DT 26402 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

DT 26402

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26402

Hints and tips by Gazza

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

Today’s puzzle by Giovanni is very entertaining and, in my view, a bit less difficult than we have come to expect from him. I was torn between giving it two or three stars for difficulty – what do you think?
To reveal an answer drag your cursor through the space between the brackets under the related clue.

Across Clues

1a  Wise man — inside, a very cruel man (6)
{SAVAGE} – start with a wise man and inside put A and V(ery).

4a  Exclusive miss entering Diplomatic Corps (6)
{CLOSED} – put a verb meaning to miss or be deprived of inside (entering) the abbreviation for Corps Diplomatique to make an adjective meaning exclusive or limited to certain people.

8a  End period of education in America (8)
{TERMINUS} – the end of the line, or the station that is found there, is a charade of part of the academic year, IN and the abbreviation for America.

10a  Attacker’s assistant grabbed by bishop (6)
{RAIDER} – an assistant is contained (grabbed) in the abbreviation of the title given to a bishop.

11a  Additional fabric that’s soft, not hard (4)
{PLUS} – start with a rich soft fabric (a word that we’re more used to seeing as an adjective) and remove the final H (not hard) to leave an adjective meaning additional.

12a Lout in rage breaking law (10)
{REGULATION} – an anagram (breaking) of LOUT IN RAGE provides a law.

13a  What you get in the argument is extremely loud (3-9)
{EAR-SPLITTING} – this is an adjective meaning extremely loud. It’s also, cryptically, a description of how a three-letter word divides thE ARgument.

16a  Equipment in office, everything fitting in (12)
{INSTALLATION} – start with a phrase meaning in office (often used for a posting abroad) and insert (fitting in) ALL.

20a  Frightening bird with gun — it’s horrible (10)
{DISTURBING} – an anagram (horrible) of BIRD, GUN and IT’S.

21a  Breathed hard, making unhappy sound (4)
{BLEW} – a verb meaning breathed hard sounds like a synonym for unhappy.

22a  Arab chaps you and I may hug (6)
{YEMENI} – this Arab whose country lies at the southern end of the Arabian peninsula is formed from a synonym for chaps which is surrounded by (may hug) an old word for you and I.

23a  Only Conservative docrine that’s seen as mistake (8)
{SOLECISM} – a charade of an adjective meaning only, C(onservative) and an informal word for doctrine produces a mistake of grammar or etiquette, like using your knife to eat peas. I’ve left the spelling mistake (unfortunately not a grammatical mistake, which would have been quite apt) in the clue – I don’t know whether it’s reproduced in the paper.

24a  One examining old coin found in part of bed (6)
{TESTER} – triple definition, the old coin being a silver sixpence and the bed part being a canopy over a four-poster.

25a  Sound of seal or young bird (6)
{CYGNET} – this young swan sounds like a seal (of the inanimate kind).

Down Clues

1d  Discharge cargo, a large amount (8)
{SHEDLOAD} – an informal term for a large amount is also (4,4) how a lorry may discharge its cargo (often on a roundabout in the middle of the rush-hour!).

2d  Seductive females a politician’s seen after five (5)
{VAMPS} – this is a dated, informal term for women who use their sexual attraction to seduce and exploit men. Put A and an elected politician, plus the ‘S all after the Roman numeral for five.

3d  Vague person acting as leader (7)
{GENERAL} – double definition. An adjective meaning vague or non-specific is also, as a noun, someone in charge.

5d  Siren in mythology with garland on (7)
{LORELEI} – a word meaning mythology or knowledge passed down through the generations has an Hawaiian garland added to make the legendary siren on the Rhine who lured sailors to their death. “On” in a down clue is supposed to mean on top of or before rather than after.

6d  Like close-fitting attire that could make knight sit awkwardly (9)
{SKINTIGHT} – the definition is like close-fitting attire, and it’s an anagram (awkwardly) of KNIGHT SIT. Now, what’s the best way of illustrating this?

7d  Evil spirit moaned terribly (6)
{DAEMON} – an anagram (terribly) of MOANED.

9d  Stars as guitarist in new arrangement (11)
{SAGITTARIUS} – and for our third anagram in a row we want a new arrangement of AS GUITARIST. This gives us a constellation and a sign of the zodiac.

14d  Being inefficient, stay relatively still (9)
{SHIFTLESS} – an adjective meaning inefficient or lazy is also, as (5,4), a phrase meaning to reduce one’s movements (stay relatively still).

15d  See storm brewing in area around Chard (8)
{SOMERSET} – an anagram (brewing) of SEE STORM gives us the county where the town of Chard is to be found. Brewing is rather an appropriate anagram indicator for this county.

17d  Tree worship being performed (7)
{SERVICE} – double definition, the first being a Eurasian tree similar to the rowan. This tree has turned up before in Toughies but I’m not sure that we’ve seen it in a Cryptic.

