DT 26384 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26384

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26384

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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

Gazza is taking a well-earned day off. We have yet another excellent puzzle from the Master. We are not worthy!

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought. You can also add your assessment by selecting from one to five stars at the bottom of the post.


1a    Exercises that could lead to ‘bio-scare’ (8)
{AEROBICS} – these exercises involving such rhythmic activities as walking, swimming, cycling, etc. in order to reduce fat and improve physical fitness are an anagram, rather lamely indicated by “could lead to”, of BIO-SCARE

5a    One of the Channel Islands has a sort of appeal for loner (6)
{HERMIT} – the smallest of the Channel Islands that is open to the public is followed by IT (sex appeal) to get a loner

9a    Apprehension — peculiar sense following a military action (9)
{AWARENESS} – a word meaning apprehension is derived by putting an anagram (peculiar) of SENSE following A and a major military action

11a    Often organist is too much for this singer (5)
{TENOR} – hidden inside the clue (is too much is a novel way of indicating this) is a singer

12a    Being swindled makes a politician come in looking embarrassed (6)
{RAMPED} – a word meaning being swindled is built by inserting A and the usual politician inside the colour associated with looking embarrassed

13a    Car recovery folk in units along the road achieving wonders (8)
{MIRACLES} – put one of the major motoring organisations inside the units marked along some, particularly older, roads to get these wonders

15a    Party lanterns will get broken obviously (13)
{TRANSPARENTLY} – an anagram (will get broken) of PARTY LANTERNS gives a word meaning obviously

18a    Additional fee cheers e.g. vicar when in difficulties (7,6)
{SERVICE CHARGE} – this additional fee added to a restaurant bill is an anagram (when in difficulties) of CHEERS E.G. VICAR

22a    Flowing water runs around back of the church fence (8)
{RECEIVER} – put water flowing towards the sea around E (back of thE) and the Church of England to get a fence who deals in stolen goods

23a    Predicament requires gentle illumination (6)
{PLIGHT} – this predicament is a charade of gentle, as a musical instruction (for soft), and illumination

26a    Famous 11 has power, with listeners hanging on (5)
{PEARS} – Sir Peter, an English tenor renowned for his interpretation of compositions by Benjamin Britten, is a charade of P(ower) and a pair of “listeners”

27a    A benefit may follow the institution’s end, on the other hand (4,5)
{THEN AGAIN} – A and a benefit follow THE and N (institutioN‘s end) to get a phrase meaning on the other hand

28a    Tottered in the grass around lake with little energy (6)
{REELED} – a verb meaning tottered is constructed by putting a type of grass around L(ake) and E(nergy)

29a    US city personnel contributing nothing? (4-4)
{DEAD-WOOD} – it doesn’t look like it, but this is a double definition! – a US city, famous for its stagecoach, and personnel contributing nothing, the latter being the one that is hyphenated

ARVE Error: need id and provider


1d    Dispatch car crashing in Italy unfortunately (8)
{ALACRITY} – a noun meaning dispatch is constructed by putting an anagram (crashing) of CAR inside an anagram (unfortunately) of ITALY

2d    Area overrun by fire almost (5)
{REALM} – this area or domain is hidden inside (overrun by) the clue

3d    Commissions checks under the leadership of British engineers (7)
{BREVETS} – these military commission entitling an officer to take rank above that for which he or she receives pay are built up from a verb meaning checks or examines under B (leadership of British and the regiment of engineers

4d    Revolutionary food originally provided by one in the kitchen (4)
{CHEF} – the ubiquitous South American revolutionary is followed by F (Food originally) to get someone who works in the kitchen

6d    Bring out more when taken to court (7)
{EXTRACT} – a verb meaning to bring out is a charade of more followed by the abbreviation for court – the abbreviation exists because of its use on street maps!

