DT 26521 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26521

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26521

Hints and tips by Gazza

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

We have a typical Giovanni today with an entertaining mixture of clues. Let us know what you thought of it in a comment.

Across Clues

7a  The sort of setback that doesn’t affect Mum or Dad (8)
{REVERSAL} – the reason that this setback doesn’t affect Mum or Dad is that they are both palindromes.

9a  Periodical lacking power, we’re told (6)
{WEEKLY} – this periodical sounds like (we’re told) an adverb meaning feebly or lacking power.

10a  Short fellow taking companion to a dance (3-3)
{CHA-CHA} – drop the last letter (short) from a synonym for fellow then duplicate what you’ve got (taking companion) to make a ballroom dance of Latin American origin.

11a  Policy U-turn makes you go mad, then collapse (4-4)
{FLIP-FLOP} – a mainly North American term for a policy U-turn is a slang word meaning to go mad followed by a verb meaning to sit or lie down suddenly and heavily.

12a  A short campaign organised with many special effects? (14)
{PHANTASMAGORIC} – an anagram (organised) of A SHORT CAMPAIGN.

15a  Head of state falling short (4)
{MAIN} – an adjective meaning head or chief is the name of a US State without its final E (falling short).

17a  Document one reproduces — what’s needed? (5)
{TONER} – hidden in the clue is the powder needed in a photocopier or laser printer.

19a  Hiding rubbish around university (4)
{ROUT} – put a synonym for rubbish around U(niversity) to make a hiding or trouncing.

20a  What was demanded of Hardy maybe, an act presaging doom (3,4,2,5)
{THE KISS OF DEATH} – legend has it that this was demanded of Hardy by Lord Nelson on his deathbed (though his final words are reported as “Thank God, I have done my duty”). It’s also a phrase describing an action or event that is bound to lead to failure.

23a  Done fantastically by fellow, finished finally when asked for (2,6)
{ON DEMAND} – the definition here is when asked for. An anagram (fantastically) of DONE is followed by a fellow and the last letter (finally) of (finishe)D.

25a  A drip’s getting worse, becoming lots of quick-flowing water (6)
{RAPIDS} – an anagram (getting worse) of A DRIP’S.

27a  Had a meal at back of pub, as is natural (6)
{INNATE} – an adjective meaning natural or instinctive is a verb meaning had a meal after (at back of) a pub.

28a  Guerrilla with remarkable claim relating to a type of warfare? (8)
{CHEMICAL} – the usual South American guerrilla is followed by an anagram (remarkable) of CLAIM to make a particularly nasty type of warfare.

Down Clues

1d  Entanglement that makes yours truly shut up (4)
{MESH} – how somebody might refer to himself or herself (yours truly) is followed by an injunction to keep quiet (shut up!) to make an entanglement.

2d  A trick? Be first to give a signal (6)
{BEACON} – A and a trick are preceded (first) by BE to make a signal such as was used in pre-twitter days to spread a warning of an invasion, for example.

3d  Musical character parted, finishing prematurely (4)
{CLEF} – a symbol indicating the pitch of the following notes is what remains if you remove the final T (finishing prematurely) from a past participle meaning parted or split.

4d  Shelter wide open with its roof off (6)
{AWNING} – take Y (the roof, top letter in a down clue) away from an adjective meaning wide open to leave a covering or shelter.

5d  Sort of traveller in the distance, wise man coming around (8)
{SEAFARER} – a literary way of saying in the distance is surrounded by a wise man (one able to look into the future) to make a sort of traveller.

6d  Examination of various cells in a hospital? (5,5)
{BLOOD COUNT} – this cryptic definition doesn’t work terribly well for me. It’s a determination of the number of corpuscles that you have.

8d  Article stuffed into broken slate that may fill a gap? (7)
{SEALANT} – an indefinite article goes inside (stuffed into) an anagram (broken) of SLATE.

13d  Encouraging a number to join in judicial inquiry (10)
{HEARTENING} – a synonym for encouraging is formed by putting a two-digit number inside (to join in) a judicial proceeding.

14d  Fur coats that could sound right for a seductive woman (5)
{MINKS} – these are fur coats which are a homophone (could sound right for) of a boldly flirtatious woman.

16d  See denouncer of Tories be consumed by an envy out of control (3,5)
{NYE BEVAN} – put BE inside (consumed by) an anagram (out of control) of AN ENVY to get the most charismatic Labour politician (denouncer of Tories – “So far as I am concerned they are lower than vermin) of the middle of the last century and the founder of the NHS in spite of much Tory opposition (here with an abbreviated version of his forename).