18d  Support friend without running the risk of prosecution (7)
{LEGALLY} – a charade of a support and a comrade or friend produces an adverb meaning within the law.

19d  Outspoken when there’s mess around city area (6)
{DIRECT} – the definition is outspoken or frank. Put a synonym for mess around the postal area code for the City of London.

21d  Graduate getting to study artist (5)
{BACON} – someone having a degree in an arts subject is followed by a verb meaning to study to form the surname of a twentieth century Anglo-Irish artist. This is a self-portrait:

I liked 11a, 23a and 18d but my favourite clue today is 13a. Let us know in a comment what you like!

59 comments on “DT 26402

  1. I ran out of checks and the on ilne puzzle kicked me off. I found the top half a breeze and then stared at the bottom half for an hour trying different things until my demise. Therefore not a very enjoyable one today. A good long bike ride will sort me out.
    Thanks for the blog Gazza and Giovanni.

  2. I thoroughly enjoyed this too but judging on my solving time it’s definitely only 2* diffculty – cue howls from others ! The spelling mistake in 23a is the same in the paper too. Can’t say that I noticed it until I read your comment – just shows that you see what you want to see. Lots of good clues but I liked 24a for the clever triple definition. Thanks to the Gs

    Again, based on my (personal record for a toughie) solving time, I believe the Toughie, apart from a couple of clues, should be achievable by lots of people today so do have a go.

  3. Wow Gazza, I think definitely 3* if not 4* for me once again, I think CC members will struggle with this, though I could be wrong, I found the bottom S/W corner extremelu difficult and had to ring up my brother abouth the tree! few printing errors on ‘clued up’ today, should 13a read ‘if’ and not ‘in’ and 23a ‘docrine’ I thought a word I had never heard!!
    2 clues I like dtoday were 14d, 21a and 18d, I find it difficult to remember what the setters want all the time e.g. 8a in America usually means the word starts with U and ends with S and 1a seems the wrong way round, just when I think I’ve got something figured it doesn’t work that way at all! Thaks for hints Gazza will read them now :)

  4. Many thank to Giovanni for an enjoyable crossword and to Gazza for the review. I clocked the missing T in 23a and wondered if it was a deliberate omission (definition by example, perhaps!). Lots of top clues but the pick of the best for me was 9d.

    1. Congratulations Prolixic on getting your first crossword to be published in a newspaper, 1st of many I’m sure :)

  5. Very enjoyable puzzle – thanks Giovanni.
    For some reason I just could not see 1d without Gazza’s hint. Must be having an off day ‘cos it’s not exactly the hardest clue of the week! Also needed the hint for 11a but otherwise I agree not quite as tricky as some of Giovanni’s recent puzzles.
    No particular favourites except perhaps 1d now the penny’s dropped! No weak clues in this IMHO.
    Thanks for the hints Gazza, they saved my bacon!

  6. I struggled a bit with this for no good reason – may just have been off form. Thanks to gazza for the review and Giovanni for an entertaining puzzle.

      1. Hope my brain gets going as I’m playing bridge this afternoon and Pommette doesn’t suffer fools gladly at the bridge table! I play in a state of mild trepidation ever since Mrs P found out about the American lady who shot her partner after he made a bad mistake and she got away with it as justifiable homicide!

    1. I’m with you Gnomethang. Can’t say it was one of the nicer Giovanni puzzles. After yesterday’s Ray T I found this not quite up to Giovanni’s normal enjoyment level.

      Possibly just me but thanks for the review Gazza and the puzzle Giovanni

  7. I enjoyed this one today, I reckon you got the star ratings right Gazza, thanks for the review which I didn’t need and thanks to Giovanni for an entertaining solve. Liked 5d best only because it’s the name of our house :-)

  8. A very good puzzle today, so thanks Giovanni. I whizzed through the top half (except for 1d), had to perseverate a bit more with the lower half and needed help with the SW corner. 17d was one of those words I found without knowing why. Is there a tree called ‘service’? Amazing! I didn’t like the clue for 22a, kept trying to insert ‘we’ somewhere. So thanks very much for the hints, Gazza, you’re always such a help. I tend to agree with all of the above as to favourite clues.

    This weekend is our Christmas Fair and now I must go and set up my stall (Gifts), Heaven help me! :-)

    1. I kept trying to use ‘we’ or ‘us’ in 22a too Franny and yes apparently there is a tree called ‘service’! enjoy the Christmas fair I used to help my mother for years on the ‘tombola’ stall :)

      1. The amount of junk people bring in you wouldn’t believe! And it all has to be sorted, priced and displayed attractively. My back is killing me. :-(

  9. Thanks Giovanni for the best cryptic of the week, loved 13a and 23a. Thanks Gazza for the review and the picture for 6d.

