DT 26533 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26533

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26533

Hints and Tips by Crypticsue

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Firstly thank you to Gazza for giving up his Friday slot so that I could do an ‘on the day’ review and also for helping this Luddite with the necessary technological wizardry.     I thought this was a typical Giovanni puzzle with a very nice mix of clues, extremely clear anagram indicators and his usual religious references being especially relevant to today.   Thanks to Giovanni for a very nice start to the day – just right for solving and then getting outside to enjoy the good weather!

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.  You can also add your assessment by selecting from one to five stars at the bottom of the post.


1a  Loved ones knocked about with female having change of heart — blame him? (10)
{STEPFATHER} Your mother’s husband who is not your male parent  is a reversal (knocked about) of a term for tame animals, followed by F (female) and an anagram (change of) HEART.

9a  Fish cautious for the most part (4)
{CHAR}  Remove the last letter from an adjective meaning wary or cautious to get a fish of the salmon family often found in both rivers and crosswords!

10a  Like some plants lead in plot contaminated (10)
{POLLINATED}  Most plants needs to be this in order to produce seed – an anagram (contaminated) of LEAD IN PLOT reveals the answer.

11a  Pull off simple task in which learner’s got stuck (6)
{CLINCH} To settle or confirm something –  an informal term for a certainty with L for learner inserted.

12a  Man and woman providing joint protection (7)
{PATELLA} The Latin name for the kneecap is a charade of two names, an abbreviated man’s name  and a girl’s name.

15a  Pet box being short creates unforeseen problems (7)
{CATCHES}–  Concealed difficulties or problems.   A feline pet and the first four letters (being short) of a type of strong box

16a  Mechanical hooter (5)
{SNOUT}  A double definition where it helps if you know your Shakespeare.   The mechanicals were the artisans who put on the play within the play in Midsummer Night’s Dream.   The name of the tinker is also an noun for the nose of an animal, especially a pig.

17a  Old students’ group — a liability (4)
{ONUS}  A noun meaning a liability, burden or responsibility.   O (old) plus the abbreviation for the National Union of Students.

18a  Singer always loves the opera’s opening bits (4)
{ALTO}  A male singer with a high voice or a female singer with a low voice is revealed by the first letters (opening bits) of Always Loves The Opera.

19a  Fanatical bishop involved in attack (5)
{RABID}  An adjective meaning fanatical is obtained by inserting B(ishop) into a sudden attack or invasion.

21a/3d  One is at pulpit recollecting a character in the Passion story (7,6)
{PONTIUS PILATEThe first of four clues referring to the Biblical significance of today.   The judge at the trial of Jesus is an anagram (recollecting) of ONE IS AT PULPIT.

22a  State change needed in a place of dreadful suffering (7)
{CALVARY}  Another Good Friday clue –  the place of the crucifixion is a charade of the abbreviation for the State of California and a verb meaning to change.

24a  Don’t go about, being stuck to mum at home (6)
{REMAIN}  A synonym for stay, or don’t go.    A charade of a preposition meaning about or with reference to + MA (mum) and a two letter word meaning at home or not out.

27a  Pulling out wide perhaps shortly before battle (10)
{EXTRACTIONNot a clue for our Gnomey who is currently suffering with his teeth!  Nor possibly for those ladies who don’t like cricket references in their clues.   A wide or ball bowled out of reach of a batsman is counted as this type of run; truncate it (shortly) and follow it with a synonym for a battle to get a noun meaning pulling out, not necessarily limited to teeth.

28a  Shelter number found at entrance to town (4)
{TENT}  A shelter used by those camping.   The cardinal number next after nine followed by the first letter (entrance) of Town.

29a  Sale advert out of order for wicked business (5,5)
{SLAVE TRADE}  The clearest anagram indicator (out of order) – SALE ADVERT rearranges to a term for the wicked business of buying and selling of people kept as property.


2d  Sort of sound that may be reflected without change (4)
{TOOT} A short sharp sound which Mary may make with her flute.   The ‘reflected without change’ refers to the fact that the word is a palindrome.

3d  See 21a

4d  Discard of Henry’s, a lass having lost heart, toughens up (7)
{ANNEALS}  Heats or cools glass or metal in order to toughen it.   It took me a while to see how Henry’s discards fitted the clue but of course he discarded many wives.   The name of his second ‘discard’ followed by A and the outside letters of L(AS)S (lost heart).

5d  Emotion that enemy may show (4)
{HATE}  Intense dislike is hidden in tHAT Enemy.

6d  British soldier reassigned to cadre (7)
{REDCOAT}  A historical British soldier, named after the colour of his uniform jacket is an anagram (reassigned) of TO CADRE.

