DT 26449 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26449

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26449

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

I wasn’t that taken with this puzzle (presumably by Giovanni) when I solved it, because I am allergic to a high-anagram diet. However, I warmed to it somewhat when writing the review. Let us know your views in a comment.
If you want to see an answer highlight the space between the brackets under the clue.

Across Clues

1a  Smart boy spilling nothing when collecting water (6)
{BRAINY} – the definition is smart. Remove the O (spilling nothing) from B(o)Y and insert (collecting) some water.

4a  Unattached man fancied Chloe in the pub (8)
{BACHELOR} – an anagram (fancied) of CHLOE goes inside a pub.

9a  Poet apparent in short demonstration (6)
{SAPPHO} – the abbreviation for apparent is inserted in a demonstration without its final W (short) to make a 7th century BC female poet who lived on Lesbos.

10a  Dad, I ache terribly — I must have a drug! (4-4)
{ACID-HEAD} – an anagram (terribly) of DAD I ACHE.

11a  Change map that’s misprinted French place name (9)
{CHAMPAGNE} – somehow “French place name” seems somewhat lacking in sparkle as a definition of this wine-growing region of North-East France. It’s an anagram (misprinted) of CHANGE MAP.

13a  Woman taken in by bad element (5)
{ADELE} – hidden (taken) in the clue is a woman’s name.

14a  The way this drama goes on! (6,7)
{STREET THEATRE} – cryptic definition of dramatic entertainment performed outside (on the public way).

17a  Proficient set excited teacher demanding the best? (13)
{PERFECTIONIST} – an anagram (excited) of PROFICIENT SET.

21a  Hate being stuck in cab — horrible! (5)
{ABHOR} – a verb meaning to hate is hidden (stuck) in the clue.

23a  Picked up second bit of broadcast with external aerial? (9)
{OVERHEARD} – the definition is picked up or caught by accident. It’s the second letter (bit) of bRoadcast which has around it (external) an adjective meaning aerial or high above.

24a  The air is polluted — it’s most dangerous (8)
{HAIRIEST} – an anagram (polluted) of THE AIR IS gives us an informal superlative meaning most dangerous.

25a  A river I love so comes into a piece of music (6)
{ARIOSO} – I was unaware of this musical term for a piece of music sung in a manner somewhere between aria and recitative (but BD obviously wasn’t because it’s in The Mine). Luckily for me it’s a very straightforward charade of A, R(iver), I, O (zero, love) and SO.

26a  Most complacent dope gets sorted out by head of school (8)
{SMUGGEST} – a synonym for dope or fool is followed by an anagram (sorted out) of GETS and the whole lot is preceded by the first letter (head) of School to make a superlative meaning most complacent.

27a  Journalist is performing, a very inventive man (6)
{EDISON} – a charade of the usual abbreviation for a senior journalist, IS and an adverb meaning performing give us the surname of a great inventor, who introduced the first practical light bulb amongst many other things.

Down Clues

1d  Simple facts coming from arts graduates in charge of science initially! (6)
{BASICS} – the simple facts that politicians like to urge us to return to are formed from a charade of arts graduates, the abbreviation for in charge and the first letter (initially) of Science.

2d  A quiet person saying ‘Well done!’? Not necessarily, at work! (9)
{APPRAISER} – string together A, the letter standing for piano or quiet in music and someone who says “Well done!”. You should end up with someone who may possibly say “well done” at your annual review at work, but on the other hand he or she may criticise you (for doing too many crosswords in work-time, for example).

3d  Poor hen suffering, one very unfortunate (2-5)
{NO-HOPER} – someone without any chance of success (very unfortunate) is an anagram (suffering) of POOR HEN.

5d  Minoan Crete, fantastic old civilisation (7,4)
{ANCIENT ROME} – an excellent surface reading relating to a Bronze Age civilisation in Crete gives us, through an anagram (fantastic) of MINOAN CRETE, the centre of a later, but still old, civilisation.

6d  Water-containing chemical he has injected behind, going up! (7)
{HYDRATE} – an adjective meaning behind or late is reversed (going up, in a down clue) and inserted (injected) in HE to make a compound containing water molecules.

7d  One serving lord, for instance, in story (5)
{LIEGE} – put the abbreviation of for instance inside an untrue story.

8d  One visiting uncle making a recovery? (8)
{REDEEMER} – uncle is an informal word for a pawnbroker, so this is a cryptic definition of someone turning up with sufficient cash to recover the goods that he or she had previously pawned.

12d  You put in estimates for B&B establishments (11)
{GUESTHOUSES} – an old pronoun meaning you goes inside unscientific estimates to make B&B establishments.

