DT 26479 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26479

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26479

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

This has been an upside-down week for me with regard to the Cryptics. In a reversal of the usual order of things I found Monday’s Rufus to be the most difficult and today’s Giovanni to be the easiest (I don’t expect everyone to agree!). But, easy or not, I did enjoy today’s puzzle – let us know what you thought in a comment!
To see an answer drag your cursor through the space between the brackets under the clue.

Across Clues

1a  Speciality of some doctors — a line in part of body (6)
{SPINAL} – start with the speciality of doctors like Alastair Campbell and add A and L(ine) to form an adjective relating to part of the body.

5a  Rubbish given applause — a trick (8)
{CLAPTRAP} – a synonym for nonsense or rubbish is a charade of applause and a trick.

9a  Reduction in speed with which society is given info (8)
{SLOWDOWN} – start with S(ociety) and add an informal word (3-4) meaning the true facts (info) to make a reduction in speed.

10a  Medic, a person putting boy off — one with a yarn (6)
{DRAPER} – someone with yarn for sale is the abbreviation of a medic followed by A and what’s left of person once a boy has been removed.

11a  Old felines about to catch another one, making short sharp sounds (8)
{STACCATO} – reverse (about) O(ld) and felines, then put another feline inside (to catch) to make a musical term indicating that each note is sharply detached from the others.

12a  Like spectators in arena, weary around end of game (6)
{TIERED} – a description of spectators sitting on rows of seats (or of the seats themselves) is a synonym for weary containing (around) the end letter of (gam)E.

13a  Reserve group to join A team (3,5)
{SET ASIDE} – a phrasal verb meaning to reserve or earmark something is another word for group followed by A and a synonym of team.

15a  Shut up, but partially open tomorrow (4)
{PENT} – hidden (partially) in the clue is a past participle meaning shut up or enclosed.

17a  Country needing to destroy any bug (4)
{GERM} – this bug is the name of a European country without (to destroy) ANY.

19a  Indian support becomes more disturbing (8)
{CREEPIER} – a charade of a Native American tribe and a solid support forms a comparative meaning more disturbing or more sinister.

20a  How affection is shown at great cost (6)
{DEARLY} – double definition.

21a  Scoundrel I sacked, right away getting endorsed (8)
{RATIFIED} – this is a verb meaning endorsed or sanctioned. It’s a despicable person or scoundrel followed by I and a verb meaning sacked or dismissed without the R(ight).

22a  Let me have a party with wife somewhere that’s suitable for a picnic? (6)
{MEADOW} – where you might have a picnic is a charade of ME, A, a party and W(ife).

23a  Lout gives call to excite attention in gaol, rioting (8)
{HOOLIGAN} – a call to excite attention (traditionally heard from a sailor in the crow’s-nest at the first sight of land) is followed by an anagram (rioting) of IN GAOL.

24a  First hint of cloud and Poland’s suffering a chilly spell (4,4)
{COLD SNAP} – follow the first letter (hint) of C(loud) with an anagram (suffering) of POLAND’S.

25a  Club’s chauffeur? (6)
{DRIVER} – double definition.

Down Clues

2d  Exercise involving a dead language and someone who used it (8)
{PALATINE} – put the usual abbreviation for exercise around (involving) A and a dead language to make a high-level official of the Roman Empire (named after one of the seven hills of Rome).

3d  Fresh actors with the introduction of second TV programme? (8)
{NEWSCAST} – the definition is TV programme. Combine synonyms for fresh and actors and between them insert S(econd).

4d  Take care of attractive person needing to conceal behind (4,5)
{LOOK AFTER} – this is a phrasal verb meaning to take care of. An informal term for an attractive person has the naval word for behind or towards the back inserted (to conceal).

5d  His cousin, person cast in the role of a pundit (15)
{CONNOISSEURSHIP} – an anagram (cast) of HIS COUSIN PERSON makes the role of someone with specialised knowledge. Chambers has a nice definition of a pundit – “someone who considers himself or herself an authority”.

6d  Like farm animal that’s knocked over harvested stuff in back of store (7)
{PORCINE} – an adjective meaning like a specific farm animal is what’s brought in during the harvest reversed (knocked over) followed by IN and the last letter (back) of (stor)E.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

7d  To change the words of rap here’s tricky (8)
{REPHRASE} – an anagram (tricky) of RAP HERE’S.

8d  Soldier wanting money said to be an example (8)
{PARADIGM} – a word meaning model or example is an airborne soldier followed by what sounds like (said to be) a US ten-cent coin.

14d  Deal going down the Swanee? (9)
{DRIFTWOOD} – the phrase to go down the Swanee originated in the Mississippi region of the USA during slave trading days. Slaves who caused trouble were sold from the northern slave states into the much harsher conditions on plantations further south, hence the phrase “sold down the river” (the Swanee being a river that flows into the Gulf of Mexico). The phrase going down the Swanee has now come to mean going disastrously wrong. This clue, however, is a cryptic definition of deal (or any other similar fibrous material) which might float down any river.

