DT 26461 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26461

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26461

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

This is a pleasant, not overly difficult, Giovanni production. Let us know your views in a comment.
If you want to see an answer highlight the space between the brackets under the relevant clue.

Across Clues

9a  Groom wanting old band (5)
{COMBO} – to groom with a toothed implement requires the addition of O(ld) to make an informal word for a small group of musicians.

10a  Loss of silver after end of work in holy place (9)
{SHRINKAGE} – this could be a loss in size due to using a washing machine at the wrong setting, for example, or it could be the loss suffered by a business as a result of breakages or pilfering. Insert the chemical symbol for silver after the last letter (end) of worK in a place deemed to be holy because of its association with a sacred object or person.

11a  Sweet bit of food pig may come across (7)
{TRUFFLE} – double definition – a rich piece of confectionery and an underground fungus which is a culinary delicacy (traditionally rooted out by pigs, though I’ve seen an advert recently claiming that the pigs are being replaced by dogs).

12a  Mottled piece of fruit — divine on the outside (7)
{DAPPLED} – a piece of fruit goes inside a Doctor of Divinity to make an adjective meaning spotty or mottled.

13a  Set of beliefs Indian abandoned finally (5)
{CREED} – start with a Native American originally from central Canada and the northern US states and add the last letter (finally) of abandoneD.

14a  Char spoke out, a nag getting much put upon? (9)
{PACKHORSE} – an anagram (out) of CHAR SPOKE gives us what is literally an animal used for carrying equipment but which has also come to mean a drudge lumbered with heavy work. A very cleverly worded clue!

16a  Sign of something wrong in Eric’s apartment — damaged floor covering (9,6)
{AXMINSTER CARPET} – the sign made in your exercise book by the teacher to indicate another error is put inside an anagram (damaged) of ERIC’S APARTMENT to make a high-quality floor covering, first made by a company founded by Thomas Witty in 1755 in a Devon town.

19a  Where the Armada would have been spotted primarily (2,3,4)
{IN THE MAIN} – double definition. Another way of saying on the open seas is also a phrase meaning primarily.

21a  England’s opener, one looking embarrassed about getting a duck (5)
{EIDER} – string together the first letter (opener) of E(ngland), I (one) and an adjective meaning looking embarrassed which is reversed (about) and you’ll end up with a type of duck. Lovely cricketing surface.

23a  Like some raw fish are — sharp in taste to start with (7)
{TARTARE} – this adjective can be applied to steak as well as fish – it means served raw and (in the case of fish) shaped into small cakes. Start with ARE (given in the clue) and precede this (to start) with an adjective meaning sharp in taste.

25a  A yell after wife transpires to be a complete failure (4-3)
{WASH-OUT} – an informal term for a complete failure is W(ife) followed by A and a yell.

27a  Judges use a valet for dressing (9)
{EVALUATES} – an anagram (for dressing) of USE A VALET.

28a  Simple feature of church — I will be enthralled (5)
{NAIVE} – insert (will be enthralled) I in the central part of a church to make an adjective meaning inexperienced or simple.

Down Clues

1d  Robbie Burns, say, in his cottage (4)
{SCOT} – a topical reference since it was Burns Night on Tuesday. What he, and many others, including BigBoab, are is hidden in the clue.

2d  One madame stifling a Parisian male — not susceptible (6)
{IMMUNE} – put I (one) and the abbreviation for Madame around (stifling) the French indefinite article (masculine version) to make an adjective meaning resistant or not susceptible.

3d  Noticed fan becoming odd, someone getting close and personal? (10)
{CONFIDANTE} – a very close female friend, who may be trusted with your secrets, is an anagram (becoming odd) of NOTICED FAN.

4d  Nineteenth-century PM’s a revolutionary without feeling (6)
{ASLEEP} – an adjective meaning dead to the world (without feeling) is the name of a 19th century British Prime Minister, followed by the ‘S and A, all of which have to be reversed (revolutionary).

5d  What may be procured from manufacturer (8)
{PRODUCER} – an anagram (may be) of PROCURED.

6d  Game seen in photograph (4)
{SNAP} – double definition, the first being a children’s card game.

7d  Sort of delivery man said to fall down when fatigued? (4,4)
{MAIL DROP} – the definition is sort of delivery. Start with a homophone (said) of male (man) and add a verb meaning to fall down when fatigued.

8d  Boring landlord’s rule no longer taken notice of? (4-6)
{DEAD-LETTER} – this is a compound noun, new to me, meaning a rule which remains on the statute book but which is no longer enforced. It’s a charade of an adjective meaning dull or boring (characterised by a lack of activity or excitement) and a landlord.

