DT 26467 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26467

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26467

Hints and tips by Gazza

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ****

I’m feeling in a particularly good mood today (the start of the Six Nations rugby tournament always cheers me up) and I really enjoyed this Giovanni puzzle. Let us know whether you feel the same way about it in a comment.
The answers, should you need them, are lurking between the curly brackets under the clues. Highlight the space between the brackets to reveal one.

Across Clues

1a  Sad call after falling over on road (8)
{PATHETIC} – an adjective meaning sad or arousing pity is formed from a verb to call which is reversed (after falling over) and follows (on) a minor road.

6a  One might be greatly distressed losing this VIP (6)
{BIGWIG} – this is an informal word for a VIP. Cryptically, one losing this (3,3) might be greatly dis-tressed.

9a  This is lacking? Then king must be given one! (6)
{THRONE} – an all-in-one clue. Start with TH(is) without IS, then add an abbreviation for king and ONE. It seems a little bit odd to give away half the answer.

10a  French city chucked out undesirable person (8)
{TOULOUSE} – this is a French city (currently European rugby champions). The name is an anagram (chucked) of OUT followed by a metaphor for a contemptible or undesirable person.

11a  About to enter city, about to return for a quick break (8)
{BREATHER} – put a preposition meaning about inside an historic city in the West Country, then add the same preposition again, this time reversed (to return). What you should end up with is a brief pause for rest.

12a  Chinese dynasty having the spirit not to give up (4,2)
{HANG IN} – this is an informal phrasal verb meaning to remain persistent in the face of difficult circumstances (not to give up). It’s a charade of the dynasty which ruled China from 206 BC until 220 AD and an alcoholic spirit.

13a  The sort of opportunist vicar Peter appears to be! (12)
{CARPETBAGGER} – this is an opportunist who seeks to exploit an organisation with which he or she has had no previous connections (like people depositing money in a Building Society in the hope of a windfall on demutualisation). Cryptically viCAR PETer could be said to be this, because of the word which is secured (bagged) inside it.

16a  Maoist racism possibly observable in old-style Soviet department (12)
{COMMISSARIAT} – an anagram (possibly) of MAOIST RACISM.

19a  Move through text to get first two bits of school list (6)
{SCROLL} – I can never hear or see this word without thinking of Eric Morecambe. It’s the first two letters (bits) of SC(hool) followed by a list (possibly an Electoral one).

21a  Newspaper group coming together for a limited period (4,4)
{TIME SLOT} – a limited period allocated for a specific purpose is a charade of a national newspaper (5) and a group (3).

23a  Chemical has upset aunt here (8)
{URETHANE} – this is a synthetic crystalline compound used in pesticides. It’s an anagram (upset) of AUNT HERE.

24a  We can’t wait to have a certain type of cosmetic! (4-2)
{ROLL-ON} – double definition – a cosmetic applied by a rotating ball in the neck of its container is also (without the hyphen) a wish for a future event to arrive quickly (we can’t wait!).

25a  Musical interval outside for people to listen to (6)
{FOURTH} – an interval spanning four consecutive notes in a diatonic scale sounds like (for people to listen to) an adverb meaning outside or into the open.

26a  Party members full of explosive suppositions (8)
{THEORIES} – insert the abbreviation for high explosive inside members of a right-wing political party to make suppositions.

Down Clues

2d  Remain attached to a daughter wanting present (6)
{ADHERE} – this is a verb meaning remain attached or stick fast to. String together A, D(aughter) and an adverb meaning present or in place.

3d  Ducks invading hospital repeateadly, ending with a commotion (3-2)
{HOO-HA} – put a couple of ducks (zeros in cricket) inside a couple (repeatedly) of H(ospitals) and finish up with A.

4d  The rest is made into garments (3,6)
{TEE SHIRTS} – these garments are an anagram (made into) of THE REST IS.

5d  Country to get upset under Conservative clique (7)
{COTERIE} – take an old name for Ireland plus TO and reverse them (get upset). Then put what you have after (under, in a down clue) C(onservative) to make a small group or clique.

6d  Groom to hurry after bride initially (5)
{BRUSH} – In last week’s puzzle Giovanni used “groom” to mean comb (“Groom wanting old band (5)”). This week’s use of groom is similar but we want a different implement. Put a synonym for to hurry after the first letter (initially) of B(ride).

