DT 26443 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26443

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26443

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Today’s puzzle (presumably by Giovanni) has very few anagrams. Let us know how you found it in a comment.
To reveal an answer highlight the space between the curly brackets under the relevant clue.

Across Clues

1a  The pictures from returning soldiers captured by spies (6)
{CINEMA} – reverse (returning) ordinary soldiers and put them inside (captured by) the US federal intelligence organisation (spies) to make a more modern way of describing “the pictures”.

4a  Old woman holding son to be a god (6)
{OSIRIS} – an Egyptian god is formed from O(ld) and a woman’s name (think of the novelist who died in 1999 and whose battle with Alzheimer’s was the subject of a 2001 film) with S(on) inside (holding).

8a  Praise a union — medicine no longer dished out? (8)
{LAUDANUM} – this is a charade of a verb to praise, A and a trades union which will be associated forever with Arthur Scargill. It makes a herbal preparation, also known as tincture of opium, which was for a long time used in many patent medicines available without prescription, but which is now regulated (no longer dished out).

10a  Animals having unhappy sleep, rolling over (6)
{PANDAS} – put together a synonym for unhappy and a short sleep then reverse the lot (rolling over) to reveal cuddly-looking animals.

11a  Active agent outside front of restaurant (4)
{SPRY} – an adjective meaning active or lively is a Bond-type agent with the first letter (front) of R(estaurant) inside.

12a  Diet consisting of one pear? (10)
{CONFERENCE} – double definition or possibly cryptic definition. Diet here means an assembly or parliament (possibly the most famous being the Diet of Worms in 1521, which was convened to deal with the “problem” of Martin Luther and which has, over the years, been the subject of much schoolboy hilarity).

13a  Viewpoints put down in advance on and off? (12)
{PREPOSITIONS} – double definition. A word that could possibly mean stances (viewpoints) taken in advance is more usually a grammatical term with on and off being definitions by example.

16a  Plant something on Cinderella’s foot? (5-7)
{LADY’S-SLIPPER} – a type of orchid could also be something that Cinderella, or any woman, wears on her foot.

20a  It may involve giving a ring to make sure the match will be on (10)
{ENGAGEMENT} – cryptic definition, where match means wedding.

21a  Swimmer from Cardiff is happy .. (4)
{FISH} – this swimmer is hidden (from) in the clue.

22a  …perhaps this one location being reported (6)
{PLAICE} – … and this is a variety of the swimmer which sounds like (being reported) a location.

23a  Compassionate Heather may easily become inflamed (8)
{KINDLING} – this is a charade of an adjective meaning compassionate and a word for heather which is a favourite in crosswordland. Together they make materials for starting a fire.

24a  The assembly mostly sitting down, any number squeezed in (6)
{SENATE} – an assembly is made by putting the letter standing for an indefinite number inside an adjective meaning sitting down without its final D (mostly).

25a  Maybe deep, cylindrical, and with water at the bottom too (2,4)
{AS WELL} – the definition is that little word “too” hiding at the end of the clue. Start with a preposition meaning in the manner of (maybe) and add something that’s deep, cylindrical and with water at the bottom.

Down Clues

1d  A hundred boxes of picnic fare and fizzy drink (8)
{CHAMPERS} – an informal term for an expensive fizzy drink is the Roman numeral for a hundred followed by boxes used to carry picnic fare.

2d  Fool likely to fall asleep, might you think? (5)
{NODDY} – a word meaning simpleton or fool looks like (might you think?) it ought to mean on the point of dropping off (likely to fall asleep).

3d  Fellows coming to stars may be nuisances (7)
{MENACES} – a charade of fellows and experts (stars).

5d  The boss should offer drink more freely (7)
{SUPREMO} – the definition is the boss and offer, here, means be presented as. It’s a charade of a verb to drink and an anagram (freely) of MORE.

6d  Athletes at Cambridge maybe will get the silver medals? (7-2)
{RUNNERS-UP} – string together track athletes and a word meaning at university (at Cambridge maybe) to make competitors coming second (getting silver medals).

7d  Explore region of London including Lambeth and Bow (6)
{SEARCH} – I’m a bit confused by this one. The definition is to explore and it looks as though the “region of London including Lambeth” should be South-East (SE) but, looking at the map of London, the Borough of Lambeth is in the South rather than South-East (and its Town Hall has a SW postcode). The last four letters of the answer are a synonym for bow, which is capitalised in the clue to try to make you think of another area of London. Perhaps someone who lives nearer the capital than I do can explain the geography of Lambeth?

9d  Meat quickly cooked — but not necessarily quickly eaten! (6,5)
{MINUTE STEAK} – this is a thin piece of meat that can be cooked quickly, but not necessarily eaten as quickly. I’m struggling to see how this is cryptic.

14d  Neoclassical chum, boy with a Scottish name (9)
{PALLADIAN} – a neoclassical style of architecture named after an Italian Renaissance architect is a charade of a chum, a boy and a common Scottish male name.

