DT 26414 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26414

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26414

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

A not too difficult puzzle from Giovanni today and I did waver between two and three stars for difficulty. A couple of the clues stand out for me. How about you? Let us know what you thought of it in a comment!
We get new readers all the time, so I’m sure that regulars will forgive the need for a constant reminder that the answers are concealed between the curly brackets under each clue. Just highlight the space between the brackets to reveal one.

Across Clues

1a  An old cleric accepts extra money from the other side of the world (10)
{ANTIPODEAN} – an adjective meaning from “down under” is made from AN, O(ld) and a member of the clergy with a discretionary extra payment for good service inserted (accepts). Good to see that England have made an excellent start in the Adelaide Test Match!

6a  Soil given bash, letting in oxygen (4)
{LOAM} – a type of fertile soil is given in a verb meaning to hit hard (bash) with O(xygen) inside (letting in).

9a  Lots of people in road in Plymouth area (5)
{HORDE} – the area of Plymouth where, according to tradition, Sir Francis Drake (one of Devon’s many naval heroes) played his bowls before sailing out to defeat the Spanish Armada has an abbreviation for road inserted to make a large group of people.

10a  Strenuous musical performance attended by someone on the paper (9)
{CONCERTED} – a musical performance is followed (attended) by the abbreviation of an important post on a newspaper. The answer normally means joint or coordinated but when used to modify a noun such as effort it can mean strenuous.

12a  While a pet hen possibly needs time, this creature would be too extravagant a possession! (5,8)
{WHITE ELEPHANT} – a gift that is too expensive to maintain is an anagram (possibly) of WHILE A PET HEN followed by T(ime).

14a  Like a design that could have some sinister feature (8)
{HERALDIC} – a cryptic definition describing a coat of arms, where sinister has its original latin meaning of on the left side.

15a  Stress when money is added to bill (6)
{ACCENT} – add a small coin to the abbreviation for a bill or invoice.

17a  School — first place for violent revolt (6)
{PUTSCH} – an abbreviation of school with a verb meaning to place in front of it (first) produces a violent attempt to overthrow a government.

19a  Officer and other ranks having a party somewhere in America (8)
{COLORADO} – a US state is made by stringing together the abbreviation for an army officer, the abbreviation for other ranks, A and a party.

21a  A profit on two separate occasions or maybe several times? (5,3,5)
{AGAIN AND AGAIN} – a phrase meaning repeatedly can be broken down to a profit (1,4) and then the same once more.

24a  Robbers? They may get into hot water (3,6)
{TEA LEAVES} – double definition, the first requiring you to know the Cockney rhyming slang for thieves (robbers).

25a  One good room in a domed dwelling (5)
{IGLOO} – It was only yesterday that we had this answer in the Toughie (clue: Central digs with bathroom in home up north (5)). This one’s a charade of I (one), G(ood) and a small room.

26a  Part of member of working class, not leader (4)
{ROLE} – drop the P from the start (not leader) of an informal word for a member of the working class to leave a part.

27a  Contemporary party needs to be different (7-3)
{PRESENT-DAY} – an anagram (to be different) of PARTY NEEDS produces an adjective meaning contemporary.

Down Clues

1d  A little child beginning to yelp, hurting from too much exercise? (4)
{ACHY} – string together A, the abbreviation for child and the first letter (beginning) of Y(elp).

2d  Quarrel in that place, mostly on account of one having a flip? (7)
{THROWER} – put a heated quarrel inside all but the last letter (mostly) of an adverb meaning in that place to get someone having a flip (a toss of a coin, say, rather than an alcoholic drink). “on account of” is just padding.

3d  Freedom for Irina Ratushinskaya? (6,7)
{POETIC LICENCE} – my original thought here had the first word correct, but for the second I put “justice”, thinking of how this writer was freed by the Soviet authorities after having been imprisoned in the 1980s. In fact she’s just in the clue as an example (hence the question mark) of a particular type of writer, and the clue is a cryptic definition of the freedom allowed to such writers to depart from the conventional rules of language for the purposes of effect.

4d  Feeble salesperson must get with it after end of year (8)
{DECREPIT} – the definition is feeble. Put an abbreviated salesperson and IT after the last part of the year.