7d  Cold under bottom of face? Then get a fur (10)
{CHINCHILLA)  Another nice charade –  the jutting part of the face below the mouth and a cold that causes shivering combine, then finish with the A to give a small South American rodent valued for its fur.

8d  The priory’s demolished — it’s left us without any records (10)
{PREHISTORY)  Another anagram (demolished)  of THE PRIORYS – relating to a time before records began.

12d  Success for various types including Queen and Empress (10)
{PROSPERITY} One of those where I got the answer but then had to work out why!    The state of being successful.   The Latin preposition meaning for,  followed by an anagram (various) of TYPES into which is inserted RI (Queen Victoria had these letters after her name as she was both Queen and Empress – Regina et Imperatrix).

13d  Tantrum one’s thrown in sporting contest (10)
{TOURNAMENT} Giovanni always gives such clear anagram indicators – here thrown indicates that a rearrangement of TANTRUM ONE gives a series of games to determine a winner.

14d  High Priest making money once (5)
{ANNAS}  A double definition – the name of the high priest before whom Jesus was brought for judgment or an old Indian coin worth 1/16th of a rupee.

15d  Youngster in charge, not ’rounded’ in any way? (5)
{CUBIC}  A young animal, eg a fox, followed by the usual crossword abbreviation for In Charge.  Something related to a solid body with square faces would definitely not be rounded.

19d  Bean plants showing flowers (7)
{RUNNERS}  Climbing bean plants are often colloquially referred to as these.   Giovanni cleverly indicates here that flowers in crosswordland can sometimes be used to mean rivers; the same is also true of the word in the solution.

20d  Not the sort of supervision that leaves people in the dark? (3,4)
{DAY CARE}  Supervision and help given to pre-school children not required in the dark of night when they are presumably in bed.

23d  One successful against one Conservative politician falling short (6)
{VICTOR}  Someone who wins – a charade of the abbreviation for versus (against) I (one) C(onservative) and  the first three letters (falling short) of the party to which a Conservative belongs.

25d  Mount for which money placed by better goes up (4)
{ETNA}  The crossword compiler’s favourite volcano – I am going up it next month! –  is a reversal (up in a down clue) of a fixed stake put down by a poker player.

26d  Such is Friday when love is revealed in Divinity (4)
{GOOD}  The most obvious of today’s religiously significant clues.   Insert O (love) into a celestial being.

I enjoyed solving this crossword and, as is usually the case when doing the review, like it even more now.  Lots of good clues but my particular favourites are 16a and 4d.

I can’t give my usual ‘Toughie Tip’ yet as I have been too busy typing this to start solving it,  but I can say it’s an Elgar and I had a quick look and it would appear that he definitely had a glint in his eye when he set it!!

Today’s Quickie pun is: {BARRA} + {BASS} = {BARABBAS}  {This also relates to Good Friday as Barabbas was the thief/murderer pardoned from crucifixion in place of Jesus}

40 comments on “DT 26533

  1. Another all too rare no help needed outing for me, so a good start to Good Friday and the Bank Holiday weekend. 4d was a new word to me. 16a probably my favourite in an enjoyable puzzle. Thanks to the setter and Crypticsue for the hints and tips.

  2. A lovely morning – sun shining, birds singing… and a lovely crossword to enjoy as well.

    Thank you to Giovanni and to CrypticSue.

    I enjoyed the Good Friday references. On that basis, I’ll have 26d as a favourite, but I also liked 19a and thought that 8d was a super anagram.

    At the risk of having a moan, I’m not too impressed with 25d appearing in yet another crossword – although I’ve just looked up what other possibilities are available for _T_A and it’s a feeble list of obscure words, so maybe it’s the only option?

    Have a nice day everyone.


    1. Re 25D: Spot on. If you look up E_A_O, you’ll see why Crosswordland’s favourite muse is so popular, too.

  3. A nice puzzle with nothing too tricky. 10a through me for a while, as I was aware of a different spelling.
    Thanks to Giovanni, and to Crypticsue for the notes.

  4. Thanks to Giovanni and CrypticSue. Managed to complete it but needed the hints to explain 16a, 12d and 14d.

  5. A battle for me today, but managed it in the end. The anagrams helped me on my way. Got 1a and 16a, but needed the hints to fully justify them. Liked 4d even though it introduced a new word to me. Thanks to all, and enjoy the holiday.