18d  Sports official about to get released with game finally covered (7)
{REFEREE} – this sports official (the target of much abuse from the likes of W Rooney) is constructed from a prefix meaning about followed by a synonym for released with the last letter (finally) of (gam)E inside (covered).

21d  This writer’s old as visualised (6)
{IMAGED} – a contraction of this writer is, in the words of the writer himself, is followed by a synonym for old.

22d  Liveliness of goblin with energy coming to the fore (6)
{ESPRIT} – the quality of liveliness or vivacity, from the French, is made by transferring the E(nergy) from the end of a goblin or imp to the beginning (coming to the fore).

24d  Daughter skating apparently — one to fall by chance? (4)
{DICE} – start with D(aughter) and picture her on top of (in a down clue) frozen water (skating apparently). This should lead you to a small cube used in a game of chance.

26d  The attraction of a match in which no one loses (4)
{DRAW} – double definition.

Out of many good clues the ones I liked best were 7a, 4d and 16d, but my favourite was 20a. Let us know what you liked in a comment.

The Quickie pun is {KNIGHT} + {BURRED} = {NIGHTBIRD}

44 comments on “DT 26521

  1. Wow, it took a long time before I filled in 7a. It was obvious what the answer should be in view of the checked letters but for the world of me, I couldn’t see the wordplay.

    I googled the term and found a pretty obscure legal term that means “a decision that leaves previous rights and privileges unaffected” and convinced myself that the Don was taxing our all-round erudition. Only when I read the blog, the penny dropped.

    A beautiful end to a beautiful week.

    I nominate 7a as the clue of the day.
    Also liked the anagram of 12a.

    Thanks to the Don and Gazza!

  2. Very enjoyable. Again, took nearly an hour as I just could not get 8D, then realised that I’d filled 7A in wrongly – bloody speeling!!!!! Loved the anagram at 12A, took a fair while to work that one out, 16D was a good clue too but today’s favourite has to be 20A (probably because I from a naval family and was born and drug up in the Pompey area)

  3. Another day off so went for it again. Early on saw the anagram at 12a, and when I got the answer thought ‘oh no, not another day like yesterday’. However, much more do-able today. I was beaten (in the time I allowed) by 21d, and 22d (which turns out to be a cracking clue). Thought ‘skating apparently’ was a bit of a thin indicator for ‘ice’. Thanks to all.

  4. Actually fiished it – already! But didn’t find it partic easy and had some electronic help – especially for 12a!! (Normally always try to do anagrams manually and usually succeed – as with 16d! – but that one was just too much for the braincells) Needed hints to explain 7a and 11a, and to complete 15a which was last in as I was stupidly looking for something that meant “short” if I chopped an “s” off its head – if you see what I mean?! Have restored a little faith in my ability after the last two days of struggle and failure, so many thanks to setter and Gazza.

  5. Enjoyable puzzle today – a bit of light relief after yesterday!

    Favourite: 20a. Reminds me of a famous clue from a few years ago:

    “Kiss me, Hardy” (7,5) = PECKING ORDER.

    1. I spent 15 minutes thinking about Laurel, Thomas and even Amis before the penny dropped with 20a-I thought it had been decided that he really siad kismet, Hardy?

      1. If you follow the link from “deathbed” in the hint you’ll see that he did actually say “kiss me” (amongsts lots and lots of other things).

  6. I thought this was quite hard today. Didn’t get started with writing in until quite far down the page. Some very good clues, my favourite being 20a. Thanks to the two G’s.

    The Toughie put up a fight too – its definitely Friday level – but I got there in the end so if you have time to spare, give it a go.

    1. Sue,
      Ditto, for some reason spent ages scratching my head over 15a and 16d, couldn’t see the wood from the trees for what seemed like a very long time. I enjoyed the Toughie, seemed easier than usual for a Friday.

      1. I may have had problems with the ‘other’ puzzle as I knew I had to get it done quickly as I had a horrid day-job job to do this morning and also wouldn’t be able to invoke Gnome’s Law as he is hitting little white balls around a golf course in Sussex :)

        1. Sue, what is Gnome’s Law? I’ve seen it referenced a couple of times recently, so I just did a search on this site but got no results.

          1. Gnome’s Law I believe works like this. You are struggling to find an answer to a crossword clue, so you send an email to gnomethang to get a hint. No sooner do you hit send, then you work out the answer.

            1. This used to happen to me a lot – I’d write asking for a hint then e-mail & immediately get the answer before it appeared on the blog. Now I’ve learned to wait for a gnomement or two…

              1. I do like the sound of a gnomement. Definitely one to add to Mary’s list of words.

      2. Libellule – I’ve been struggling with the Toughie ever since finishing the other one and there’s no Hints yet – HELP! Am stuck in NW corner so just something for 1d would help a lot. Thanks!