15d  Disease fear — medicine (in short supply) about to be brought in (8)
{PANDEMIC} – this is a disease which has spread over a very wide area. A word meaning fear or hysteria has an abbreviation (in short supply) of medicine reversed (about) and inserted (brought in).

16d  No army giant provides my pleasure! (3,2,3)
{NOT AT ALL} – a phrase which is a polite reply (my pleasure!) to a word of thanks is a charade of NO, our reserve army and an adjective meaning large or giant.

17d  Maybe the writing’s on the wall (8)
{GRAFFITI} – cryptic definition of the artistic work of Banksy, for example.

18d  Agree end should be settled for deserter (8)
{RENEGADE} – an anagram (should be settled) of AGREE END.

19d  Insensitive visit with nothing offered to you and me (7)
{CALLOUS} – an adjective meaning insensitive is a charade of to visit, O (nothing) and a pronoun meaning you and me.

I liked 24a, 4d and 6d, but my favourite clue today is 14d. Let us know what you thought in a comment.
The Quickie pun is {MILLED} + {HUED} = {MILDEWED}.

44 comments on “DT 26479

  1. I would agree with you gazza, that this was the easiest puzzle of the week. The hardest puzzle for me this week was Monday, closely followed by yesterday’s from RayT.
    Thanks to Giovanni for an enjoyable puzzle, and to gazza for the notes.

      1. For me, Friday, Wednesday, Tuesday, Thursday, Monday.

        Not what I would have expected the order to be – On a typical week, with the same setters, I would expect:
        Wednesday, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday.

  2. I never thought that I’d ever say a Giovanni was the easiest puzzle of the week! Having said that , yesterdays was by far the most difficult for me , nor did I find all of todays straightforward, got stuck for a while in the top left corner and 6d took a while befor I got it, had never heard of the words at 2d or 8d and had to look them up once I got the answers!
    fav clues today were 17a, 5a and 25a, good luck CCers it’s by no means easy but perhaps the easiest in a week of difficult puzzles!

    1. Thanks for Hints Gazza, though I completed without them (there was a time not so long ago, when I thought I would never be able to say that!)

    2. ‘… perhaps the easiest in a week of difficult puzzles!’ You think ?? I did far better on Weds. Got a dozen answers before looking at hints today and one of those was wrong … :sad:

  3. A few easier than normal Friday clues but still plenty of decent testers. Us duffers couldn’t cope with too many puzzles like yesterday’s in one week. 1a favourite and last in. Thanks again to both setter and blogger.

  4. I disagree, I felt Monday and Tuesdays were a lot easier than today’s. Having said that, not too difficult today with some nice word plays, 14d and 23a last couple to be filled in. I particularly liked 11a, 13a, 19a and 23a where the letter formation really made me think to get the anagram

  5. I had today and yesterday off work, so allowed myself the usual amount of time on the crossword. Did about three quarters yesterday, but finished it today. So (for me anyway) Mary has got it about right in her comment above. Have a good day all.

  6. Reasonably gentle and quite enjoyable run out after yesterday’s exertions. 6d last in. Favourite clue 14d. Liked the big anagram too.

  7. I enjoyed that. Seems to me over the last few weeks, regardless of who does what on what day, the difficulty level of the puzzles has gone up a notch. Perhaps that was a deliberate decision at the DT.
    Nevertheless they have still been quality puzzles and refreshingly novel over the last couple of weeks, not too many old chestnuts or foreign phrases.
    Thanks to Gazza and Giovanni

  8. Such a relief after yesterday – a very enjoyable straightforward typical Giovanni Friday puzzle. My favourite clue was 14d too. Thanks to both Gs.

    The Toughie is a Friday Toughie but worth a try. 19d in the Cryptic and 5d in the Toughie – almost but not quite deja-vu..

    1. Toughie a curate’s egg for me! Did 3/4 fairly easily but could not find a way into the NW corner. Read the hints and I see why! Enjoyed the challenge though and noted the 5d similarity with Giovanni – spooky?

  9. A bad start – only two across answers and three down answers on first read through so confidence badly dented! I thought that I wasn’t going to be able to do this one at all – oh no! Another day like yesterday!! Then all became clearer, albeit rather slowly, and managed to finish it, only needing the hints to explain my answers to 1a and 15d.
    I took a long time to get the 5d anagram.
    Best clues today, for me, include 5, 11, 17, 19 and 24a and 6, 8, 14 and 16d.
    Crosswords this week – easiest Wednesday and hardest Thursday – I found the other three more or less the same in difficulty.
    Thank you Giovanni, for the crossword, and Gazza for the hints – didn’t know where the expression ‘going down the Swanee’ came from.

  10. Gave up on yesterdys as I was in a rush… glad others found it hard! Todays was achievable although some I had to check ‘why’ on the blog!

  11. I can’t comment on Wed or Thurs as didn’t get a chance to do them. However, this is my favourite of the week – I enjoy Giovanni’s puzzles more than anyone else’s – wave length I suppose. Took longer to get 6d and 10a than the whole rest of the puzzle and as a result rate 6d as a favourite along with 15d.

    Thanks to the two G’s for an excellent puzzle and a super review.