7d  Final message worthy warrior’s spoken (9)
{GOODNIGHT} – the last message of the day sounds like (spoken) a worthy warrior.

8d  Home’s lofty architectural feature on top of dome is outstanding (8)
{INSPIRED} – an adjective meaning outstanding is a charade of the usual word in Crosswordland for home or at home, a lofty architectural feature of some churches and the first (top) letter of D(ome).

13d  Get firm with maiden — and loud, right? Not maybe if she needs this! (9)
{COMFORTER} – string together the abbreviation for firm or company, M(aiden) as used in cricket, the musical term (in full, not the abbreviation) meaning loud and R(ight). If this is what a maiden needed you probably wouldn’t be too strict with her.

14d  French cheese a fashionable mum introduced as something for the kitchen (4-5)
{BAIN-MARIE} – this type of slow cooker is formed by putting a soft French cheese around (introduced) A, an informal word for fashionable and an affectionate abbreviation for mother (mum).

15d  Study awful rot written about church music (8)
{CONCERTO} – a musical composition featuring solo instrument(s) backed by an orchestra starts with a verb to study, then add an anagram (awful) of ROT and between the two (written about) put an abbreviation for Church of England.

17d  A sitter in peculiar guise — most pretentious (7)
{ARTIEST} – an anagram (in peculiar guise) of A SITTER.

18d  Playful little woman joining sailor in church (6)
{JOCOSE} – start with one of Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women, then add the abbreviation for an ordinary seaman inside an abbreviation for church. The answer is an adjective meaning playful or humorous.

20d  Reluctant to hate, lacking the energy (5)
{LOATH} – a verb meaning to hate or detest loses (lacking) the E(nergy) to leave an adjective meaning reluctant.

22d  Like certain rays that could be blocked by parasol, arguably (5)
{SOLAR} – a description of certain rays is hidden (blocked) in the clue.

The clues I liked today included 6a, 5d and 14d but my favourite was 13a. Let us know what you thought in a comment.
If you want to know the pun in the Quickie it’s {QUEUE} + {TICKLES} = {CUTICLES}.

94 comments on “DT 26467

  1. I found this a much stiffer test than most Giovanni’s and took about 50% longer than normal to finish. 24a was favourite for me. Very enjoyable and a goos test to end the week.
    Thanks to Gazza and Giovanni.

  2. I’ll have a go at this over lunch as usual.

    The Toughie today is definitely not for the faint-hearted IMHO!

  3. Not an easy one at all. Never heard of the chemical (despite having A-level chemistry)(and I’m talking REAL A-levels), never read Little Women and personally I think 6a should be (3,3).

  4. Agreed, this took me three times longer. Some good testing clues. 13a had me sucking my teeth for over 20 minutes. Also 14d was a clue where I wanted to put ‘Port Salut’ before I worked out the answer and I was determined to fit it in so that wasted a lot of time too. I still think I could get it in eventually.
    Thanks to Gazza and Giovanni for a good workout.
    Mrs Nubian says “Calm down dear ! it’s only a crossword.”. She sounds like Michael Winner.

  5. For me, one of the hardest back page puzzles for a while! I slogged my way through it, and eventually got there in the end.
    Every time I see the word ‘distressed’ in a crossword, it always reminds me of one of my favourite simple clues –
    Unlocked? (4).

    Thanks to Giovanni for the challenge, and to gazza for the review.

      1. How weird is that? You’re right – I’ve just printed off the Toughie, and after a quick scan through, I now have 24a. :)

  6. Very enjoyable workout this morning. I agree it was slightly trickier than usual but great fun to wrestle with. Favourite clues were 13 and 15d.

    Many thanks to Giovanni for the crossword and to Gazza for the review.

  7. Well I thought this was an excellent puzzle that asked plenty of questions but was on the whole very fair. The only exception I would make to that comment was 18d which I thought was a dreadful clue. It’s a word that I for one have never heard of and like 99% of men have never read Little Women. Yuk!
    Best clue by far for me was 13a, very clever and a special mention for 11a which made me think but everything I needed was there. Congratulations to our Friday maestro (apart from 18d :-) )

    1. Thanks for the review Gazza, would not have got 18d without you! Just goes to prove what we were saying on Wednesday, that difficulty ratings are so subjective, I thought this was 2 star but I can’t even start a Ray T!

