DT 26455 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26455

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26455

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

It felt a bit like being back at school doing “double science” today, but, as usual with Giovanni, the wordplay clearly points you to the answer (although I wasn’t too sure what some of the answers meant, even after consulting the dictionary!). In spite of that I did find it enjoyable – let us know what you thought of it in a comment.
To reveal an answer just highlight the space between the brackets under the clue.

Across Clues

1a  In trouble, poor man tries to become fraudster with new identity (12)
{IMPERSONATOR} – an anagram (in trouble) of POOR MAN TRIES produces this con artist.

9a  Desperate man grabbing weak woman (4)
{DAWN} – a woman’s name (think of the chocolate-loving comedienne) is the desperate comic book character with the abbreviation for weak (as used of a particle in physics) inserted.

10a  Tissue in room you finally drop (9)
{CELLULOSE} – this tissue is a carbohydrate forming the chief component of cell walls in plants. It’s a charade of a small room (in a prison or monastery, for example), the last letter (finally) of yoU and a verb meaning to drop.

12a  First couple of elephants in highway charge again (6)
{RELOAD} – a verb meaning to insert more ammunition (charge again) is the first two letters of EL(ephants) inside a synonym for highway.

13a  One arrangement is made initially — it’s unrealistic (8)
{IDEALISM} – this belief in unrealistic perfection is I (one), an arrangement or agreement, IS and the first letter (initially) of M(ade).

15a  Traffic lane (5,5)
{TRADE ROUTE} – cryptic description of the well-beaten path of travellers bringing goods from afar.

16a  Pour out, making the enemy retreat (4)
{EMIT} – the proverbial enemy (because it never stops and you eventually run out of it) has to be reversed (retreat) to make a verb meaning to pour out or discharge.

18a  Lechery of army officer outside America (4)
{LUST} – put the abbreviation for a junior army officer around an abbreviation for America.

20a  Anniversary organised in canteen, attended by fifty (10)
{CENTENNIAL} – an anagram (organised) of IN CANTEEN is followed by the Roman numeral for fifty to make something that comes round once every hundred years.

23a  Everyone sent to work unit? I start to cower, having an aversion (8)
{ALLERGIC} – this is an adjective meaning having an aversion. It’s a charade of a synonym for everyone, a unit of work or energy, I and the first letter (start) of C(ower).

24a  Old boy has itch to be ‘not square’ (6)
{OBLONG} – this is a plane figure consisting of four sides with four right-angles, but it’s not a square. Start with the abbreviation for old boy and add a verb meaning to itch or yearn.

26a  Hospital apparatus in country facing Tory cut (9)
{INCUBATOR} – apparatus that you’d find in a hospital is a charade of IN, a Caribbean country and Tory cut (i.e. without its last letter).

27a  Film director’s meaty stuff (4)
{LEAN} – the meaty stuff that was abhorrent to Mrs Spratt is also the surname of a famous British film director, whose films included the never-to-be-forgotten  “Lawrence of 22d”.

28a  Two features in a musical creating a fuss (4,3,5)
{SONG AND DANCE} – two features of a musical together make a phrase meaning an unnecessary and lengthy fuss.

Down Clues

2d  Dominant female who takes a fellow in! (3-5)
{MAN-EATER} – cryptic definition of what Chambers describes as an informal term for a woman given to acquiring and dispatching male admirers.

3d  A head teacher’s part (4)
{EACH} – the definition is a head (as used in the sentence “Admission is £5 a head”) and the answer is part of the clue.

4d  Concerned with certain matter in dependable country (5-5)
{SOLID-STATE} – synonyms for dependable and country come together to make a term meaning concerned with certain matter (a description used in the electronics industry to describe semiconductors, as opposed to valves).

5d  Go wandering around with aunt? That’s sweet! (6)
{NOUGAT} – this is an allusion to the Graham Greene novel “Travels with my Aunt”. A type of sweet is an anagram (wandering around) of GO and AUNT. Maybe it’s just me being quirky, but I don’t like anagrams where the indicator comes in the middle of the fodder.

6d  Terribly hot drink one imbibed? It’s radioactive! (7)
{THORIUM} – this is a white, radioactive metal. It’s an anagram (terribly) of HOT followed by an alcoholic drink with I (one) inserted (imbibed).

7d  Toe ma roughly bashed? Medical specialist may know all about it (12)
{RHEUMATOLOGY} – a medical specialisation is an anagram (bashed) of TOE MA ROUGHLY.

8d  Plant I left had to be pulled up, bad in the middle (6)
{DAHLIA} – I wonder how many different clues for this plant Giovanni has produced over the years? Today it’s I, L(eft) and HAD strung together and then reversed (pulled up, in a down clue) followed by the middle letter of bAd.

