DT 26527 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26527

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26527

Hints and tips by Gazza

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

We have the usual entertaining Friday puzzle from Giovanni. Let us have a comment with your views.
If you want to see an answer highlight the space between the brackets under the clue.

Across Clues

1a  Nice maids are spoilt, made non-U maybe (12)
{AMERICANISED} – an anagram (spoilt) of NICE MAIDS ARE gives us what process was applied to colour to turn it into color, for example. The capitalised Nice at the start is a clever bit of double-bluff – my first thought involved French maids!

9a  A desolate spot for Othello? (4)
{MOOR} – double definition – Shakespeare’s Othello came from North-West Africa.

10a  River’s invading animal enclosures? That’s very poor (9)
{PENNILESS} – … and we stay in Africa for the river (not forgetting the ‘S) which goes inside animal enclosures to make a description of someone in extreme poverty.

12a  Wise person or adult only half intelligent? (6)
{ORACLE} – the wise person (an infallible authority) is a charade of OR, the abbreviation of adult and the first half of an adjective meaning intelligent.

13a  Domestic female, I make my home permanently (8)
{FIRESIDE} – this describes a cosy domestic environment – it was a term used by President Roosevelt (FDR) to describe a series of radio chats he gave, evoking pictures of families throughout the nation assembled in warm living rooms to listen. Start with the abbreviation for female and add a phrase meaning I make my home permanently (1,6).

15a  Old bicycle trader keeping one quiet (10)
{BONESHAKER} – this is the description given to an early type of bicycle without rubber tyres. A purveyor of food (trader) goes round (keeping) ONE and an injunction to keep quiet.

16a  The female’s a goddess (4)
{HERA} – combine the feminine possessive pronoun (the female’s) and A to make, not any old goddess, but the wife of Zeus, top god in Greek mythology.

18a  Stunned when bishop backs miners’ union (4)
{NUMB} – put the abbreviation for bishop (as used in chess notation) after (backs) the miners’ union.

20a  Partisan in street bashed journalist (10)
{INTERESTED} – a description of someone who is not impartial (partisan) starts with IN, then this is followed by an anagram (bashed) of STREET and the usual abbreviated senior journalist.

23a  Something wrong, bad, with a food item (8)
{TORTILLA} – this Mexican food item is a charade of a wrongful act, a synonym for bad and A.

24a  Bit of flower that’s not wild kept in tin (6)
{STAMEN} – the opposite of wild goes inside the chemical symbol for tin.

26a  ‘Tied’ to the past, as you might say? (3-6)
{OLD-SCHOOL} – I do like this clue. A description of someone attached to traditional ways and values sounds like (as you might say) such a person’s possible motto “Old’s cool”. [Thanks to Giovanni for clarifying that this is just a cryptic definition of traditional values, symbolised (at least as far as males are concerned) by the tie they used to wear.]

27a  Barking heads (4)
{NUTS} – I’m sure that we’ve had a very similar clue quite recently. It’s a double definition.

28a  Real, physical? Different, in the style of an angel (12)
{SERAPHICALLY} – an anagram (different) of REAL PHYSICAL.

Down Clues

2d  Pontificator’s spoken, delving into something that’s hazy (8)
{MORALIST} – put a synonym for spoken inside (delving into) something hazy to get someone who lectures others on how they should live their lives (like the TV evangelists who seem to regularly end up in jail).

3d  Somewhat indecent rubbish? No time for that! (4)
{RIPE} – an adjective meaning a bit juicy or coarse (somewhat indecent) is a word meaning rubbish or nonsense without its leading T (no time).

4d  Deliberate trick getting team embarrassed? (10)
{CONSIDERED} – an adjective meaning deliberate or methodical is a charade of a trick followed by synonyms for team and embarrassed.

5d  Stupid denial exposed as a lie (6)
{NAILED} – an informal way of saying exposed a lie or deception is an anagram (stupid) of DENIAL.

6d  What’s this is due ultimately to the fantastic Lister (7)
{STERILE} – a semi-all-in-one clue. The British surgeon Joseph Lister is known as the father of antiseptic surgery. Stick the last letter (ultimately) of (th)E at the end of (due, after?, in arrears?) an anagram (fantastic) of LISTER. I’m not convinced that I have the wordplay right here but unless ultimately is doing double duty there doesn’t seem to be another way of getting the E either inside or after the anagram. [Thanks again to Giovanni for the clarification that the E to be appended comes from (du)E. I’m assuming that the “to” is shorthand for “added to”]

7d  Ignoring dangers, rigid surprisingly (12)
{DISREGARDING} – a word meaning ignoring is an anagram (surprisingly) of DANGERS RIGID.

8d  Party mum laid on in field (6)
{DOMAIN} – this field or sphere is a charade of the usual word for party and a synonym for mum in front of (laid on, in a down clue) IN.