  8. Barrie, I remember so well when you hated Giovannis puzzles and now this is a 2* for you, really well done, I found it fairly difficult today and woul not have finished without Gazzas help. thank you Gazza, I had one favourite clue which was 24a, otherwise although I did most without the hints, I needed the books and machines and found parts of it too tough for me, Hope you enjoy the rugby Gazza but not too much :-D

        1. My father was Welsh and I inherited his passion for Welsh rugby (but sadly not his singing ability).

          1. Ah so you are as Welsh as I am then, not all Welsh people can sing, I am a prime example! as long as you can chant Wales, Wales throuhout the match you are ok :) may I ask where you Father was from?

              1. I know Maesteg but not Caerau, it’s about thirty odd miles from here as the crow flies, I think mining and rugby were a way of life in that area, your Father would have had a choice of clubs to support, did he ever play?

      1. I shall be rooting for England this evening (but I’m not terribly hopeful!).

        The best part of the Six Nations rugby tournament is always the Welsh crowd singing their National Anthem at Cardiff! (Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau).

          1. As an Englishman of a certain age, I always enjoy it when we beat the Welsh! :smile:

            I very well remember the days of JPR, Gareth Edwards, Barry John, Phil Bennet etc, etc

  9. Having started the day with a blazing row at the offices of the spanish power supplier, my mood was not conducive to calm reflection. So I couldn’t do it. Really didn’t like 13a. Many thanks Gazza for your help today.

  10. This was a good workout with lots of enjoyable clues. I’m pretty sure 13a has been in a fairly recent crossword, so when I saw the word opportunist and with some checking letters, I realised what the answer was, but needed Gazza’s hint to work out the clever wordplay. Thanks to setter and Gazza for the review

  11. I am in the more than twice as long as usual to solve club today and strangely couldn’t put anything in the acrosses on the first read through. Luckily the downs came to my rescue. As I said to Gnomey earlier, one of those D’Oh or What??? puzzles. Thoroughly enjoyed it. My favourite is 6a. Thanks to Giovanni for the excellent start to the day and Gazza for the explanations.

    The Toughie is a properly tough Friday toughie but a very good time was had by me in solving it.

    1. You’re not wrong about the Toughie – I enjoyed it too, but having eventually finished it, I think I need a lie down!

    2. I was the same. Not a single across clue on the first time through. I couldn´t get 25a or 15d, and still don´t get 15 down even with the hint. How does con = study?

      1. Nora,
        Con comes up fairly regularly as a verb. Chambers has it as a transitive verb meaning:
        to know; to learn; to study carefully, scan, pore over; to commit to memory ….

      2. Nora, On-line dictionary: con (study)
        Definition:to commit to memory; to learn by heart. It’s typically either CON or DEN whenever you see study in Crosswordland.

        1. I must, therefore, make a point of committing it to my memory. Thank you both for the explanation, and sorry for being lazy and not looking it up myself!

  12. NW was pretty quick, NE and SW followed as the pre-office coffee cooled and NE had to wait until my mid-morning coffee break. Due to this stinker corner I rate it for difficulty as **** and for enjoyment same!

    I was stuck with 24a and 18d. I had not heard of roll-on cosmetics & have learned a word. I did not think that “We can’t wait” is a very good indicator for “Roll (it) on!” When looking at 18d I went through the usual TAR, AB, RN, JACK etc but totallu forgot OS. That won’t happen again so soon… I disagree with the criticism of “Little woman” for “JO”: I, too, have not read the book. To be honest, I never heard of it. But “Jo” is short for “Joanne”, “Josephine” and other girl’s names, so legit little woman. Overclued rather than underclued, I’d say. The only firm ground was the CH or CE around the sailor or possibly around little woman + sailor. That, with the checked letters leads to CO?O?E, CO?O?H, ?OCO?E or ?OCO?H. The final H is much less likely than the final E and some navelgazing finally resulted in the right answer. Only then my benighted mind merited enlightenment and I saw her and him.

    Absolute topper today was the margana of 13a.

    Note for Gazza: your explanation of the 13a answer is the modern, derived, meaning. For the orginal meaning see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carpetbagger.

