DT 26551 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26551

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26551

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

We have a typical Giovanni today – a couple of religious references, a couple of new words (for me, anyway) but all impeccably clued. Let us know what you thought of it in a comment.
If you want to see an answer drag your cursor through the space between the curly brackets under the relevant clue.

Across Clues

1a  Greek character’s in charge of booze for the party (8)
{MUSICALE} – this is a social gathering with music. The twelfth letter of the Greek alphabet is followed by the abbreviation for in charge and a type of booze.

5a  After dull work get a nervous disorder (6)
{CHOREA} – add A to a routine task to get a neurological disorder characterised by jerky, involuntary movements.

9a  Soon is in church to turn into a saint (8)
{CANONISE} – put a synonym for soon and IS inside the abbreviation for the Church of England to construct a verb meaning to declare someone a saint.

10a  It involves carting round a hamper? Easy task! (6)
{PICNIC} – what you’d use to carry the goodies for an outdoor feast is used informally to mean a piece of cake (easy task).

12a  Get-up could get you dismissed with tantrum following (6)
{OUTFIT} – a get-up or ensemble is a charade of a synonym for dismissed (in cricket, for example) and another word for tantrum.

13a  Confused oldster clings on to a guide (8)
{LODESTAR} – an anagram (confused) of OLDSTER contains (clings on to) A to make a heavenly guide.

15a/16a  What could be trio behaving in unrestrained fashion (7,4)
{RUNNING RIOT} – a phrase meaning behaving in a violent and restrained way is also what you might end up with if you tried to construct an anagram (complete with indicator) for the word trio.

16a  See 15a

20a/21a  Nasty slob ‘ad money, becoming very cheeky (4,2,5)
{BOLD AS BRASS} – this is a phrase meaning very impudent and unrestrained. It’s an anagram (nasty) of SLOB ‘AD followed by a slang term for money.

21a  See 20a

25a  Defendant gives this reply, but later falls apart (8)
{REBUTTAL} – an anagram (falls apart) of BUT LATER.

26a  This queen would be overthrown in a republic in Africa (6)
{REGINA} – if you reverse (overthrown) A and a landlocked West African republic you get the latin word for queen.

28a  Loves a party before short break (6)
{ADORES} – string together A, the usual Crosswordland party and a break without its final T (short).

29a  Protection for a nob (8)
{HEADGEAR} – the compiler is trying to make you think that nob here is a person of high social standing but it’s actually an informal term for a head.

30a  Paddy is moderate (6)
{TEMPER} – double definition, moderate here being a verb.

31a  Fish? Someone working in a hospital eats tons (8)
{STURGEON} – put T(ons) inside a hospital worker to get this old chestnut fish.

Down Clues

1d  Mark, son of Ronald in Glasgow? (6)
{MACRON} – if the clue had specified Gloucester rather than Glasgow then the answer might have been Ronson, but we actually need to use the Scottish, or Gaelic, prefix meaning son of. The answer is a straight line (mark), a diacritical sign placed over a vowel to show that it is pronounced long (ē).

2d  Remark about young louse makes sense (6)
{SANITY} – a verb meaning to remark goes round the young form of a louse (the epithet associated with the nurse who used to inspect young heads for such things at school years ago) to make sense or rational behaviour.

3d  Carry on and on getting money when given external psychological stimulus (8)
{CONTINUE} – this is a verb meaning to carry on. Put ON (the second one in the clue) and a slang term for money inside (given external) a stimulus that produces a specific psychological response.

4d/14d  General so so silly to get very angry (4,4,3)
{LOSE ONE’S RAG} – an anagram (silly) of GENERAL SO SO produces a phrase meaning to get very angry and be unable to contain oneself.

6d  Acclaimed hospital first class — showed the way to go (6)
{HAILED} – a verb meaning acclaimed or saluted is a charade of H(ospital), the abbreviation for first class and a verb meaning showed the way by going in front.

7d  Sail, trailing at sea (8)
{RINGTAIL} – an anagram (at sea) of TRAILING gives us a type of sail. According to Chambers this is either “a studding sail set upon the gaff (sic) of a fore-and-aft sail” or “a light sail set abaft and beyond the spanker”. So now you know! (I’m sure that either Pommers or Pommette will translate this into English if you’re interested).

8d  A cold minister sticking to the truth (8)
{ACCURATE} – this is an adjective meaning exact or corresponding to the truth. It’s A followed by C(old) and a junior cleric.