  10. Thanks to setter for great puzzle. Favs 8 11 13 and 22 [clever]. Thought 5 was fair in the circumstances, despite above comment. After much cogitation, 21a last to go in – nearly blew my head in!

  11. I spent ages trying to make a tree from the letters of worship – reasoning that ‘performed ‘ was an anagram indicator. Anyone got a Rows-hip tree in their garden? I think it’s just as plausible as a Service Tree!

    1. yes well done Patsyann I totally agree :) , I also put classy at first for 4a, lass for ‘miss’ inside cy which I thought was likely to be some obscure abbreviation for Diplomatic Corps although I knew it was narmally cd, I like classy better!!

  12. Gone are the days when I used to be able to wear clothes as described in 6d! Now how and when did that happen??

  13. Am having one hell of a day, booted out of clueup and now my first puncture on a bike ride. I am determined not to sniff the brandy bottle this weekend but circumstances are starting to rail against me. I must be strong, I must be strong…I Mus…

  14. I wasn’t sure whether to have a go at today’s after the last two days; got a little over halfway with it, then needed hints. At least there’s a wine-tasting evening to look forward to!

  15. I didn’t find this as hard as most Friday puzzles so agree totally with the 3* for difficulty. Needed the hint for 1d – just couldn’t see it at all – how silly – not even very difficult! I missed the significance of the ear being in the middle of the clue in 13a – again, silly! 17d jumped out of the recesses of my brain so I must have come across it somewhere before. Think that I’m suffering from a whole morning in Oxford trying to make a start on some Christmassy stuff – all a bit mind numbing! I liked 11a, 23a (have a feeling that we may have had that in a crossword fairly recently) and 28a but probably best of all IMHO (had to squeeze that in as I’ve only just found out what it means!) was 6d.

  16. Hi all
    Enjoyed todays CW but got stuck on 3d reason being I had Savant (learned person n) for 1a, however after looking at Gazza’s explanation the penny dropped, many thanks to Giovanni for a good un’ today. :D

    1. A treat as usual…. Thanks very much! I haven’t finished it yet though as I had little free time today and probably miss Monique?!!! ;-) I was indeed surprised not to find a single French reference today, though to my great shame, I always find them difficult to get, for some reason!!! But tell me, are you part French of something?

          1. Wow!…. I had no idea! Now, I’m even more impressed. Besides, I always wondered about the “Chambers” the bloggers often refer to…. Thank you for filling me in!

            1. FrogOne,
              When bloggers mention Chambers (without any further qualification) they are normally referring to the Chambers Dictionary rather than Giovanni’s book.

              1. My mistake again…Don’t I feel silly?… At least I’m learning about Crosswordland… And many thanks to you as well, by the way! It’s such a help to read your clear, reliable explanations of the clues when I’m stuck! ;-)

  17. In answer to queries about whether I am part French, the answer may be yes. Family tradition has it that Gerard Manley Hopkins is on another spur of the family, and he is thought to have decended from a de Manelagh who came over with William the Conqueror.

    1. Well, I hope you didn’t mind my asking… I do feel a bit foolish now as had no idea who was hiding behind this Italian pseudo… and I must say I was “fingers-tied “for a little while after reading your profile on Wikipedia. I mean I consider it a real honour to be ‘typing’ (??) to you. Thank you again….

  18. I’ve just read the link to Giovanni – it would be really interesting to know something about some of the other crossword setters/ compilers or whatever the correct term is. Not that it matters, but he has the same birthday as I do (except I was four years later) and Cullompton, where he grew up, is just the hardest place to get out of on a foggy, cold February evening when driving from Exmoor back to Oxford – my sister and I lost count of the number of times that we drove round it!! Think that we might have been just a little bit lost …

  19. Very enjoyable but a puzzle of two halves for me, Blitzed the top then plodded through the bottom. In all I though it was quite tough. For me anyway. But done in time to watch the cricket without distraction. sleep well all.

    1. Paolors, I agree with you about this being a Crossword of two halves! Initially I was very disappointed by finishing the top half so quickly (thought I was going to finish before my coffee break) , but then 2 hours later ……….still struggling with the bottom half!

      Cricket? Are you in Australia?

      1. Is it possible for a setter to make one half easy, and the other half difficult? Is it intentional or is it just by chance?

        1. Franco

          It is possible, but setters only occasionally set out to make one part harder than another – and that wouldn’t happen in a regular daily cryptic

      2. No, just watching on television. No more wickets yet but still in good shape in this final warm up game.

  20. Very enjoyable fare from Giovanni comme d’habitude!
    I had my daughter and family here for dinner so only started on the puzzle around 23.00hrs – it is now Saturday here!
    Clues I liked : 13a, 5d, 9d & 17d.

    Must get to bed now.

  21. Like a lot of others the top half was i found much easier than the bottom. I had never heard of 14, 17 and 24.

Comments are closed.