DT 26458 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26458

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26458

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment **

We have a not-too-difficult puzzle today from a mystery setter, but with a couple of references which may cause head-scratching. After having suggested last week that few would know the name of Colin Cowdrey (and having been shot down in flames), I am reluctant to suggest that the South African golfer in 21a could cause problems for some non-golfing solvers (although he does appear in puzzles from time to time). Let us know what you thought of it in a comment.
To reveal an answer drag your cursor through the space between the brackets under the clue.

Across Clues

1a  Film Isaac’s wife (7)
{REBECCA} – there’s a bit of biblical knowledge required for this double definition. The title of a film adaptation of a Daphne du Maurier novel is also the name of Isaac’s wife in the Old Testament.

5a  Representative put in new suite, as an incentive (7)
{IMPETUS} – the definition is incentive or spur. Put an elected representative inside an anagram (new) of SUITE.

9a  Finished last of pizza, Italian food (5)
{PASTA} – an adverb meaning finished is followed by the last letter of pizzA.

10a  Start to make a speech about one mother’s ruin (9)
{ORIGINATE} – a verb meaning to start is built from a verb meaning to make a speech with I (one) and the alcoholic spirit known as mother’s ruin inside.

11a  A character in ‘Howard’s End’ (10)
{APOSTROPHE} – cryptic definition – a character that often appears in greengrocers’ potato’s (sic).

12a  I was first to go round shop (4)
{DELI} – I was in first place is reversed (go round) for this specialist food shop.

14a  Q. Will I like this lollipop? A. — — — –! (4,2,3,3)
{SUCK IT AND SEE} – Q. do I like this clue? A. no! (but I’d like to hear your opinion of it in a comment). This informal phrase indicates that the only way to find out if something works is to try it out, but that tentative approach isn’t suggested in the clue. I think that something like “Will I like this lollipop? Give it a try! (4,2,3,3)” would have been better.

18a  Young bishop manages town in Scotland or province in Canada (3,9)
{NEW BRUNSWICK} – this is a Canadian province (the only one to have both English and French as official languages). Start with a word meaning young or fresh and follow this with the abbreviation for B(ishop), a synonym for manages and a town in the north of Scotland.

21a  Eagle from Els knocking one out (4)
{ERNE} – the forename of Mr Els, the South African golfer, loses its I (one out) to leave a sea eagle.

22a  Son, waist-deep, in trouble, is ignored (5,5)
{SWEPT ASIDE} – an anagram (in trouble) of S(on) and WAIST-DEEP.

25a  Rug a martyr used round the East after start of pilgrimage (6,3)
{PRAYER MAT} – this rug begins with P (start of Pilgrimage) and this is followed by an anagram (used) of A MARTYR round E(ast).

26a  Waste away by a lake (5)
{OFFAL} – an adverb meaning away (as in “I’ll be away for two days”) is followed by A and L(ake).

27a  Rest have told untruths before (3,4)
{LIE DOWN} – a phrasal verb meaning to rest is a verb meaning to have in one’s possession preceded by a synonym for told untruths.

28a  An American theatre award presented to male? The opposite (7)
{ANTONYM} – a word meaning the opposite in meaning is a charade of AN, the name of a theatre award in the US and M(ale).

Down Clues

1d  Go over about fuel (6)
{REPEAT} – bring together a preposition meaning in the matter of (about) and a fuel made from decomposed vegetable matter to make a verb meaning to cover the same ground again (go over).

2d  Good man invested in good thing in US city (6)
{BOSTON} – a city in New England is the usual abbreviation for a good or holy man inside something that is beneficial (good thing).

3d  CO at a drugs bust? (10)
{COASTGUARD} – this is an all-in-one clue. This official is an anagram (bust) of CO AT A DRUGS. The clue works better for those countries where this official has responsibility for anti-smuggling activities. In this country this person is purely concerned with the co-ordination of search and rescue and it is the UK Border Agency which has responsibility for customs enforcement.

4d  Adult with energy, energy in abundance (1,4)
{A GOGO} – an informal adjectival phrase meaning in abundance is A(dult) followed by a synonym for energy repeated.

5d  I wish rest could make a nourishing dish (5,4)
{IRISH STEW} – an anagram (could make) of I WISH REST.

6d  Friend carrying one’s bucket (4)
{PAIL} – a friend contains (carrying) I (one).

7d  Playwright with point to get across (8)
{TRAVERSE} – a verb meaning to get across is the surname of an English playwright and farceur followed by a cardinal point.

