DT 26369 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26369

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26369

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

This is a pleasant puzzle for a sunny morning and I’m assuming that it’s a Shamus production. It’s certainly a pangram and for once I found this useful, in filling in my last answer (11d). Comments, as always, are welcome.
To reveal an answer drag your cursor through the blank space between the brackets under the relevant clue.

Across Clues

1a  Backing for singer during quiet drink? That’s OK (8)
{PASSABLE} – a description of something that’s ok but nothing special is formed by reversing (backing) a male singer inside (during) the initial standing for quiet (piano) in musical notation and an alcoholic drink.

5a  Substitute man making decisions about story (6)
{RELIEF} – the definition is substitute, a group of people replacing others who have been on duty, for example. Put the man with the whistle making decisions around an untrue story.

9a  Award given by name in assembly following orders? (8)
{OBEDIENT} – this is an adjective meaning following orders. Start with an award and follow this with a legislative assembly with N(ame) inside it.

10a  Choppy sea for one in landing-place making one nauseous (6)
{QUEASY} – start with a landing-place where ships tie up and then replace (for) the A (one) with an anagram (choppy) of SEA to make an adjective meaning inducing a feeling of nausea.

12a  A tank is renovated in keeping of good Asian (9)
{PAKISTANI} – this Asian is an abbreviation of a word meaning good or devout around an anagram (renovated) of A TANK IS.

13a  Part of gear that’s very new and latest in streetwise athletic stock (1-4)
{V-NECK} – a garment (part of gear) is formed by the abbreviations for V(ery) and N(ew) followed by the last letters (latest) of the final three words.

14a  Trailer in outskirts of jungle — and old horse (4)
{JADE} – put what a trailer is (in the cinema, say) inside the outer letters (outskirts) of JunglE to make a worn-out horse.

16a  Northern Church worker after start of Easter showing delight (7)
{ENCHANT} – put N(orthern), an abbreviation for church and a working insect after the first letter (start) of E(aster) to construct a verb meaning to delight.

19a  Line mentioned by academic authority in girls’ school (7)
{ROEDEAN} – a homophone (mentioned) of line (in a spreadsheet, say) is followed by a senior academic to make a girls’ public school near Brighton. Well, it makes a change from Eton.

21a  Some wax left in car part (4)
{AXLE} – this car part is hiding (some) in the clue.

24a  Leader of evangelicals enthralled by model OT figure (5)
{MOSES} – put the first letter (leader) of E(vangelicals) inside the surname of a famous fashion model to make an Old Testament figure.

25a  European in backward part of ship, say, individual looking dismal (9)
{WOEBEGONE} – this is nicely confusing. Backward part of ship is not the back end of a ship but the front end of a ship reversed (backward). Put E(uropean) inside it and then follow this with the abbreviation for say (i.e. for example) and ONE (individual) to make an adjective meaning miserable-looking or dismal.

27a  Inventor, head of department, is seen in time (6)
{EDISON} – to find the inventor of the light bulb, amongst other things, put D(epartment) and IS inside a major division of geological time.

28a  Patient figure hears fantastic opportunity for work? (8)
{JOBSHARE} – start with the Old Testament figure whose name has become a byword for patience and follow this with an anagram (fantastic) of HEARS to make an opportunity for two people to split a pay packet. According to Chambers the verb is hyphenated but the noun is either a single word (as here) or two separate words.

29a  Part of rally and run held in Potteries town (6)
{STROKE} – put R(un) inside a Potteries town to make part of a rally on court.

30a  By the sound of it, man with thin fabric (8)
{TERYLENE} – a sound-alike of a male forename (think of a one-time Beirut hostage) is followed by another sound-alike, this time of a synonym for thin. The whole thing is the trade name of a synthetic fabric.

Down Clues

1d  Ready assistance on boards? (6)
{PROMPT} – double definition, boards being where actors strut their stuff.

2d  Ken, say, being devious and cunning (6)
{SNEAKY} – an anagram (being devious) of KEN SAY.

3d  A single girl out of order (5)
{AMISS} – the title of an unmarried girl follows A to make an adjective meaning not quite right (out of order).

4d  Learner with printing requirement to get on connection (7)
{LINKAGE} – the definition is connection and it’s a charade of the letter associated with a learner, something needed for printing and a verb meaning to get on in years.