11d  Curry is including country mixtures (12)
{COMBINATIONS} – the definition is mixtures. Start with a verb meaning to groom (curry) and then put IS around a synonym for country.

14d  Pasta girl brought into small room exactly at one (10)
{CANNELLONI} – an Italian word meaning large tubes is made by putting a girl’s name (think of the erstwhile Tory MP who was nicknamed Doris Karloff) inside a small room, then add a word meaning exactly and I (one).

17d  Guard dispatched on to line hazardously (8)
{SENTINEL} – a synonym for dispatched is followed (on to, in a down clue) by an anagram (hazardously) of LINE.

19d  Tower’s edge rising over winding road (7)
{MIRADOR} – a word, from Spanish, meaning a turret or watchtower is formed by reversing (rising, in a down clue) an edge and following this (over, in a down clue) with an anagram (winding) of ROAD.

21d  Two cats (one without tail) squashing a plant (6)
{TOMATO} – two male cats (the second without its final letter, without tail) go round (squashing) A.

22d  Bit of a problem greeting captain initially on vessel (6)
{HICCUP} – a small problem is made from an informal greeting, the first letter (initially) of C(aptain) and a drinking vessel.

25d  Appeal of quiet meadow (4)
{PLEA} – the musical abbreviation for soft or quiet is followed by a meadow to make an appeal.

The clues I liked included 1a, 5d and 22d, but my favourite was 26a. Let us know what you liked in a comment.

Today’s Quickie pun is {BITCH} + {HUMAN} = {BITUMEN}

52 comments on “DT 26527

  1. Thanks for the review, gazza, I couldn’t make head nor tale of 13a apart from the wordplay. I struggled a fair bit on this one and didn’t find it as much fun as most Giovanni puzzles – probably my fault.
    Favourite for me was 6d. Thanks also to Giovanni.

    1. 13a was my last in. Although I was fairly confident of the first letter, it took me a while to solve.

      1. 13a was used in my company when you were about to get the bullet from the boss.
        Anybody receiving more than one of these was described as having got the OBE (Out Before Easter) or to be sat in the departure lounge. I do miss the big corporate scene – NOT!

  2. I really enjoyed this. Spent far too much time trying to work out the 1a anagram before moving on to any other clues for a little more help……a very good and well-up-to-par Friday challenge.

  3. I quite enjoyed this one. Without doubt the trickiest puzzle of the week for me, but a pleasant ‘solve’.
    I put a question mark against 26a (awaiting elaboration from gazza – I missed the homophone).
    Thanks to Giovanni, and to gazza for the review.

    1. 26a – also missed the homophone Jezza until I read your comment and went to see what Gazza had to say, maybe I do have a favourite clue now after all :-)

  4. Good crossword today – not at all easy, but quite enjoyable. I also struggled with 13A, but had more problem with 2D and 8D but that was mainly because I had HELL for 9A (still looks good to me). Enjoyed 15A, 24A, 28A, 5D, 21D and my favourite was 14D.

    Nearly got a bit of sun today, Somerset started 15 minutes late so may have a short shower on its way.

    1. Incidentally – can anyone enlighten me as to 6D in the Quickie – Based On Theory (1,6) I have all the lights, but cannot think of the phrase ( A _R_O_I) should be an F in there somewhere to complete the pangram

  5. Morning Gazza another puzzle of two halves for me this week with once again the bottom seeming easier than the top. went wrong by putting ‘rash’ for 3d and vermacelli for 14d!! had to use my little friends a lot today but neither came up with the answer for 1a which I eventually figured out , no real favourite clue today, 13a last one in

      1. well, I didn’t really spell it correctly having put vermacelli so I had vera, cell and the i but wasn’t sure where the m came from! so I thought maybe there was a girl called Verma!

          1. I also entered “rash” (with indecent haste) for 3d – that trashed most of the NE corner for me!

            5d – I’ve read Gazza’s explanation, but this usage of “nailed” is still a mystery to me.
            (I’m just getting used to the increasingly popular: “nailed-on”.)

            Thanks to G&G.

    1. You’re in good company today. I too fell into the rash camp which slowed solving 10a until I realised the error of my ways.

  6. An enjoyable puzzle but not as good as todays Toughie, it’s definately worth a shot.
    Thanks to Gazza and Giovanni for the work out.

  7. Beautiful craftsmanship of the Don today!
    Eastern hemisphere was quickly in but the West made me scratch me head a few times until the penny drop moment. It did not help that I foolishly had “HELL” for 9a. Don Juan ain’t that simple. It’s probably because I was unwise and filled in the Evening Standard “crossword” yesterday night on the way home. Once I overruled the checked letters and returned to the bosom of real cruciverbalism, things went a bit better. Two coffees plus a stroll to the office before I could turn to the pangrammatic Quickie.

