DT 26378 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26378

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26378

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

We have a typical Giovanni puzzle today with a mixture of clues of varying difficulty, including a number of easy ones to help you get started. The grid does contain a number of double unches which may bother some people, but I can’t see that they cause any great problems. Let us know, in a comment, what you thought of it.
To reveal an answer drag your cursor through the space between the curly brackets on the line under the clue.

Across Clues

1a  Dietary supplement that could make you go masculine (11)
{GLUCOSAMINE} – this dietary supplement is, apparently, an amino sugar used to alleviate arthritic pain and slow the progression of osteoarthritis. It’s an anagram (could make you) of GO MASCULINE. I have researched its side effects and can find no evidence that its use can lead to increased testosterone levels :D

8a  A millionaire is so courageous (4-7)
{LION-HEARTED} – an epithet meaning very courageous is how you might, cryptically, describe A MILLIONAIRE (concentrating on the middle four letters).

11a  Understood Socialist’s pronouncement (4)
{READ} – a verb meaning understood or interpreted correctly sounds like (pronouncement) how a Socialist may be described.

12a  Bound to find energy in drink (4)
{LEAP} – put E(nergy) inside a verb meaning to drink like a cat.

13a  Doctor you repeatedly start to dread, not betraying emotions (3-4)
{DRY-EYED} – this is a charade of an abbreviation for doctor, an old word for you which occurs twice (repeatedly) and the first letter (start) of D(read).

15a  Person unable to maintain momentum? One may get it in the neck (7)
{STOPPER} – double definition, the second cryptic. Someone who comes to a standstill and a plug placed in the neck of a bottle.

16a  Net for flower (5)
{SEINE} – another double definition. A large vertical fishing-net and something that flows in France.

17a  Copper joining force with force supplying part of his equipment (4)
{CUFF} – part of the equipment that a copper carries on his or her belt is constructed from the chemical symbol for copper followed by F(orce) repeated.

18a  Animal losing tail isn’t sweet (4)
{BRUT} – remove the final E (losing tail) from a synonym for animal to leave the description of a dry sparkling wine.

19a  Get rid of disreputable person at Oxford? (3,2)
{RIP UP} – a phrasal verb meaning to get rid of or destroy is a charade of a disreputable person and how someone studying at Oxford University may be described (especially in Crosswordland).

21a  Tower encountered across various parts of Iran (7)
{MINARET} – this is an excellent all-in-one clue. The tower of a mosque (from which the call to prayer is broadcast five times a day) is a synonym for encountered around (across) an anagram (various parts) of IRAN.

22a  Administrator needs support, having become dull inside (7)
{TRUSTEE} – this administrator is made from a support on the golf course with (having) a verb meaning to become dull inside.

23a  In the auditorium is aware of dissidents (4)
{NOES} – a sound-alike (in the auditorium) of a verb meaning is aware of is actually a description of dissidents or those who vote against something.

26a  Poet has work displayed in gym (4)
{POPE} – put the usual abbreviation for work inside the usual abbreviation for physical exercise (gym) to make the surname of an eighteenth century English poet.

27a  Is Scot at back of beer parlour turning crude? (11)
{RABELAISIAN} – the definition is crude, in the manner of a sixteenth century French satirist noted for his earthy humour and humanist values. Place IS and a male Scottish forename after a reversal (turning) of a place where beer may be bought and drunk (beer parlour).

28a  Earlier ones travelling around country (6,5)
{SIERRA LEONE} – this West African country is an anagram (travelling around) of EARLIER ONES.

Down Clues

2d  Cloth, not soft, put on the table (4)
{LAID} – a tartan woollen cloth loses its initial P (not soft, i.e. without the letter standing for piano or softly in musical notation).

3d  Sweets lose vitality in containers (7)
{CANDIES} – what sweets are called in North America is a verb meaning to perish (lose vitality) inside metal containers.

4d  Maybe something in the garden the woman had got rid of (4)
{SHED} – triple definition.

5d  Sheep knocked over barrier somewhere in Kent (7)
{MARGATE} – this seaside town in Kent is a male sheep reversed (knocked over) followed by a barrier.

6d  Boy heading west in 28 (4)
{NOEL} – you first have to solve 28a, then, inside the answer, find a boy’s name reversed (heading west in an across clue). The reversal is significant because the same letters make a different boy’s name if read in an easterly direction.

7d  Spot decrepit man wandering about (11)
{PREDICAMENT} – the definition is spot (of difficulty or bother). It’s an anagram (wandering about) of DECREPIT MAN.

8d  Index woman uses maybe to find plant (5,6)
{LADY’S FINGER} – cryptic definition of a plant also known as kidney vetch or okra. Index here means a part of the body used to point or indicate.