15d  Figures on targets getting shot (9)
{TETRAGONS} – these four-sided figures are an anagram (getting shot) of ON TARGETS.

16d  Newspaper features cuts (page inside) (8)
{SPLASHES} – prominent features in newspapers are made from a verb meaning cuts with P(age) inside.

18d  Getting it wrong about a single item of jewellery? (7)
{EARRING} – a present participle meaning getting it wrong goes around A.

19d  Silly nerd — he and I were permanently stuck (7)
{INHERED} – an anagram (silly) of NERD, HE and I produces the past participle of a verb meaning to stick permanently or remain firm.

20d  Contact a person playing music, love getting trendy (6)
{ADJOIN} – a verb meaning to be next to or in contact with is a charade of A, someone who plays records, O (zero, love) and an informal word for trendy.

22d  What’s praised, not half — revolutionary country verse form (5)
{HAIKU} – take the first three letters (not half) of a past participle meaning praised and add the initials backwards (revolutionary) of our country to get a highly-structured Japanese verse form. Here’s one, written about 1300 AD by Natsume Soseki:

Over the wintry
forest, winds howl in rage
with no leaves to blow.


I liked 5d and 12d today, but my favourite clue was 8d. Let us know what you liked in a comment.

62 comments on “DT 26449

  1. I didn’t particularly notice the preponderance of anagrams, but now you come to mention it….! I just thought it was a very nice typical Giovanni so thanks to him and Gazza for the hints.

    The Toughie is a Friday Toughie by Elgar and does what it says on the tin.

  2. Being a fan of anagrams I did enjoy this puzzle, so thanks to Giovanni if he was the setter. I found it rather tricky at first but managed to finish it after all with a bit of help. I got 22d from the words across. Would never have understood the clue. Nor do I see what work has to do with 2d. The solution to 5d I thought was brilliant, and it and 8d were my favourites. Thank you, Gazza, for the explanations.

      1. At my annual appraisal last year (with the old boss) we spent most of the time discussing crosswords and my blogging! The new boss is not so cryptic friendly so I will have to be more careful this time in case I am accused of devoting too much time to my favourite hobby and not enough to work!

  3. I enjoyed this crossword, including the anagrams which I always look at first. I had no idea of the relationship between uncle and pawnbroker and I needed Gazza’s help for 22d – thank you for the hint. I would never have solved that clue without it. Thanks to setter and Gazza for the review

  4. I enjoy most DT cryptic crosswords and this was no exception. To many good clues to pick a favourite, but if pressed would opt for 20d. Anagrams such as 5d and 17a were not straightforward so making them enjoyable to me.
    Thank you to Compiler and Gazza for his review.

  5. Morning Gazza, like Franny I am a fan of anagrams and find them a useful way into a puzzle, there were a few words I didn’t know today and had to google to get the meanings, 9a, 19d and 22d , I didn’t think it was one of Giovannis most difficult, however I am aware that puzzles I often find really hard others find easy so it is all relvant I suppose, I am trying to pick a favourite clue and think it has to be 5d, fancy that being an anagram for ancient rome, very clever! A nice one for the JOCC today but not sure for CC doable with help and perservation I think :)

    1. Good morning Mary, Excuse my ignorance but what does JOCC and CC stand for please, and are there any others?

      1. Hi Wayne, CC stands for Clueless Club a ‘mythical club’ that us lesser solvers on the blog belong to! to graduate from the CC you need to solve a complete cryptic puzzle with out any books, aids, google etc. then you are in the JOCC – Just Out of Clueless Club! once out you are not allowed back in you then have to strive to reach the ACC – that’s right Advanced Clueless Club, to do this you need to solve three more puzzles in the same way, it’s all just a bit of fun, I graduated to the JOCC after about 14 months of doing these and think I belong back in the CC but it’s not allowed! since I left CC nobody has taken over chairman/womanship so it s mentioned on here as much as it used to be!

        1. Sorry Mary, I think its a lot more than 3 puzzles solved to be in the ACC – more like years and years and years! :D

          1. please do Shrike, that’s what I thought but I just managed to sneak out one day and now they won’t let me back in :)

            1. you could be president/chairman Geoff but I do belive by this time next year you will definitely be out! however you could do it meanwhile………..?

        2. Thank you, Mary, for this clarification. I’d always considered myself to be popping in and out of the CC like the bird in a cuckoo-clock, which is how I thought of the Occasionally Clueless subdivision. I now see that I am, in fact, a JOCC and likely to remain so for some time. Especially if I’d have to solve three puzzles unaided in a row.

