DT 26429 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26429

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26429

Hints and tips by Gazza

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

Apologies for the late posting, which was due to my loss of broadband for about 90 minutes. This appears to be a puzzle by Ray T, doing a bit of moonlighting from his new Thursday patch. Whoever it is has given us a whole host of double-entendres in what I thought was an amusing and entertaining puzzle. Give us your views in a comment!
To reveal an answer just drag your cursor through the space between the curly brackets under the clue.

Across Clues

1a  Dare America split ‘special relationship’? (11)
{CAMARADERIE} – an anagram (split) of DARE AMERICA produces mutual trust and friendship.

10a  Contest to retain one’s seat? (5)
{RODEO} – cryptic definition of a contest to see who can keep one’s seat longest.

11a  He serves with skill in drinking spree (9)
{BARTENDER} – a semi-all-in-one. A synonym for skill goes inside a slang term for a wild drinking spree.

12a  Setter is a lunatic for papers (9)
{TREATISES} – an anagram (lunatic) of SETTER IS A.

13a  Lived in a hard environment, flooded (5)
{AWASH} – the definition is flooded. Put a verb meaning lived or existed between (in … environment) A and H(ard).

14a  ‘Raise’, one might say? (6)
{BETTER} – a verb meaning to raise or improve is also someone who might say ‘raise’ in order to increase the stakes in a game of poker.

16a  Perhaps brown, and fired, first of early plastic (8)
{BAKELITE} – another semi-all-in-one. This is the trade name of an early form of brittle plastic used chiefly for electrical equipment. It’s a charade of a verb to turn something brown (perhaps in an oven), set on fire and the first letter of E(arly).

18a  Return of Queen, meaning Queen record (8)
{REGISTER} – the standard abbreviation for our Queen appears twice here, the first time reversed (return). Put a synonym for meaning between the two to make a verb to record or enter something on an official list.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

20a  Done with the Spanish painter’s medium (6)
{PASTEL} – a charade of a synonym for done or over and the Spanish masculine definite article.

23a  Tory centre can turn explosive (5)
{NITRO} – this is the short form of an explosive. Reverse (turn) the central letters of tORy and a can.

24a  ‘Going’, alternatively sleeping around (9)
{RESORTING} – a present participle meaning going to (especially when other options have not worked) is a conjunction meaning alternatively with a synonym for sleeping around it.

26a  Conductor’s chosen right verse to be sung (9)
{ELECTRODE} – this conductor of power is a charade of an adjective meaning chosen (in one sense it means chosen but not yet in office), R(ight) and a verse originally intended to be sung.

27a  Sprawl back covered by edges of voluminous covers (5)
{VEILS} – the definition is covers (a face perhaps). Reverse (back) a verb meaning to sprawl or assume a horizontal position and around it (covered) put the outer letters (edges) of VoluminouS.

28a  Analysis of tea leaves? (11)
{CRIMINOLOGY} – a cryptic definition of the scientific study of tea leaves and other wrongdoers.

Down Clues

2d  Row losing head and get confused (5)
{ADDLE} – a row (in the river perhaps) loses its initial (head) P to leave a verb meaning to make confused.

3d  Missionary position, caught in draught? (7)
{APOSTLE} – it’s laugh out loud time! Put a position of employment inside (caught in) beer that may be drawn from the cask (draught) to get a missionary.

4d  Waylay American president once around end of term (6)
{AMBUSH} – a verb meaning to waylay is A(merican) and a one-time president (you have a choice of father or son) around the last letter (end) of (ter)M.

5d  Train tours are organised (8)
{EUROSTAR} – an anagram (organised) of TOURS ARE gets you a train which will whisk you to the continent in comfort (but only if you’re prepared to queue in the cold for hours on end to get a seat, at the moment).

6d  Angry about tortoise’s shell getting run over (7)
{ITERATE} – a verb meaning to run over or recap is a synonym for angry around the outer letters (shell) of TortoisE.

7d  Lumps of old potato, say, in capers (13)
{PROTUBERANCES} – these lumps appear when you put O(ld) and something that grows underground (a potato, for example) inside a verb meaning capers or dances about.

