DT 26446 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26446

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26446

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

I don’t know the name of the setter today, but he or she has given us an entertaining puzzle which is not too difficult (although the 17a term was new to me) with a fair number of clues relating to alcohol. Let us know what you thought of it in a comment.
If you need to see an answer just drag your cursor through the white space between the curly brackets under the relevant clue.

Across Clues

1a  Bribe reserve, otherwise last in pavilion (6)
{SUBORN} – a verb meaning to bribe is made up of a reserve (a player on the bench, perhaps), a conjunction meaning otherwise and the last letter of (pavilio)N.

4a  Poet’s on $1,000 for his last work? (8)
{SWANSONG} – I did check with Google as to whether there is or was a poet with the relevant surname and, of course, there are several, but none, I think, sufficiently famous to warrant inclusion here, so I’m going with my first thought which was that this is a reference to Shakespeare (the “sweet swan of Avon” as he was called by his contemporary, Ben Jonson). So, start with SWAN and add the ‘S, ON and the letter used as an abbreviation for $1,000 to make an artist’s last work.

9a  A drop of rouge in restaurant in appropriate container (6)
{CARAFE} – put A and R(ouge) inside a small restaurant to make what vin rouge might be served in.

10a  Drink second immediately before dance (8)
{SNOWBALL} – a cocktail containing advocaat and lemonade is a charade of S(econd), immediately and a formal dance.

11a  English princess, one leaving port on the Nile Delta (9)
{ALEXANDRA} – drop the I (one leaving) from an Egyptian port to leave one of our minor royals.

13a  Crowd in store, by the sound of it (5)
{HORDE} – this is a large group of people (crowd) and it sounds like a verb meaning to store away for future use.

14a  One didn’t mind a barking dog (6,7)
{DANDIE DINMONT} – an anagram (barking) of ONE DIDN’T MIND A gives us a short-legged terrier.

17a  Reprimand men, shirkers (6-7)
{CARPET-KNIGHTS} – a charade of an informal verb to reprimand and chess pieces produces this term (new to me, but rather good) for men who avoid hard work in favour of leisure activities or philandering. It derives from the time when favourites at court were ennobled for their exploits, not on the battlefield but in the boudoir.

21a  Recorded short, freely available (2,3)
{ON TAP} – start with a phrase for something recorded and preserved on a magnetic medium, then remove the final E (short).

23a  Cross-question again former French friend framed by Frenchman (2-7)
{RE-EXAMINE} – a verb meaning to cross-question again (as a barrister might do in court) is made by putting a prefix meaning former and the French word for friend inside (framed by) a common French forename (think of M. Artois, the café proprietor in ‘Allo, ‘Allo).

24a  Liable to tip over, have toy piano repaired (3-5)
{TOP-HEAVY} – an anagram (repaired) of HAVE TOY and P(iano).

25a  Large piece of land in eastern nation (6)
{ESTATE} – an extensive area of land in the country is E(astern) followed by a nation.

26a  Mate’s certainly arrogant (8)
{COCKSURE} – the definition is arrogant, and it’s a charade of an informal mode of address from one man to another and an informal adverb meaning certainly which is used for emphasis.

27a  Fictitious monster with very unusual name (6)
{WYVERN} – string together W(ith), an anagram (unusual) of VERY and finally N(ame) to make a fictitious monster with a dragon’s head and a barbed tail.

Down Clues

1d  I also worried about Conservative Party? (6)
{SOCIAL} – an anagram (worried) of I ALSO goes round C(onservative) to make a party.

2d  One serving Arthur during drunken spree (9)
{BARTENDER} – this is a semi-all-in-one. Put an abbreviation of Arthur inside an informal term for a drunken spree to get someone serving drink during the spree.

3d  Stop female artist wearing check (7)
{REFRAIN} – a verb meaning to stop or avoid doing something is made from F(emale) and the usual abbreviation for Royal Academician (artist) inside (wearing) a verb to check.

5d  Entertain in rhyme (4,3,4)
{WINE AND DINE} – cryptic definition of a phrase which means to provide with drink and food (entertain) containing two rhyming verbs.

6d  Words of admonishment at this time, and at that time (3,4)
{NOW THEN} – a gentle admonishment consists of two adverbs, the first meaning at the current time and the second at a different time.