6d  Questionable peer entertaining four with promoted company (9)
{EQUIVOCAL} – an adjective meaning ambiguous or questionable is constructed from a person of the same status (peer) around (entertaining) the Roman numeral for four and the abbreviation for company which is reversed (promoted, in a down clue).

7d  Woman facing wasted years? It’s quite possible (1,4,3)
{I DARE SAY} – a phrase meaning it’s quite possible is a woman’s name (think of the film actress who starred opposite Humphrey Bogart in High Sierra) followed by (facing) an anagram (wasted) of YEARS.

8d  Indulge in aerial activity and test public opinion? (3,1,4)
{FLY A KITE} – double definition, the second a phrase meaning to test public opinion by circulating rumours, etc.

11d  Measure gluey material (4)
{SIZE} – double definition, the second being a gluey material used, for example, to prepare walls for plastering or wallpapering.

15d  Car keys lost around river, old site down under (5,4)
{AYERS ROCK} – this site down under is a sandstone rock formation which is surrounded by a number of myths and traditions. Its name is an anagram (lost) of CAR KEYS around R(iver) and O(ld).

17d  Name in leading ship showing formality (8)
{PRIMNESS} – the definition is formality or prudish correctness. Put N(ame) inside an adjective meaning leading or chief and finish with the usual abbreviation for steamship.

18d  Derisive remark about newfangled kits for aquatic sportsman (3-5)
{JET-SKIER} – this aquatic sportsman is made from a derisive remark round an anagram (newfangled) of KITS.

20d  Amphibian beginning to wriggle in trap (4)
{NEWT} – this amphibian was a favourite of the previous London mayor. Put the initial letter (beginning) of W(riggle) inside a trap.

21d  Do a stretch of rowing, we hear? Great (7)
{AWESOME} – this is (or at least is meant to be) a homophone (we hear) of a verb meaning to row (in the boating sense) followed by an adverb meaning for a time (a stretch). The whole thing is an adjective meaning amazing or great. The homophone doesn’t work at all for me – what do you think?

22d  Fodder, one in fashion (6)
{FORAGE} – put A (one) inside a verb meaning to fashion or shape to make another word for fodder.

23d  Withdraw City journalist in the Home Counties (6)
{SECEDE} – a verb meaning to withdraw formally from a party, union or alliance is made by putting the postal district of London which houses the City (financial district) and the usual abbreviation for a top journalist inside the geographical part of the country where the Home Counties are found.

26d  Try written composition (5)
{ESSAY} – double definition.

The clues I liked included 10a, 25a, 28a and 6d, but my favourite today is 24a. Let us know what you think in a comment.

69 comments on “DT 26369

  1. Great fun – agree with you that without the hope of it being a pangram, it would taken a long time to get 11d. Did need Gnome’s law for two clues but apart from that it was a very quick solve. Lots of clues I liked but 28a is my favourite. Thanks Gazza and, presumably, Shamus too.

    I recommend to all the Cephas toughie which is a really nice puzzle today – hoped it was going to be a pangram too – alas not.

  2. Same last one in, gazza, and the same help from the pangram. I had forgotten that second meaning even though it was in another puzzle in the last year or so. 7d favourite for me.
    Thanks to gazza and the presumed Shamus. I would agree on the Toughie – I solved it faster than this one.

  3. An enjoyable puzzle, which I thought was tougher than 3*. Also quite a significant fewer solves so far this morning on cluedup. Favourite clue, 24a.
    Thanks to Shamus, and to Gazza for the review.
    The Toughie I found considerably easier than this.

  4. Many thanks to the setter for the puzzle and to Gazza for the notes. 11d was one for the first one in for me. This requires a slow and steady working through the grid to complete and was great fun. I particularly liked 25a and 28a for their misdirection.

    I agree that the Toughie was marginally easier this morning.

  5. A nice puzzle, would have struggled with 19a were it not for this blog and had I not spelt Ayers wrong!!
    Thanks to all!

      1. One of the setters was telling me at the weekend that he caused ructions when he put abbatoir (sic) in a puzzle – he clued the first four letters as a certain Swedish group which doesn’t work with the correct spelling!