15d  A repeated lesson arranged at a particular time (8)
{SEASONAL} – an anagram (arranged) of A, A (i.e. A repeated) and LESSON provides a description of food, say, available at a particular time of the year.

17d  River creature causing trouble nearest the bed (7)
{DEEPEST} – the definition is nearest the bed, i.e. at the lowest point in water just above the bed of a river or sea. It’s a charade of a river which rises in Snowdonia (there are other rivers with this name) and a destructive creature such as a locust.

18d  Certain US citizens on A-list swanning around (7)
{LATINOS} – an anagram (swanning around) of ON A-LIST gives us people of Latin-American descent living in North America.

19d  A Parisian cousin’s first to introduce the French relations (6)
{UNCLES} – these relatives are a French indefinite article (masculine singular) followed by the first letter of C(ousin) followed by the French (plural) definite article.

21d  Treacherous female attending a London school (5)
{FALSE} – a synonym for treacherous is F(emale) followed by A and the abbreviation for one of the colleges of the University of London.

I liked 10a and 15d today, but my favourite clue was 12a. Let us know what you liked in a comment.

59 comments on “DT 26443

  1. Carelessly putting GLASS as the first word in 16a held me up for a bit. I would agree with Lambeth not really being SE London. It didnt stop me solving the clue but there are plenty more SE postcodes to choose from.
    In any case thanks to gazza and Giovanni.

      1. I also fell for it and of course 9d fitted once I worked it out (I ddn’t see it as cryptic but nothing else worked).

        My favourites were 10a, 12a but especially liked 15d.

        Thanks to the two G’s

  2. Sailed through this one today although pondered on 13a starting with ‘pre’ or ‘pro’, settled on the former.
    Thanx to Compiler and Gazza as usual.

  3. I thought this was slightly trickier than some of the recent Friday puzzles, but I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it!
    Thanks to Giovanni for the enjoyment, and to Gazza for the notes.

  4. Sorry far too difficult for me! Managed the lower right corner but all the rest were a complete mystery to me. Is it my imagination or are Giovannis getting much more difficult again? His puzzles went through a period where they were fun but not any more or at least not for the CC. :-(

  5. It took all the books and toys and several hints, but I got there in the end and I’m glad I persevered.

    Most enjoyable, thanks to G&G.

  6. An enjoyable Friday crossword. I, too, puzzled about the Lambeth area in 7d, although the solution was clear from the checking letters and “Bow”, despite it beginning with a capital letter. I enjoyed 10a which made me smile. Thanks to setter and Gazza for the review

  7. I was surprised to find that some found this difficult as I thought it fairly straightforward and would have given it 2* for both difficulty and enjoyment. My favourites were 10a and 12a. Thanks to the Gs for puzzle/review.

    Toughie isn’t as Friday-ish as it could have been either.

    1. Crypticsue, if these puzzles are so easy for you – why do you bother?

      Are you trying to impress us or infuriate us?

      1. Franco,
        Crypticsue is perfectly entitled, like anyone else commenting, to say how difficult or easy she found the puzzle relative to other puzzles of the same type. We discourage commenters from quoting solving times, so all that you should take from her comment is that she found today’s puzzle less difficult than the average Friday puzzle. And, as we never tire of saying, even if you find a puzzle easy it can be very entertaining.

  8. For once I have managed a Friday crossword with only SOME trouble rather than lots of it! I enjoyed this one.
    I also wanted to make the first word of 16a ‘glass’ but, having never heard of it being a flower and having scoured not just Chambers but also my gardening ‘bible’, decided to wait before putting anything in.
    7d took a while – once I’d realised that the ‘..arch’ was the ‘Bow’ it never occurred to me to doubt that Lambeth was anywhere other than in the SE.
    Favourites today – 8 and 10a and 15 and 18d.
    Almost didn’t come here today – thought that it might be rather full of the cricket!!
    Can women get ‘man flu’? If so, I think I’ve got it! :sad:

    1. Kath,

      Get well soon. By the way, women do not contract Man-Flu. At worst they suffer from what is medically termed a ‘Mild Girly Sniffle’ – which, if a man caught, he would still be able to run, throw a ball, tear the phone book in half and compete in all other kinds of manly activities. :D

      1. so I take it, Gazza, you are wearing your crash helmet, armour and ear defenders this afternoon! Get well soon Kath.

      2. Now that is what I call misdirection of a term – “man flu” puts men on their backs and they may be able to run and throw a ball but they can’t work and definitely can’t help around the house. Sorry Gazzsa – ladies will stick together/.

        Kath – hope you get well soon.

        1. Thanks to all for the above comments – well, MOST of them anyway, Gazza!
          What I’ve heard is that children get colds, men get flu and women get on with it! :smile:

          1. If man-flu and woman-flu have identical symptoms why do men have handkerchiefs and tissues which are twice the size of women’s?

            1. Have spent the rest of the day, when not sniffling pathetically into my minute and very lady like hankie, in trying to think of an appropriate response – have failed miserably so will go along with crypticsue!

