DT 26536 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26536

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26536

Hints and Tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Our mystery setter has given us a not-too-demanding puzzle with a mini-theme today. Let us know how you got on in a comment.
Should you be stumped for an answer you can discover it by highlighting the space between the brackets under the clue.

Across Clues

7a  Folds? Little credit makes things more tolerable (7)
{CREASES} – the abbreviation for credit is followed by a verb meaning makes things more comfortable or tolerable.

8a  Duff gen put down leaving country (7)
{ENGLAND} – an anagram (duff) of GEN followed by a verb to put down (like an aircraft at the end of a flight) leaves us with a country.

10a  One who may have excited NASA tutor? (9)
{ASTRONAUT} – a semi-all-in-one. It’s an anagram (excited) of NASA TUTOR.

11a  Small mountain, say (5)
{SPEAK} – “say” here is not a homophone indicator, neither does it signal a definition by example; it is simply the definition. Follow the abbreviation for small with a synonym of mountain.

12a  Major accepting one is a bit wet (5)
{MOIST} – a synonym for major (in a phrase such as “for the major part”) has I (one) inserted to make an adjective meaning soggy.

13a  Pleasant beer, a 21 briefly brewed (9)
{AGREEABLE} – the definition is pleasant and it’s an anagram of BEER, A and all but the last letter (briefly) of the answer to 21a.

15a  Small theatrical company to mount performance again (7)
{REPRISE} – the abbreviation for a small theatre company is followed by a verb to mount or increase to make a repeat performance.

17a  Plant, factory bringing in one attached to Foreign Office (7)
{MILFOIL} – another name for a factory (regarded by William Blake as dark and satanic) goes round (bringing in) I (one) after the abbreviation for Foreign Office to make a flowering plant also known as yarrow.

18a  Force prisoners to exercise (9)
{CONSTRAIN} – this verb to force is a charade of an informal word for prisoners and a verb meaning to exercise.

20a  I sent off for a beer mug for 21? (5)
{STEIN} – the sort of beer mug that you may drink 21a from is an anagram (off) of I SENT.

21a  Some Dunkel, a German beer (5)
{LAGER} – Dunkel is a dark German beer and hidden (some) in the clue is a sort of drink that proper beer drinkers regard as the waste material of a gnat.

23a  Classified operations within Crete, possibly beginning to tell (3,6)
{TOP SECRET} – the definition is classified. Put the abbreviation for operations inside an anagram (possibly) of CRETE, then finish with the first (beginning) letter of T(ell).

24a  Small restaurant’s rent — low, in retrospect (3,4)
{TEA ROOM} – start with a rent or split, then reverse (in retrospect) the sound made by a cow (low).

25a  Light tail of gull, an aquatic bird (7)
{LANTERN} – a light (normally one which may be carried) is formed by stringing together the last letter (tail) of (gul)L, AN and a seabird.

Down Clues

1d  I left ten edited pages inside for writer (4-3,3)
{FELT-TIP PEN} – an anagram (edited) of I LEFT TEN has the abbreviation for pages inserted to make a writing implement.

2d  Armed guard in foreign sector (6)
{ESCORT} – an armed guard (for a military prisoner in transit, for example) is an anagram (foreign) of SECTOR.

3d  Get away, carrying diamonds after a stunt (8)
{ESCAPADE} – this is a stunt or exciting adventure. A verb to get away or flee has D(iamonds) after A inserted (carrying).

4d  Signed message for landlord (6)
{LETTER} – double definition.

5d  Kind of porcelain broken at the breakfast table? (8)
{EGGSHELL} – double definition, the second identifying what has to be broken at breakfast time before the soldiers can get to work.

6d  Run and run on one (4)
{RACE} – a synonym for to run is made from the abbreviation for run (in cricket) followed by a playing card with one spot.

7d  Daily, married couple check an item of jewellery (5,8)
{CHARM BRACELET} – this is an item of jewellery. It’s made by combining a daily (cleaner), the abbreviation for married, a synonym for a couple and an old word meaning a check or delay.