11d/27d  Rustic bench in a grand estate? (7,4)
{COUNTRY SEAT} – double definition, the second a large house and estate generally belonging to an aristocratic family (which will often have been given it centuries ago in return for favours shown to the monarch).

14d  See 4d

17d  Rogue American President — liar ultimately with verbal onslaught (8)
{ABERRANT} – this is an adjective meaning not conforming to an accepted standard (rogue, as in a rogue state, for example). Start with the abbreviated forename of President Lincoln and add the last letter (ultimately) of (lia)R and a verbal onslaught.

18d  Short hint given to cleaner: members will want to come in here (8)
{CLUBROOM} – the answer is a place where an association of members with similar interests will meet. String together a hint without its final E (short) and a cleaning implement.

19d  A person posting a letter, we hear — someone coming up the hill? (8)
{ASCENDER} – this word describes someone going up (a hill, possibly). It also sounds (we hear) like someone who might be posting a letter (1,6). Perhaps not Giovanni’s finest ever clue.

22d  Appearing in cinema, the new goddess (6)
{ATHENE} – hidden (appearing) in the clue is the Greek goddess of wisdom.

23d  Particular sort of craft? You need to purchase lots of paper, we hear (6)
{BIREME} – this is an old vessel with two banks of oars. It sounds like (we hear) an instruction to purchase approximately 500 sheets of paper (3,4).

24d  Lord reportedly unable to have children? (6)
{BARREN} – an adjective applied to a woman who is unable to bear children sounds like (reportedly) an aristocrat.

27d  See 11d

I liked 25a and 17d but my favourite clue today was 3d. Let us know what you liked in a comment.

Today’s Quickie Pun: {MILL} + {AMMETER} = {MILLIMETRE}

42 comments on “DT 26551

  1. Apart from finding the puzzle very difficult today I also found it educational and enjoyable. Took me forever to finish, I think I need another shave.
    My only gripe was I thought 23d should have been ‘ lot of paper’ and not ‘lots of paper’ that kept me stuck for a while trying to think of the plural.
    Thanks to Gazza and Giovanni

  2. After yesterdays puzzle, its good to get back to sanity. There were a couple of words I wasn’t too sure about (1D, 7D) but reasonably easy to work out. Must admit I’m not overly keen on answers that fit across two clues, but the ones today seem OK.. Enjoyed 9A, 10A, 13A, 30A and my favourite today is 26A – very clever.

  3. I am still working on this but enjoying it v much. For once, my brain seems to be getting the homophones! My fav so far is 20/24a.

    Thanks to Giovani and Gazza.

    Lovely sun here in Edinburgh so taking puzzle out this afternoon!

  4. An example of how to make a challenging puzzle, unlike yesterday’s shocker. Thanks G&G.

  5. Agreed, a much easier workout than yesterday and superb clues (with the exception of 19d). A few words/meanings that are new to me (1a, 1d, 7d) but the quality of the clues ensured they were easily figured out. No particular favourites. Thanks to Gazza and Giovanni.

  6. Spot on with the review of an enjoyable crossword. Like others, it was good to find that the rarer words were superbly well clued to lead you to the answer – the sign of a master craftsman at work.

    Many thanks to Giovanni for the crossword and to Gazza for the review.

  7. 1d was a new word for me. The rest was straightforward and enjoyable. Favourite clue – 25a.
    Thanks to Giovanni, and to Gazza.

  8. REALLY not in the mood today – too many problems to be able to concentrate (ancient mother has fallen over AGAIN and broken her arm – younger daughter is in middle of relationship bust up) so I was quite surprised to be able to do this one at all, especially since it is a Friday. Anyway, I did manage it apart from 1d, which I would never have got. I also needed the hint to explain why 26a was what it obviously was. 10a took ages – how silly of me! Never heard of 7d but it was ‘work-out-able’ from the clue. I liked 1, 9, 15/16 and 20/21a and 2, 11/27 and 23d.
    Thanks to Giovanni and Gazza
    Didn’t have time to do the crossword yesterday so might have a go now – need more distraction! :sad:

      1. Yesterday’s was very strange – felt quite unfamiliar and needed a lot of “getting into”. Sorry – I know that I shouldn’t be commenting on the wrong day but yesterday overtook me – will keep this short (for me, anyway). Failed completely on “osso bucco” and completely missed the anagram indicator in 16d. Not quite sure that I would dare to call ANY crossword horrible – would feel too sorry for the poor compiler – just think of the HOURS it must take ….