13d  Driver wanting tea always, highly amusing person coming in (10)
{CHARIOTEER} – this driver (Ben-Hur for example) is formed from a 3-letter word, from Chinese, for tea and a literary synonym for always with between the two (coming in) a slang term for a hilarious person.

15d  The man given an opening to collect foreign money — it’s providential (6-4)
{HEAVEN-SENT} – the definition is providential. It starts with a male pronoun (the man) and this is followed by A and an opening, with a South-East Asian monetary unit inside (to collect).

17d  Significant stuff (8)
{MATERIAL} – double definition.

18d  An item of clothing seen in test is a farce (8)
{TRAVESTY} – A and an undergarment go inside (seen in) a test or experiment.

20d  Most up-to-date home you and I would settle in (6)
{NEWEST} – put a pronoun meaning you and I inside (settle in) a home.

22d  Chemical given by girl to farm animal not let out? (6)
{DIOXIN} – this toxic compound is a charade of an abbreviated girl’s name, a bovine animal kept on a farm and an adverb meaning not outside.

24d  A peculiar plant (4)
{ARUM} – this plant is A followed by a synonym for peculiar.

26d Kicked and pulled heartlessly (4)
{TOED} – a verb meaning pulled (a caravan perhaps) has its central W removed (heartlessly) to leave another verb meaning kicked.

I liked 10a, 14a and 7d but my favourite clue today is 21a. Let us know what you liked!

75 comments on “DT 26461

  1. 16a was favourite for me as I was trying to fit OMEN in for too long!. Apart from that a very usual solving time for a *** Giovanni.
    Thanks to him anbd to gazza for the review.

  2. Very enjoyable – many thanks to Giovanni for the crossword and to Gazza for the review. Favourites today were 14 and 16 across.

  3. Good workout for the end of the week, made me attack the toughie which was also doable.
    Thanks to Gazza and Giovanni on the blogs second birthday and all the other blog meisters.

    1. Hi Diana – welcome to the blog.
      Sorry, I’ve left it out of the review. Its TOWED without its middle letter, i.e. TOED.

              1. I can see it, and the answer inside the brackets – not because I needed to but just to check that it was there!

  4. Happy Birthday to the site! I thought this was a good Friday workout with lots of good clues. 8d is a phrase I’ve not heard for many years. Thanks to setter and Gazza for the review

  5. A typical Giovanni – lots of good clues 16a being my favourite. Thanks to the G’s.

    The Toughie is great fun and although it has slight Friday-ish ness about it, is well worth everyone giving it a go.

  6. I know we are only supposed to comment on the crosswords, but I hope fellow paper solvers chuckled as much as I did at the Matt cartoon on today’s front page.

    1. Agree, but what an act of governmental vandalism! For you on-line members, it’s about the destruction of the RAF’s Nimrods.

  7. MHROTD to the Blog! A nice puzzle, which gave me the initial feeling of being a pangram, like the Quickie. Not to be, but a pleasant solve with 10a just shading it for me. Thanks to G-squared.

  8. Thoroughly enjoyable. Last one in and the one that gave me the most trouble was 23a. Could somebody please confirm this is a word in Chambers? I only have OED and it is not a word in there. On line dictionaries have it, seems to be a word that appears in some places but not others.

    Thanks Giovanni and Gazza.

  9. Happy Birthday to a marvellous blog and congratulations to Dave and his merry band on such a successful site, where would we be without them, three cheers! Hip Hip etc. etc. etc. Haven’t even started todays yet visitors just left :)

  10. Excellent crossword today esp after yesterdays bete noir! It has a nice mixture of clues esp liked 15d and 10a. Happy Birthday top the Blog and many heartfelt thanks to all those who contribute.

  11. Just noticed that the grids for this and the Toughie are identical – what are the odds on that, I wonder?

  12. A very happy birthday to the blog, and thanks to Big Dave for creating it. I found today’s puzzle highly enjoyable and managed to finish it happily over breakfast and without help. So more thanks to Giovanni for brightening my Friday and to Gazza, as always, for the hints which always make good reading. There were lots of good clues, but if I had to choose my favourites would be 16a and 15d.
    Happy weekend, everyone! :-)

  13. Got about 3/4 done before needing the hints. Got 26d wrong though, put in toeS.

    Thanks to G&G for puzzle and review of usual high standards.

    1. I got about a quarter done today by myself. (which is good for me, by the way!). I’m getting a bit better, I think. Sometimes I’ve found I’ve gotten the answer, but have trouble finding out exactly how it fits the clue. An example in this crossword was “for dressing”. I still don’t understand why that’s an anagram indicator!

      Happy birthday and congratulations to the blog.

      1. I think that dressing is being used in the sense of arranging, as in “dressing a chicken” for example.

  14. Thanks Giovanni for an enjoyable lunchtime solve, while watching Andy Murray.
    For some reason last in was 15d. Even with all the checking letters it took ages for the penny to drop – lightblindness or just stupidity?
    Also thanks for the blog Gazza.