  6. I agree that the Toughie today is easier than this. Very enjoyable and I too put 11d in last. I hadn’t heard of 14a in that context before, although it was straightforward to solve. Googling the term, plus “horse”, afterwards, I got completely sidetracked by some lovely pictures of Chinese carvings! Favourites include 1a, 12a and 28a.

  7. My patience ran out with 28a and I had to check the hints. None of the CW solvers I use found this solution.
    Went badly astray by entering “A” for the first letter/word of 7d just because its enumeration is (1,4,3) – oops!
    Thanks Gazza and setter.

  8. This took me a while and I had to take a break half way through. I need a good bike ride now after that to clear my head.
    25a was the last to go in.
    Thanks to Gazza and Shamus for a fullfilling workout

  9. Good CW this morning with one or two tricky ones.
    Not Sunny up here in wilds of Northumberland.
    Weve only seen the Sun once in last 4 days unlike much of the rest of UK!!

    1. Ann, where in Northumberland are you? I’m a native of Bamburgh, but it’s many years since I lived there.
      I found this quite challenging and needed the blog for a few clues, so thanks for the assistance.

        1. Perhaps – a reference to the solution of 21d – “awesome” .

          Gazza complained about the homophone – but I liked it!

          Perhaps, it’s regional accent problem?

          1. Mary – fun is entirely subjective as we all know. Rufus is regularly the most fun puzzle for me but not always the best crossword for enjoyment.
            Franco – I kind of appreciate the placement.
            My problem with the one word review is that it helps nobody in assessing either their work or the puzzle that they are looking at.
            The homophone is, I admit, always a contentious thing. Our Scottish cousins particularly complain (and sometimes even greet!), and they are right to so do, when presented with a word that does not sound the same in their dialect. Having said that, the setter can legitimately assume a standard dialect according to the environs of the paper and equally the solvers might also remember this when considering the required homophone.

            I’ll get me coat!

  10. Thoroughly enjoyable crossword and much more difficult than the toughie ( for me anyway ). 28a was my personal favourite. Thanks Gazza and Shamus?.

  11. Hey Dave, I think I have googlewhacked you! 30a + 28a returns about 50 results, but after the BD blog at the top, the rest seem to be word list sites, which don’t count as I understand it.

    Dare I ask if I’m the only one who occasionally attempts a “whack” from the answers? Don’t answer that :(

    1. Mary and Kath, if you google “googlewhack”, you’ll see that googling two random words which return one result is a googlewhack – very difficult to achieve. I often try to googlewhack two answers from the Telegraph Crossword, but rarely manage to win a whack. If I do, Big Dave’s Blog will appear as 1 – 1 on google or at least will appear top of the list, as today, as the rest of the returns will be word lists or dictionaries which don’t count. See Dave Gorman for more info :)

  12. 6d – got the answer before fully realising why .. can anyone explain why the hint for this clue says ‘promoted in a DOWN clue’??

    1. CO (company) is reversed in the answer. The reversal indicator is “promoted” (i.e. moved up) which only works as a reversal indicator in a down clue.

  13. After the last two days I was feeling fairly confident – silly really. Today’s puzzle put me firmly back in my place. Totally confused by 7d and 22d – especially 22d. Surely one = l not A.
    Ah well there is always tomorrow

    1. Chris,
      “One” can be I (because when written it looks like the figure 1) or A (because “a pound of apples” is equivalent to “one pound of apples”)..

  14. I started this at the hospital waiting to get mny stitches out and then finished when I got home. Luckly the blog was up by then as I had answers but had to check as to why they were right. Enjoyed it but took me longer than it should have.

    Thanks for the review Gazza and thanks for the pu\le setter. I liked 25a as my top clue.

  15. Afternoon all from sunny hot West Wales! thus the late start the weather is just too good to miss, well after yesterdays euphoric event of finishing without any help, all the books and machines were in full use once again today and the bog was needed more than once, still once was enough to get me out of the CC, still waiting for a volunteer to take over :) I agree with you Gazza about 21d a few clues I didn’t like, if I had to pick a favourite today it would be 30a

    1. Mary – how do you do the embarrassed/blushing face? Could have done with one of them today! have mastered the smiles etc :smile: :grin:

          1. I can’t find the red face or your blinking face (sorry, no insult intended, just that I don’t know what else to call it) in the FAQ – am I just being stupid YET again!

