DT 26509 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

DT 26509

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26509

Hints and tips by Gazza

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

We have the usual entertaining Friday puzzle from Giovanni. It seemed to send me down more wrong trails than usual – let me know what you thought in a comment.
If you want to see an answer highlight the space between the brackets under the clue.

Across Clues

1a  Thus material brings comfort (6)
{SOLACE} – this is a charade of a synonym for thus followed by a delicate fabric.

4a  Ramble takes two females into nearly all the country (6)
{WAFFLE} – ramble is the definition but it’s the sort that involves talking in a confused way rather than exercising. Put two abbreviations for female inside a country without its final S (nearly all). I guess that this will be Mary’s favourite clue (because of the country, not the rambling!).

8a  Drug I won’t allow is returned in containers (8)
{CANNABIS} – reverse (is returned) I and a verb meaning to prohibit (I won’t allow) and insert it in metal containers to make a drug.

10a  Came across chest being loaded in commercial area (6)
{MARKET} – we want a commercial area where things are bought and sold. Put a chest (of particular significance in Judaism) inside (loaded in) a verb meaning came across.

11a  River producing erosion (4)
{WEAR} – double definition, the first being the name of a river in the North-East of England.

12a  Think again about alcoholic drink when son comes in sozzled (10)
{RECONSIDER} – this is a verb meaning to think again. Start with a prefix meaning about and add an alcoholic drink which is a speciality of Somerset. Finally insert (comes in) an anagram (sozzled) of SON. I don’t really like anagrams where the indicator is separated from the fodder.

13a  Buns in underground store (6,6)
{RABBIT WARREN} – I’ve never heard “buns” used in this way, but as I got more checking letters it became obvious what the answer had to be. I think that this is just a cryptic definition of the place where the buns live underground and store food for the winter, but I’m not sure  – so if you have a better answer please let me know.

16a  Fatter person is flawed as a guardian (6,6)
{FOSTER PARENT} – an anagram (is flawed) of FATTER PERSON produces a child’s guardian.

20a  A highly strung performer (10)
{MARIONETTE} – after trying, in vain, to fit wirewalker into the grid I finally realised that the performer in this cryptic definition is a puppet.

21a  Priest joined by a man of letters (4)
{ELIA} – an Old Testament priest is followed by A to make the pen name of the writer Charles Lamb.

22a  Lacking a key at the conservatoire? (6)
{ATONAL} – cryptic definition of a piece of music not written in any key.

23a  Massacre with beheading? Hardly something for this! (8)
{LAUGHTER} – if you remove the initial S (beheading) from a synonym of massacre you are left with something which would be highly inappropriate in the circumstances.

24a  Model nabbed by individual at the scene (2-4)
{ON-SITE} – a verb meaning to model for an artist goes inside (nabbed by) a single person (individual) to make a term meaning at the scene.

25a  Men on ship mostly in group stowed away? (6)
{SECRET} – put a ship’s complement (men on ship) without its final W (mostly) inside a synonym for group to get a description of something which may possibly (hence the question-mark) be stowed away or hidden to prevent others from finding it.

Down Clues

1d  Second fast bowler who is out of this world? (8)
{SPACEMAN} – S(econd) is followed by another word for a fast bowler to make someone who may travel outside the earth’s atmosphere.

2d  Ship’s inner layer of protection (5)
{LINER} – double definition.

3d  Like naughty ladies embraced by Tom maybe in nightclub (7)
{CABARET} – as well as meaning the entertainment seen in a nightclub this word can mean a nightclub itself. Put how naughty ladies performing on stage may end up inside (embraced by) what a tom is an example (maybe) of. If the clue demands a picture, how can I resist?

5d  Social worker finds an isolated person outside front of museum (7)
{ALMONER} – having got the leading A from the crossing clue I was convinced that the social worker would be an ant. Wrong! Social worker is the definition – it’s an outdated term for someone doing social work who was attached to a hospital. Put an isolated person (1,5) around the first letter (front) of M(useum).

6d  Alien in favour of grabbing control over English (9)
{FOREIGNER} – put a proposition meaning in favour of around (grabbing) a verb meaning to rule or control and E(nglish).

7d  Cancel event — too much for this team (6)
{ELEVEN} – this team (football or cricket, possibly) is just part of (too much for) the clue.

