DT 26554 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26554

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26554

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Shamus makes a welcome return today (we know that this is one of his because he told us a couple of weeks ago when his next puzzle would appear) with a not-too-difficult but very enjoyable puzzle. Let us know how you found it.
To reveal an answer just highlight the space between the curly brackets under the clue.

Across Clues

1a  One whose work could be framed beginning to get less active (7)
{GLAZIER} – this tradesman is the first letter (beginning) of G(et) followed by a comparative meaning less active. An early hint that the puzzle might be a pangram, but it turned out not to be so.

5a  Search place linked to gold in river (7)
{EXPLORE} – the abbreviation for place and the heraldic term for gold both go inside a Devon river.

9a  Young miscreant was dishonest? It’s not obvious (7)
{IMPLIED} – this is a charade of a mischievous young person and a verb meaning was dishonest by being economical with the truth.

10a  Shorten amateur golf hosted by woman in match (7)
{ABRIDGE} – we want a verb meaning to shorten. Start with A(mateur) and then put the letter that golf represents in the Nato phonetic alphabet inside the main female participant in a wedding ceremony (woman in match).

11a  Shunning a cove and swimming around island (9)
{AVOIDANCE} – an anagram (swimming) of A COVE AND goes round I(sland).

12a  Breed fish, we hear (5)
{RAISE} – a verb meaning to breed or bring up sounds like (we hear) flat-bodied fish.

13a  Lament being carried by camel (Egyptian) (5)
{ELEGY} – this lament is hidden (carried) in the clue.

15a  Correction made by chaps with time after noon? (9)
{AMENDMENT} – put a synonym for chaps and T(ime) after a cryptic (hence the question mark) way of defining noon, i.e. as the conclusion of the morning (2,3).

17a  Trip once organised to tour new US university (9)
{PRINCETON} – one of the Ivy League universities in the US is an anagram (organised) of TRIP ONCE around (to tour) N(ew).

19a  Brief communication giving some recurrent thrill — I am elated! (5)
{EMAIL} – hidden (some) and reversed (recurrent) in the clue is a message (brief indicating not that the message is necessarily short, but that this is an abbreviation of the full term).

22a  A second period in court has advantage (5)
{ASSET} – something useful (advantage) is formed from A, S(econd) and a division of a match (period) on court.

23a  Academic companion probing note before violent rally (9)
{SCHOLARLY} – the definition is academic. Put the abbreviation for companion (an honourable one) inside (probing) the fifth note of the scale in tonic sol-fa then finish with an anagram (violent) of RALLY.

25a  Singer about to be engulfed by wild yelps (7)
{PRESLEY} – put a preposition meaning about or concerning inside (to be engulfed by) an anagram (wild) of YELPS to get a singer who had his fair share of yelping fans.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

26a  Musical group beset by a lot of mean and bitter criticism (7)
{VITRIOL} – we want a word meaning bitter criticism or malice. Put a musical group with a fixed number of members inside (beset by) an adjective meaning mean or wicked without its final E (a lot of).

27a  Distinguished feature of a cafeteria in demand? (7)
{NOTABLE} – an adjective meaning distinguished could also be cryptically, as (2,5), a feature of a crowded cafeteria.

28a  Sister getting really discontented in creche (7)
{NURSERY} – start with a hospital sister and add really, having first removed its insides (dis-contented).

Down Clues

1d  Smirk from unpleasant expert (7)
{GRIMACE} – a charade of synonyms for unpleasant and expert.

2d  Commend a very quiet tailless dog (7)
{APPROVE} – this traditional name for a dog is suddenly popping up all over the place. Put it, without its final R (tailless), after A and the musical abbreviation for very quiet.

3d  Epic illustration initially kept by painter put up (5)
{ILIAD} – this Greek epic poem comes from the initial letter of I(llustration) which is contained in (kept by) a famous abstract surrealist (thanks Chris) painter reversed (put up, in a down clue).

4d  Left-winger and German worker no longer operational (9)
{REDUNDANT} – an adjective meaning no longer operational is a charade of the colour associated with the political left, the German word for “and” and the usual Crosswordland worker.

5d  Elude first woman holding bill (5)
{EVADE} – put an abbreviated bill or poster inside the first woman in the Bible.

6d  Flier taking constituent over hill (9)
{PARTRIDGE} – this bird (flier) is a subsection of the whole (constituent) followed by (over, in a down clue) a hill.

7d  First sign of drinks during over in ground — feature of cricket? (2,5)
{ON DRIVE} – a cricket stroke on the leg side is formed when the first letter (sign) of D(rinks) is put inside (during) an anagram (ground) of OVER IN.

8d  Copper, say, sorting out melee by conservationists (7)
{ELEMENT} – copper is just an example (say) of this. It’s an anagram (sorting out) of MELEE followed by the abbreviation of a group dedicated to preserving the cultural and environmental treasures of the country.

14d  Champion entering northerly river with suit in maritime group (5,4)
{YACHT CLUB} – put the abbreviation for champion inside a Scottish river which is reversed (northerly, in a down clue) and add a suit of cards to get a sailing association. I’d normally expect the suit, in this sense, to be in the plural.