11d  Plants showing flowers half the day, up to the time of stars (12)
{FRITILLARIES} – these are plants of the lily family with hanging bell-like flowers. Start with the first half of a day of the week (unless you’ve come to this crossword late or are taking an abnormally long time over it, it’s today) and add a preposition meaning up to the time of, then finish with a constellation and sign of the zodiac.

14d  Excessively optimistic Tories tend to look silly (4-6)
{ROSE-TINTED} – an anagram (to look silly) of TORIES TEND produces an adjective meaning excessively optimistic which is often used in conjunction with spectacles. Beautifully smooth surface reading.

17d  Like some steroids manufactured in a lab co. (8)
{ANABOLIC} – an adjective (I would try to explain what it means but I can’t understand it) which describes steroids used to build up body tissue is an anagram (manufactured) of IN A LAB CO.

19d  Element in soil (not oxygen) I study (7)
{SILICON} – a non-metallic element with semiconducting properties is formed by joining together S(o)IL (without the chemical symbol for oxygen), I and a verb to study.

21d  I ‘cry a river’ — it shows you the pressure! (6)
{ISOBAR} – a line on a map connecting points of equal atmospheric pressure is a charade of I, a verb to cry, A and R(iver).

ARVE Error: need id and provider

22d  Song about sailor somewhere in the Middle East (6)
{ARABIA} – put an operatic song around one of abbreviations for sailor to make a large peninsula in the Middle East.

25d  Field engineers brought in by emergency organisation (4)
{AREA} – the definition is field. Put the abbreviation for Royal Engineers inside the emergency organisation which may come to your assistance if you break down (as long as you’ve paid your subscription).

I liked 26a and 2d today, but my favourite clue was 14d. Let us know what you liked in a comment!

77 comments on “DT 26455

  1. Its been quite interesting receiving comments from the confused (another new club??) who thought my review of Saturday’s puzzle was a review of today’s puzzle. My only problem with this traditional Giovanni was with 11d but Gnome’s Law came to the rescue again. Thanks for the crossword Giovanni – my favourites were 9a, 2d and 11a. Thanks to Gazza too for the review. I know yesterday I mentioned the lack of pics for ladies but am not sure 9a was the chap I was searching for :D

    1. I’ve only done 1a so far and I think that it’s going to be my favourite – I only look at the answers after I’ve tried to do it

      1. As a fellow blogger, I am lucky enough to have Gnomethang’s email address. If either of us is stuck on a clue, as soon as you press ‘send’ on an email either commenting on the fact or asking for a hint, the solution immediately comes to your mind – it happens quite regularly and so has achieved its own name and fame on the blog.

        1. Its strange isn’t it. I know the feeling. I often do the Saturday puzzle with a friend, as soon as one of us says ‘oh I have got ? across’ the other one nearly always gets it in the next few,seconds. no matter how long we had been thinking about it beforehand.

  2. A little harder than yesterday surely – eg 11d ? Hopefully we won’t be subjected to a barrage of superior comments today! Thanks to all concerned as usual.

  3. Excellent puzzle today from the Friday maestro. Took me a while to start (thank the Lord for anagrams!) but then it unravelled nicely. Best clue for me was 23a, so logical but you have to look for it. Even managed 8d and 11d which with my meagre knowledge of botany was a real achievement. Thank you Sir for a very enjoyable start to the day.

  4. 11d was my last one to solve today. I also wasted a few minutes trying to squeeze nose/ear/chin etc into 28a!
    Thanks to Giovanni, and to Gazza.

    1. I was working through facial features as well but once the letter c went in, the penny dropped. 11d was challenging, but once solved, it joined 10a as favourite clues.

  5. Despite never having heard if 11d I found his fairly straightforward but still highly enjoyable.
    14d and 24a were favourites.
    Thanks to gazza and ti Giovanni.

  6. Not one for me me today. Got a bit over halfway before needing the blog and even then didn’t finish it – I’m not a scientist!

    Some of it was enjoyable but the scientific slant was not for me – thanks anyway to G&G.

  7. Finished at last, quite a tough one today I thought, what an unusual grid too, never heard of 11d had to look in big red Chambers, just going to look at blog to check 6d as I’ve never heard that either, fav clues today 26a and 28a, thanks for blog & puzzle G&G :) last in 14d, just couldn’t ‘see’ it !

  8. Many thanks to Gazza for an enjoyable review of this crossword. Lots of lovely clues today – 14d and 20a being my favourites. Above all thanks to Giovanni for the fun.