5d  Girl and boy recorded events of the year (5)
{ANNAL} – a girl’s name is followed by an abbreviated boy’s name to make a record of the events of a single year.

7d  Fury brought by defeat beginning to end over time (7)
{OUTRAGE} – the definition is fury. Start with a word for an overwhelming defeat and move the initial (beginning) R to the end, then put it in front of (over, in a down clue) a synonym for time.

8d  Serious thinking? To maiden it may seem strange (10)
{MEDITATION} – this serious thinking is an anagram (may seem strange) of TO MAIDEN IT.

11d  Be prepared for speech to produce coughing (13)
{EXPECTORATION} – a simple charade of a verb meaning to be prepared for and a speech produces coughing. I always thought that this word meant spitting but I’ve learnt today that it’s a more general term for an expulsion from the chest, air passages or lungs.

13d  A man in control of his craft? (10)
{SHIPMASTER} – a (not very) cryptic definition of someone in charge at sea.

16d  Bogs with small plants enthralling artist (8)
{MORASSES} – put small, flowerless green plants around (enthralling) the usual abbreviation for Royal Academician (artist).

18d  Labour lag behind with introduction of alternative vote? (7)
{TRAVAIL} – put the abbreviation for Alternative Vote (one of the possible methods of a Proportional Representation) inside a verb meaning to lag behind to make a verb meaning to labour. A nice topical clue.

20d  Girl of 5, dreadfully idle worm (7)
{ANNELID} – the girl from 5d makes another appearance (she’s getting to be as bad as Ms. Widdecombe!) and this time she’s followed by an anagram (dreadfully) of IDLE. The answer is a member of a class of worms which includes earthworms, lugworms, ragworms and leeches.

22d  Certainly not a component of fine verse (5)
{NEVER} – hidden (a component) in the clue is an adverb meaning certainly not.

23d  Showman with diamonds, modest on the outside (4)
{CODY} – this showman went by the name of Buffalo Bill. Start with D(iamonds) and put a synonym for modest round it.

I liked 12a today but my joint top clues were 3d and 18d. Let us know what you liked in a comment!

49 comments on “DT 26414

  1. Very enjoyable today. Liked 1a, 3d, 18d. Took a bit of time to get 17a.
    Quick comment on ‘snow’ effect , makes a welcome relief to the black ‘floaters’ I experience.
    Thanx to all.

  2. I completely misread 13d as CLASS not CRAFT – so struggled for ages with HEADmaster. Apart from that it was not too bad although I spent ages with 3d having been deceived and looking too far into the clue!.
    Thanks to gazza and Giovanni – noo real favourites but a nice end to the DT working week.

  3. Oh dear, although I have finished this, it took ma an awful lot of bookwork and googling today, am I the only one not to know who 3d is, once I’d googled her the answer was obvious but I would never have got it otherwise, also 17a another word I didn’t know, , is a white elephant ‘extravagant’? and surely decrepit is way past feeble, a definite 3* maybe 4 for me today, having said that I did like 21a and 24a, which I didn’t see for ages, I was convinced 13d ended in ‘ factor’ so that took me a while too, am pleased to have finished this, a toughie by my standards! Thanks for hints Gazza, just off to read them :)

    1. Mary, regarding White Elephants, this is an excerpt from Wiki on the subject:

      “A white elephant is an idiom for a valuable possession of which its owner cannot dispose and whose cost (particularly cost of upkeep) is out of proportion to its usefulness or worth.”

      “Because the animals were considered sacred and laws protected them from labor, receiving a gift of a white elephant from a monarch was simultaneously both a blessing and a curse: a blessing because the animal was sacred and a sign of the monarch’s favour, and a curse because the animal had to be retained and could not be put to much practical use, at least to offset the cost of maintaining it.”

    2. Yet again the experts seem to think this very difficult puzzle a 2/3 star, I wish just for once they would consider everyone when looking at the difficulty rating rather than just from the experts point of view. It was at least 4 star today.
      Having said that the answers I did get were very clever esp the coughing one, that really made me groan and smile at the same time. No idea who the russian female is and after yesterdays diabolical piece of chicanery I am not feeling at all well disposed towards anything russian!

      1. Barrie

        Why don’t you just add a star to our ratings as your personal guide.

