DT 26420 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26420

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26420

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

We have a typical Giovanni puzzle today. It does contain two words which were new to me, but in both cases the wordplay clearly leads us to the right answer. Let’s have a comment with your views!
If you want to see an answer just drag your cursor through the space between the brackets under the clue.

Across Clues

1a  Others at work awfully callous? Gee! (10)
{COLLEAGUES} – an anagram (awfully) of CALLOUS GEE.

9a  Pole’s prosperous period (4)
{BOOM} – double definition, the pole being used, for example, to suspend a microphone over the actors on a film set so that it’s not in shot.

10a  Depression thus comes to fellow — one with a drink problem (10)
{DIPSOMANIA} – this is a drink problem (wanting too much of the alcoholic variety). String together a small depression, another word for thus, a synonym for fellow, I (one) and A.

11a  Wise man trapped by dishonest organisation (6)
{NESTOR} – a king from Greek mythology, famed for his wisdom, is hidden (trapped) in the clue.

12a  Sport needing line laid down by an instrument (7)
{GAMELAN} – this is a charade of a synonym for sport, L(ine) and AN. The word means a type of traditional ensemble, of mainly percussion instruments, in Indonesia, but Chambers also has it as being a single instrument resembling a xylophone.

15a  Actor upsetting Viscount about to be sent packing (7)
{USTINOV} – this actor and raconteur is an anagram (upsetting) of VIS(c)OUNT, with the C (about) having been sent packing.

16a  Line left on far side of the wood (5)
{LEASH} – put together L(eft), the tail end (far side) of (th)E and a type of wood to make a line.

17a  Enthusiastic about pub also, we hear (4)
{INTO} – what we hear is inn too (pub also).

18a  Information? Once ’twas oddly lacking (4)
{NEWS} – take out the odd letters (oddly lacking) from once ‘twas and what remains is information.

19a  Silver allowed to be used for something to encase lace (5)
{AGLET} – lace here is not the fabric but the cord used to tie up your trainers. String together the chemical symbol for silver and a synonym for allowed to get the metal or plastic bit fixed round each end of a shoelace.

21a  Witch to go around impeded by swelling, making move awkwardly (7)
{GALUMPH} – this is a lovely, onomatopoeic verb (coined by Lewis Carroll) meaning to walk in a noisy, clumsy, ponderous way. Reverse (to go around) a word meaning witch and inside (impeded) put a swelling.

22a  Fowl’s egg recorded in list (7)
{ROOSTER} – this is a male fowl. Put O (egg, because that’s what it looks like) inside a list.

24a  One losing head by Russian river? It’s to do with nerves (6)
{NEURAL} – an adjective meaning relating to the nervous system is formed from (o)NE (losing its head, i.e. its first letter) and the Russian river which forms part of the traditional boundary between Europe and Asia.

27a  Join in the morning with buddy collecting seaweed (10)
{AMALGAMATE} – a verb meaning to join or combine is made from the abbreviation for morning and a synonym for buddy, between which (collecting) goes a seaweed.

28a  Work unit beginning to operate thus (4)
{ERGO} – string together a unit of work equivalent to 0.0000001 (one ten-millionth) of a joule and the first letter (beginning) of O(perate) to make an adverb, from Latin, meaning thus.

29a  Sadly, pet dog is in for putting down (10)
{DEPOSITING} – an anagram (sadly) of PET DOG IS IN means putting down (but not in the sense suggested by the surface reading!).

Down Clues

2d  Poet with heart of love I had to follow (4)
{OVID} – this Roman poet’s name is the central bit (heart) of lOVe followed by a contraction of I had. The surface reading is quite apt because he was famous for his erotic poetry.

3d  Girl’s story taking in idiot (6)
{LASSIE} – put an idiot inside a fictitious story to make a girl, especially a Scottish one.

4d  Butterfly to gaze in wonder at endlessly over a lake (7)
{ADMIRAL} – a red or white butterfly is a verb to gaze in wonder at without its final E (endlessly) followed by (over, in a down clue) A and L(ake).

5d  In the auditorium wins trophies? (4)
{URNS} – these trophies sound like (in the auditorium) a verb meaning wins or gains.

6d  Foreign language is hard — get cross to start with (7)
{SPANISH} – a foreign language comes from IS and H(ard) (pencil classification) preceded by (to start with) a verb meaning to cross.