  9. I meant to say earlier – but I had just returned to my desk from the world’s most riveting meeting about filing systems – that the Shamus Toughie is well worth a go by all today.

    1. I second that. There’s nothing to fear in today’s Toughie, and it has some gentle 15-letter lights to offer a solid start.

  10. All help used, but actually managed to get through this one before the hints were published. Still in shock!

    Pleased to see that Mary and Collywobbles found their way at last – it did cheer me up :D

  11. Managed OK’ish today, enjoyed very much 16a threw me for ages I put ‘rout’ in having found it in ‘pour out’ needed Gazza’s help to sort me out. Thans Gazza and Giovani

  12. Thanks Gazza – put me back on track for a few of these clues. This was a lot tougher than yesterdays but still quite enjoyable.

  13. I quite enjoyed todays offering from Giovanni, never heard of 11d before but still a nice work out, fridays Toughie wasn’t too taxing but there’s something about Shamus’s puzzles that I always enjoy. Thanks to Gazza for the review and BD in anticipation.

  14. I found this tough but good and eventually doable, though I needed help to finish. I’d put ‘rout’ for 16a which mucked up any possibility of finding 6d. Also I thought 11d was butterflies. Good anagrams and good clues, though i can’t think of a favourite at the moment. Thanks, then, to G and G.

      1. They are beautiful little spring flowers that grow from bulbs (I think). YOu should grow some, Mary, much less bother than whatever you grew so many of last year!

        1. You mean the petunias Geoff, yes I might give those a miss this year! :) I can’t say I’ve ever seen any 11d in garden centres I’ll have to look out for them, maybe they are wild flowers?

          1. Hi Mary yes they are wild flowers, look in the bulb / tuber areas of the garden centre. When planted they naturalise over the years.

          2. Mary – not wild flowers as far as I know. We had them all round our pond and mixed in with the crocus they look stunning! Even so, Pommers couldn’t remember them

            1. Thanks for that Pommette, there seem to be a few varieties, do you know I think I actually had some in my garden last year, I will wait to see if they come again :)

  15. Nice puzzle, with 14D the pick of the clues for me.

    I wonder if the DT has a quota for references to particular political parties?

  16. Couldn’t quite finish without your hints,G so thanks Got stuck on 6d and 10a, best clue for me 21d, loved it for being SO logical!!Thanks to Giovanni too

  17. Excellent crossword today, challenging, entertaining and fun! As an ex-scientist I didn’t mind the theme at all but I guess that’s just ‘Horses for courses’!
    I always struggle with horticultural clues so had to rely on pommette for 11d – never heard of them (apart from as butterflies) but apparantly we had some in our garden once!
    Favourite 9a – might have ‘cow pie’ for dinner!
    Thanks to Giovanni and to Gazza for the usual entertaing blog.

    BTW – the Toughie today is Great, with a capital G!

  18. As Pommers said – thoroughtly enjoyable. Thanks Giovanni – hard but fair. Never heard of 6d (having been chucked out of “double science” when I blew the fume cupboard in chemistry up at age 12) but thanks to Pommers for pointing me in the right direction.
    Gazza – lovely blog too so thanks.

    1. When I was about 16 a friend and I, much to the horror of our chemistry teacher, were discovered trying to sythesise Trinitrotoluene (TNT) instead of Dinitrotoluene as required by the practical lesson (the recipes aren’t all that dissimilar). Seemed like a good idea at the time but had we succeeded I’ve no idea what we were going to do with the stuff!
      We didn’t blow anything up but nearly got ouselves expelled!

        1. Mary, have a go at the Toughie. Now you’re out of the CC you should have a fighting chance.

            1. But I have every confidence that you can crack it too! It’s just getting over the mental block that Toughie = Too Hard. Take it one bite at a time – suggest you start in the SE corner today, and you will suddenly find it all falling into place. Go for it Mary !!

              1. Thank you both but I have tried and failed so I will carry on doing it with the blog at my side, who said ‘to read is to understand’ !

    2. Pommers & Pommette,

      You seem to be a very dangerous couple when you are anywhere near a chemistry lab!

      Feel safe here in the UK knowing that you are both in Alicante!

  19. :( was very excited this morning, having completed mon -> thurs in my target time, and really hoping to complete the week for the first time in 15 years of doing the DT crossword, but beaten by two general knowledge clues (27a and 11d). Oh well… Maybe next week… 2d made me smile at least.

  20. A nice work-out today with lots of smooth clues, particularly 14d. Being picky, 7d asks for a specilaist, but the answer is a specilaisation. Any roads, thanks to G & G for the fun.