8d  Tilt after vision, like Don Quixote? (8)
{IDEALIST} – put a synonym for to tilt after a vision to make a description of someone who is well-meaning but impractical, like Don Quixote (who tilted at windmills, believing them to be giants).

9d  Past master (13)
{ARCHAEOLOGIST} – cryptic definition of someone whose career lies in ruins.

15d  United move up in lead, perhaps (8)
{TOGETHER} – a word meaning united is formed from a move (in a board game, say) which is reversed (up, in a down clue) inside a rope or chain used to restrict an animal’s movements (lead, perhaps).

17d  Family jewels possibly appear following exposure, say (8)
{HEIRLOOM} – another double-entendre but these family jewels can be displayed in the drawing room. Put a verb meaning to appear, normally in a threatening way, after a sound-alike (say) of a word that can mean exposure or publicity. I would have thought that an exposure was an ‘airing’ rather than just ‘air’ but we can’t argue with Chambers.

19d  Gun with small nozzle? (7)
{SHOOTER} – this is an informal word for a gun. After S(mall) put a slang term for a nose (nozzle). Presumably the question mark is there because a nozzle is a small nose, whereas the word we end up with almost invariably means a big one.

21d  Approach ace opponent taking runs (7)
{ARRIVAL} – insert (taking) R(uns) (cricket term) between A(ce) and a synonym for opponent.

22d  Like bird’s behind (6)
{ASTERN} – a charade of a word meaning like and a seabird makes an adverb meaning behind when used at sea. Simple but still funny!

25d  Aromatic ingredient providing decoration (5)
{ICING} – hidden (providing) in the clue is the decoration applied to a Christmas cake, say.

The clues that entertained me today included 10a, 16a, 28a and 17d, but my favourite was 3d. Let us know what you liked in a comment!

48 comments on “DT 26429

  1. 3d and 17d both made me laugh and very much suggested RayT. Favourite for me, though was the excellent cryptic definition at 28a. Thanks to the setter and to gazza for the review.

    Crypticsue sends her thanks as well and suggests that the Toughie is worth a crack for all. Apparently she is doing the University hospitality Christmas Quiz accompanied by drinks ‘n’ nibbles.

    1. The Toughie is well worth a look! I finished it completely unaided in about my average time for a cryptic! Either it’s a very benign Toughie or I’m getting better – hopefully a bit of both!
      Will have a go at this RayT with pommette over lunch.

      1. I found the Toughie by Cephas about the same level of difficulty as the back page puzzle. My feeling is that this is because Ray T’s puzzle was slightly trickier than usual and Cephas was at or around his usual Toughie standard.

    2. Sorry, that last one’s from me, not pommette! She’s posting from my netbook again and I always forget to change the name back to me – DOH !!!

        1. Have a go yourself Mary. It really is easier than this RayT apart from a knowledge of the names of the sons of Noah is useful in one clue, but the answer can be worked out from the wordplay.

  2. Great fun. Thanks to Ray T or to whom it may concern! Favourite clues were 28a and 14a, 3d and 22d.

    I am not sure what CS is doing siung. Perhaps the drinks began too early!

    1. Hello Prolixic
      Thanks for the tip yesterday. I’ve printed today’s FT for pommette as she likes Rufus puzzles (because she can usually do them without hints from me or the blog).
      Hadn’t twigged that Dante was also Roger Squires!

  3. So glad to see you Gazza, this one for some reason is beyond me today still only done 1/4 of it, so am going to finish it with your help today, can’t afford the time it’s taking! At least a 4* for me :(

      1. Likewise – I thought at first I’d never get into it, but once I had half a dozen solved the rest came relatively quickly. Very enjoyable puzzle today. My favourites were 28a and 7d.

      2. Totally agree, needed to get into real ‘crossword’ mode for this. V cryptic I thought, excellent.

    1. Well thanks for that Gazza, I most definitely wouldn’t have finished without you today! a few I thought really belonged in the Toughie, however two I did like were 19d and 22d, others I had to read your hints through a couple of times before I could ‘see’ them!
      be interesting to see what everyone else thinks??

    2. Me too. I only got a handful of answers and confess to having cheated terribly. Maybe I´m just getting to excited about Christmas and seeing what Señor Nora has bought me with his 5 euro gift limit!