    Thanks to Giovanni & Gazza!

    Nice weekend to all!

    1. Nestor,
      The link that I put in the hint is to the same Wiki article that you provided, but I thought solvers would be more familiar with the modern UK usage.
      I think that “we can’t wait” is fair enough for “roll on!” as in “Roll on next Friday and the next Giovanni!”.

      1. Gazza,
        Link: totally missed your link. Sorry.
        “Roll on”: fair enough, as they say. I still have some difficulty with idiomatic English. Hence my sometimes uneducated comments.

  13. I found this VERY hard and, at the same time, VERY enjoyable. Managed about one third and then thought that I wasn’t going to be able to do any more. Then it all fell into place, albeit fairly slowly.
    I only needed the hints to explain the answers for 9 and 25a.
    It took a while to ‘see’ the relevance of ‘distressed’ in 6a.
    For me the best clues today were 6, 13, 21 and 24a and 3, 13, 14 and 18d.
    Thank you, Giovanni and Gazza.
    Gazza – I don’t understand your reference to Eric Morcambe re 19a in the hints.

      1. From Ernie’s play about Napoleon – one of the best plays what Ernie wrote!

        Have you got the scrolls?
        No, I always walk like this.

  14. Got about a third of it – will have a look at it with the hints a bit later. Many thanks for the help and, of course, to the setter

    Going to sulk for a bit now :)

  15. Best puzzle of the week by a long way. Took a little longer than usual but very enjoyable and all the clues capable of being worked out.
    Particularly enjoyed 11A and 14D.
    Thanks to setter for ending the week on a high and to Gazza for his usual excellent hints.

  16. As usual an excellent Friday puzzle. Agree with CS – first read through I gfot none of the across and thought – oh well will staret on the downs which got me through. Did not like 3d – although clever it is not a word (or expression should I say) I like. For 17d I kept trying to make an anagram out of “guise” until I had the cross letters.

    All in all an excellent one and I liked 23a and 14d.

    Thanks to the two G’s

  17. Well, I found this very difficult today and only managed, at length and after plentiful help, to do three quarters. The NW corner flummoxed me completely. 13a I found through sheer serendipity. Thanks, Gazza, for your hints which helped me finish — I could never have managed without you. And thanks to Giovanni for the challenge which has left me bruised but unbeaten.

  18. SW corner took longest till I remembered to look in the mine for musical terms (13d). Very enjoyable, thanks to the Gs.
    As for the toughie I am not just stuck in the SW but globally, reassured only by comments above about needing a lie down!!

  19. Do you think Giovanni had eaten a third Weetabix for breakfast the day he compiled this one?
    Worthy of a Toughie IMHO.
    Great fun though so thanks to Giovanni for the brain strain.
    Also thnks Gazza for the review.

  20. That was definately out of my league today, needed several hints to complete (thanx Gezza). No chance that I will even look at the Toughie, grey cells have had enough of a battering for one day.
    Thanx to all as usual.

  21. It took me a very long time to get started on this today, but finally managed it unaided. However, I completely missed the full significance of “dis-tressed” in 6a and also the wordplay in 9a – so thanks to Gazza for the review!

    I agree with the 4* rating for Enjoyment!

    1. 9a was probably the weakest clue in an otherwise gradely puzzle, I think. I liked 14d in its own right, and also because it helped to crack 13a.

          1. I seem to recall it from a “famous” Stanley Holloway monologue which included the line “Gradely lad said t’Duke”.

        1. Franco “gradely” is a Yorkshire word meaning excellent as in “that were gradely” meaning thoroughly enjoyable, I was born and dragged up in Yorkshire and have been an honorary Dovorian for 25 years now but gradely stirred a few memories as I haven’t heard it for yonks. :D

  22. Just been notified! My grandson has arrived, but did my son tell me the time, the weight or his name ?? Going to see him tomorrow!

    1. Congratulations Geoff welcome to The World Of Grandparents, lets hope with the lack of information that he is actually a boy unlike Tillys ‘grandson’ who turned out to be a girl :)

      1. Just back from the theatre and turned on the blog — so belated yet hearty congratulations on your new grandson. What joy in store!