  12. Usual great crossword from Giovanni and usual great review from Gazza. ( Where is the star rating doo dah, I can’t find one on Gnomethangs ST review either. )

  13. I agree with Gazza’s assessment. Little difficulty with this Donation.. It made for good fun over a morning espresso dopio.

    I had to look at the NW corner a bit longer than the other three quarters. Initially I had TORSAL for 1a (hidden word, ind. “in part of body” or “of some”) and I thought it sounds medically/biologically plausible.

    Of course, this did not make 2d, 3d and 4d any easier ;-) I came to my senses when I realised the error of my ways.

    1a was definitely one of my favourite clues today!
    Other smiles: 17d, 22a, 24a

    The meganagram of 5d was eminently crackable due to the nice properties of the grid.

    Enjoyment ****, diff *

    This must be one of the easier grids.

    Thanks, Giovanni & Gazza!

  14. As I work through the clues (in the paper version) I usually annotate any that seem worthy of comment (good or bad). Having finished today’s puzzle, I found that no clues had qualified for “the mark”, which I suppose indicates that it was a solid, workmanlike challenge, with no “Aahhh” or “Harumph” moments. Thanks to the G-team.

  15. Gazza, your chuckle at the Chambers definition of a pundit reminds me of the following definition:

    “A celebrity is someone who is well-known for being famous.”

  16. I toyed with ‘torsal’ for 1a as well, but wasn’t convinced enough to write it in, especially as I was sure 2d must start with a ‘p’ – I was very happy when the penny finally dropped on the type of doctor involved! I got 2d eventually from the wordplay, but I had to check it in the dictionary as it’s a new word to me.
    Generally agree with the comments so far – enjoyable but not too taxing puzzle and even managed to work out all the wordplay on my own. :-) Favourites include 17, 21 & 22a and 14, 17 & 19d.
    Thanks to Giovanni & Gazza (especially for the ‘down the Swanee’ info).

  17. What a lovely, relatively easy crossword today, which was a relief after yesterday,which came close to having me confined to a padded cell! Always look forward to a Giovanni. Thanks for the review Gazza.

  18. This is my favourite of the week. I was stuck on a couple but a few minutes break to wash dishes and hang out the laundry did the trick. It seems that domestic chores free the brain!

  19. Enjoyed this one. Well crafted clues – I liked the simplicity of 8d. Also,completed within the time set aside for CWs – but only just. A true Back-Pager and not a Toughie that had somehow wandered in through the wrong door. Thanks to all.

  20. I enjoyed that … stared at it this morning with a hangover but sat in my comfy chair this evening and once I got going … no problems! Definitely two stars and quite surprising for a Friday. Ironically, I thought for a while that 6d was ‘piglike’…….

  21. I certainly found this the easiest of the week in terms of solving time but enjoyed it a lot.
    Thanks to the two Gs

  22. I found this a fun romp to finish off the working week with!
    Despite a small boo-boo with putting in ‘NEWFACES’ for 3d (don’t ask why I thought that should be just one word), it all slotted in rather nicely, generating plenty of smiles in the process.
    Aside from Monday’s, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed all offerings this week. :)

  23. Really good puzzle but not the easiest this week for me – that was Tuesday! Pommette says Monday but we’ve had that conversation before!
    Thanks Giovanni for a great puzzle and to Gazza, of course, for his usual entertaining review.
    Apparantly dinner’s on the table so I’d better go eat now!

  24. NW corner posed problems for me and I failed to get 1a (DOH!) 3d (embarassing) and also 6d.

    Better luck tomorrow.

  25. Any after eighters ther or is Friday a night off?
    Won the bridge big time today – the equvalent on Man U beating Spurs 6-0!

    1. Hi Pommers I’m sure BD will love that comparison! well done on winning the bridge, seems the club is quiet tonight, thought I’d just pop in and see

  26. Hello Mary
    Could have said Arsenal, Liverpool, Chelsea etc but thought Spurs a bit more provocative! We did win big-time though! V nice to have an afternoon of cards played outside in the courtyard.

    1. Mmmm, sounds very nice indeed, i’ve never played bridge, yesterday was lovely here, I was out tidying the garden in the sunshine for about two hours without a coat but today has been really cold and now we have wind and lashing rain! What’s new

      1. Seen the UK weather forecast – remind me again why I live in Spain! Forecast here is ecxellent for the next few days but after that who knows? March/April can be really wet and windy (and cold)! Then Summer . . . . . .!
        You’d probably like bridge as you like crosswords, just need logical thinking. Oh, and a memory for cards helps!

        1. Well I’m off Pommers doesn’t look like anyone is turning up tonight, just popping over to COW to see if any results in then going to watch telly, night Pommers!

  27. much easier than the normal fri for me.

    found monday and thursday tough, the others straightforward this week.

  28. Hi all!
    Solved this rather slowly as my specs are useless after removal of the cataract from my left eye – must wait 4 weeks to be measured for new ones!
    The light and colours are fantastic now that both eyes are done – I have been seeing a sepia wash over everything for years.

    I did not think that this was Giovanni at his best – Sorry Don!

    14d, 16d & 17d were not really cryptic!

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