9d  Bones in the head of religious significance (11)
{SACRAMENTAL} – this adjective means relating to religious rites. It’s a charade of the name of triangular bones in the pelvic arch and a description of activity in the head or brain.

14d  Drunk finds beer guides when help is needed? (9)
{BEFRIENDS} – an anagram (drunk) of FINDS BEER.

15d  Violent event at home — detectives sent but not first thing (8)
{INCIDENT} – this violent event requires you to string together the usual Crosswordland word for at home, the abbreviation for the detective branch in a police force and (s)ENT without its first letter (not first thing).

17d  One with tee shirt may have this underneath (7)
{SINGLET} – a synonym for one is followed by the letter spelt out as tee to make something that a shirt may have underneath.

18d  Pair to escape from opening (7)
{PRELUDE} – put the abbreviation for pair in front of a verb to escape from to make the opening or first movement of a suite of music.

19d  Revolutionary leader to get rid of king, nothing more (6)
{CASTRO} – this long-term revolutionary leader is a verb to discard or get rid of followed by an abbreviation for king and the letter standing for zero or nothing. There’s a lot of misdirection (e.g. revolutionary, leader) in this clue.

21d  Prize finally comes with the right number (5)
{ETHER} – in Crosswordland, just as flower can mean something that flows (i.e. a river), number can mean something that numbs, i.e. an anaesthetic. Start with the last letter (finally) of (priz)E then add other bits as instructed.

My favourite clues today were 24a, 3d and 6d – let us know what you liked in a comment.

The Quickie pun is {VERSE} + {HIGH} = {VERSAILLES}

56 comments on “DT 26509

  1. Excellent Friday fun, really had to get the little grey cells to work. 4a, 8a, 13a, 21a, 3d, 5d and 8d were my favourites today. Got so excited finishing this one I might even cut the grass.

  2. Excellent! – Many thanks to Giovanni for a fine puzzle, and to gazza for the notes.
    Favourite clues 20a and 14d.

  3. 3d was my favourite – not least for the illustration. I found the bottom half of this puzzle very hard going – it probably took 80% of my solving time.
    Thanks to gazza and Giovanni.

    1. I had exactly the same experience – the top half went in very quickly, and the bottom half took considerably longer.

  4. Wow, a definite 4* for me. I found the northern half fairly easy-going, but the south was very cheeky indeed. 5d, 21a and 22a were very tough, thanks for the hints Gazza. I really liked 3d (not just for the picture) and 6d. A great challenge, thanks.

  5. Very enjoyable, 20a favourite (after exploring every musical instrument & funambulist occupation known to man , finally the penny dropped!). 16a a close run second. Thanks to Giovanni and Gazza

  6. Very enjoyable puzzle, thanks to setter and Gazza. Out of interest, I had a slightly different slant on 21a. I had to google it but Elia seems to refer to Jon (or Juan) Elia who is variously described as “a man of letters”.

    1. That’s interesting, but I don’t think that Giovanni would refer to a (fairly obscure?) Pakistani poet in a back-page puzzle (perhaps in a Toughie). Charles Lamb wrote a volume of essays called “Essays of Elia”.

      1. Hi Gazza, No I’m sure you’re right. It’s just that that came up when I googled it rather than any mention of Charles Lamb. Just thought it was of interest.

  7. Wow, a jewel today! I had a tough time in all quarters. Last in were 19d and 22a.

    My favs today were 1d, 14d, 17d, 18d and absolute topper 20a which made me look for a tightrope walker or a violinist of sorts.

    Enjoyment *****, diff ****.

    The pangrammatic Quickie’s pun made me laugh out loud. Only the English mutilate the French language to the extent that this pun actually works.

    A worthy end of the week!

    Kudos to the Don and thanks to Gazza for his review.

  8. Gazza, 21a’s def is not very precise. I found at least three other authors with that name. An allusion to the pseudonymous character of the appellation would have been in order. “Priest having a pen name?”

  9. Thanks to Giovanni & the inimitable Gazza for his hints & graphics.
    Although I’ve got to say while I approve wholeheartedly of the one for 3d the image of the feckless youth in 17d quite put me off my elevenses!

  10. An extremely enjoyable puzzle this morning from Giovanni. Liked 21d. I must look out for clues with flowers and numbers in them as they always put me on the wrong track. I feel I’ve earned some sunshine time now. Off to sniff the rivers.