  9. Great lunchtime crossword with many clues having wonderful surface readings.
    Thanks to Gazza and Giovanni

  10. Fun crossword from Giovanni, very enjoyable and not too taxing. Thanks for the review Gazza and thanks for the smashing crossword Giovanni.

  11. Very enjoyable. I used to be put off by Clued Up´s ratings and feel intimidated by 5 star, but now I just ignore them. I find I often struggle with 3 star difficulty, but breeze through 5 star, like today. Favourite clues 8a and 1d.

  12. Not certain this is a Giovanni. Pommette and I did it in about half our normal time. Giovanni is usually harder than that, but maybe he was just going easy on us!
    Anyway, thanks to the setter and to Gazza.

  13. I’m glad some others found this dificult. The hardest I’ve done for some time.

    I also put in “glass-slipper” for 16a. But, in my (slight) defence, “lady’s slipper” isn’t hyphenated.

      1. It depends on which reference source you use. I’ve now tried various online and hard copy sources and found only two showing it hyphenated. One of those is Chambers, which isn’t normally my first choice, as my version is quite old. I’ll just put it down to a bad day.

  14. Easypeasy after yesterday’s – though perhaps I was in a better mind set? Only needed help with 4a as never heard of that particular god, though knew Mrs. M was in there somewhere. Got 12a by default as had never known that definition of diet! Some good clues today – liked 8a and 10a tickled my fancy!

  15. Hi Gazza, it’s taken me some time, but yes, yes, yes, I have finished my first Giovanni puzzle without any help from books, machines, blogs etc! Only my second puzzle ever to be completed without any ‘aids’ . I started it in the hospital waiting room this morning and hae just finished it, I can’t quite believe it :-) fav clue 10a, went wrong with 21d by putting ‘false’ and totally ignoring the school bit! Perservation certainly paid off today, thanks for puzzle and blog G & G

    1. Well done. :smile: Don’t see what you mean about 21d – it IS ‘false’ – f (for female) ‘a’ and then ‘lse (London School of Economics.

      1. sorry Kath I meant I put ‘fatal’ at first f for female, at for attending, plus a and L for London!!

    2. Well done Mary, I did dreadfully today, could make little sense of it all. Just goes to show, it”s all in the mind!! :-)

      1. Thanks Barrie, I agree, I took it to the hospital waiting room with me, not expecting to do many but I half finished it and then I was determined not to look at my books etc. when I got home but I can assure you it is a total one off ! :)

  16. A fair puzzle for a Friday. And the Quickie’s not bad either – a pangram. Have a nice weekend, everybody.

  17. In the spirit of becoming a non-lurker, I just wanted to say that today’s crossword must have been relatively easy since I’ve finished it (whereas yesterday’s was a complete enigma) and I only came here to check a couple of answers, or the reasons for them.

    Funny, how some puzzles are totally beyond me and others not. Anyway, thank you for your help as always.

    Oh, I’ve just read a few comments above and see it was straightforward – that’d be why I finished it then!

    1. Well done RachQ, it wasn’t THAT easy today, Gazzas given it a 3*, so welcome to being a ‘non-lurker’ see you again soon??

    2. I know what you mean, RachQ. I got into this one straight away, and after being out all day, am just finishing it off. Normally, I find the Friday one tricky, but either I am thinking more clearly, or Giovanni is leading us gently into the New Year!

      Probably the latter as I see from above that he doesn’t do many anagrams, and I dislike anagrams!!

  18. Nice one! Friday’s puzzles always seem more satisfying to me, though fell for the glassslipper error and managed to persuade myself that pygmalion fitted 14d! Smiled at 25a. Thanks to all.

  19. I also originally penned in “Glass Slipper” for 16a. But was anyone else as foolish as me for entering “DOPEY” for 2d?


    1. Oh no – SURELY the sneezle -weezles (as they’re called in our family) can’t be caught on this blog? If they can be I’m sorry for passing them on to all of you!
      No (please note the return again) I didn’t put ‘dopey’ for 2d!

  20. Kath, hope you’re better soon, but as you say “women get on with it”!! Congratulations Mary, well done! Pat on the back. I did need to resort to electronic help for 8a and 23a, couldn’t think of a word for compassionate, but most of the rest fell into place. Thank you Giovanni and Gazza. Favourite 10a and 19d

  21. Lambeth is South of the river, and Bow is in the East End…hence S..E..and add on Marble ARCH

    1. Hi david – welcome to the blog.
      If you use Bow to provide the E where does Marble Arch come from?

      1. I think this is a cryptic explanation of a cryptic clue but it is too cryptic for me………

        1. Zofbak

          Explore region of London including Lambeth and Bow

          The definition is explore. Lambeth is, arguably, in a region of South East London, which gives the SE, and a bow is an ARCH.

  22. More good Friday fare from presumably Giovanni!
    Clues that I liked were : 1a, 4a, 12a, 25a, 6d, 7d 14d & 21d.
    Re Vince’s comment : 16a should incorporate the hyphen so 4’1-7 (Peter Biddlecome will find that The Times puzzles are stricter).
    Re 7d : the region is a swathe mainly in the SE so why all the nitpicking?

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