DT 26390 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26390

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26390

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

When I logged on to CluedUp this morning I thought that we weren’t going to have a puzzle today as the home page was still pointing at yesterday’s. But I eventually found today’s, disguised as number 26. It’s a typical Giovanni, with one nod towards today’s date. Let us know your thoughts about it in a comment.
If you’re still stuck for an answer after reading the hint just highlight the space between the brackets under the relevant clue.

Across Clues

9a  A story containing very little that’s dynamic (5)
{ALIVE} – put a little of V(ery) into a fictitious story.

10a  Noticing changes, getting round in disguise (9)
{INCOGNITO} – the definition is in disguise. It’s an anagram (changes) of NOTICING which is followed by a round letter.

11a  European bar keeps heavy drinker outside (7)
{FINNISH} – a proverbial heavy drinker goes round a drinking establishment (bar) to make a Northern European.

12a  Arrogant type at university joining society, loose woman (7)
{UPSTART} – this arrogant type is a charade of a word meaning at university, S(ociety) and a loose woman.

13a  Money put into education (5)
{DUCAT} – an old gold or silver coin is hidden in (put into) the clue. I always feel vaguely dissatisfied when a hidden word is wholly within another single word rather than bridging two or more words.

14a  One coming in settles public grants (9)
{SUBSIDIES} – put I (one) into a verb meaning settles or sinks (which you hope your house won’t do) to make public grants.

16a  Hot fun, pay having been organised with energy — as a result of this request (1,5,3,3,3)
{A PENNY FOR THE GUY} – a topical clue for today. An anagram (having been organised) of HOT FUN PAY and ENERGY produces a request which you don’t hear on our streets as much as you used to.

19a  Great passion shown by Heath? ‘Wet’, I fancy! (5,4)
{WHITE HEAT} – an anagram (fancy) of HEATH WET I produces a phrase meaning an intense degree of emotion. It was actually Ted Heath’s political opponent Harold Wilson who made a famous speech linking this to the technological revolution.

21a  Warrior in army entertained by sailor (5)
{TATAR} – put our part-time army inside a common term for a sailor (at least in Crosswordland) to make a member of an Eastern ethnic group which is loosely extended to include the Mongols and other warriors who conquered most of Asia and parts of Europe.

23a  In firm, taking a cut as an alternative arrangement (7)
{INSTEAD} – put together IN and a synonym for firm or dependable which has its final Y dropped (taking a cut) to make an alternative arrangement.

25a  One stealing something from an Assam plantation? (3,4)
{TEA LEAF} – cryptic definition of the Cockney rhyming slang term for a thief.

27a  Rushes endlessly to save vessel in storm (9)
{HURRICANE} – a synonym for rushes or makes haste has its final S dropped (endlessly), then it has a vessel inserted (to save) to make a violent storm.

28a  Cockney embraced the female office-bearer in church (5)
{ELDER} – start with a phrase (4,3) meaning embraced or clasped the female. Then drop the first letter of each word in the Cockney manner to leave an office-bearer in some Protestant denominations.

Down Clues

1d  Young animal’s fleshy part (4)
{CALF} – double definition.

2d  Superhuman bishop, a particular sort of Greek (6)
{BIONIC} – put together B(ishop) and an inhabitant of an area off the west coast of Greece to make a description of someone with parts of his body replaced by electronic devices (at a cost of six million dollars according to the TV series). The downside is that he has to pack a can of WD-40 along with his toothbrush.

3d  Opposition about? Subsequently position is held (10)
{RESISTANCE} – the definition is opposition. Start with a prefix meaning about and follow this (subsequently) with a position or way of standing inside which (held) goes IS.

4d  They’re out to make sure boarders get enough rest (6)
{LIGHTS} – cryptic definition of what have to be put out at bedtime in a school dormitory, for example.

5d  Namely, something to remove surface marks? (8)
{SCRUBBER} – this is an all-in-one clue. Put an abbreviation meaning namely (from the latin scilicet) in front of something used to remove marks on paper to make an implement used for cleaning.

6d  Periods in which Tangiers’s characters regularly go out (4)
{AGES} – remove the odd letters (regularly) of Tangiers to leave periods.

7d  Speaking at length, making taunt about dead language (8)
{DILATING} – the answer is a present participle meaning expanding, expounding or speaking at length. Put a taunt or jibe around a dead European language.

8d  For instance, someone who brings calm around as a sort of prophet (10)
{SOOTHSAYER} – someone who claims to foretell the future is a word meaning for instance with a bringer of calm around it.