9d  Jazzman liked long tune, syncopated (4,9)
{DUKE ELLINGTON} – this jazz musician and bandleader is an anagram (syncopated) of LIKED LONG TUNE.

14d  Unreliable type failed to study, we hear (6,4)
{BROKEN REED} – a past participle meaning failed or no longer working is followed by a homophone (we hear) of a verb to study to make a metaphor for an ineffectual person who cannot be relied on.

16d  Little time for female in humble home (8)
{INTERIOR} – this is what some countries call the government department or ministry which is equivalent to our Home Office. Start with an adjective meaning humble or subservient and replace the F(emale) with T(ime).

17d  Game’s second leg upset old college (8)
{MONOPOLY} – the name of a board game is a charade of a short time (second), the leg side of the wicket in cricket reversed (upset, in a down clue) and what many a new university was once.

19d  Hat’s crumpled — old lady makes a complaint (6)
{ASTHMA} – an anagram (crumpled) of HAT’S is followed by an affectionate abbreviation for one’s mother (old lady) to make an illness.

20d  Demanding English novelist (6)
{STERNE} – an adjective meaning harsh or exacting is followed by E(nglish) to make an eighteenth century novelist, best known for “The life and opinions of Tristram Shandy, gentleman”.

22d  Tennis player’s good service (4)
{GRAF} – the surname of a retired German tennis star, now Mrs Agassi, is G(ood) followed by one of our armed services.

The clues which I liked best today were 24a, 17d and 22d. Let us know your favourites in a comment.

Today’s Quickie pun: {FEELER} + {FRAYED} = {FEEL AFRAID}

57 comments on “DT 26536

  1. A very gentle stroll today. I entered 14D from the checking letters but must admit it is not a phrase I have come across.
    Big change in the weather today, cold, overcast and breezy.
    Thanks to mystery setter and Gazza for the hints.

    1. Grrrrrrrr!!!!! :-((
      14D?

      I could have spent the rest of my life trying to work that one out.
      I get so frustrated when it’s something I’ve never heard before.

      Ah well. Every day’s a schoolday. :-)

        1. Thanks Gazza.
          I come on here quite a lot, usually for the one clue that I can’t get. Why is there always one? Some Law of Physics I guess.

          I think I’m known as a “Lurker” on the Interweb- so I thought I’d start to join in.

          Cheers
          Lostboy

  2. Rather more than a 2* for me and needed several hints to finish it. Didn’t know 17a but doable from the clue. ‘Syncopated’ is not in my list of anagram indicators, but was obvious and rather good in its context.

    Enjoyable, thanks to setter and Gazza.

      1. Great afternoon out, downstream to Abingdon lock and back. Need to go out and practice lots now.

  3. Never heard of 14d before, othet than that a pretty fair puzzle.
    Thanks to Gazza and the enigmatic setter

  4. Nice gentle crossword today although a few clues took a bit of thinking about, liked 10A, 15A, 23A, 9D and my favourite 16D.

    BTW sorry I’ve not been on her for the last holiday – was forced at gunpoint into doing yet more gardening and by the time I’d got around to looking at the crosswords (about 3 in the morning) I had to use my twenty minutes spare time (before being sent back out again) for having dinner and a kip.

    1. Good morning Gazza, an ok crossword today started off really well and then needed your hints for quite a few, | would never have got 16d my least favourite clue of the day, fav clue 11a, not heard of 17a before so I think a 3* for me :-)

        1. There are references to John the Baptist in the gospels of Matthew and Luke as ‘a reed shaken by the wind’. Any connection?

          1. I think it derives from the Old rather than New Testament.
            “Threatened by the army of Assyria in the 7th century BC, King Hezekiak of Jerusalem hoped for help from Egypt. The Assyrians sent him a discouraging message: ‘thou trustest in the staff [i.e. walking-stick giving support] of this broken reed, on Egypt; whereon if a man leans, it will go into his hand and pierce it: so is Pharaoh King of Egypt to all that trust him’ (Isaiah, 36:6). Reeds, a variety of cane, grew in profusion in the Jordan valley and were broken off to be used as walking-staffs because of their straight stems, but they were clearly unsuitable for putting much weight on.”