        Just wait until we say a puzzle is really four star – try today’s Toughie, for example.

        1. I usually add 2 stars :-) Had a look at the Toughie, more chance of knitting fog!! Hope the 3 of you who can do it enjoy yourselves!!

          1. The principle I apply to an Elgar Toughie, which might apply to you and others who struggle with Cryptic Crosswords, is that the setter has put a great deal of work into compiling a puzzle with the intention that we crosswordaholics will be able to solve it. If we can’t solve it, then they have completely wasted days of their time. I haven’t finished today’s toughie but am prepared to come back to it on and off over today and possibly into tomorrow until I have finished.

  4. Many thanks to Giovanni for stretching the brain cells into action on a bitterly cold station waiting for the train! This one required a bit more lateral thinking with some nice clues like 3d and 14a. Many thanks to Gazza for the review.

  5. A good puzzle today for me, though I needed a few hints to complete, especially in the SW corner. I had ‘seacaptain’ at 13d for a while, which threw me, and my knowledge of cockney slang is not what it should be. I liked 1a, being originally from that part of the world myself. Spent a moment wondering if 3d was an anagram of that 13-letter surname, but then light dawned. I liked 12a for the anagram and 25a as that’s what we might end up living in if this weather continues! Thanks to Giovanni and Gazza. :-)

  6. A (mostly) very enjoyable puzzle, just got a bit bogged down on the LH side. Needed a hint or three to finish it and understand some of the clues. The ones I really liked where 1/12/25a and 3d, which I had to google and nearly decided on ‘justice’ for the second word. 17a was a new one.

    Many thanks to G&G.

      1. Having no more music to learn helps. Just one more concert after tonight and that one will be a doddle!

  7. Thanks folks. If you want more from me today, go to the crossword on the Church Times website.

  8. I’ve managed this without the hints today but it certainly took a while and, in my opinion anyway, is worth at least 3* for difficulty, maybe a little bit more. I’ve never heard of the poet in 3d and 17a was a new word for me. Having lived next door to a cockney policeman many years ago my knowledge of rhyming slang is pretty good – he made it his duty to educate me – so 24a wasn’t a problem. I didn’t think that this was quite as difficult as Fridays are sometimes. Clues that I enjoyed today include 1,12, 24 and 25a and 3, 7, (particularly after I worked out why ie the beginning to end bit) and 11d. STILL very cold – only just got UP to -2C! Not much snow but lots of ice. Thanks to Giovanni and Gazza.

  9. A lovely Friday puzzle – always enjoy Giovanni’s puzzles. Coupld of new words for me – 17a – never heard of it and 16d took me ages to get. Really liked 1a, 25a, 3d and 20d.

    Thanks for review GAzza and for the puzzle Giovanni.

  10. A very enjoyable Friday cryptic today. Lots of good clues, no special favourites – it’s interesting if you do other papers crosswords in addition to the DT how many wintery weather related clues such as 25a have turned up this week. How did the compilers know they would be so relevant?? Thanks to Giovanni for a lovely crossword and Gazza for the equally lovely hints.

    The Elgar Toughie is what it says on the tin!

  11. I found this comparatively difficult, just not on the same wavelength but enjoyable enough. No real favourites, Quite liked 21 and 24a, 2 and 29d. Thanks to Giovanni and Gazza

  12. Took me a while to tune in today but eventually got there. 3D stumped me for a while until the across check letters were in place. Must admit to not knowing who she was although I suspected a suppressed Soviet writer!
    Would agree with 3* for difficulty. No particular favourites today.
    Thanks to setter and to Gazza who seems to be having a busy week.

  13. I have to say I thought this was a throwback to the bad old days of Giovannis puzzles, highly complex and very obscure. Not much fun and would be difficult even for the Toughie. Please Sir don’t return to those days when your recent efforts have been so good.

  14. I have now been through the crossword and have a numbers of comments on behalf of the CC:
    1. How are you meant to know 24a is rhyming slang?
    2. What’s a PUTSCH?
    3. Whats a PROLE?
    4. What has 27a got to do with difficulty and party?
    5. How are you meant o know the 5 in 20d refers to 5d (where the name is spelt differently)?
    6. Since when has D been an abbreviation for diamonds in crosswordland?
    7. Surely a travail is a difficulty not a labour
    and finally is it snowing on the page today or is my laptop playing up :-)?