13d  Oppressive burden? The old man with little energy inside needs to hang on, we hear (4-6)
{DEAD-WEIGHT} – an oppressive burden or albatross is formed from a relative (the old man) with E(nergy) inside followed by a sound-alike (we hear) of a verb meaning to hang on or bide one’s time.

15d  Experiencing big trouble, like Marat finally? (2,3,5)
{IN HOT WATER} – double definition – a phrase meaning in big trouble and where the revolutionary journalist Jean-Paul Marat was when he was murdered.

17d  English girl joining army, maiden cut out to be a spy (8)
{EMISSARY} – I was surprised to find, in Chambers, that this word can mean a spy – its normal meaning is someone on a diplomatic mission. It’s a charade of E(nglish), the title of a girl and AR(m)Y with M(aiden) cut out.

18d  Like some psychology I read — fun surprisingly (8)
{FREUDIAN} – an anagram (surprisingly) of I READ FUN defines a psychological theory. This has a slip associated with it which describes an error when you say one thing but mean your mother.

20d  Little bird was first to be given name (6)
{TITLED} – this is a charade of a small songbird and a verb meaning was in first position (in a race, say).

22d  The mourning garb he discarded — rough woollen clothes (6)
{TWEEDS} – put together THE (given to you in the clue) and mourning garb associated with widows, then discard HE.

24d  The Queen in Ireland (4)
{ERIN} – a literary name for Ireland is the way the Queen initials a document followed by IN.

26d  Number slightly reduced in citadel (4)
{FORT} – drop the final letter (slightly reduced) from a number to leave a citadel.

The clues I liked included 23a, 13d and 18d, but my favourite today was 5d. Let us know what you liked in a comment!

47 comments on “DT 26390

  1. Nice puzzle today, some enjoyable clues. No particular fav but a pleasant test non the less. The toughie is great again.
    Thanks to B Dave (he meant Gazza – honestly! cs) and Giovanni. Fire up the Ridgeback , it has stopped raining, I’m outta here. later

      1. Thanks very much Sue, too keen to get out, just back 18 miles, adrenalin rush just adeiting….

  2. A very enjoyable Giovanni crossword today. Thank you for explaining 5d – it was obvious what the word was but I had no idea why. I liked the same clues as you but also 11a. Thanks to G&G for Friday entertainment all round.

    The Toughie is also great fun – not as tough as some Friday toughies so I would recommend that you at least give it a go.

    Weather update for Mary – still very warm (came to work in shirt sleeves!) but no sun and now slight drizzle.

    1. Thanks for weather update Sue, it is still raining here, think supper and fireworks party in sons house will be cancelled, just when I thought someone was going to cook for me! :)

      1. Been raining (heavily) for the last two days here in the sunshine state of Queensland.
        I struggled with this one, but quite enjoyed it. First time in 3 days I’ve had time to even look at the Telegraph/BigDave web sites.
        My favorite clue was 10a – I thought of answer then realised it was sort of an anagram – also thought 25a pretty neat. Least favorite wa 12a – mainly because I always have problems where it is a synonym/abbreviation + part of a word + cryptic/synonym. Can’t seem to get my brain to operate that way.

        1. Rain in Queensland! – must be something to do with the arrival of the English Cricket Team in Australia – although they’ve only reached Perth so far!

      2. Mary, you must really go in for a Nonfire Night. No-risk ‘virtual’ fireworks indoors. See Telegraph page7.
        Also see end of editorial comment (P 29) for an appropriate reposte.

        1. I would look Chris but I don’t buy the paper any more, I just print out the puzzles from Clued Up, really good value for money, thanks for the idea though :)

    2. Sue for the first time ever I heard your favourite word ‘cogitate’ on a tv programme last night, can’t remember what it was call, a nature programme quiz of some sort?

  3. I also missed the ‘namely’ reference in 5d. Thanks to Giovanni, and to Gazza.
    It’s still raining in SW London… it could be garden fireworks under the brolly!

  4. I started off badly by putting FAIRY at 9a…can you see why? Especially as it fitted with BIONIC.

    It wasn’t until the top left remained steadfastly uncompleted that I realised my error.

      1. Did you see Tinkerbell in Peter Pan? She was very little and dynamic……and a fairy………………Fairy Story? Ah well…………

  5. Still haven’t caught up with Tuesday’s DT but I reckon yesterday’s was definitely the toughest of the week! Good stuff today. Thanks all round as usual.

  6. Enjoyable puzzle from Giovanni – favourite clue was 28a. Many thanks to setter and to Gazza for the review.

    1. I thought 28a was a dreadful clue. Even though I got the answer, I couldn’t see what a cockney had to do with it until I read the hint. I was thinking of rhyming slang but that was getting me nowhere.

