DT 26539 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26539

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26539

There’s No Escape!

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

It can’t come as any great surprise to anyone that today’s puzzle has a theme. So whether you’re enthralled by the whole thing or can’t wait for it to be over, you’re stuck with it here. Let us know what you thought of it in a comment.
For the last few weeks the on-line site appeared to have solved its problems with the enumeration of multi-clue answers. So it’s disappointing to find that they’ve reverted to the old, unsatisfactory method.
If you want to see an answer highlight the space between the brackets under the clue.

Across Clues

1a/10a  Try and be wise best man somehow in big church (11,5)
{WESTMINSTER ABBEY} – where it’s all happening today (big church) is an anagram (somehow) of TRY BE WISE BEST MAN.

9a  Have fun attending player’s last game for a top football club (9)
{LIVERPOOL} – what was once (sorry, Mary :D ) a top football club starts with a verb meaning to have an exciting time, then this is followed by the last letter of (playe)R and an indoor game.

10a  See 1a

11a  Influence at home — father with inner power (7)
{INSPIRE} – a verb meaning to influence for the good is made from the usual Crosswordland word for at home followed by a father with P(ower) inside.

12a  Very old catalogue includes one string player (7)
{VIOLIST} – the definition is string player. Start with abbreviations for very and old, then add a catalogue and insert I (one).

13a  Instruments that could make old man sin (9)
{MANDOLINS} – these musical instruments, which are played by plucking, are an anagram (could make) of OLD MAN SIN.

16a/19a  Who’s contrived to get knot tied with lad? Me! (4,9)
{KATE MIDDLETON} – the focus of today’s ceremony is an anagram (contrived to get) of KNOT TIED LAD ME. Very clever anagram.

18a  Lines of seats from which beautiful English girl is audible? (4)
{ROWS} – lines of seats sound like (is audible) the symbol of a beautiful English girl.

19a  See 16a

22a  See 25a

23a  One’s fired and is definitely not being employed at today’s 22! (7)
{SHOTGUN} – a weapon (one’s fired) can be used to overcome the male party’s reluctance to participate in the ceremony, but that doesn’t apply today.

25a/22a  We start to dote adoringly — moved by this? (5,7)
{ROYAL WEDDING} – the theme of the puzzle and what the endless hype of the last few weeks has been all about. It’s an anagram (moved) of WE D(ote) ADORINGLY.

26a  A terrible moan by tortured soul would be unexpectedly odd (9)
{ANOMALOUS} – this is an adjective used to describe something that deviates from what is expected. It’s A followed by an anagram (terrible) of MOAN and then another anagram (tortured) of SOUL.

27a  Prayer that may give one a lift (11)
{PATERNOSTER} – double definition. The latin term for a common prayer is also the name of a lift consisting of a series of linked doorless compartments moving continuously on an endless belt.

Down Clues

1d  Determination one must have in the morning as man getting married (7)
{WILLIAM} – a charade of a synonym for determination, I (one) and an abbreviation for before noon generates today’s male lead.

2d  Delivers special greeting before start of service (5)
{SAVES} – a verb meaning delivers (from danger, for example) is made from S(pecial), a latin greeting and the first letter of S(ervice).

3d  My right position on the field as a camp follower (8)
{MYRMIDON} – this term (new to me) derives from a people of Greek mythology who were skilled warriors. It has come to mean a loyal follower who executes orders without question. Start with MY and R(ight) and finish with a fielding position (3-2) at cricket which can sometimes be silly.

4d  Beautiful female, I love to be trailing after knight (5)
{NIOBE} – this is a female from Greek mythology who was turned to stone as she grieved for her slain children. Put I, O (love, as in tennis) and BE after the chess abbreviation for knight.