8d  Copy detailed working description, mine smudged (8)
{SPECIMEN} – a copy or model is an abbreviation for a detailed working description followed by an anagram (smudged) of MINE.

13d  Hurt in boisterous performance (5,5)
{KNOCK ABOUT} – double definition. A phrasal verb meaning to hurt or mistreat physically is also, as (10), a boisterous performance, as seen in a farce by the 7d playwright, for example. [In the newspaper version the enumeration is given as (10) which would make the boisterous performance the definition].

15d  Relative knows man I ruined (9)
{KINSWOMAN} – this relative is an anagram (ruined) of KNOWS MAN I.

16d  Topliner abroad in crime unit (8)
{INTERPOL} – an anagram (abroad) of TOPLINER.

17d  In which one may see Odette boast about the French leading English (4,4)
{SWAN LAKE} – this is a ballet in which a princess named Odette features. It’s a verb meaning to boast or show off around the French definite article, finishing with E(nglish).

19d  Petty quarrel at home making lunch for expat (6)
{TIFFIN} – a charade of a petty quarrel and the usual Crosswordland term for at home gives us what expats in India called lunch during the days of the Raj.

20d  Plot to strike causes uproar (6)
{BEDLAM} – a word meaning uproar (a corruption of Bethlehem, referring to the mental asylum called St. Mary of Bethlehem in London) is a charade of a plot (where you might grow things) and a verb to strike.

23d  Old man overlooking insect turning up in rice (5)
{PATNA} – a variety of long-grained rice is an affectionate abbreviation for father (old man) in front of (overlooking, in a down clue) an insect reversed (turning up, another down clue construct).

24d  Star in another opera (4)
{HERO} – hidden in the clue is the chief male character (star) in a book, play or film.

The clues which I liked best today were 11a and 17d. Let us know what you liked in a comment!

54 comments on “DT 26458

  1. No headscratching here. A nice Tuesday puzzle, well I thought so anyway. Same favourites as Gazza. Thanks to him and the Mysteron.

    I had even less headscratching with the Toughie and everyone should give it a go.

  2. A good puzzle but as a theologian I do object to 1a. The correct biblical spelling is Rebekah thus the answer is technically inaccurate, as Rebecca is not Isaac’s wife.

    Those of the Jewish faith will be upset.

    1. Err, the correct biblical spelling is actually רבקה ;-) How you transliterate that is purely a matter of convention. The Masoretic vocalisation would lead one to transliterate “Rivka” or “Rivkah”. Our youngest daughter is called Rivka.

      The form Rebekah which is used in all Christian translations that I checked,does not in my mind add anything. The one salient difference between the Masoretic vocals and both Rebecca and Rebekah is that the latter both obscure the fact that there is NO VOWEL before the “K”…
      As to being upset, this one of the Jewish faith certainly is not perturbed at all.

      Meanwhile this hardly qualifies as a cryptic clue. “Isaac’s wife” is a dead giveaway.

      1. Whilst I accept your comments in totality I discussed this during the morning with a Rabbi and a Jew and they expressed their disquiet. They are both I would add from a traditional congregation.

        I agree with the Hebrew script and would add that from the KJV which I suggest most would see as the paradigm traditional translation, the transliteration is Rebekah. Modern translations have used an Anglicised version Rebecca which as a traditionalist I dislike. In trying to “reach the people” much damage has been done to translation, but I must get off my hobby horse!

    2. I think you are all misreading the clue – the punchword is “Film” hence the spelling Rebecca!

      I enjoy reading the comments – I am fluent in several languages and have studied a few others which have gone off as I do not use them any more!

      However, I find that bringing in religious correctness is a far cry from solving crosswords in English!

      1. To be 100% correct and satisfy everybody, the setter should have ended the clue for 1a with a question mark.

  3. I went for the Jewish name as well, but could see this wouldn’t work for 3 down…. Also I didn’t see 3 down other than as an anagram, thought the drugs reference was a bit obscure, but I’m still new to this! Otherwise very straightforward but enjoyable.

  4. I did not enjoy this puzzle. Some clues were dubious as above and others obscure if you are not a golfer similar to last week and C list British celebs.
    20d the ‘verb to strike’ was new to me but that’s my problem, not the fault of the Setter.
    Everytime I see 11a it catches me out and I sit looking at it for ages.
    Nevermind Eh ?
    Thanks to Gazza and whoever the Setter may be.

  5. Sorry – I did not like this one today. I never like to see names, place-names, playwrights, ballets etc in crosswords.
    Finished it without any difficulty, and with little pleasure either. Thanks to Gazza for the notes.