7d  Being broadcast from Verona, I reported (2,3)
{ON AIR} – a phrase meaning being broadcast at the current time is hidden (from) in the clue.

8d  Cutting-edge inventor? (8)
{GILLETTE} – cryptic definition of the inventor of the disposable razor blade, who succeeded in spite of being burdened with the forenames King Camp.

12d  One over the limit in squash club, perhaps (5-6)
{DRINK-DRIVER} – someone over the limit in charge of a vehicle is a charade of what squash (i.e. cordial) is and an example (perhaps) of a golf club.

15d  Stubborn old boy elected in republic? (9)
{OBSTINATE} – the definition is stubborn. Start with the abbreviation for old boy, then put a short synonym for elected inside a republic (the latter the same word that was used for nation in 25a).

16d  Puzzle brings on a vexed moment, reportedly (8)
{ACROSTIC} – a word puzzle sounds like (reportedly) a vexed moment.

18d  Speak non-stop (7)
{EXPRESS} – double definition.

19d  Listen to utter gossip (7)
{HEARSAY} – a word meaning gossip is a charade of verbs to listen to and to utter.

20d  River cut off any number (6)
{SEVERN} – a river that forms part of the border between England and Wales is a verb meaning cut off followed by an indefinite number.

22d  Subject — best one college offers (5)
{TOPIC} – this subject is a charade of a synonym for best, I (one) and C(ollege). Offers is just padding.

Amongst the clues I liked were 8d and 12d, but my favourite was 17a. Let us know what you liked in a comment.

40 comments on “DT 26446

  1. I did enjoy this one and like Gazza didn’t know the phrase in 17a. Agree that 8d and 17a are good clues. Thanks to the Mystery Setter and to Gazza.

    If you don’t want to spend half your morning banging your head on your desk like me, I suggest you avoid the Toughie. I am getting there but very slowly!

  2. Really enjoyed this one, like Gazza and Sue 17a was new to me too. 42 years as a licencee and never a one like 2d thanks Gazza and the mysteron. Liked 5d and 27a

  3. Pretty easy, even I could do it without the hints! 1a, 17a were new ones and given the comments, 17a is rather good! Spent far too long trying to fit an anagram of ‘spree’ into 2d …

    Lots of fun, thanks to setter and Gazza, not least for explaining 4a.

    1. Really well done today Geoff, I didn’t think it was too easy, needed Gazzas help for 1a never heard it before, also never heard 17a, or 27a, lot of clues where lead letters of words are used I’m never sure about them! no real fav today, thanks Gazza for hints and mystery setter :)

      1. 1a and 17a are both in the xwd dictionary and I had some idea of what I was looking for, something ending in ‘orn’ and, probably, ‘knights’, nicely straightforward! Needed the books a fair bit for today.

  4. Good CW & agree with all never come across 17a before.
    My husband comments never seen a barmaid like in hints Picture at any Pub he’s been in !

  5. A fine crossword today, I thought, with lots of good clues. Last one in for me was 17a which was new to me also, but I guessed the second half from the checking letters. I’d heard of ****** baggers, but they were profiteers, not shirkers! Thanks to setter and Gazza for the review – in which pub does 2d work?

  6. Quite enjoyable but nothing that really grabs the imagination. Did not know 17a but found it based on the ??I?H?S pattern when the K fitted the down clue. Google had a lot of rock bands by that name but I did spot the definition somewhere down – I do not keep a dictionary in the office ;-)
    If I have to pick a favourite today it is 8d.

    1. Thanks for the thoughts Mary – yes I am fine. Have been doing the puzzles so late in the day that I haven’t commented.

      Today I went to see the surgeon and he is pleased – result – continue what you are doing – don’t go to the gym yet and come back in three months. Bit disappointed about not being able to go back to the gym but at least progress is going well.

    2. Thanks, Mary. Yes, I’m fine but was very busy with family over the festive season. And my solving skills seemed to have deserted me in the New Year. I’m only just getting back into my stride, but like Lea have been finishing late in the day, sometimes not even then.

      I’m glad to know that the surgeon is pleased with Lea and hope she continues to progress well. My best wishes to you both.

      1. It does seem to have taken a while to get ‘the crossword head’ back on with me too Franny, hope 2011 is good to you both :)

  7. Pleasant enough, even if I did not find it the most stimulating.
    Thanks to setter, and to Gazza.
    Not doing too well on the Toughie today!!