    1. Hi Barrie.

      1. It’s a double definition; you need to think of a phrase meaning “thieves”, that could also mean “things that go (or get) into hot water”. Rhyming slang is a regular feature of cryptic crosswords.
      2. Putsch is a plot for a rapid coup. Google is your friend.
      3. Short for “proletarian”. Google is, well, you get the idea.
      4. The solution is an anagram of “party needs” – the phrase “to be different” indicates that there’s an anagram.
      5. It’s the same spelling, “ANN” both times. Otherwise, you have a point. Some crossword editors would insist “5D” or something similar in that kind of clue.
      6. Since forever. It’s a standard abbreviation in contract bridge, and, therefore fair game for crosswords.
      7. Both.


        1. The snow doesn’t seem to be settling in Hanley Swan – the grass is still green – the snow seems to end up at the bottom of my computer screen!

      1. No problem with the snow on the blog BD, as previously stated it’s a welcome distraction to the black floaters I experience.

  15. I found this to be straightforward, fair, and well worth the time it took to complete.

    Thanks to the setter and the reviewer. 18D was the pick of the clues for me; I guess this one must have been compiled relatively recently.

    The toughie today is good sport.

  16. Enjoyable puzzle from Giovanni, I liked 3d and 24a best, thanks Gazza for the review and Giovanni for a nice puzzle.

  17. Good to see our esteemed setter back to form. Was waiting for Mary and Kath for tips on 3 and 17. My equal favs were 17 and 24 but also liked 1d 3 4 12 14 18 and 23. All the rest were good so most enjoyable morning

    1. Oh dear – have just had a look at the toughie – have managed four. Think that I’ll now go through it with the hints and see if I can do any more without having to resort to looking at the answer. If I never try this kind of approach I’m NEVER going to be able to do them.

      1. Oh dear again – that comment wasn’t meant to go there at all – how did that happen?! Oh, have just remembered that I was about to reply to UTC to see why Mary and I were supposed to provide tips on 3 and 17 and then got carried away about the toughie ….

            1. No I thought it might be of interest as I expected you to be au fait with putsch and the Russian lady!

      2. Kath Did you finish the Toughie – there’s no cricket in it and only a tad of snooker!

        1. Just about managed four clues – had intended to look at the hints to see if I could do any more but sister arrived having made a break for freedom from a very snow bound Sheffield – since then we have done what any two sisters would do – natter, eat and drink, and not necessarily in that order! As a result have got no further with the toughie – haven’t even got as far as appreciating the lack of cricket or just the little bit of snooker. Thank you for your continued interest and concern, UTC!!

          1. As your sister is from Sheffield can she confirm whether the ‘Green Un’ sports newspaper is still in existence. I think Mary needs to know this.

  18. An enjoyable end to the week with nothing annoying or out of step with the rest of the fine puzzles we have had, maybe a little easier but the DT has to cater for all levels.
    Thanks to Gazza and Giovanni.

  19. Hardest of the week for me – SW particularly. I thought 13d was “freemason” – then realised insufficient letters. Better luck tomorrow.

  20. Another good Friday job from Giovanni!
    1a went in straight away as the answer is in the fodder
    Others that I liked include 12a, 17a (slightly contrived), 19a,21a, 3d & 13d.

    The verb to expectorate is really to cough UP – but I daresay you cannot put the UP in in a down clue.

    Shall not try the toughie tonight as am having to watch the damned boiler – it is one of the dual systems that heat the tap water and heat the central heating water and it is being a nuisance by refusing to pump the CH water around. I got it going this morning after a tussle!.

  21. Always come to the weekday crosswords a little late due to work commitments and so don’t often comment. Have to say I have found this very difficult today.
    Must say thanks to the setter and to Gazza for the hints. I haven’t looked at the hints yet as I am still trying to plod on (without much success) but no doubt will revert to them soon. The CC club is alive and well in my (very snowy) corner of Essex!!

  22. A very nice crossword indeed although I got stuck with 17a and had to resort to Chambers crossword dictionary when I got home. Still a v nice puzzle though which occupied me on my way to a very nice dinner in Chancery Lane this evening.

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