  11. Sorry Gazza, I found this a bit pedestrian, a bit like one of my supposed computer generated puzzles. One or two clues where ok 5d, 14d, but the rest seem to come from the book of crozzy clues.
    Regardless thanks for the incisive blog of hints and sorry to Giovanni, can’t be all winners

  12. Ooops. Bad manners from me. Thanks too to Gazza for an enjoyable review. Especially liked 3d.

  13. I could not do 21a. Doubtful about 13a although answer was obvious with some cross letters. I liked 20a and 23a best.

  14. I too found the bottom half quite difficult. I did like 13a, not least for the amount of time I wasted trying to fit a bakery product in! I am with you, Gazza, on the explanation for 21a. Perhaps we remember the number of times it has appeared in a cryptic before! Thanks for the crossword Giovanni and Gazza for the hints and illustrations. Not sure about the chap in the vest but he is an improvement on Mr 19d I suppose.

    The Other One is Friday level difficulty, I thought, but with an interesting theme!

  15. My favourite of the week – did it aftrer shopping while sitting in the garden soaking up the sun. Good solving time – excellent clues and I enjoyed your review. I had several favourites but think that 4a was top if my list.

    Thanks to the two G’s.

  16. A fine puzzle with lots of misdirection. It didn’t help when I put Three in 21d. I loved 19 which took me all round the houses. I was also trying to find a trapeze artist for 20! Anyway, it all came right in the end. Favourite has to be 19 but liked them all except 25 [ I hate almost or mostly clues]. Thanks to setter. Now to do some gardening before trying Toughie.

  17. Very enjoyable puzzle from Giovanni yet again, fabulous review from Gazza, many thanks to both.

  18. Very enjoyable. The SE and SW corners held us up for a while but got there in the end with smiles on our faces.

    Thanks to Giovanni and Gazza

    Very entertaining Friday fare all round, along with a clever Toughie theme today also and a testing mental work-out (though we were completely unable to parse a suitable answer for Firefly’s top-right Down clue and eagerly await the blog)

    1. The top right down clue in the Toughie is incomprehsible in the paper but makes sense on line!

      1. Hello !!!! I thought there was a request or an agreement from BD (some time in the past) to limit the comments on the Toughie to it’s own blog (Toughie 534). Seems the rules (or requests) only apply to some, an explanation from the miscreants would be appreciated for future reference.

        1. Wayne,
          No hints for the Toughie appeared here (which was BD’s objection). What we were doing was pointing out that there were two different clues for 8d.

          1. Gazza,
            Thank you for that, but I still maintain that there is a separate blog ( or whatever) for discussion on the Toughie albeit that the opportunity to comment comes somewhat later than the opportunity to comment on the Cryptic. Can’t people just quell there enthusiasm to comment (on the Toughie) to the appropriate time. Just an opinion.

            1. Wayne

              My objection was that answers were being posted. A number of people do the regular puzzle in the morning and the Toughie later in the day. Pointing out that there are two different clues is information that a solver would like to have before tackling the puzzle, especially where, as here, one of them is unsolvable. Likewise, I have no objection to people posting a recommendation that it is worth having a go at the Toughie.

        2. Wayne – I think that this might be a special case since the paper version is, by all accounts, incomprehensible.
          General chitchat on the Toughie here may be frowned on but I think that the above is giving fair warning!.

          Big Dave will no doubt confirm if I am wrong!

    2. Dynamic,
      If you’re doing the Toughie from the paper then I’m not surprised you’re having difficulties with 8d. There’s a totally different clue on-line which is:
      Upright position in party or Tory leader? (8)

          1. Little wonder then I couldn’t make head nor tail even with the 4 checking letters. Hmmm

            1. Thank you so much! My PinC and I had puzzled for some time over that. We had the correct answer as a likely candidate (the only reasonable word I could find – even onelook.com’s wildcard search gave only 3 one-word answers the other two being a bizarre Beverley Hill’s Cop acronym for a sidelined police employee and a ‘thou _______’ form of a verb that indicates a certain limpness or fatigue (though Gazza’s illustration of 3d put paid to that, ahem!)

  19. Glad to see this marked as a 4*, got nowhere with it, just four without help. Maybe I won’t look the hints until after tomorrow’s Giovanni workshop …

    1. Enjoy your day tomorrow Geoff and don’t forget to give us a report on the day. I think it will be a very interesting day and am envious.