7d  Accidental spilling of gin interrupting peace of mind (10)
{CONTINGENT} – an adjective meaning accidental or subject to chance is made by putting an anagram (spilling) of GIN inside peace of mind or a state of satisfaction.

8d  One able to wing it is person getting better all round (10)
{IMPROVISER} – a practical person adaptable enough to deal with difficulties as they arise (wing it) is constructed from IS with someone getting better all round it.

12d  Offering a low estimate but failing as a businessperson (5,5)
{GOING UNDER} – double definition.

13d  Came across a disease (ultimately fatal being caught) in science (10)
{METALLURGY} – this science is a verb meaning came across followed by A and a humorous word for a disease of an unspecified type with the last letter (ultimately) of (fata)L inside (being caught).

14d  Beastly sound not far away when drug is injected (5)
{NEIGH} – an old word for near (not far away) has E(cstasy) injected to make the sound of a beast.

15d  That woman in ancient city is a guide (5)
{USHER} – put a feminine pronoun inside the usual ancient Biblical city to make someone who guides you to your seat.

19d  Acclaim a former archbishop keeping very quiet (7)
{APPLAUD} – a verb meaning to acclaim is formed from A and the name of the Archbishop of Canterbury who was unable to keep his head during the English Civil War, with the abbreviation for very quiet (pianissimo) inside.

20d  Totally heartless women in classical garments won’t get burnt these days! (4,3)
{TOWN GAS} – this is a type of fuel that doesn’t get burnt these days (at least not in the UK, where we converted to a more natural product in the 1960s). Put W(ome)N (totally heartless) inside garments worn by the citizens of ancient Rome.

23d  Top problem taken on by American university (6)
{SUMMIT} – a mathematical problem is followed by the initials of a high-powered university in New England to make a synonym for top.

25d  Vehical parking minimal, making one grumble (4)
{CARP} – start with a common vehical (sic) and add P(arking) (minimal, i.e. reduced to a single letter) to make a verb meaning to grumble or find fault. The standard of proofreading at Telegraph Towers is another thing that we might grumble about! :D

26d  Confound enthusiasts turning up (4)
{STUN} – a verb meaning to confound is the reversal (turning up, in a down clue) of an informal word for people who are excessively 17a something.

The clues I liked included 29a and 2d, but my favourite today was 20d. Let us know which ones you enjoyed in a comment.

45 comments on “DT 26420

  1. I suspect that most people haven’t heard of 12a and 19a but as you say the wordplay is clear enough.
    20d was also my favourite. Thanks to gazza and Giovanni!

    1. They were new to me as well. I´m looking forward to going to a shoe repair shop and asking for a new pair of 19 acrosses. A good puzzle. 27a was my ´penny drops´clue – once I got it, I couldn´t believe it took me so long.

  2. Unusually for a Friday I didn’t have too much trouble with this one. 9a, for some reason was the last to go in – 7d took a while as I wanted to make it end in ‘ment’ – the clue (not the answer) for 29a nearly made me cry!! I’ve never heard of the instrument in 12a and had a bit of trouble with the 4d butterfly but can’t see why now. I liked 21a (didn’t know that it was Lewis Carroll) and 27a and, best of all today, 13d. Have caught beastly cold from husband – he’s been moaning all week – if I’d known what he was feeling like I might just have been a bit more sympathetic! :sad:

    1. 9a was last for me as well, but it´s often the four letter words that cause problems. Like you I was searching for a word ending in ´ment´ for 7d, and I don´t even have the excuse of a nasty cold. I hope you feel better very soon.

  3. Back into the swing of things, and I went through this one fairly quickly. One or two to think about, and I enjoyed every minute of it.
    I had not heard of 12a, or 19a, but the wordplay made it fairly obvious.
    Thanks to Giovanni, and to Gazza fot the notes.

  4. Very enjoyable Friday puzzle, I thought. I had heard of the unusual words – one of the benefits of doing the GK puzzle on a Saturday is you get to use words like 19a a lot. I wonder how many of us still remember 20d! Thanks to Giovanni for the brain exercise and Gazza for the handy hints.

    I solved the Toughie quite early on today but it didn’t take me that long, so do give it a go.

