To prevent your seeing the answers by accident they are hidden between the brackets under the relevant clues. Just drag your cursor through the blank space between the brackets to reveal them.

Across Clues

1a  Show signs of wearying having got on bottle (6)
{FLAGON} – add ON to a verb meaning show signs of wearying to make a large container for liquid.

4a  Rushes around company and curses (8)
{SCOURGES} – put a verb meaning moves powerfully or rushes around the abbreviation for company to get a noun meaning afflictions or curses.

10a  This party is cheating with new leader (9)
{RECEPTION} – start with a noun meaning lying or cheating and swap its initial D for a different letter (with new leader) to form the sort of party where drinks (and perhaps even Ferrero Rocher) may be served. Political comment on the recent election of a new party leader?

11a  Friend hiding love shows steel? (5)
{ALLOY} – the question mark indicates that steel is a definition by example. Put O (zero, love in tennis scoring) inside (hiding) a friend or comrade.

12a  Bark when vehicle ploughs into Spanish house (7)
{CASCARA} – the bark of the buckthorn shrub which is used as a tonic and laxative is formed by putting a motor vehicle inside the Spanish word for house.

13a  Superior groom not taken in (7)
{UNEATEN} – put a verb meaning to groom or tidy after the letter used for upper-class or superior to identify what may be left on your plate (not taken in).

14a  Dance rehearsal sadly seeing several drop out (5)
{SALSA} – a Latin-American dance may be found in the clue after the surrounding letters have been dropped out.

15a  Father goes round all twisted — it’s to do with a kneecap (8)
{PATELLAR} – an adjective which means relating to the kneecap is the latin word for father round ALL which needs to be reversed (twisted).

18a/26a  Gushing wateriness — all as a result of these? (8,5)
{ARTESIAN WELLS} – an anagram (gushing) of WATERINESS ALL produces constructions which provide a constant supply of water with little or no pumping.

20a  Wild time in Florida (5)
{FERAL} – put a long period of history (time) inside the standard abbreviation for Florida to make a description of animals living in the wild (or of unruly adolescents on our streets).

23a  Policeman leading one group — assistant taking control? (2-5)
{CO-PILOT} – a charade of a slang term for a policeman, I (one) and a synonym for group produces an assistant who sits up front on the right.

25a  Bloomer made by girl meeting American friend (7)
{ROSEBUD} – combine a girl’s name (think of Dr Who’s one-time assistant played by Billie Piper) and how one American man may address another to get an unopened flower.

26a  See 18a

27a  Income so terrible — start to expect to cut back (9)
{ECONOMISE} – an anagram (terrible) of INCOME SO is followed by the first letter (start) of E(xpect) to make a verb meaning to cut back.

28a  Chemical test — area devastated (8)
{STEARATE} – an anagram (devastated) of TEST AREA gives us what Chambers calls a salt (chemical).

29a  Some biography — phenomenal bit of writing! (6)
{HYPHEN} – hidden (some) in the clue are both the actual and the spelled-out versions of a sign used in writing.

Down Clues

1d  Divine quarters for the crew the French finally abandoned (8)
{FORECAST} – a verb meaning to have an insight into what is going to happen in the future (divine) is the part of a ship which contains the crew’s living quarters with the French definite article at the end dropped (finally abandoned).

2d  Charge alas false — initially confident copper taken in (7)
{ACCUSAL} – an unusual word for a charge or allegation is an anagram (false) of ALAS with the first letter (initially) of C(onfident) and the chemical symbol for copper inserted (taken in).

3d  Public institution with new depiction of pagan hero (9)
{ORPHANAGE} – an anagram (new depiction) of PAGAN HERO.

5d  Where to get advice from diplomat with money, man making big promise (10,4)
{CONSULTING ROOM} – the place where you’d get advice (from a doctor, normally) is a charade of the type of diplomat who might visit you if you get imprisoned abroad, a slang term for money and the man who promises to love and cherish (but not obey).

6d  Amercan period in a manner of speaking (5)
{USAGE} – a simple charade.

7d  Maiden brought to life by drink after festival (7)
{GALATEA} – there are various versions of the myth in which Pygmalion made a sculpture of this woman and fell in love with her, and then she was brought to life. Put a non-alcoholic drink after a festival.