          1. Welcome to the JOCC Franny :) Sue says we have to do much more than than before we get out, so I guess we will keep each other company for a while yet :-D

  6. Got there eventually, but needed all the books again and a few of the toys and hints. 19d was my only new one with 25a falling in place very easily.

    Most enjoyable, thanks to G&G.

    1. Nice one Geoff, I had to use the books etc as well today, wonder why 25a fell into place so easily for you :-D

  7. Many thanks for the hints – I always learn something new on a Friday. Never knew “uncle” meant Pawnbroker.

  8. That was a lovely Friday puzzle – thank you Giovanni and thanks for the review Gazza.

    There were a lot of lovely ones but my favourites were 4a (nice image it portrays) – 5d and 8d (new xwd relation – uncle = pawnbroker).

  9. Not one of my favourite crosswords as it was somehow not very challenging. Anagrams and some very obvious wordplay. Had not heard of 25a but got it from the clue wording then looked it up.Finished in record time and now what will I do?? Its so dull and damp in Canterbury :(

    1. not very nice here either Lizwhiz but the depressing mist and fog from yesterday has cleared so its time to venture out – back later :)

  10. Very enjoyable crossword. I wondered about the anagrams but they fitted the clues so well that I could not object, particularly with clues like 5d which was my favourite. Many thanks to Giovanni for the crossword and to Gazza for the review.

  11. You learn something new every day – had got redeemer but didn’t know why – never heard of the uncle for pawnbroker
    Otherwise a good quick crossword today

  12. Very enjoyable puzzle today, with 5D the pick of the clues for me.

    Well-written blog by Gazza, too, although the anagrams didn’t feel excessive to me.

  13. Thanks Giovanni for an enjoyabe and not too difficult crossword and thanks also to Gazza for the review. I liked 25a and 8d best.

  14. New things today for me. 9a app abbreviation and 8d Uncle. 8d; I assumed something to do with Ruth/Boaz – maybe that’s where the slang term for pawnbroker comes from? Thanks to setter and solver. A good stretch for me.

    1. An on-line slang dictionary has the following about the use of the term uncle for pawnbroker:
      A use of the word which arose in the 18th century, referring (probably ironically) to the moneylender’s avuncular assistance. The term was still heard in London in the 1950s and may survive. From the 1980s it was heard in the British TV soap opera EastEnders.

  15. I didn’t find this as difficult as some Friday puzzles.
    I needed the hint to explain 8d – I know that uncle is a slang term for pawnbroker but it’s one that I always manage to forget.
    I quite like lots of anagrams so that probably helped in the difficulty level – I think 3* is about right.
    Had never heard of 25a but it was easy enough to work out and then look up.
    Started off with 2d being ‘applauder’ even though I couldn’t explain the second bit of the clue – that made 14a a tad tricky but sorted that out.
    Favourites today – 1 and 14a and 5 and 12d.
    Beastly weather in Oxford – grey and raining on and off.
    Off to Paris for weekend to celebrate brother-in-law’s 60th birthday – should be fun! :grin: Have a good weekend everyone.

  16. Thanks for the welcome to the blog yesterday . I thoroughly enjoyed today’s puzzle and finished without recourse to the hints above. 25a and 19d are new to me but worked em out and looked them up to be sure.

  17. Excellent puzzle but a bit spoilt by the bottom right corner for me. Never heard of 25a or 19d and 20d was very tricky too. Mind you it wasn’t helped by never having heard of the womans name in 13a. Loved 1a, 14a and 12d, all clever clues that made me smile. Another triumph from the maestro, for me a million times better than anything produced by yesterdays setter!!

  18. I solved this puzzle very rapidly for a Friday version – Gazza are you sure it is from Giovanni?
    Clues that I liked are : 11a, 14a, 23a, 27a, 5d, 6d, 8d & 12d.
    Your remark re 11a was very apt Gazza!
    I found it to be rather heavy in anagrams also.

    1. Derek,
      We can never be 100% sure who the setter is unless we get confirmation in a comment, but I;m pretty sure that it’s by Giovanni.

    1. I ALWAYS find your crosswords the most difficult of the whole week – some are harder than others – the one today I just about managed. Thank you.

  19. Thanks Giovanni. Toughest of the week in my view illustrated by the fact that I did not finish it! Nearly there – not quite. BAH!

  20. I was dancing around the kitchen singing “I finished a Friday” – without help! Usually I need to check out the hints for at least a few cues on Friday, but this was a good one! Thanks to setter and reviewer

  21. V enjoyable, just edges out yesterday’s because I had a couple of pints of Kipling (thornbridge) with today offering. Sleep well all. Thanks to the two G’s

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