          2. Am just beginning to get this (I think) – what I called your “blinking face” was, in fact, rolling your eyes – just going to have a little try :roll: ! How do I try these out before using them so that I don’t totally embarrass myself?

        1. Just going to have a little practice now :oops: Let’s hope it works or I really am going to retire hurt from the rest of the day!

  16. Oh dear! I’ve found this much more difficult than 3* and it all went completely and horribly wrong in the bottom right hand corner. Couldn’t do 28a or 21d at all and didn’t understand 25a until I read the hints – agree that 25a is confusing but am not so sure that it’s ‘nicely confusing’ as Gazza says in the hints – it certainly confused me!! On the plus side, for the first time ever, my brain registered ‘PANGRAM’ fairly early on (14a and 11d were among the first clues that I did) so spent quite a while hunting for the other unusual letters. My favourite clue was 30a. Not my finest day! Thank you Shamus and Gazza.

  17. I suggested yesterday after the 1* puzzle we might be in for a shock later in the week and we were today.
    Busy day up to now but thoroughly enjoyed this challenge with a cup of tea and which I completed without the blog. Agree with the star ratings.
    Favourites 16 and 25A, and 6D.
    Thanks to setter and to Gazza for the hints and the pictures.

  18. Blimey, that was TOUGH. Didn’t like this one at all esp after yesterdays great one. The NE corner was all but impossible to any but an expert but at least I have learned a new name for an old horse which I had never heard of before. All in all not a nice one for me. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE DT save these ones for the Toughie!!

    1. I thought it was tough too, but found the SE corner (a much better way of putting it than ‘the bottom right hand corner’ – have learnt something today – thank you Barrie) far more difficult. Actually, for difficult please read impossible!

  19. What a throughly NASTY puzzle except perhaps for the NW corner. Just discovered the blog, what a great site, such a shame my first entry was on such an awful crossword.

    1. Welcome Gerald.
      Per my previous annotation on Alan’s comment I think that it is to everyone’s advantage if we all provide some reasoning for our specific likes and dislikes on individual puzzles. Simply shouting NASTY or declaring ‘awful’ helps neither the setter nor fellow solvers!

  20. Another none too taxing puzzle this week!
    I liked : 24a, 27a, 30a, 15d & 17d.
    I agree entirely with you Gazza that the homophone attempt in 21d is appalling for anyone coming from The Midlands northwards! Whereas 19a is OK.
    We had the same sloppiness with Fort William last week. Northeners pronounce fort with a diphthong.

  21. Not quite finished – missed a couple and left my paper on the train! Nice photograph above by the way. Lovely.

  22. Thanks to Gazza as always for his blog and all for comments. In the Midlands and South East, we pronounce “oar” and “awe” in similar ways but I can’t speak for other regions!

  23. 21 down certainly does not work with a scottish accent – had to look this one up on your blog – great blog

  24. That was a real workout – I’d heve never gotten half the clues without this blog, which I’ve just discovered (and put a link to on my blog). Thank you!

  25. I have been following the blog since my initiation to the DT cryptic crossword back in April and first of all want to thank BD and all of you for the helpful hints and comments.
    I enjoyed some of today’s puzzle and, although originally from the NW, I had no trouble with the homophone in 21d. Perhaps I have been in the SE for too long!!
    I confess I enjoyed yesterday’s puzzle more… probably because it made me feel as if I was finally getting somewhere and thought that I might soon be out of the CCers but today I find I am as clueless as ever before. One day….

  26. Very enjoyable! 25a took some working out though. In fact I gave up on it last night only to return to the challenge this morning after a good kip & a refreshing mug of Yorkshire Gold. Done without reference to the blog but with some help from Ms Bradford. Mmmm…smug mode…

  27. Late as usual!

    Did anybody else have ‘TAPE’ for 14down? ‘Measure gluey material’ – Tape measure/material with glue on? Seemed quite reasonable until realised what 12a was.

    I rather thought 24 a could have been greatly improved : ‘Leader of exodus enthralled by model’ would have given the same mechanics AND comprised the definition.


    1. Andy,
      You’re obviously intending your suggested clue for 24a to be an an-in-one (&lit) clue, but if so the whole clue has to define Moses and I don’t see in what way he was “enthralled by model”?

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