    1. I had heard of 20d. When I was a nipper living on an RAF base, they were installing central heating in our house. Three weeks later they had to come back and change a lot of it as the switch over fo natural gas occurred.

  5. Thanks to Giovanni for the crossword and to Gazza for the notes. As a dog owner, I share Kath’s views on 29a. Favourite clues were 11a and 20d.

  6. What a brilliant crossword for a Friday lunchtime! So many good clues and, having completed it from the word play, I had three words to look up in a borrowed dictionary – 11a, 19a and 21a
    Thanks to G & G

  7. Morning Gazza, thanks for the blog hints today, I couldn’t have done it without you! Not one for me today, too may words I hadn’t heard of :( I have grown to like Giovanni Friday crosswords but not today! Maybe still ‘drained’ after spending two days with 4 kids!! :)

  8. Well, this took a good deal of lateral thinking, solving backwards and filling in gaps, but I did manage to finish it. There were some strange words: 12a raised a distant memory of my father bringing back a record from Thailand of what sounded like people clashing saucepans, and I’d come across 19a in a historical novel where someone had them made of silver. Many thanks to the two G’s, and I’d go along with 20d being the best clue. :-)

  9. Thanks to G & G – a nice Friday puzzle. Only word I hadn’t heard of was 12a – had to verify my brainwave for 19a – word play meant it couldn’t be anything else and I was right. Didn’t like 17a – thought it a bit weak and of course it was 4 letters!!!

  10. The last clue blues continue as 9 [4 letter word!] took me ages after the rest. Favourite by a mile was 20d – memories of local xxxworks and their wonderful pong! Also liked 1 4 7 8 10 12d 13d and 29. I had never heard of 12a or 21 [sounds like Cryptic Sue when a clue annoys her] but they were both easy to work out. Hope Mary will be on form with her hints tomorrow as I have missed them lately. Sorry about the cold Kath – and don’t take the clues too seriously.

  11. Seems I’m the only one who didn’t really like it today? Still waiting for Barrie and Geoffs views on it :) Think I might just sneak back into the CC with them! :) It’s a tough life outside! :)

    1. Mary – once you get back in your stride you will be well away. You do so well on explaining clues that I am sure you will be back on form and remain out of the CC

    2. Is this the same Mary who yesterday wrote:

      “Barrie I thought you got out of the CC a while ago????????? You are not allowed back in you know, no matter how hard you try!”

      :) :) :) :)

  12. Apologies for VEHICAL. Have now gone over forthcoming puzzles and spotted a few more mistypes between now and the end of April. Don’t blame Telegraph Towers — blame me!

    1. Hi Giovanni,
      Thanks for today’s excellent workout, just a question about 8d I noticed Gazza in his excellent review has -er at the end where I have -or as both are correct which did you use ?, as if it was a prize crossword it could be a bit contentious. :D

  13. Was called into the crem at short notice and didn’t take my xwd dictionary with me, so didn’t get very far with it. A few guesses would have been right and am kicking myself over several I should have got. I’ve seen and played a gamelan once, strange thing. Thanks for the review.

  14. Yes Gari I also put -or at the end of 8D. I knew 12A, when in Bali we were welcomed back to our hotel each time by the Gamlan men. Thought it was more an orchestra than a group though. Never mind an enjoyable puzzle which took a long time because tit was completed in between doing other jobs. Unfortunately I remember 20D.
    In 15A why does the word about send the “c” packing?
    Many favourites today 21A.
    Thanks to Giovanni and the review from Gazza.

    1. 12a Most references have gamelan as a group of instruments (emphasing the instruments rather than the players) but the first meaning in Chambers is an instrument resembling a xylophone.

  15. Good evening wherever you are. Like many 13a is a new word for me but could be deduced. I stormed away with this but did not get 9a until the way home this being the last one to go in.

    20d was my favourite.

    All done and a good puzzle to end the working week.

    I even got Mrs Little Dave her final Christmas present.

  16. Excellent crossword. Lots of nice clues, start was v easy but took a bit of work for me to finish. Liked 7 8 (careful) and 13d and 21 27 29a. For me this was perfect a puzzle I thought I would have to have help with but got there without. Out all-day tomorrow with my brothers so will tackle the prize on Sunday, time permitting. (i am def. improving).

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