9d  One traipsed around in misery (11)
{DESPERATION} – an anagram (around) of ONE TRAIPSED.

10d  Handyman should have his enthusiasm well-balanced (6,5)
{SPIRIT LEVEL} – something that a handyman should have, if he wants his erections to be stable, is a charade of synonyms for enthusiasm and well-balanced.

14d  Money taken from bank account when old socialite gets with it (5)
{DEBIT} – start with an old abbreviated word for a young girl “coming out” into society (socialite) (socialite) and add IT.

15d  Tin revealed in the grass (5)
{SNOUT} – a slang term for a police informer (grass) is made from the chemical symbol for tin followed by an adverb meaning in the open or no longer concealed (revealed).

19d  Ruddy grass upset wild animal! (3,4)
{RED DEER} – start with a synonym for ruddy and then reverse (upset, in a down clue) a type of grass.

20d  Gift that is placed at end of drive (7)
{PRESSIE} – to get this informal word for a gift or present put the standard abbreviation for that is after (at end of) a verb meaning to push with force (drive).

24d  Garment is hairy, is missing odd bits (4)
{SARI} – omit (missing) the odd letters of IS HAIRY IS to leave a garment.

25d  Flag when presented with a long account (4)
{SAGA} – this is a long account. Add A to a verb meaning to flag or droop.

26d  Portray endless suffering (4)
{PAIN} – a verb meaning to portray or depict loses its final T (endless) to leave suffering.

The clues I liked included 8a, 27a, 10d and 15d but my stand-out favourite today is 21a. Let us know which ones you liked.

55 comments on “DT 26378

  1. A very nice Giovanni Friday puzzle. Agree with all your favourites. Thanks to both Gs.

    Prolixic and I both agree that if we hadn’t solved this one fairly easily (cue cries of despair and ‘unfair’) – we would imagine, having started the Toughie, that all our cryptic brain cells had deserted us! We cogitate and perservate onwards.

      1. Elgar, of course, who else could be so Machiavellian on a Friday! I have 7 more to go and its well worth a perservate/cogitate as once enlightenment strikes, it’s wonderful.

        1. Crypticsue please spread a little enlightenment in this direction, it would be an understatement to say I’m bogged down

        2. I agree, well worth putting the effort in on the Toughie – very rewarding. On first read through I nearly choked on my lunch but once mini theme cracked found it to be enjoyable & satisfying.

        1. Sorry no – I thought that for ages but it refers to a specific famous Oxford academic. Hope I am not spoiling everyone’s fun here. If I am I am sure BD will delete me!

  2. I thought this was a very good puzzle from Giovanni, which looks tricky at first, but one by one the answers fall into place.
    27a is not a word I have encountered before, but gettable from the clue.
    Thanks to Giovanni, and to Gazza.

  3. Excellent Friday puzzle – thanks Giovanni.
    Had to look up 27a. I got the answer from the wordplay but I,ve never heard of the chap!
    Definite favourite is 21a.
    Thanks Gazza, an entertaining review as usual.
    After Jezza’s comment above I think I’ll give the Toughie a miss.

  4. Agree the scores – particularly liked 27a – must try and fit this term into at least one conversation today!

    1. Have you read Rabelais? I’d be inclined to keep him out of conversation, certainly if it’s polite.

  5. As with Jezza and pommers 27a was new to me but just comes in as my favourite as the word plar kept bringing to mind Rab C Nesbit!

  6. I enjoyed this crossword but have a question on 24d. If you omit the odd letters from the phrase you get “iS hAiRy iS” which would give SARS. The final “IS” ought therefore to clue “I” independently of the odd letter indicator. Either that or my brain has turned to mush – which is a distinct possibility as I have been up since 4:30 this morning!

  7. Enjoyed today’s and Thursday’s not least becuase I’d completed them by morning coffee time! Makes up for the disappontment of Tuesday when everybody else seemed to crack it whilst I struggled. Favourite clues today are 10d and 15d.

  8. Great puzzle that took some thinking about. 8A and 8D were the last to go in, I just could not fathom them out, thought 11A was read but considered it was too easy. Like others solvers 27A is a completely new word to me which required looking up.
    Liked 10D.
    Thanks to setter and Gazza.

  9. Thoroughly enjoyable and not too taxing, I really enjoy Giovanni when he is in this kind of mood. I liked 21a and 10d best. Thanks Gazza for the review and Giovanni for a wee cracker of a crossword. By the way Elgar has really sorted out the wheat from the chaff today! ( I’m afraid I’m chaff)

  10. Haven’t found many so far, I must say, not even 16a! ;-( So thank you Gazza for help for 8a, 11a & 16a…. I’ll try and finish it on my own now … Very enjoyable and clever clues. Congrats to setter as well.