5d  English priest’s embraced by Irish Father (the latter being this!) (9)
{TELEVISED} – this means appeared on the box as the Irish Father did in a very funny comedy series. Put E(nglish) and a term for an Old Testament priest plus the ‘S inside (embraced by) the Irish Father’s name.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

6d  No time for disloyalty — good sense needed (6)
{REASON} – remove the initial T(ime) from a word meaning disloyalty.

7d  Honour is given to worker kowtowing maybe (8)
{OBEISANT} – an adjective meaning being respectful or subservient (kowtowing maybe) starts with an honour or award. Follow this with IS and a working insect.

8d  Shrub may rot losing middle bits and with leaves two-thirds gone (6)
{MYRTLE} – this shrub comes from M(a)Y and R(o)T (losing middle bits) followed by one-third of the letters of leaves.

14d  No streets for a daughter to enter currently (8)
{NOWADAYS} – the definition is currently. Put A and D(aughter) inside NO and a synonym for streets.

15d  I am married, I concede — one establishing new home? (9)
{IMMIGRANT} – someone who enters the country to establish a new home starts with a contraction of I AM. This is followed with the abbreviation for married, I and a synonym for concede.

17d  Terrible ordeal before party in fabulous place (2,6)
{EL DORADO} – the fabled golden city is an anagram (terrible) of ORDEAL followed by the usual Crosswordland party.

18d  Artist has turned up for prize (6)
{REWARD} – reverse (turned up, in a down clue) an artist to make a prize.

20d  One runs fantastically — one not taking drugs (3-4)
{NON-USER} – an anagram (fantastically) of ONE RUNS.

21d  Boost when the groom’s grandfather’s spoken (6)
{FILLIP} – many family occasions are enlivened by an embarrassing grandfather who is apt to have a drop too much to drink and put his foot in it by saying something outlandish. A sound-alike (spoken) of 1d’s grandfather means boost or stimulus.

23d  Clean comb (5)
{SCOUR} – double definition.

24d  Hidden in poetic cave there’s a silver coin (5)
{GROAT} – A is inserted (hidden) in a poetic word for a cave to make an old English silver coin.

I admired the anagram at 16a/19a but my favourite clue today was 5d. Let us know what you liked in a comment.

Today’s Quickie pun: {MAT} + {RIM} + {HONEY} = {MATRIMONY}

30 comments on “DT 26539

  1. This was bound to be a themed puzzle, and this one was actually pretty good, despite the inevitable subject matter.

    5D was a very nice clue indeed.

  2. I thought this was well put together, and realising the theme meant some of the clues could be solved almost straight away.
    3d was a new word to me, and I got myself in a pickle with 18d (thinking the first 2 letters had to be RA – thanks to BD for clarifying that!), but the rest was straightforward.
    Thanks to setter, and to gazza.
    Gazza – I think you have the wrong homophone as the answer to 18a.

  3. I enjoyed it. Thank you to the Setter and to Gazza. I was hoping to get the ‘past tense’ crack into 9a, but I see I’ve been beaten to it….

    Reasonably hard – 3d 4d were new words to me, and I wouldn’t be especially confident using 27a or 7d in conversation either.

    Liked having the theme, there were some enjoyable anagrams in there too. I’m afraid my favourite clue was 23a – showing that I favour a bit of humour over sophisticated wordplay. I also laughed at 21d.

    Enjoy the ceremony and/or the day off everyone.


  4. Very predictable today. Sailed through it in record time (for me that is). Slight hold up on 3d.
    Best clue for me was 5d.
    Thanx to Compiler and to Gazza.
    Pun in the ‘Quickie’ was also predictable.

  5. Haven’t started it yet as am watching the real thing!

    My Mum died a few weeks ago so am glad of a bit of colour, happiness and celebration.

    Back later.

    1. Can empathise. My father died on 25/03/11 and this brings relief. The start of a new life gives encouragement.

  6. Record finish time- except for 3 down, which continues to demonstrate Lostboy’s first law of Physics. (There is always one clue I can’t solve.)