8d  Spotting pony with leg hidden in grass (6)
{SPYING} – a synonym for spotting is made by putting P(on)Y (with leg, i.e. the “on” side in cricket, hidden) inside a verb meaning to grass or inform. The wordplay is quite complicated, of the sort that we’re more used to seeing in a Toughie.

9d  With Director on top, is job a let-down? (14)
{DISAPPOINTMENT} – stitch together IS and a synonym for job, then put D(irector) in front (on top, in a down clue) to make a let-down.

16d  Fibs about France’s No.1 politician in biography (4,5)
{LIFE STORY} – what’s told in a biography is a synonym for fibs around the first letter (no. 1) of F(rance) and then this is followed by a right-wing politician.

17d  Move on, having dropped in Liberal Club (8)
{BLUDGEON} – a club (the sort used for beating) is a synonym for move followed by ON with L(iberal) inserted (dropped in).

19d  Two back parts of store should have beans etc — check (7)
{REPULSE} – the instructions are precise – take the two final letters (back parts) of stoRE and add what beans, etc are to make a verb meaning to check or drive back.

21d  Polish church leader denied work? Nonsense! (7)
{RUBBISH} – a verb meaning to polish is followed by a church dignitary without OP (denied work) to make nonsense.

22d  Hood being worn in middle of lesson will bring dirty looks (6)
{SCOWLS} – the sort of hood worn by a monk goes inside (worn in) the middle letters of leSSon.

24d  Modern device — one not working well, we hear? (5)
{LASER} – a device with multiple uses which was invented only fifty years ago (so it’s modern) sounds like (we hear) someone who is an idler (although it’s not a word that I’ve ever seen used).

The clues which I enjoyed today included 13a, 20a, 29a, 5d and 22d, but my favourite is 18a. Let us know what you think in a comment!

76 comments on “DT 26360

  1. Glad that you rated this four stars for difficulty. After a first pass with only four or five clues in the grid, it was an enjoyable, if slow and steady, solve through the remaining ones. Many thanks to Giovanni for stretching the grey matter this morning and to Gazza for the notes. Favourite clue was 22d.

  2. Thanks Gazza. I had entered “spying” to complete the puzzle today, but couldn’t work out why “on” was leg. Of course, I didn’t consider the cricket scenario.

    1. Am just beginning to think “CRICKET” whenever I don’t understand a clue – it quite often works. When it doesn’t I move on to football, rugby, etc!

      1. Now if they were to throw in a few dancing terms……Kath doyou watch ‘Dancing with the Stars’ on Thursday evenings on ‘Watch’ (I think) channel, the American version of ‘Strictly’ – the actress who played ‘Baby’ in Dirty Dancing is one of the contestants, she is brilliant :)

  3. Reassured to know that I was not the only one to find this trickier than normal. A seasonal flu jab in one arm, and a pneumonia jab in the other earlier this morning, didn’t help either! Favourite clues, 10a, and 22d.
    Thanks to Giovanni for a most enjoyable puzzle, and to Gazza for the notes.

    Not doing quite so well on the Elgar, 434 !

  4. Morning Gazza, I don’t have to mention the weather in Wales today do I? Everyone will know golf fans or not! I was also thrown by the fact that my printed clued up version says No 26, I would hate to have done the wrong one, glad you marked in 4*, on first reading through I couldn’t do any! The last one to go in for me was 18/26 across, fav clue 21d, a lot of clever clues today but there were at least three where part of the answer was a two letter word in the fodder e.g. 17d, 9d,1a, these always throw me :-(, A tough one for us CCers today but I think worth perservating for, thanks for blog Gaza, just going to read it now :)

    1. Mary. All this rain will be good for those bushes. However, now’s the time to prune them (but not in this weather). It’s wild, wet and windy here in the E. Midlands, too.

  5. Same here for the 4 stars! I started off OK, then it became quite evident it’s not going to be be that easy. Thanks for the blog on the couple I wasn’t 100% about.