7d    One to put explosive charges in stratum at bottom of coal pit? (9)
{MINELAYER} – a ship or aircraft for laying explosive charges is derived by putting a stratum after (at bottom of, as this is a down clue) a coal pit

8d    One of the birds — only half of them hurry (6)
{THRUSH} – this small or medium-sized songbird, typically having a brown back, spotted breast, and loud song, is a charade of half of TH(em) followed by a verb meaning to hurry

10d    Possibly a bit of grass son found on teacake (8)
{SPIKELET} – a part of some grasses is a charade of S(on) and a kind of teacake – the teacake was a new one for me

14d    Bloke getting established after one fine display (8)
{MANIFEST} – start with a bloke or male person, and then put EST(ablished) after I (one) and F(ine) to get a display

16d    A case is to get sorted out by fellow worker (9)
{ASSOCIATE} – an anagram (get sorted out) of A CASE IS TO gives a fellow worker

17d    A number stuck in poverty must be tidied up (8)
{NEATENED} – put A and a number inside a synonym for poverty to get a word meaning tidied up

19d    New edition produced by university in revamped series (7)
{REISSUE} – a new edition is produced by putting U(niversity) inside an anagram (revamped) of SERIES

20d    Rope with which Henry gets cart pulled up (7)
{HALYARD} – this rope is constructed from the diminutive form of Henry (not, this time, H as a unit of inductance) followed by a brewery cart reversed

21d    Like some names following strict convention (6)
{PROPER} – a double definition – like some names or nouns, that are usually indicated by capitalisation and following strict convention

24d    A ground prepared, but it’s not right day for fertiliser (5)
{GUANO} – an anagram (prepared) of A G(R)OUN(D) without R(ight) and D(ay) gives the dung of sea-fowl, used as a fertiliser

25d    The female’s last to receive present (4)
{HERE} – the female possessive pronoun is followed by E (last to receivE) to get a word used to indicate that a student is present

Don’t forget the meeting at the White Horse tomorrow – details to follow.

66 comments on “DT 26384

  1. A cracker to end the week. Maybe a couple of anagrams too many, but they were well disguised. Thanks for the review, Good Sir! The Quikie is a pangram, BTW.

  2. A brilliant Friday puzzle – solved in a very very quick time (apologies in advance to all who are struggling but I think I must be ‘in the zone’ or something today. BD – I knew the teacake in 10d as it’s what my Yorkshire Granny used to call a crumpet. Too many good clues to pick a favourite – thanks Giovanni and BD.

    The Toughie today is a proper Friday toughie, I did it in an amazingly quick time (for a Friday toughie that is, it still took me quite a while!) (told you I was in the zone) apart from one word which I don’t think I will ever ever get!

    1. Sue, saying “very very quick time” and “amazingly quick time” does absolutely nothing for my self confidence.I was just patting myself on the back for getting 9a in the toughie after thirty minutes. Have a care, I may just give up!

      1. Very sorry Nubian – I was just astonished at how well my cryptic brain cells are working today – they haven’t been up to full strength all week. Don’t give up – cogitate and perservate on – think of the bike ride/brandy you can have afterwards or even in between :)

        1. There’s probably a little of the green eyed monster lurking inside me somewhere. I should be revelling in your success. I think it is apologies all round. A bit windy for a bike ride today but tomorrow looks good. I need a break after doing 30 miles on Wednesday. The old bones are creaking a bit but the grapes help.

          1. Less of the old please. I am going to be the same age as Mrs N in a fortnight! Don’t forget my success comes after many many years of struggle, 99.9% of which was alone in the wilderness. I am just delighted to have people to share the fun with.

            1. Shh!, Mrs N is still in denial at the moment, Lots of TLC and “of course you don’t look your age” moments. I have been encourageing her with lots of retail therapy which seems to be working up to a fashion. Mr Sue should be taking notes from this blog I should hope.

                1. How dare you Mary, the sun ‘s not even close to the yardarm, although I suppose somewhere in the the world it is. Now your giving me ideas. O just been summoned for taxi duty, she who must be obeyed must be obeyed..a tout a l’heure

        2. Sue, do you think the number of times our ‘words’ are used on this site could count towards new dictionary entries :) ?

    2. Have cogitated enough on the toughie and still got 7 to go in, strangely mostly on the left. Going to have to wait for the review to have some “kick myself” moments!!!