    As, CS says, the Toughie is worth a go today. Even I finished it with only one Google (of an Afrikaans word I’d never come across before).

    To those attending, hope you have a great time tomorrow!

  15. Fairly difficult today, but I always say that on Fridays.
    Managed reasonably well but came completely unstuck in the top right hand corner – ended up needing the hints for 10a and 4 and 7d – I succeeded in convincing myself that 7d had something to do with cricket because of ‘delivery’.
    I’ve never heard of 8d but worked it out and looked it up.
    I liked 9, 14 and 23a and 2, 13 and 24d.
    I don’t understand what 21a has to do with cricket – have I got cricket on the brain today?
    Thanks to Giovanni and Gazza.
    “Happy Birthday” to this brilliant blog and big thanks to all who make it so wonderful. :grin:

    1. Hi Kath I think you must have cricket on the brain! Englands opener just means take the E , the first letter of England, no cricket as far as I can see, they’re just trying to make us think its about cricket!!

      1. Thanks Mary and Pommers – re 21a – it would never have occurred to me that it was anything to do with cricket if Gazza hadn’t written, after his hint “Lovely cricketing surface”! However, I read the clue again, having just sent my comment, and realised that the ‘cricketing antennae’ were meant to have started to twitch because of the first two words of the clue and the ‘duck’. Oh dear – that all sounds a bit garbled – hope that it’s clear enough what I’m getting at!

  16. Have finished this today with Gazzas help, as for 15d, I think in working out the clue I am an ‘n’ short?! He for – the man, followed by a vent – an opening, with SE? foreign money
    Heaven set! where does the other ‘n’ come from, am I being particularly stupid today??

    1. Hi Mary
      The foreign money is an SEN, a subdivision of a Japanese Yen or a Malaysian wotsit!

      1. Thanks Pommers I was going by Gazzas hint for this one and unless I’m ‘not seeing’ things the ‘n’ is missing off the foreign currency but then it’s probably me!!!

  17. Got stuck for ages on 10a even though had checking letters in place, thought the clue was pretty obscure. Enjoyed the crossword overall but i found it much more difficult than of late.
    15d my favourite.
    Thanks to compiler and gazza, and congrats again to BD on 2nd birthday.

  18. Thanks to all for two years of (mostly!) encouragement. Well done, Big D, for setting this up — and enjoy your 2nd birthday party tomorrow — while I’m off celebrating a brother-in-law’s 60th. But one of these days (years) I’ll make it!

  19. Lovely crossword. Congrats on the 2nd birthday of what has become a daily treat for so many people. Many thanks to BB and all the contributors. I feel I have a whole new group of pen (or keyboard) friends

  20. After yesterday’s gruelling encounter (just can’t get on with Ray T’s puzzles) this was a pleasure to solve. As one for whom the Toughie is a foreign land, I usually add one star to the Reviewer’s difficulty rating. Today’s however was about right. Thanks to G+G.

  21. Me too Centurion. Needed to restore morale today tho had to take a break before getting several & beaten by 10 & 4 – was looking for PM ending in p with che in.

  22. Sat down with this after supper and very enjoyable too. At this cinema this afternoon to see “Hereafter”
    it is brilliant.
    Thanks to setter and Gazza for the hints.

  23. Funny but I found this v v much easier than yesterday, interesting that certain puzzles suit some more than others. Anyway great fun as always on a Friday. Many thanks to the two G’s. Lots of great clues.

  24. Apparently on Radio Wales, which I normally listen to each day, but not today, Jamie Owen was interviewing a crossword setter, was just wondering if you knew who it might have been Dave??

    1. According to the Radio Wales website it was Tim Moorey (Mephisto of the Sunday Times) who contributed a puzzle here in the NTSPP series.

      1. Thanks both have just found it on google and am listening to it now, he says he writes for the Times, The Sunday Telegraph and some magazine, thanks for taking the time :)

        1. He also wrote an article on “The art of the crossword clue” for your favourite manual “Chambers Crossword Dictionary”.

        2. Enjoyed that, especially as I could work out the three clues easily, couldn’t have done that 18 months ago, big smile :-D

            1. It’s the name of the more difficult, barred, puzzle in the Sunday Times. I think that Tim Moorey is only one of the setters for it.

  25. The usual enjoyable Friday fare from Giovanni.
    Finished it in the early hours today.
    Clues that I liked :13a, 16a, 21a, 23a, 2d, 4d, 7d, 13d & 22d.

    Congratulations to Dave and all the blog writers for the second anniversary!

  26. I haven’t blogged for a while as usually do the puzzle later in the evening but thought the anniversary of the website was a good moment to thank all the contributors.

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