  6. I was in the same boat as Prolixic after the first run through but then found it all came together, taking a little bit longer than usual. 18a definitely favourite for me.
    Thanks to gazza and Giovanni.
    Now to bake my noodle on the Toughie!

  7. New words for me – 12a, 7d and 28a – but fairly obvious from the word play. Didn’t fully appreciate 18 & 26 – completely missed the anagram. Last in was 8d – pleased that finally worked it out – I normally miss this type of word play.

    Always thought that it was a bit risky to hold the Ryder Cup in Wales in October!

  8. I can’t remember how long it took me to do but don’t think I struggled that much more than usual. Agree with all your favourites, especially 18a which the nice diversion at first because the second five letter word could have been TEARS. Thanks Giovanni and Gazza.

    I too am tussling with the Toughie but it’s been great company while I have been destroying forests at the photocopier again!

    1. Hello Shipmate, (well, almost). Did you serve on 7d? I seem to recall her being planeguard for one of my big boats. (apologies to you landlubbers; just recalling old times in the fo’c’sle). And the puzzle itself – I would reverse Gazza’s assessment. Not hugely difficult, but most entertaining and satisfying. Many thanks to G & G.

      1. Hi Digby, didn’t get on the G but saw the answer in the clue quicksmart. I did think my God, calling those Leander class frigates was an inspiration on somebody’s part, little knowing they would help me out in crosswords in years to come. I am still waiting for other beautys like Heclar, Hecate, Diomede,Bachante et al.

  9. Tricky little rascal today. Took me longer than normal but got there in the end. For some reason I struggled for ages with 1a, even with all the checking letters in! Obvious once the penny dropped – must have a bit too much yesterday (birthday) and dulled the grey matter.
    Warm and sunny here (again)!
    Thanks Gazza and Giovanni.

    1. Happy yesterday birthday Pommers, where are you perhaps they might like to play the Ryder cup in your area?????

      1. Thank you Mary. I’m in Alicante province in Spain in a small town called Almoradi. Lots of golf courses round here and average 320 days of sunshine a year! Great place for golf so it’s a shame I don’t play!

  10. No-one is listening to our pleas for no more cricketing terms! I suppose I will just have to learn the most used ones. 15A threw me because I’ve never seen this word with an ‘R’ at the end – thought it was just the first 7 lettters.

    Defiinitely a toughie for me!

  11. This took me ages but I’ve really enjoyed it. Did think, having only managed about five answers on first read through, that it was going to be one of THOSE Friday crosswords! Having finally finished it I read it all through again to see if I understood why everything was what it was before reading the hints and comments – decided to just check in a dictionary that, in 8d, ‘py’ was some sort of odd term for a ‘pony’ – perhaps a strange abbreviation for ‘piebald’ – NOTHING! Oh dear – THEN, in a flash, I thought ‘cricket’ and worked it out for myself so feeling very smug! :grin: This was definitely a 4* for me. 28a was a new word. Lots of lovely clues – 10, 18, and 29a, and nearly all the downs – started to write their numbers but got bored as there were too many (and I have to look at the keyboard to do numbers!) DREADFUL weather in Oxford today but I don’t think that it’s only here. :sad:

    1. Kath, I do hope that the simple guide to cricket that I posted for you and Mary (mainly) last week helped you crack this one?

      1. Thank you – your simple guide made all the difference – am now getting to the point where I look for crickety clues all the time!

  12. This is Giovanni back to his best, a cracker of a crossword, great review from Gazza too, personal favourite was 5d.

  13. Scuttling back into the corner today. This was way beyond me and finally I managed only 14 answers. Even working through the blog was hard-going! Wonder why the 18/26a anagram isn’t in Word Wizard … ?

  14. I’m a modest chap, honest, but I found this fairly straightforward today. Last to go in was 17d, mainly due to that I got the wrong end of ‘expect’ in the 27a anagram. This gives a similar answer but made 17d impossible. Should have read the clue more carefully.Favourite clues were 1a and 29a, for it’s ‘sub-clue’.

    Enjoyed this, until I noticed who set the the Toughie. He and I are from different galaxies! I’ll give it a go this pm but I don’t hold out much hope.