  3. also finished in record time, but did need to look up 3d as never heard of the word. Liked 29a. Thanks to setter and BD

  4. Either this is not quite as difficult as many Friday puzzles or my brain is in better working order than it has been for a few days! 3d was a new word for me but possible to work out from the clue and then look up. I knew the teacake in 10d – I think it’s one of those funny regional things – crumpet, drop scone etc – all meaning different things depending on where you come from. Didn’t know that 29a was a real US city although I know the song. Have never heard of the famous 11 in 26a but, as above, easy to work out. Now off to do something useful on this rather grey and gloomy Oxford day.

  5. Am really looking forward to starting this – just finished a “tough” physio session (and a walk in the wind) so am braced for a lovely puzzle. More later.

      1. Thanks Mary – jsut had a load of phone calls which interrupted both the puzzle and my brain flow.

        1. Brainflow, I like that word, must add it to list :) Electric going off for an hour now, apparently for ‘essential work on the distribution system’ whatever that means, so back later

  6. I really enjoyed this today, .didn’t complete in Crypticsue’s speedy time but most satisfied with my effort. Thanks to Giovanni and Big Dave.

  7. Good morning (just) Dave, I actually had peace to do this today, at first I thought it was really hard, thank goodness for the anagrams which gave me a way in, couldn’t of course have completed it without my books and machines working flat out again! didn’t like 10d, have never actuaslly heard ‘spikelet’ used, liked 11a and 26a as I think he was a famous tenor and organist? one for Geoff here, a year ago I would have been so proud to finish a Giovanni, I still am but wish I didn’t have to resort to the books and machines so much, never mind as I said before to actually understand what the setter is looking for is a massive step forward :) Thanks for hints Dave, didn’t need them today but always appreciated and good to read

    1. How are the oven problems – glad you had peace to do crossword – presumably that means empty house so no need to cook?

      1. How about your builder problems Kath? Are you clear as yet and are your neighbours talking to you yes?

        1. Thanks Lea – sewer/builder problems pretty much sorted out although lots of building still to go – had only just started when the concrete went into the sewer. Neighbours have been nothing but wonderful so no problems there, thankfully.

          1. Glad to hear it Kath – you must bve in a good neighbourhood – good neighbours are hard to beat.

      2. Oven out of use after lucky escape! Thank goodness no one was in kitchen when it happened, yes empty house today apart from me and dogs, so no need to cook, I love an empty house :)

    2. Glad you managed to finish this one Mary, well done to you. I thought it was a bit of a stinker and not up to his usual standard.

  8. Really hard for me to – and not just at first! Got there eventually with a lot f help. I had the tenor’s name, but didn’t see the significance of 11 until sometime after reading the hint :oops: 3d was new, but my ex was born and bred in Leeds, so the teacake wasn’t a problem. As ever, needed several hints to understand the clues.

    Good puzzle, thanks for review.

  9. I really enjoyed trhat (even with all the interruptions I had). Thank you Giovanni for a lovely puzzle and thanks BD for the review.

    I liked 22a as it took me ages to get and kicked myself when I did. I started off putting “once” for the first word in 27a but soon had to change that when I couldn’t make 25d work!!!

      1. Hi Kath, Misleading wordplay, but take the word that precedes Thames or Severn and wrap it around ECE to get a felon who takes in stolen goods. This is what Dave said in his review, but slightly more explicit perhaps?

  10. Oddly enough, I found this a comparative doddle compared to others this week. I think Sue’s right, it’s the ‘zone’!

    I can’t say that I’ve ever heard 12a used in the context of being swindled, but it cant be ‘owt else from the clue and the cross letters.

    Now for yesterday’s and today’s toughies. I wonder if I’ll be in the zone for them? Hmmm…

    1. Oh yes, and 23a. Surely ‘p’ in music means soft, quietly (piano), but it doesn’t necessarily mean gently, in my experience anyway.