    1. By the way, the ‘money’ definition of anna was in my version of Chambers, but not the ‘high priest’.

        1. He’s in WIkipedia!! The blogging woman’s final resort when the dictionaries have failed :)

          1. That is where I found it in the end. I knew in the back of my mind that it was right, just became fixed on finding the ‘proof’!

  6. Enjoyed the review CS.

    On 4 down, he also discarded Anne of Cleves! I thought it very brave of Joss Stone to play her in the recent TV series as she was described as being of “bad” appearance.

    1. Gazza and I discussed this. My Anne was annulled before she was beheaded so I think she counts as a discard. We though it might promote discussion on the blog!

  7. I said I would be back with my Toughie Tip and it is as follows. It is Friday, it is Elgar at his most fiendishly clever and it took me some time to finish, but its wonderful.

  8. That’s three I’ve finished in the same week. but they were all fairly easy ones! Needed a couple of hints, especially for 4d and 16d as don’t know my Shakespeare.

    Thanks to Giovanni, most enjoyable, particularly the Good Friday references, and to CS for another fine review, needed a few more hints to understand the constructs.

  9. Nice review, and a very good puzzle, I thought.

    In lieu of the usual CS pointer, I’ll just say that the other puzzle is top-notch.

    Many thanks to Giovanni for a great start to the Easter weekend, and to CS for a good “same-day” dissection.

  10. As is usual for me on a Friday I’ve had a bit of a struggle with this one but eventually finished it apart from 4d (couldn’t do it at all and have never heard the word) and needed the hint to understand why 12d was what it was. Along with cricket, football etc etc I’m not too good on biblical references or Shakespeare so that added to my problems today! Oh dear!! Having said all that I did, in the end, enjoy the crossword and getting all the anagrams quite easily helped. My favourites include 1, 15 and 18a and 2 (once I’d rubbed out ‘echo’ :oops:) 7 and 13d.
    Thanks to Giovanni and CS – do hope that everyone has a good weekend.

  11. Many thanks to Giovanni and to Crypticsue for a very enjoyable crossword and a lovely rewiew. Happy Easter to one and all.

  12. Lovely puzzle today, finished all to quickly, but I can go and enjoy the weather and relax..OFSTED have gone and life returns to sanity! :)

  13. Another enjoyable crossword today. 4d new to me too as was 14d. 16a a bit confusing until reading the hint to confirm the answer. The only query I have is 9a. The fish I have is of the Trout family and the addition of a letter to get cautious is a completely new word for me. Have I got the right answer? Can’t check on my iPhone.

    1. If your fish is also a cuppa, then you’re right. The letter to be removed from the adjective is Y.

  14. Thanks to CS for a fine review and Giovanni for a top notch Friday puzzle. Just finished a winning round of golf (bit of a kicking 6 & 5) and enjoying the après golf. Will be attacking Elgar soon!

  15. After a day gardening it was great to sit back in the sun and tackle todays offering. Most enjoyable. No particular favourites but did need to search the web for the confirmation of the priest in 14D, I got the money from the checking letters. In my early days in India there were 100 to the rupee.
    Thanks to setter and Cryptic sue for the hints.

  16. A smoothly done start to the Easter weekend. Many thanks to Giovanni for the treat and to CrypticSue for the review.

    In keeping with the day my top clue was 22a!

  17. Finished this early this morning before going out. Only just read the blog. Was hoping for a good explanation for 1a. Still hoping. Why “blame him?”?

    1. My original scribbled notes from first thing today were along the lines that a stepfather might be blamed for knocking loved ones about but by the time I started typing, I seemed to forget that bit. I think that is what is mean’t by ‘blame him?’, the question mark indicating that a stepfather might be blamed. Has anyone else any other ideas?

      1. The implication being that all stepfathers, like stepmothers, are wicked?? It’s a bit vague, isn’t it?

          1. It seems to me that the “…blame him ?” is most likely intended to refer to “…female having change of heart…”

            I mean that the existence of a stepfather implies that (barring bereavement) a woman has had a “change of heart”. “Knocked about,” leaving aside its use in wordplay, could be understood as meaning “having had a hard time” or “emotionally challenged”, for which the stepfather might, by some, be blamed (might being a possible reason for the QM).

  18. The usual enjoyable fare from The Don with a very topical theme – many thanks.
    Aside from the Easter clues I liked :1a, 12a, 27a, 4d, 6d, 8d & 10d.
    I spotted the cricket reference in 27a and thought of Mary – where is she these days – on holiday?

    Cryptic Sue keep on with the good work!

    1. Thank you Derek. Mary is testing out her new caravan just down the Welsh coast from her home town. I think she said she would be back today so I am sure she will be in full commenting form tomorrow.

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