          2. I would think that the biblical reference indicates someone who goes with the flow (ie, a reed that bends in the direction the wind is blowing) whereas a broken reed clearly refers to a woodwind instrument. Anyone who has heard a clarinet or an oboe being played when one of the reeds is damaged will appreciate this.

  5. On the whole pretty straightforward, with a little headscratching on a couple (17a/17d). For 17d, I spent a while thinking the first 3 letters were S(econd) ON(leg), which did not help!
    Thanks to setter, and to gazza.

  6. Enjoyable, thanks Gazza and the mysteron, got held up with 18a just couldn’t convince myself that it didn’t end in PT for ‘to exercise’ got there in the end though

  7. I did most of this fairly easily then came to a complete halt with 15a and 16d – just couldn’t do them at all so needed the hints for them. I also needed the hint to explain why 17d was what it was – had guessed it had something to do with cricket but had never heard of “mono” – oh dear – being completely stupid yet again! :sad: Spent quite a long time trying to make 1d the name of an author rather than an implement. Apart from all that I quite enjoyed this one. Clues that I liked today include 24 and 25a and 5, 7, 9 and 19d.
    Thanks to the setter and to Gazza.

  8. Apologies for going off-topic, but I suspect this section is most widely read!

    I use the google toolbar. On the toolbar is a Search button – this button will search for text within a web page. There is also a corresponding Highlight button which highlights all the search terms on the web page. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work on this site, though it seems to work on every other site. Does anyone else use the google toolbar? I suspect it is connected to WordPress, but that’s just a guess. I browse with IE.

    Thank you.

    1. First thing I would advise is to ditch IE, it uses too much disc space and memory. Try Google Chrome (and no, I am not a Google salesperson)

    2. The IE search option works on this site. Just do Cntrl F and the search box will appear at the top of your screen.

  9. I’m afraid you’ll have to give me some more concrete reasons for ditching IE than that. But thank you anyway.

    1. Freda

      Even Version 9 (the latest) of IE does not fully support the standard version of html. If you look at the top of this post it should say “DT 26536 ~ posted by Gazza” and at the bottom it should say “© Big Dave – 2009-2011 ~ Blog at WordPress.com. | Theme: Sandbox 1.6.2 by plaintxt.org. ~ styled by Big Dave”.

      If it doesn’t then your browser is not properly compliant and you should change to another one!

      1. Dave – I use IE9, and the display is exactly as you state. I really do suspect that the problem is with WordPress as the search button seems to work just fine on any other site.
        Sue – I use the Ctrl-F to search as the Google toolbar option doesn’t work. I just prefer the Google toolbar way of searching.
        Thanks to both of you.

        Out of interest, does anyone else out there use the Google toolbar?

        1. I was advised a couple of years ago to avoid toolbars as they are resource-heavy. Don’t use IE, much preferring Firefox.

  10. I am with Jezza – fairly straightforward but my headscratcher was a different one! Thanks to the mystery setter and to Gazza.

    I found the ‘other’ puzzle more fun and definitely only Tuesday level tough so do give it a go.

  11. I agree with Crypticsue, a very straightforward cryptic today and an even more straightforward toughie. Thanks to setter and Gazza.

  12. All done bar 16d – hint was needed, thanks. A tough but fair clue. The rest were ok, although 17a and 20a new to me. I agree about the 21a comment – no match for 80/- or fine bitter! Keep the sun coming. Thanks Gazza – not for the sun but the hints.

  13. How nice to see the greatest alltime woman tennis player featured today. A refreshing change from a steady diet of cricket!

    1. Nora, when I read your comment I thought “You Cannot be Serious!”

      But you are correct – according to Wikipedia – Steffi Graf has won the most Grand Slam Singles titles (22) – I had always thought the most successful was either Martina Navratilova (18) or Margaret Court (11)!