          1. Don’t ask me, I have been drinking wiine at the boss’s farewell party – the clue could say anything! Doing the weekly shop shortly should be interesting. You are of course both right – I will have a little snooze now and recover :D

              1. Yes thank you Mary. It was a good party if I say so myself what organised it! Not sure whether the glass of Pinot Grigio helped or hindered the shopping but I seem to have come back with all the correct things.

      1. I agree Chris and it isn’t given as thus in Chambers dictionary of crossword abbreviations, for gently it gives the abbreviation DOL!

      2. DOL (Dolce, sweetly, gently) and P (Piano, quietly, softly) are obviously different musical instructions but I don’t think it is much of a stretch from soft to gentle as a synonym.

  11. Usual standard from G. Had to use google for 5a, 26a, 3d and 10d , so learnt some new words today! Also held up on 14d, trying to fit gent at the end rather than man at the front! Thanks to all ;)

  12. 7d, 10d and 20d were all new to me but the clues guided me in nicely. I’d never have got 2d, and I’m kicking myself about 29a! Thanks for the help Big Dave, and thanks to the setter. I can go to the pub now feeling that I’ve earned it!

  13. The first thing that I noticed today was that nearly all the clues are fairly lengthy and of a similar size – almost cramped into the allotted space. (I use the “dead wood” version, not CluedUp.) For that reason I didn’t like this at the beginning.

    Maybe because of that it took me a long time to get started. My “brain-flow” was sluggish in the extreme! However, I progressed gently and ended up thoroughly enjoying it!

    Thanks to BD and Grazie to Giovanni – surely not the “Master” but the “Maestro”.

  14. I was struggling a bit on 29a and resorted to the blog meaning that I happily finished everything off to the dulcet tones of Doris Day. Luckily I knew what a pikelet was – a northern term I think as I never encountered them when I live down south. Thank you BD for the hints and Giovanni for a fun puzzle.

  15. Many thanks to Giovanni for an excellent crossword – I had to dredge pikelet from the depths of the memory banks as I have not heard that word since I was a wee nipper in my Gran’s house.

    On the basis that you learn something new everyday, today I discovered that I can stand up in front of a group of lawyers and talk coherently for an hour without notes. Ask me to sit down and do the same for an on-line version of the talk and I turn into a gibbering, tongue-tied nervous wreck!

    Thanks to BD for the review.

  16. Lovely CW today just right to end the week, thanks to Giovanni and BD.
    Being a proper Tyke I remember Pikelets as a lad growing up in Pontefract, (Yorkshire), as a treat on a cold winters eve served direct from under the grill and dripping with real butter ah! memories. :D

  17. Sorry much too tough for me today. Apart from the anagrams I hardly solved a single clue. It’s back to the bad old Friday for me I’m afraid. Didn’t enjoy this one at all. :-(

  18. Learned some new words today, 10d, 12a and 26a are all new to me. Mind you I did like 29 even though I didn’t manage to answer it until I saw the answer in the blog.

  19. Hi all,

    Smashed through this with the exception of 3d which seems to have caught out a few of you. Can someone give me a clue as I don’t want to resort to Chambers or electronics.

    Cheers, and the sun in now officially over the yardarm so a nice Marlborough Sauv Blanc it is.

  20. Knocked this off in record time for Friday – very enjoyable Giovanni.

    Best for me were : 5a, 13a, 23a, 29a, 7d, 8d & 24d. Very clever with the plural “them” in the fodder of 8d.

    I shall now cook slibtong (small sole from the mud) and wash them down with a glass of Montana from NZ.

        1. Delicious fish Mary – they are sold im the local supermarket as “fish from nearby” (vis van nabij). However one worries about North Sea pollution – hence the Sauvignon Blanc to counteract the possibility – but at my age who cares?

  21. Late effort today after travelling back from Dorset. No concrete in sewer but electrics causing major problems – sadly didn’t have too much patience for todays crossword. Managed all but 5 but then came straight here for the hints. Thanks BD!! Loved 13a though – and looking for one right now!

  22. Great puzzle today. First read through I had nothing but ended up solving it quite quickly for me. 3 and 10d took me nearly as long as all the rest but got there without any help. Sleep well all.

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