  21. What a breath of fresh-air after yesterday. My subscription is safe for the time being.
    Enjoyed 23A, 26A and 2D particularly.
    Many thanks to the setter and to Gazza for the usual most enjoyable review.

  22. Started this late today but found it to be well clued and fair. I’m no plant expert, but 11d flowed nicely from the clue once some checking letters had been placed in. Thanks to setter and Gazza for the review

  23. Thanks for the review Gazza. How hard was it to resist the opportunity to illustrate 2d and 18a? Mind you, further opportunities abound in 9a and particularly 19d.

    1. chris,
      I did illustrate 2d with a picture of Zsa-Zsa. I suppose I could have pretended that I didn’t understand the difference between silicon and silicone and included a suitable implant picture at 19d, but I’m not sure how I might have illustrated 18a :D

        1. If I’m to be the personification of Lust who do you have in mind for Wrath, Greed, Sloth, Pride, Envy and Gluttony? :D

            1. Gazza – where do you get all the delectable photos from of the girls – tartlets ?
              Today’s Man-eater and a few days ago the bargirl?
              For me it is all too late but I am sure that some of our regular female bloggers may find them tempting?????

              1. Derek,
                The man-eater is actually Zsa-Zsa Gabor who married nine different men (sequentially, not all at the same time!), and had affairs with countless others.
                Generally, Google is a great help in finding relevant pictures. To be honest, my main problem is not finding pictures but in finding ones which are tasteful enough to be published in a wholesome blog like this one. :D

  24. I thought that I had finished this today without any hints, however on reading Gazza’s review realised I had got 6d and 10a wrong having put in Tritium for 6d which is a radioactive isotope of Hydrogen and ending 10a in *****lite (homophone “light”) thinking that when you drop something you become lighter.

    Thanks to Giovanni & Gazza. :D

  25. Very late starting today – it’s marmalade time of year!
    I got completely stuck for ages on 10a and 6d and the first word of 4d so that corner took as long as the whole of the rest of the crossword. Also my spelling let me down on 20a – centenary – only one ‘N’ in the middle so, rather stupidly, – centenial – therefore not enough letters! Oh dear – thought that I was ‘barking up the wrong tree’ for a while then, eventually, saw that one, and the other three that were giving me grief. Finally finished without reading the hints but I always read them anyway!
    Favourites today – 23, 26 and 28a and 11 and 21d – best of all 2d.
    Thanks to Giovanni and Gazza.

  26. Fwiw I found this the hardest of the week and harder by a long way than yesterday’s toughie for instance. Thanks Giovanni and Gazza for your efforts.

  27. I was late today as well and enjoyed it – I like Friday’s puzzles best of the week. However, I did get stuck on 6d and only got it from the cross letters and had to look it up.

    My favourite clues were 11d (even though I hadn’t heard of it it was solvable from thew clue) and 14d – very appropriate.

    Thanks to G&G

  28. Too tough for me to-day! Never heard of 6d or 27a but impressed myself by solving the 7d anagram. In fact have had a bad week as only one I managed “solo” was yesterday’s and, even tho I got it, who or what is “pomona”? Liked 24 & 28a and 19d. thanks for the hints which allowed me to finish!

  29. I struggled with all 4 of the long clues on the perimeter of today’s puzzle.

    7d – I knew it was an anagram and also an “…ology” but was convinced that it started “Haemo…”

    Had to cheat to solve 11d – flowers, plants etc – not my strong part.

    Favourite – also the last in – 28a – so obvious in the end – but like Nora, above, spent a lot of time thinking “facial features”..

  30. Another enjoyable puzzle from Giovanni with a fair amount of science and medicine in it – as you remark Gazza.
    I liked 9a, 15a, 23a, 2d, 4d, 6d, 7d, 11d, 17d, 19d & 21d.

    PS – despite what I wrote last Monday – I solved all the last three days cryptics but I did not blog on!

    Fish and chips tonight – grilled trout washed down with Chilean Oveja Negra (Black Sheep) white wine.

  31. Hi just discovered the site and is really helping the me understand the world of the cryptic clue. Thanks for the blog and the excellent clues really enjoyed today’s puzzle. Colin

  32. Excellent crossword today. After yesterday, just what i needed. Might have a look at the toughie with a pint or two of Kipling. Thanks to G and G

  33. Favourite puzzle of the week for me and marginally more challenging than yesterday’s offering. I actually zoomed through this one until 6d which I worked out never having heard the word before. Some nice word play and an enjoyable challenge albeit done before the commute was over. Thanks to the Setter of course. Off to watch “Hustle”.

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