  7. I don’t know why but I couldn’t get on Giovanni’s wavelength today. It took about 50% longer than normal but got there in the end!
    Just hope it’s not brain fade as pommette and I are playng bridge this afternoon!
    Thanks to Gazza for the entertaing review and to Giovanni for the excellent puzzle!

    1. Thanks for the vote of confidence Sue. I’ll let you know if you’re right depending on how the bridge goes. Friends due round here any minute – were playing outside in the courtyard!

      1. You could do that here in Kent this afternoon too. Completely blue sky and glorious sunshine and lovely and warm – apologies to Mary if her weather is the same as yesterday!

    2. Soundly beaten 5-2 but you were right! Not brain fade, just that we didn’t get the run of the cards. Did as well as could be with what we were dealt but it was mostly crap!

  8. Good challenging stuff. Remember the politician at 16d, buy by his “proper” Christian name, so got a bit held up there. As an ex-Naval person I share Skempie’s enjoyment of 20a. My thanks to the G-Force. Back home to God’s Own County early tomorrow, so signing off till late next week. (do they have t’Internet in Yorkshire?)

  9. Pretty typical Giovanni and none the worse for that.I really enjoyed 1a and whilst I normally moan about anagrams I really quite enjoyed 12a and 16d. Many thanks Giovanni and Gazza.

  10. Found this a bit tough to get into, then made some good progress, but ended up with a few I just couldn’t see, so used the hints to finish off. I admit to using help for the anagram in 12a – just didn’t have the time to work it out, but good anagram. For 5d the word that popped into my head was way*****, but I couldn’t see why and couldn’t think of anything else, so read the hint and went ‘oh, of course’. Favourites were 7a and 4d (loved skating = on ice).
    Thanks to Giovanni for the workout and Gazza for the help. Did the picture at 4d make anyone else yawn? I’m doing it again just typing this!!
    I won’t be around for the next 3 weeks as I’m off to Brazil on Sunday – yay! :-D So ‘see’ you all in May.

  11. A good puzzle today which I enjoyed, but I put “Fall Flat” for 11a and would never have got the real answer! So that held me up with 4d and 6d – another clue I wouldn’t have solved without Gazza’s hints [even if I’d had the correct answer to 11a] So the cryptic-ness of 6d didn’t work too well for me, either. Perhaps Dracula should have been mentioned somewhere. Thanks to setter and Gazza for the review

  12. Thanks one and all. The clue for BLOOD COUNT was a rushed revision as I was told that someone else had used Dracula (the most obvious idea) recently. It happens!

    1. Toughie 324
      1a Health check for Dracula? (5,5)
      March 24, 2010
      9a Initiate Dracula perhaps as a measure of his diet (5,5)
      January 22nd 2011

      1. It was still a good puzzle – something to get your teeth into, you might say!

  13. Took longer than usual to complete but needed the hints to fully understand why 7A is reversal.
    Finishes the week on a high which is always good.
    Thanks to setter and Gazza for his always excellent and entertaining hints.

  14. A splendid puzzle for a splendid day. Cycled onto Holy Island to clear my head. Seems to have done the trick.Can I apologise to all other bloggers for my ignorance about the use of capital letters? Fav. clue today 20a. Thanks to setter and gazza

  15. The usual enjoyable Friday fare from The Don – many thanks!
    11a, 12a, 20a, 6d,14d & 16d were best for me.

    We are still having sunny days here in NL but it is not yet warm.

    Grilled fillet of salmon tonight with Provençal rosé. Then strawbs and cream.

  16. I thought this was difficult – probably 4* for me. Ended up needing the hints for 15a and 16d – completely missed the fact that it was an anagram, not that I think that would have helped me much!
    Too many clues that I liked (once I’d got them which seemed to take an awfully long time) to write them individually – maybe 7a because it reminded me of ” …. a palindrome of Bolton would be Notlob!!”
    Definitely a bad crossword week for me (me, I mean, not the crosswords)
    Thanks to Giovanni and Gazza.

  17. Belated thanks to Giovanni for a much appreciated crossword and to Gazza for the review.

  18. Tough for me but battled through. V enjoyable. Many thanks to G and g. Liked 12 & 27a along with 5 & 22d

  19. don’t know why 7a is reversal .rever is a palindrome but it baffles me as to the rest .help needed i don’t like it if i don’t get it

    1. shazb,
      The clue is saying that a reversal (setback) doesn’t affect “mum” or “dad” because they’re both the same forwards and backwards.

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