    1. I got stuck on 7d for ages, because I’d never heard of that playwright. I knew the golfer, but had no idea that what I got was the name of an eagle… Oh well, at least I’m learning!

  6. I seem to be a contrary Mary today! I quite liked this puzzle, I agree about the golfer though! although 27a answer was obvious I couldn’t see how it worked so thanks for that Gazza, the only time I can remember ever hearing 4d used was in a programme called I think ‘Discs A GoGo’ ? liked 14a a lot, also 28a and 11a, though it took me ages to see that! Thaks for explanations Gazza :)

    1. Are you attempting the Toughie Mary ?I think you’ll be surprised how well you do, see Gnomes comment #8

      1. Not sure I have the time Andy, I always feel a bit guilty about spending half my day (at least :) ) on the crossword! But maybe I’ll hace a quick peep!

  7. I quite liked this even though it was not so hard – I spent a bit of time mopping up due to misreading a couple of clues/enumerations.
    I dont really think that people can grumble over Ernie Els – he appears regularly enough in crosswords and is, after all, one of the most successfull golfers of the past 20 years.
    Thanks to the setter and to gazza.
    Do try the toughie – it is very straightforward and a good entry level for those unfamiliar.

  8. Not that interesting today. Hesitated start as Isaac’s wife was incorrect spelling. Favourite clues 14a and 28a. Will see what the toughie is like.

  9. I managed to complete this with not too much difficulty. I had no problem with the golfer at 21a. The down clues went in much easier, I thought, which then gave me a solid basis for solving the across clues. Thanks to the setter for a pleasant enough puzzle and Gazza for the review

  10. All fairly straighforward and gentle. No real problems with the clues themselves. Many thanks to Gazza for the review and to Mysteron for the crossword.

    I echo CS comment about today’s Toughie. It took me less time to complete than this crossword. Definitely a puzzle to give a confidence boost to those who are dipping their toes into the Toughie territory.

  11. A curate’s egg for me, 14/28a being in the good part, 3/4d the not good part. Came across ‘erne’ recently elsewhere, so straightforward, but didn’t understand the clue. Needed a couple of hints to finish.

    Thanks to setter and Gazza. Still don’t understand 27a as 4,3 but it might come to me in time …

    1. Hi Geoff well done today, 27a, lied as in told untruths and have – own, put lied before own i.e. untruths before, I couldn’t understand it at first either!

  12. I liked this one too – mainly because I could do it!
    Could see that 3d was an anagram but spent ages trying to find out if CO was a recognised abbreviation for ‘coastguard’ – completely missed that in some countries they are responsible for anti-smuggling stuff.
    21a was obvious although I had no idea what the clue was about – can’t ‘do’ golf!
    13d took me some time – in the paper the clue is 10 rather than 5,5 – might have got it more quickly if it had been 5,5
    I liked 11, 14, 18 and 28a and 15, 17 and 19d.
    Thanks to the mystery setter and to Gazza for the hints.

  13. Half and half puzzle today. No problems with the golfer or the top left hand corner. Never heard of the playwright, but fairly easy to solve. Had to do a couple of double takes down the bottom left corner, but that was mainly because I was trying to fit the wrong letters into the first part of 23a and didn’t see the right ones

  14. A couple of smile-makers to-day (11a, 17d) but others sent me back into the grumpy club (21a, 3d). With so much much encouragement I will have a try at the toughie to-night.

  15. Nothing too hard today. Top clue definitely 11a!

    For all those of Christian persuasion who had quibbles with 1a: Paul in Romans has her as Isaac’s wife and spells the name “Ρεβεκκα” = “Rebecca” so the clue is technically totally correct as a NT reference.

    For this Jew it is also correct: if you call HIM “Isaac” and not “Yitzchak”, you can call HER “Rebecca” and not “Rivka” ;-)

  16. Just finished The Toughie in less time than the Cryptic. Struggling with The Quickie though.

  17. Fairly straightforward and simpe crossword today but reasonably enjoyable. Thanks to the setter and to Gazza.

  18. Why the issues with a golf-based clue? Firstly, DT cryptics often use cricket fielding positions and rowing terms in clues. Secondly, this simply follows the quiz theme of ‘a question is easy if you know the answer’.

    Occasionally it’s OK for a clue to rely on some common general knowledge (kings, queens, gods, capital cities, operas, etc.). Why should sport-related themes be frowned upon? Ernie Els was world no. 1 after all.