  15. Although the Gnome and I are still trying to justify/sort out/work out 28a, I have to say that the Toughie is well worth a long struggle (I have been looking on and off (admittedly more off than on) since about 9.30 this morning. Great fun if you have the time/stamina to perservate!

      1. Prolixic has just sorted us out so I am now just waiting for finishing time (3pm) and then I am off to find a darkened room to recover :)

        1. I can’t wait until 3pm. I’m going to lock the doors, raise the umbrella, and check the blog when I get home :)

  16. Is anyone still attempting today’s Toughie – after 2 hours I have solved 5 – Hands Up, I give in!! Looking forward to the review!

    1. On Toughie 433, BD describes today’s Toughie (434) as ‘Elgar at his beastliest’ – I would agree with that but it’s such clever beastliness that I would recommend to anyone who has about 4 – 5 hours to spend in on and off perservation. How he thinks of such stunning wordplay and deviousness I will never know. Looking forward to the review.

      1. I saw BD’s comments earlier, but cannot seem to find them again – I think they were on a general “comments” page – how do I find them?

        To today’s Toughie reviewer – you have my sympathy!

        1. Oops! Just realised that BD’s comments about today’s Toughie (434) are posted on the comments on Yesterday’s Toughie (433) as you pointed out in your comment above. Knew I saw them somewhere!

    2. Don’t think that I feel brave enough to even look at the toughie after the few comments I’ve read about it. On the other hand, almost anything is better than looking at the rain …

      1. The on line Guardian isn’t too bad today as an alternative to the Toughie and/or rain.

    3. Have finally finished Toughie. Loved it – lots of brilliant clues. Comes together if you keep at it. Learnt some new words. Best clue for a “doh!” moment was 1&29a. Thanks Elgar (& whoever is doing the revue).

        1. I should apologise for the spelling mistake but I’m highly entertained by the image you’ve planted in my mind. I’m blaming mental exhaustion (down to Elgar).

  17. Did not enjoy this… found it too hard for me! Not quite in the right mood today. Maybe its the rain which we are so not used to here in kent??? oh well!

  18. Toughest of the week in my view and I failed to get 12a and 7d. Very clever clues and a good challenge for a Friday. Top notch was this!

  19. Thoroughly enjoyable and justified the 4* rating. Took a little longer than usual but well worth the effort.
    No particular favourites.
    Thanks to setter and Gazza.

  20. Have managed only six of the toughie clues – about to read the hints – it’s the only way to learn and what better day to do it on – a tough toughie AND torrential rain.

        1. Maybe, its just for the Ryder cup!, although we are 60 odd miles away, glad to see you’ve come out of the corner Geoff :)

  21. I knocked this one off in record time – unusual for a puzzle from The Maestro.
    Some good clues.
    I enjoyed 13a, 25a (memories of “Citizen Kane”), 7d (was this a “fabric-ated” clue by GBS perhaps? Look in Pears Cyclopaedia section I for the full story) & 19d.

    At 8d I wondered if the lasses would get it or grouse as usual but I have seen their comments.

    Nice work Giovanni.

    1. Objection Derek, we don’t grouse but how would you feel if there were just as many questions about ballroom dancing etc. we are patiently learning more each day, I like most sports but must say cricket is probably one I know least about, don’t know why, i actually used to play it with my brothers, all the terms must have been invented after that time :-D

  22. I did not find this at all entertaining because I could do none of it

    Normal Giovanni has been resumed

  23. A late finish for me because believe it or not I had to take Mrs Tub shopping for Christmas decorations. With only a quarter of a year to go it’s panic stations already…
    I had everyone in the office scouring google to help me with 28a. I think science is to me what cricket is to Kath and Patsyann! It was hard work today, but well worth it in the end. I lacked the courage of my convictions with 7d for a while because the word was new to me, but that didn’t spoil my enjoyment at all. Good stuff, and thanks for the help Gazza.

  24. To tough for me. Have done over half but got to give it up. Sure the blog is great as always but too tired tonight. Hard day, hard puzzle. Sleep well all.

  25. Well, I found this really tough to do without utilising aids such as Crossword Solver, Chambers and so on, something I am usually loath to do. Therefore, I would rate this as “difficult” unaided and “average” using tools.

Comments are closed.