      Game, Set and Match to you!

      1. The 11 that you quote for Margaret Court was the number of Australian Singles Championships she won. In all she won 24 Grand Slam Singles Championships.

      1. There is also a big difference between the greatest, the most successful and the richest!

        Anna Kournikova – a good photo opportunity for you and Gazza!

  14. Why ARE there so many cricket-related clues? I really enjoyed today’s cryptic especially 24a & 9D. Needed help with 17A and 17D. I knew biblical reference of 14D. With your help Big Dave I am teaching my 16 year old grandson to enjoy crosswords as much as I do.

    1. I’m glad to hear that – it’s something he should be able to enjoy all his life, long after X-boxes etc. are confined to the bin!

  15. I’m pretty new to cryptics and find this site very helpful. Thanks to all – I’m getting better all the time, albeit slowly I do the crossword over lunch at work, and like to print off the hints and comments in the morning to take with me. Is there any way of printing off the hints without the answers? Thank you.

    1. Hi Pentre – welcome to the blog.
      Short of doing one copy for each hint (minus answer) and building a new document and then printing that, I can’t think of a way of doing it.

    2. You can try cutting and pasting into Word using a paste option that retains the formatting. Unfortunately it will also retain the pictures as well, but you can delete them manually if you want to save paper. The other advantage of doing this is that you don’t have to print out the comments as well.

      1. Thanks for the replies. Sorry, I can’t open Big Dave’s link.
        I’ve tried several cut and paste options into Word, and just printing from the screen, but all printing, selecting, copying, cutting etc brings up the answer as well as the hint. Gazza’s suggestion is the only one I can get to work – but it would be a bit time-consuming in the mornings!
        I’m probably missing something obvious – you can see why I find the crosswords difficult!
        Sorry for taking up so much time, but grateful for the help.

  16. Highlight the hints with your mouse, right click and click on copy. Open Word (or I assume another similar program, start a new document, right click and press paste, then print it.

    Rob

  17. Really rather easy today. 1* only for difficulty and because of 1d and 10a only a 2* for enjoyment. Even 14d was solvable from the clue even though I’d never heard of it. Not one for the scrapbook I fear. I did rather like 24a though. Roll on tomorrow.

  18. It all seems to be pretty gentle this week so far. Thanks to the Mysteron for an enjoyable crossword and to Gazza for the review.

  19. I didn’t find it as easy as the rest of you… but then, I’m back at work today which probably dulls my brain a bit….

    Took me three times as long as yesterday’s, anyway (which had been quick for me).

    Thank you to the Setter and to Gazza for letting me cheat with ‘STERNE’. 17a new to me also, as was 7d which was at least a straightforward clue.

    Best clue: 9d by miles, a really super clue.

    Nick

  20. Pardon the massive ignorance, but I’m struggling to figure out 24a. As I understand it:

    ‘rent’ clues TEAR (which feels fairly tenuous)
    and
    ‘low, in retrospect’ clues OOM (understand the retrospect bit, but low = MOO?)

    I’m relatively new to cryptics, but that’s the only one on today’s grid that feels extremely tenuous (and one of the few I’m sure I’d have never solved).

    Thanks for any help!

  21. Late input from me as had visitors yesterday and got to bed very late – even forgot to switch on the dishwasher so did that and started the puzzle at 6AM.
    Faves were : 8a, 13a, 17a, 24a, 1d, 6d, 7d, 9d,17d & 22d.

    Must now empty the dishwasher and put the breakfast things in it!

  22. I have been a “lurker” since shortly after the inception of this wonderful site. This is the first time I’ve felt I have to comment, as nobody else has mentioned the “Nina” and that it gives the answers of the first two clues in the Quick Crossword today.

    1. Hi Carroll – welcome to the blog, and well done for spotting the Nina which I certainly missed.
      (Look at the words along the top and bottom lines)

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