    2. Have a great time Geoff, wish I could be there, especially after todays puzzle, will expect full report of course! :)

    3. Really hope that you enjoy tomorrow and that you report back with loads of help for those of us who struggle with the Friday crossword. Although we live in Oxford tomorrow is impossible – feels like a missed opportunity but I can’t help it – other things have to come first.

  20. Definitely a work-out today, so would agree with the 4* rating. I read Gazza’s hints going ‘Yes, I did that too, oh, and that’!

    I didn’t know a fast bowler was called that, so, although I had the answer for 1d, I couldn’t justify it, I just thought ‘pace’ was coming from ‘fast’ and had no idea where the last 3 letters were from; my first thought was actually ‘spacehat’, but that isn’t a word!! :-) For 20a I was looking at tightrope walker or violinist, the same as Nestorius, and for 15d I started by taking the ‘t’ off ‘sent’ rather than the ‘s’ because that’s the first letter of ‘thing’! Great misdirection.

    Overall, very enjoyable, so thank you to Giovanni, and thank you to Gazza for the review, though, like CrypticSue, I’m not entirely convinced about the picture at 17d, but have to admit it makes a change!

  21. No wonder I’m struggling with the 8 letter word in the Toughie when they slip in a Mickey Finn like that.

  22. Very enjoyable – feeling fairly smug as I’ve managed not just the Friday crossword but also one that Gazza has given 4* for difficulty. Like lots of others I found the top half much easier than the bottom one. For some unknown reason 13a came to me instantly which did help with quite a lot of others. Took a long time to see 16a – decided that it was an anagram but then managed to convince myself that the first word had to be ‘father’ so maybe not an anagram after all – eventually saw the error of my ways! I also spent ages trying to make 20a a musician of some kind. Needless to say I’ve never heard of the fast bowler in 1d so guessed and looked it up.
    Ones that I liked particularly today – 4 and 23a and 3 and 14d – best of all 9d.
    Thanks to Giovanni and Gazza (even though I wasn’t too keen on the pathetic specimen in the hint for 17d!!)

    1. In response to various complaints from Kath and other ladies (and in a shameless attempt to increase today’s page views after yesterday’s record) I have replaced the picture at 17d with one which may (or may not, I can’t really judge) be more to your liking.

      1. Thanks Gazza – don’t have the foggiest idea who he is but a great improvement on the first one! :grin:

  23. Enjoyed yet more sunshine today so maybe the sun has affected my brain as I couldn’t fathom either 13a or 20a and needed Gazza’s hints for them both. This was definitely more difficult than usual, but all the clues were fair and I got there in the end. Thanks to the two Gs.

  24. Another lovely day of doing the puzzle in the sunshine, tough one today but I don’t mind how long it takes when I can do it outside, of course Gazza 4a my favourite as you said :)
    but 13a – is ‘buns’ acceptable for bunnies or rabbits!? an all over the place puzzle today with bits going in wherever I could get one, thanks for hints Gazza certainly needed some of them, nice day for the match in Cardiff tomorrow, you never know……..
    Is it my mistake or have we had a cricket type clue every day this week!

    1. Bun is in the BRB as a playful name for a rabbit. I’ve never seen it used on its own, though it’s part of endearments such as Honeybun :D

  25. This reminded me why I need the course tomorrow. Got there in the end but I got held up for a long time and had to take a couple of breaks from poring over it before completion. I hadn’t heard of Elia and the bun clue drove me mad before it clicked. 3d also held me up. Nice hint btw. 20a, and 18d also delayed because I’d carelessly guessed and er finish to 20a and wrote it in rather more heavily than my usual tentative letters. Nice puzzle and review.

  26. IMHO – not as enjoyable as the normal Friday Puzzle! In fact, I also found it easier than usual!

    I still do not understand the “Buns” clue.

    The only one I failed to solve was 19d – Castro – Does “more” have any significance in this clue?

  27. Many thanks to Giovanni for a puzzle to stretch the grey cell. Too many good clues to pick a favourite. Thanks also to Gazza for the review.

  28. Not finished yet due to a very busy day and no uninterrupted “run” at it – have cheated somewhat by looking at a few hints – very helpful! – and am now taking it to bed with me to see if I can finish it.

  29. More pleasant fun from The Don – many thanks.
    8a, 13a, 20a, 24a, 3d, 5d, 9d, 15d & 19d were my favourites.
    I thought of Mary at 4a – she got it!

    Don’t forget to forward your timepieces tomorrow night!

Comments are closed.