    I thought the themed answers spoiled the puzzle because they were so obvious. I couldn’t even be bothered to work out how they were constructed, I just wrote them in.
    looking forward to aharder puzzle tomorrow.

  7. That was lots of fun – right from the very start where 1/10a and 16/19a had me in fits of laughter. Found this mostly very straightforward and just needed a little help with the greek mythology answers. All done in plenty of time for the big event.

    Many thanks to setter and Gazza, didn’t need the hints today except for a few explanations.

  8. Finished with a little help, only redeeming clue for me today was 9a, and yes Gazza, we will get there again :-)

  9. I thought I would escape to my study and do the crosswords only to find that they were choc full of the EVENT, only to be expected I suppose. I thought the cryptic was poor and very predictable but the toughie was a bit better. I wish the young couple all the joy in the world and a hope for a long and happy marriage. Thanks to Gazza and to the setter.

  10. Re. 16a/19a Paul has the following in the Guardian
    Fancy lad and me tied knot! (4,9)

    1. I objected to “contrived”, given the occasion. “Fancy” is very much better.

  11. I enjoyed both puzzles and the wedding and I think I managed to spot our niece hidden away behind the great and the good in the congregation. It was obvious all the cryptics would be themed today and I think Giovanni did a good job with this one. Some good clues. I notice nobody has commented on the cricket element of the word I didn’t know but was able to get from the wordplay – 3d. Thanks to Giovanni and to Gazza – loved the instant pictures.

    Another unknown to me word in the Toughie which is equally themed but worth doing if you have had enough of telly watching or telly avoiding.

  12. Greek mythology always has me beaten so thanks to the blog for helping with 3 and 4d. Nice wedding, watched on Valencian TV with BBC Radio 4 sound through the computer – a fine combination!

  13. I found this perfectly pleasant and only had to check gazza’s hints for 3d which eluded me. Liked the 16/19 anagram ( and Paul’s as well!)
    Thanks to Giovanni and to gazza. Just starting the Toughue with a pint after golf.

  14. Nothing to to with the puzzle as such—but did anyone notice Beatrice’s hat? Looked like a giant pretzel—worth watching the whole thing just to see that!!

    1. Agreed. Given some of the very elegant garments/hats on show, I thought she and her sister were very badly advised sartorially.

      1. No doubt one red headed lady had a hand in it. Hope she told them to have a pedicure!

  15. Enjoyed this, and finished easily without resorting to the hints : it’s amazing how tempting it is to peep at them now that I know they are there!

    Had not heard of either 3d or 4d, though worked them out from the checking letters. it always seems strange that a knight in chess is an N rather than the rather more logical K.

    1. I used to think that as well – then I realised that the K was reserved for the King.

  16. Also meant to say that i expected to see some wedding bells on the top of the home page !

  17. Managed to avoid the whole charade by going up into the Dales where there was no radio reception either. Imagine my disappointment then when I started on this puzzle.
    I found it very straight forward and would not give it more than 1* for either difficulty or enjoyment.
    Judging by the traffic levels. Most of the country must hae been glued to their televisions.
    Thanks to setter and to Gazza who once again gave me some enjoyment.

  18. Hi folks. Just back from being at the wedding. Not inside unfortunately. Anyway, an enjoyable puzzle for this memorable day.

  19. An enjoyable puzzle after being glued to the box (BBC1) all morning and early afternoon – got through a lot of coffee!!

    The theme was expected – as you mentioned to me yesterday Gazza.

    Best for me was 27a – I worked for a while in the UKAEA in Risley where they had those step in / step out lifts which went up at one side and came down at the other. Not upside down!!!

    Incidentally 8d is not in the shrub list in Chambers Crossword Dictionary – in A – Z of course.

    1. Apparently myrtle is always put in Royal Wedding bouquets. Forgettable fact of the day!

  20. Like others 3d eluded me. What is the significance of camp – is it an army reference? Thanks.

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