  4. Needed to get the grey cells out of the washing machine for this one. Highly enjoyable. Favourites were 13a and 28a. Didn’t particularly like 10a but you can’t have it all I guess.
    Thanx to the setter and Gazza.

  5. Started this early this morning and only managed 3 answers, then had to take ‘er indoors to work in my 4×4 as we had about 6 inches of snow last night here on the outskirts of Dover, came back made a cup of tea and blitzed it, must still have had sleep in my brain when I started it and the drive to Canterbury and back must have cleared it, favourite today is 7d, made me chuckle it did.
    Thanks to Ray T or the mysteron setter, just read Gazza’s hint’s and as usual he has excelled with his picture’s and video link. :D

  6. Printed this off at 4am thinking I would have it finished over breakfast but am finding it really quite tricky & have only got 2 answers so far.

    Obviously not thinking at all this morning but will persevere.

  7. Knew it was a Ray T without looking at the Blog. Managed 3 answers, about par for me for one of his. Ugh!

  8. Defeated by this one! Needed Gazza’s hint for 14a.
    This was definately harder than the Toughie today IMHO.
    Thanks Gazza and to Ray T for the hint and the great puzzle!

      1. Ditto! I thought that Gazza’s explanation of 9d was the best clue of the day! (9d – a difficult word to spell correctly, I found!)

  9. I found this quite tricky as well, but got there in the end – solved 23 clues unaided and then needed electronic aids to solve the last five.
    Many thanks to Gazza for the review and compliments of the season to him.
    Merry Christmas also to Ray T. I am glad to see this puzzle had all one-word answers. That particular element was one of the reasons I always liked Ray’s puzzles. I look forward to the challenge of more puzzles from Ray T in 2011.
    My favourite clue today was 11a.

  10. Back from the quiz – we came fourth out of about 150 teams which wasn’t bad. Only drank OJ this time! I did take a while to get into this Ray T but thoroughly enjoyed the experience especially the wonderful 28a. Happy Christmas Ray. Thanks to Gazza for the review.

  11. Excellent, balanced puzzle, from which 3d and 28a shone out for me. Confirmed as an Uncle Ray by the single-word clues in the Quickie, methinks, in which the 3 across clues are indeed linked, but need a touch of mental gymnastics to get there! Many thanks G & R.

    1. So true Digby, the Toughie was relatively easy compared to working out the linkage on the Quickie, but very clever though methinks. Favourites had to be 28a and 9d. Many thanks to RayT and Gazza

  12. Much harder today, or perhaps it’s just my brain out of sync. Liked 11a 28a 27a and 22d but not the best xword for me. Thanks to setter and Gazza. Looking forward to next year’s offerings!!

  13. A cracker! Sorry… best for a long time. I struggled to start but then got in the mood. It has been a while since we had a crossword like this, for me anyway. Many thanks Ray T, I agree it must be. Tougher than recent ones. V strong 3* for me but made it. Lots of good clues but 28a wins.

  14. Another great puzzle from Ray T. I always enjoy his puzzles and this was no exception. Fav was 26 but all the rest were so good. Thanks for making a cold day a bit warmer.

  15. Many thanks to Gazza, and of course to BD and the rest of the crew for the fine deciphering of the puzzles.

    A very good Christmas to one and all.

    Ray T

    1. Thanks Ray for all your hard work and enjoyable puzzles throughout 2010. Have a peaceful Christmas.
      (I had an email from your previous post that stopped at ‘decipheri’ – is that a collective noun for crossword solvers? ;-) )

    2. And many thanks from all of us to you for the fun you have given – both on the back page and under the covers as Beam. Have a peaceful Christmas and a happy New Year.

        1. I always beam when I see a Ray T crossword! He has a great feel for clues and many have that ‘wink wink’ moment. Keep it going in 2011 Ray.

  16. Very nice puzzle.

    Couldn’t help but think “Carry On Crosswords” all the way through.

    Thanks to Ray T for another top-notch effort, and merry Christmas!

  17. Late input as usual – had trouble with central heating but finally got it going.
    Better puzzle than last week’s Ray T!
    I liked the 4 outer (13 – letter clues) and 17d.

    Merry Christmas to one and all!

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