    1. Stuart,
      I’ve got no objections personally, but we normally get complaints about questions on fielding positions and cricket generally on the grounds that they require specialised knowledge, and I thought that golf would produce similar complaints. It’s a question of where the dividing line is between general knowledge and specialised knowledge – where would you put questions on equestrianism, table tennis or Greco-Roman wrestling (which is an Olympic sport!) ?

      1. I agree Gazza. But is knowing that Rebecca was Isaac’s wife any more general knowledge than having heard of golfer Ernie Els?

        Most importantly, hardly a day goes by that I do not learn something from the DT cryptic – admittedly sometimes only by reading hints by the contributors like your good self! Keep up the good work.

    2. Don’t really like sport based clues (golf, cricket, rugby, football – there are others …) as I can’t usually do them – some of the better known terms could be called general knowledge but when you get into the finer points I get lost – however, am learning, largely because of this fantastic site. As always thanks to all who make it so wonderful.
      :grin:

  19. Interesting to see how many scripture reading theologians do the crossword! As i’m continually reminded, we clergy only work one day a week, so have plenty of time for such things! I usually enjoy the crosswords I can do, so really enjoyed this one! Well, must go and must go and 27a on my 25a! Thanks to all.

  20. Did most to-day fairly swiftly but needed help in s/e corner – HATE 26a as don’t consider the answer to be waste, eat quite a lot of it!! No wonder I couldn’t solve that one. And have never heard of 4d. 11a was clever and I partic liked 14a as it made me smile. Thanks for hints. Did more of the Toughie do-day than usual, too, so it must be easier than normal! But still don’t understand 26a.

    1. I’m no expert so bear with me.. I solved it as 2 (2d) is an island / isle. In 26a sealed off is the clue = hermetic. Half of hermetic is the island Herm. Any Clearer?

  21. I managed to do this without too much trouble. 3d took me a long time as I was slow finding the anagram as there didn’t seem to be a definition of it. I agree with your comment, Gazza, about 14a. Didn’t know that ‘spec’ was a detailed working description (8d) and never heard of Ernie Els, though if he turns up so often I must store him in my subconscious somewhere. He and 4d were last to go in. Best clue for me was 28a.
    Thanks to Gazza for the hints and to the setter for the mental workout. :-)

  22. Completed todays’ cryptic without too much trouble and then took the above advice and attempted the Toughie. Completed that as well, but do accept that it is regarded to be at the ‘easier ‘ end of the Toughie scale. Now going to bask in my own glory for a while !!

  23. Enjoyed this offering without breaking into a sweat.
    Did not find the spelling of 1A offensive, it is the way I learned it at school and that is the way it will stay for me. Who are these people who want to change our language, probably the same people who agree with female lines women in mens football!!!
    Thanks to setter and Gazza for the hints.

  24. If the cluse for 28a felt familiar to anyone, it was used in almost the same form in a recent Times crossword (24748) ” An American theatre award presented to male? Just the opposite (7)”

    Looking at the list of Times setters (who are anonymous in the paper but listed on Best For Puzzles) for overlaps with known Telegraph setters, makes me wonder if today’s puzzle was by Allan Scott (Campbell from the Toughie and also setter of the Everyman crossword in the Observer). May be barking up the wrong tree – just a thought!

  25. On the whole a nice puzzle but utterly spoiled by some very odd clues: 4d (wouldn’t have got that in a month of sundays!!), 19d, 20d 26a and 28a, all really strange and very difficult clues. Shame because the rest was very good. :-(

    1. I’m surprised that you thought that those were odd clues; 19D, in particular, is a very straight, linear, step-by-step clue. The solution may not be in everyday use, but it is quite a fair word, I think, especially for those of brought up watching “Carry On” films!

  26. I really enjoyed today’s puzzle, particularly 14a, which made me laugh out loud when I got it.

    Spent ages trying to make an anagram of “Howard’s End” in 11a before I had a lightbulb moment.

  27. All done save 4d that I thought a tad weak? 11a and 21a come up quite often (as does 28a). Very enjoyable puzzle but not too taxing in my view.

  28. On the advice from lots of people commenting here I tried the toughie – am now about to read the hints for the ones that couldn’t do ….
    Good night all :smile:

  29. A very late input from me – I never get my DT until late afternoon each day and yesterday I had the family here for dinner so after the meal and family card games (Racing Demon and Memory) that we always play on my big round table in the sitting room followed by dishwasher activities it was far too late to do the puzzle.
    So I solved it this morning.
    7d was my first to go in – yet Ben is not mentioned in Chambers Crossword Dictionary nor by Anne B.
    but is in Chambers Biographical Dictionary.
    I liked best 9a, 14a, 25a, 28a, 4d, 17d & 23d.

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