    2. Congratulations from me , too, Geoff!! I must admit Mary’s comment did cross my mind but i doubt that lightning would strike twice on this blog … Enjoy grandparenting – may your little one bring you lots of happiness.

    3. He was probably too excited to think about it. Congratulations – enjoy being a grandparent – there is nothing like it. My daughter-in-law is expectin mys econd grandchild in May so it will be interesting how my grandson takes to the addition.

    4. How exciting – congratulations – am very envious. DO wish that one of our daughters would get on with it!!

  23. What a stinker – needed the help to-day! Still don’t understand 13a apart from the viCAR PETer bit – where in the clue is there a clue for the rest of it? Or am I being particularly dense? Also hated 18d – am not sure I’ve ever heard the word. Think first in was 16a but then I usually look for the anagrams to kick me off if nothing else dawns. Thanks to Gazza for the hints – oh, and congrats to the new Grandfather!

  24. Tough was this in my opinion. Never got going – blame a particularly hectic day work-wise. May return to it later.

    Never under-estimate the DT crossword!!

  25. Hello all. About halfway through and a bit slow going but enjoying it. Got to pop out soon so be back in a while. The After 8 Club is now open tonight. England winning!

    1. Well it wasn’t in any doubt IMO – Wales were committing men in the first half and getting very little. We were not great but were stronger.
      Well done Toby Flood – it took a great Wales player to point out how good he was today.

  26. Hi Guys, I’d like to be a member of the After Eight Club but for me it’s an After Nine Club, and we usually eat dinner at 9pm, so I won’t be a frequent visitor.
    See England won though so that’s good start.
    Have a god evening guys (and Gals of course)!

      1. Hardest Giovanni for a while I reckon. Good luck with it. It took myself and Pommette at least twice as long as normal and had to look up a couple of words to confirm answers.

            1. Morning Gnomethang! Sorry for the late reply. Only use the hints as a very very last resort! Eventually got them but did need the hint for 6a – don’t think I would have had a chance without the hint

  27. 13a was the sticker for me. guessable from the checking letters but the wordplay? Thanks Gazza – all is clear now.

  28. Well Gazza, it wasn’t to be, at least it wasn’t a walkover, thank goodness you were rooting for Wales too, greatly outnumbered here I fear :)

    1. Wales did better than I feared, but the backs seemed to have little penetration, and scrum-half Mike Phillips seemed to have forgotten how to pass.

  29. Going now, it’s11.30 here and past my bedtime. See you guys tomorrow.
    ‘Swing Low Sweet Chariot’ etc!

  30. I loved this crossword and completed all of it, except 18d, but it took me ages! I didn’t buy my newspaper until I was on the way home from work and I’ve only just finished. My wife is pulling faces at me; I forgot to walk the dog because I was so engrossed.

    1. 7d all – sorry to miss out on the After Eight Club tonight. Eldest daughter is home for the weekend with a ‘new friend’ so all attention has been focussed on them.
      Great, if very difficult, crossword today.
      Sleep well all.

  31. Thanks one and all

    Still room on the crossword course in Oxford (maybe Big Dave can push it up to the top one more time!)

    1. Just a thought…

      The answer to 6a, BIGWIG, I can only recall encountering in a crossword on two ocassions. Yesterday (4th Feb), and as a clue in a 1944 crossword – “…but some bigwig like this has stolen some of it at times” – the answer to which was OVERLORD, which just so happened to be the subject matter of an article on The One Show last night.

      Was this just a coincidence, or is something more sinister afoot?

  32. how do you know that this puzzle is by Giovanni, crossword 26467 ?
    The puzzles on back page are always nameless

    1. Welcome to the blog Simon

      We don’t know every setter of every puzzle, but Giovanni has set every recent Friday puzzle apart from Christmas Eve. The setter usually tells us if there is a variation to the pattern.

  33. Regarding 15D – i like the composition of the clue, but can ‘con’ really mean study? I browsed dictionary.com and a thesaurus and couldn’t see this meaning. I’m only a novice at these and i found this one really, really hard. Especially 6A, 7D (didn’t think this was a very sturdy clue!), 13D, 24A and most of all, 25A. I’ll just have to keep doing them to get better.

    1. Hi Simon – welcome to the blog.
      Con as a verb can mean to study or commit to memory.

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