    11d, 28a (it stares you in the face, doesn’t it?) and the slightly xenophobic 1a.

    Thanks to the Gees!

  8. Gazza, I think you are reading too much into 26a. I don’t think Giovanni has indicated your homophonic phrase. It is almost a double def, one meaning of the phrase acts as qualifier to the necktie, the other is described by “tied to the past”, “not being up to date”, “old-fashioned”.

    Come to think of it, it is a very clever mixture of a doubble def and a cryptdef with a touch of all-in-one. But no homophone IMHO.

    Maybe Giovanni can chime in to clarify.

    1. Nestorius,
      I agree that it’s a very clever clue, but I’m sticking to the homophone (as you might say).

  9. I enjoyed this puzzle which was of the usual high standard on Fridays. I put “lifetime” for 13a as it fitted a definition of permanently, but I couldn’t make head nor tail of how the rest of the clue fitted it. Now that I have seen the correct answer and explanation………I read 26a as simply being “old school tie” and I’ve not heard the expression “old’s cool”, although I imagine most of us here are!! Thanks to setter and Gazza for the review

  10. When solving a Giovanni, I always feel he puts up a bit of a fight but I solved this one in the usual time so it can’t have been that tricky. Thanks to him for a good start to Friday, my favourite clue being 21d. Thanks to Gazza for the review – nice tomatoes :D

  11. So keen to start my lunchtime salad, I forgot to say that I highly recommend the Toughie – it’s Friday level tough but very entertaining.

  12. Many thanks to Giovanni for a cracking crossword and to Gazza for the review. Favourite clues were 13a and 22d.

  13. Best crossword of the week, many thanks to Giovanni and to Gazza. My favourite was 13a but I also liked 26a though I didn’t spot the homophone.

  14. Was right with all except 23a. I was trying to justify rib within teble! Hardest of week for me. Thanks to the 2 Gs.

  15. First time I’ve failed the Back-Page puzzle since……. DT 26520 – Oh! only 8 days ago!

    Favo(u)rite today was 1a – I solved the anagram, but completely missed the significance of “non-U”. Thanks to Gazza for the explanation.

    A great shame that there were no ” French maids” involved. It would have given you a good excuse for a nice photo – Merde!

    1. Giovanni,
      Thanks for clearing that up (and apologies to Nestorius for doubting his explanation). I’m rather sorry there was no homophone intended because I thought that was pretty good.

        1. Thanks, Mary. I feel quite disappointed now – I thought the homophone made it a better clue!

      1. No apologies needed. This site is doing its job exactly: helping all of us read better and keep the little grey cells in working order… One day a setter will use your homophone which I admit is mega-cool.

  16. I enjoyed this but found it difficult – more of a 4* for me anyway – took ages to get any of the four long anagrams which didn’t help much. Didn’t fall into the 3d ‘rash’ pitfall – just couldn’t do it! Last one in was 13a. Anyway, finally finished it although it took quite a long time.
    Clues I liked today include 15 and 27a and 6 (I used to work on a ward which was called ‘Lister’ after the surgeon so I did know who he was) 14, 21 and 22d.
    Sunny and warm in Oxford – going to go and “tart up” our wooden garden benches which are looking a bit sad and in need of love and attention.
    Thanks to Giovanni and Gazza.

  17. What a great puzzle-I finished in record time!! I used to hate Giovanni puzzles as I felt my mind worked in a different way…. have I had a brain transplant????

  18. A very nice challenge for a Friday afternoon. So nice (not) to be back at work after 4 glorious days in the Yorkshire Dales. As to 6d, I think that the final letter comes from duE (ultimately) added to the fantastic Lister. Or is this what you said / meant in your post Gazza? Anyway, well done you and the Don

    1. Digby,
      I ‘m not really sure whether the extra E comes from duE or thE and I don’t know what’s telling us to put it after the anagram.

  19. A really good work-out, thanks to Giovanni and reviewer. Anagrams not my forte so these were a good practise for me.

  20. STERILE. anag. of Lister with added du(e) & lit. If something is added to something else it could be at either end, I guess, but here it works at the end. A legitimate ambiguity, I feel. Over and out. — and thanks again. G.

      1. “Due ultimately” = “the last letter of DUE”, hence (du)e (to indicate that the first two letters aren’t used.

  21. Thanks to Giovanni for a very enjoyable Friday back-pager.

    I shared Gazza’s query about 6D, and I’m not sure about the use of “to” as an indicator (although it’s commonly-enough used). A minor quibble, though.

    Nicely blogged Gazza; it’s good to get some discussion going.

  22. Very enjoyable fare from Giovanni – particularly after yesterday’s shocker – many thanks.
    Clues that I enjoyed : 1a, 13a, 15a, 24a, 26a, 2d, 6d, 11d, 14d & 21d.
    The clue for 1a was slightly pejorative though!

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