  8. An enjoyable puzzle today, 17a like everyone else was unknown to me so I made a guess at it and it turned out to be correct! otherwise all smooth sailing. Favourite clues were 6d and 12d, 1, 4 and 24a. Thank you to the setter and Gazza for the explanations.

  9. Very enjoyable crossword today, I enjoyed 17a and 2d best. Thanks to the setter and to Gazza (liked the clue for 2d especially).

  10. Really enjoyed it today, went a bit too fast, like those challenging clues that really tax the old gray cells. Favourite clues were 14a, 17a and 8d

  11. Didn’t find this too difficult even though I didn’t know the inventor in 8d – a guess from the cross letters.

    Liked the expression in 17a even though I had never heard of it before – again got it from the cross letters.

    Thanks to mysteron and to Gazza.

  12. First crossword since last Wednesday, having been well away from newsagents and computers, and really enjoyed it. Yes like others 17A a new one for me but I did get it from the cross letters.
    Think I should take up drinking again, with bartenders like that [ubs must be stowed out.
    Thanks to setter and to Gazza for the hints.

  13. I’m glad you though it easy, I thought it was jolly tricky. Managed only about 6 clues before I needed help. Didn’t really enjoy this one at all. I always thought 1a meant to induce someone to do something, never associated it with bribery.

  14. By the way, learnt a new anagram indicator today, Barking!! made me barking mad I know that!!

  15. I suppose 1a could be considered a synonym for bribery, Barrie. I’m waiting for my new Chambers Dictionary to arrive. I found this puzzle to be rather challenging but managed to complete it in a couple of goes. I join those for whom 17a was last in. There were a number of enjoyable clues, mainly 2, 8 and 16d and 4 and 26a. Many thanks to Gazza for the hints and to whoever was the setter.

    1. Suborn means (Chambers) to bribe or procure to commit perjury or other unlawful or wrongful act.

  16. I agree with Barrie though I did manage just a few more – with the aid of my Seiko – before I needed Big D. Was VERY pleased with myself when I solved 14a with only one letter in so far! Like all the rest, have never heard of 17a either – got the first word and was then completely stumped. One to remember for the future, I imagine? Can now relax with Codewords.

  17. I ended up needing the hints for 1a and the first word of 17a – along with the rest of you (even Gazza) had never come across that one before.
    Having not got 1a couldn’t do 2d – as soon as I got 1a 2d was obvious but, like someone who has previously commented, spent ages trying to make it an anagram of ‘spree’ (drunken) and something else, but what?!
    Agree with Barrie – have never seen ‘barking’ used as an anagram indicator before – thought it was a good one!
    I think I might have given this one a bit more than 2* for difficulty.
    Favourites today – 14a and 5, 6, 8 and 12d – possibly best of all 16d.

  18. Not too hard today ! No help needed and in record time. Very pleased with myself. But I had to look up 17a, which I’d not heard of.

  19. Nice and straightforward today but quite a lot if fun. Favourite today was 27a. Glad you found something to do with the picture I sent you last year gazza! (23a). I just remembered the clue!
    Thanks to you and our setter!

  20. At home with broken kneecap. The crossword kept me entertained for a while. Like so many others, 17a was the sticking point. Thanks for the help!

    1. Hi Sue,
      Poor you – how did you break your knee cap – “see” you here again soon. It’s a really great place with lots of lovely friendly people. :smile:

  21. Gobsmacked that I knew the dog but, the 16d-17a axis was very clever and I knew neither. Thanks BD for the hints and, I must admit I had to use the cheats.
    I said on saturday that I thought the prize crosswords should be of that standard. However, I think that the weekday puzzles should be about the ability to solve the cryptic element and not about obscure general knowledge. So, I feel that 14a, 16d and 17a were a bit grim.
    Nevertheless a very enjoyable puzzle. Thanks to BD and the setter.

  22. Enjoyed solving this puzzle early today.
    Clues that I liked : 10a, 14a, 17a, 8d & 16d.
    14a is not in Chambers Xword Dictionary under Dogs but is in Big Chambers.

    1. Robert,
      We’ll never be sure what the setter intended (unless he or she visits the blog and tells us), but I think that I’ll stick with the bard.

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