  11. I’ve enjoyed this Friday crossword more than I usually do – I so often find them too difficult for me. I couldn’t do 27a even with the hint so had to look inside the brackets – I would NEVER have got it on my own. Also I’ve never heard of 16a as being any kind of net but it obviously had to be what it was so looked it up. Have learnt two new words today! Favourite clues are 8a (although it took me a while to work out why) and 8 and 24d. Thank you to Giovanni and Gazza. I think that, having read the comments, I won’t even look at the toughie today!

  12. Excellent Cryptic today, fully worthy of at least 4*.
    Gazza – the mugshot beneath 6d also serves perfectly to illustrate the next clue down ‘decrepit man wandering about’. Well spotted.

  13. Afternoon Gazza, another enjoyable if a little too tough for me, crossword from Giovanni, I am beginning to think his crosswords are fun sometimes, I had to have your help for two that I couldn’t do, never heard of 27a, but my machine had :) nor had I heard of seine as net before, at first the puzzle looked really hare and I was really late starting it today after having some blood tests, so I guess my brain was missing those liitle cells! woth perservating even if blog is needed

  14. I like 8a and 21a best. In 8a, include the first word in the clue when counting.

    I confused myself by assuming that the poet in 26a was Edgar Allen.

  15. My brain doesn’t seem to be working well today, though I managed to do a good deal of this. I was completely stumped by 1a and 27a, though I had the ‘rab’ and the ‘ian’ at each end of the latter and had studied French Lit in my time. Ah, well!

    20d was another that stumped me, and I don’t much like ‘press’ as an equivalent for ‘drive’. That said, of the clues I did solve my favourites were 8a and 13a.

    Thanks to Giovanni for the challenge and to Gazza for his indispensable help. :-)

  16. An enjoyable puzzle from Giovanni. Favourite: 8A

    “Disreputable person” = “Rip” was new to me, but Google search reveals that it is quite common in CrossWordLand.

    Not so sure about the anagram indicator in 1a.

    Thanks, as always, to Gazza for the comprehensive and entertaining review!

    1. 26a, 4d, 5d and 26d, for example, seemed to me to be easy ones which provided ways to get into the puzzle.

      1. How can you say 26a was easy!! Was almost the last one I got. I assume the PE is the reference to gym but I thought it very obscure.

  17. Coo a tough one today from the Maestro!! Managed all but 22a, 13a, 20d and 19a. I must say I still do not understand the reference to Oxford?
    I also got 16a but never heard of a net called this before, so I have learnt something today. Best clue for me by far is 21 across. Thought this was much tougher than the usual Fridays fare and not as much fun but enjoyable nonetheless.

    1. Barrie,
      Students are said to be “up” at university, and this applies especially to students at Oxford and Cambridge.

  18. I hate 4 letter words!n This is not fun to do with a total of 11 of them in the grid. I think it is a cop out when there are so many – can’t they think of proper words.

    Unusually I am not enjoying this Giovanni but I will persevate and get there without resorting to the review.

      1. How did your blood tests go?

        I was late today as had a long session with the physiotherapist this morning – does me good but it was hard work.

    1. In fact, 12 four-letter words. If there had been 11, I’m sure that BD would have complained about the grid.

      However, I agree with you – the little ones are always the most difficult – for me!

          1. Perhaps we should ask the experts – Is it possible to have a grid with an asymmetrical grid?

  19. Rather tough today I thought – and I have to admit had to use some hints to get the answers and even then stuck on 4d and 18a.

  20. Excellent Puzzle and I share gazza’s favourites. Not looked too hard at the Toughie yet but got 2 answers on my one and only run through – does not bode well!
    Thanks to gazza and to Giovanni

  21. Solved this one early this morning – the hospital filled me up with fresh medication after my head-banging experience last Monday afternoon in the bookshop.
    A very nice puzzle from Giovanni – many thanks.

    Best clues for me were: 1a, 2a, 13a, 21a, 23a, 27a, 3d, 5d, 8d & 10d.

    I could not find 8d in either Bradford or Chambers Xword Dictionary – it is in big Chambers A – Z of course but I remembered it from a house we lived in in London years ago.

    1. Derek

      The Big Red Book has:

      lady’s finger
      ► noun Brit.
      Another term for kidney vetch

      As Gazza mentioned, it is better known as okra, especially in Indian restaurants

    2. Would you say the bang on the head has improved the little grey cryptic cells? Glad you are still improving.

  22. Save for PRESSIE,easy for me .I know umbrella is brolly,TV telly,but never heard of pressie for present.How are we non-Brits supposed to know such peculiarly local slang?

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