  7. Having trouble with NW corner. I can see why now as have put ‘pulp’ for 1d. Hopefully, I can now make progress!

  8. Clued Up (or whatever it is called now) was really screwed up today – cryptic was wrong number – no extra points for doing it undewr the 45 minutes – not impressed.

  9. I found this really tough today a 4* for me, I nearly gave up on it several times, putting vital in at 9a didn’t help especially when I thought 1d should be pulp! what a mess! didn’t like 18a, had to Google Marat, didn’t do the French revolution in school, also didn’t know the first part of 5d! never heard of 21a either, very hard for me toda but I did manage it eventually without the hints albeit with plenty of usual help :) Thanks for blog Gazza am now going to read through and try to understand :) No fav clue for me today, bordering on a toughie, personally :)

    1. I had same problems with clued up today Gazza, had to check with my brother that I had the right one!

  10. Best puzzle of the week for me. Tough but fair and with some lovely clues (16a, 25a & 27a). Would have finished earlier if I hadn’t put the answer to 2d in the spaces for 4d DOH!!! Must admit I always thought 21a was spelt with an R like the stuff you get on teeth so it was the last to go in. Not sure about 7d, thought that meant to expand so I have learned something new today. The only clue I really didn’t like was 29a, too messy and contrived by far but I am being picky here. After this week I am just grateful for one that makes sense and is by a setter who understands that you have got to let people in before you start chucking the tough ones at them. Thank you sir.

    1. Well done Barrie :) just goes to show, I found this one of the harder ones this week, but I remember when you really hated Giovammi puzzles as much as you dislike Ray T ones now, just shows how well you’ve progressed :)

      1. I actually managed a quarter of yesterdays Ray T which is about all I managed of Monday to Wednesdays put together! I agree that todays was very hard in parts but what I like about a Giovanni is that he usually gives you a couple of clues to get you going and his clues usually make me smile at some point unlike the M to W puzzles which just made me very frustrated.

        1. By the way, I won’t be on the blog now for a couple of weeks as we have started full-time filming again so it’s back to 4am starts which is very much pre-DT! Hope the puzzles are a bit pleasanter than this weeks horrors (todays excepting! :-) .)

          1. Hope all goes well with the filming, you still haven’t told us what part you’re playing?? Have fun :)

          2. Why don’t you treat yourself to one of those books of DT Cryptic Crosswords and get in some practice in between your ‘takes’.

              1. There’s a good deal in Smiths at the moment Barrie: you can get four Daily Telegraph cryptic crossword collections in a slipcase for a tenner. Lights, camera, nine down!

  11. I thought this was quite hard but not totally impossible as some Friday puzzles are for me. Maybe a bit closer to a 4*. I’ve never heard of 7d with that meaning before, and neither have I seen 21a spelt without another R in the middle. Didn’t understand 5d until I read the hints. Messed up the bottom half by putting answer to 26d in 24d space. I liked 16a (more or less have to like a reference to today’s date – eldest daughter’s birthday) and 15d. Haven’t quite caught on to how 1d could be ‘pulp’ as suggested by a few. Off now for rather drizzly dog walk. Thank you Giovanni and Gazza.

  12. Great crossword from Giovanni though I did not understand the reasoning behind 5d till I read the hints. Thanks Gazza and thanks Giovanni. Loved 25a.

  13. Re 21d I actually served on board HMS Tartar in the 70’s. Is there a choice of spelling or did Her Majesty’s Royal Navy get it wrong ?

      1. Interesting spelling but for me if the RN says its spelt with an R, then thats the right way :-). Not that there’s going to be many ships left to name as anything but that’s a political argument for another day and another forum!

        1. But at least we’re still getting a new aircraft carrier, Barrie. Even though we won’t have anything to fly from it, and we have to share it with “nos amis trans manche”. Happy Days – I’m glad that my 36 years of RN service are over!

        2. Barry, the names live on, even if the ship sinks, ask Digby, he served on HMS Ark Royal, which was about the third or fourth. The original Enterprise was HMS Enterprise, circa 1707. stand easy!

  14. Enjoyably difficult for me. Needed a nudge from Gazza for 13a, then NE corner fell into place. Favourite clue 28a. Made me smile.

  15. 17d was my favourite today. I was always feel particularly smug and pleased with myself when I get one like that. Thanks to Gazza and Giovanni.

  16. The usual nice Friday fare from Giovanni.

    Best clue for me was 16a followed by 23a, 5d & 15d.

    It is a very long time since I attended a bonfire night – I recall going “chumping” for logs or anything that would burn and piling the stuff up on the ‘oller (hollow ground) on the then unbuilt end of our street.

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