  9. Challenging but enjoyably so. Thanks to Giovanni for a good start to Friday and to Gazza for the Review.

    The Toughie is of course a Friday Toughie and by Elgar but is one of his great ones and well worth a perservate if you have time – you may need quite a bit of time :)

    1. Pommers tried the other puzzle too – he’ll post on there when it arrives – but yes, he needed lots of time!

    2. And I need a little more! Only a handful left but going to leave and come back later on. Going to tackle the Cryptic now.

  10. 1d and 5a were unknown to me but clued so fairly that the answer was clear. Very good puzzle form Giovanni. Thanks to him and to gazza for a fine review.

  11. In line with everyone on today’s Giovanni, enjoyable and work-out-able, favourite clue 23d amongst a lot of good clues. Thankyou Giovanni and Gazza for a lovely start to the day. Kath I hope your problems have a happy outcome, I have similar family upsets except I’m the ancient mother and I didn’t actually break anything!!

  12. Solved this one in record time – began to think it was not from The Don!
    5a, 20a, 30a, 1d, 7d, 17d were best for me.

  13. Loved today’s puzzle. Challenging but doable like everyone has said.
    Lots of words I’d never come across – 1a, 5a (knew it only as St Vitus Dance), 1d and 23d (heard of a tri- version but never the bi- one).
    And finally – no I’d never heard of 7d. More yachting words to confuse you ….
    We had Fractional Bermudan rig – not a gaff rig so hence the reason I don’t know the term.
    However, we did have a spanker on board !!!! And no it wasn’t pommers.
    For anyone interested – some photos of both types of boats here on the pommers blog http://thepommers.wordpress.com/sailing/

    1. PS. Right click on the link and say “Open in New Tab” – otherwise you exit BD’s blog

    2. ‘Fraid not crypticsue – my classical education only got as far as the Latin being beated into me by Miss Ruff.
      To quote her “Ruff by name, Rough by nature”

        1. Just had a look – never was into poetry at school I’m afraid – but I like this! Thanks

  14. Not a good puzzle week for me though I agree this was easier than yesterday – and it’s a Friday! If I admit that, after a read through of all the clues, the only one I got was 28a, you will see that I’m having trouble!! However, on second attempt I more or less finished bottom half but had to resort to hints for top half. Had never heard of 1d or 5a, which didn’t help – 10a also took me ages for the penny to drop – I believe the expression here is “doh”?! And I STILL don’t understand 15/16a – 16 is obvious, but what in the clue points to 15? Clarification, please! Thanks to setter and Gazza.

    1. Addicted,
      The two words for 15a/16a need to be read together. The whole thing (Running Riot) means behaving in unrestrained fashion. You can also read the answer as an anagram instruction, i.e. an anagram (running) of RIOT could be TRIO. In other words it’s a sort of reverse anagram, where the anagram indicator and fodder are in the answer and the “answer” to the anagram is actually in the clue.

      1. This was one of my last in and is a type of construction that I always miss!
        Don’t like them much.

  15. Very impressed by the way the compiler has made the solutions for the 4 doubled-up (?) clues contiguous in the grid.

    I presume it was intentional.

    i.e. (15 &16a), (20 & 21a), (4 & 14d) + (11 & 27d).

    1. So who’s a “smarty pants” then? Far too clever for me, I’m afraid, especially after the kind of day that I’ve had and the late hour. Totally worn out and going to bed now. By the way, to anyone who is still out there, what happened to the “After Eight Club”? Sleep well all.

  16. Nice puzzle. I’d solved 1d and 7d but had to look them up to make sure, so learned something with those. Only minor gripe was 29a. I can’t find a definition of nob=head. Certainly not in my Chambers or Thesaurus. Other than that very enjoyable. Thanks to the Gs.

      1. Ok, I’ll get my coat!! You are of course correct. It’s in there just in front of the cribbage definition. Missed it on the first run! That’ll teach me to go shooting my mouth off.

  17. Coming very late to this, but did finish without help. Any reason why 29a might not have been ‘headwear’? I plumped for ‘headgear’ myself, but surely either works?

    1. I agree that either would work but I think that “protective headgear” is a more common phrase than “protective headwear”.

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