16d  Dine fantastically overlooking hotel, place for cooking in Dutch city (9)
{EINDHOVEN} – the name of a Dutch city is constructed from an anagram (fantastically) of DINE followed by (overlooking, in a down clue) the letter for which the word hotel is used in the Nato phonetic alphabet. Finish with a place for cooking.

17d  Scheme to protect gym below yard — safe site for youngsters? (7)
{PLAYPEN} – a scheme goes around (to protect) the usual abbreviation for gymnastics which follows (below, in a down clue) Y(ard).

18d  Examine page penned by six-footer (7)
{INSPECT} – P(age) is contained (penned) by a six-footed creature.

20d  In the East End, very slender transport company (7)
{AIRLINE} – an adjective meaning very slender (as applied to a crack, for example) has its initial H dropped as is the ‘abit in the East End of London.

21d  Faithful conduct shown by princes, say, after changing sides initially (7)
{LOYALTY} – start with what princes are examples of and change the first letter (initially) from one side or hand to the other.

23d  Designate a set of steps for audience (5)
{STYLE} – a verb meaning to designate or entitle sounds like (for audience) a set of steps allowing humans, but not livestock, to climb over a fence.

24d  In a while, sound of amusement will banish sound of disgust (5)
{LATER} – the definition is in a while. Start with the sound we make when we’re amused and remove (banish) from it a 3-letter exclamation of disgust.

The clues I liked included 26a, 7d and 24d, but my pick of the day was 28a. Tell us what you liked in a comment.

Today’s Quickie Pun: {ODD} + {ERR} + {SEAS} = {ODYSSEYS}

49 comments on “DT 26554

  1. The benefits of a good night’s sleep… yesterday’s took an hour last thing; this took a lot less over breakfast. But the problem with racing through the clues is that actually you enjoy them less; it’s only later you realise how pleasing some of them were. I liked 25a and 24d, and 28a was a neat use of discontented.

  2. 24d was my favourite here. For once I started off looking for a pangram and this time I needn’t have bothered!. Very enjoyable fare from Shamus.
    Thanks to him and to Gazza for the review.

  3. Lovely start to the day. Didn’t take long to solve with some splendid clues. I liked 25a as well as 20 and 24d. Thanks to Shamus and Gazza.

    My toughie tip today is to try Paul in the Guardian (very tough but gettable in the end) or if you were around in the 60’s, Scorpion in the Indy should be right up your street/record collection!

    1. Thanks, CS, for the heads-up on the Paul puzzle – it’s brilliant. I wonder why he hasn’t re-appeared here, as Dada, since his first and only puzzle two months ago – perhaps he failed the audition :D

  4. I rattled through this one, although I did make a monumentous blunder at 5a, where I initially entered Examine (gold might be found in ‘a mine’, but it did not occur to me at the time that I had lopped off the last ‘e’!).
    Fortunately I realised my mistake after a couple of minutes.
    Faourite clue – 28a.
    Thanks to Shamus, and to gazza.

    1. Great minds, Jezza…….!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Could’t get “airbridge” to work at 6d, which prompted me to look again!

      1. Another one I thought about too! But didn’t even pensil that one in though!

      2. Opps – having real trouble with this keyboard – old and worn out with letters missing and I’m a terrible typist.
        I of course meant pencil.

      3. Digby

        I realised something was wrong with 5a when all i could come up with for 7d was ‘In Drove’ :)

    2. I did that as well Jezza. The magic pen that pomette suggest I buy has paid for itself!

  5. Enjoying a purple patch of late managing to solve without help. However I do enjoy reading the Hints to see if my reasoning concurs with the Reviewers.
    Thanx to Compiler and Gazza.

  6. A veritable two stopper but highly enjoyable. Many thanks to Shamus for the fun and to Gazza for the review.

  7. Most went in very quickly wiith a slight delay in the SE corner. 23a, 20d and 24d last in. Many thanks to Shamus and Gazza.

  8. Good morning Gazza, I don’t know if its because I’ve not done a crossword for over a week now or not, but I found this Shamus one quite tricky though very clever, for me at least a 3 star today, I needed your help in lots of places, had never heard of 7d ( surprise, surprise! ) or 12a and had put ‘applaud’ in 2d even though I couldn’t figure the dog out!
    PS I think your clue on COW (the first one) might just be unbeatable this week, brilliant! :-)

    1. Welcome back, Mary – I hope you enjoyed your break.
      Your comment about COW has got me worried now – please redouble your efforts :D

    2. Good to have you back Mary. Fancy joining a new club? The NCCC (Not Comletly Clueless Club) for those of that have complete 1 back-pager and are struggling to do another.
      Rules for membership to be prepared and posted soon!

      1. The NCCC – Clashes a bit with Digby’s idea for the non-cricketing club – NCC – #13 below. Maybe, the pro-cricket lobby should just call themselves the MCC – More Cricket Clues!!

  9. Thanks to Shamus for an untaxing but fun crossword today. Thanks also to Gazza for the notes.

  10. I am really enjoying this one, though a long way to go yet. My first four answers each had the letter Y in them and I’m always pleased to see the ‘lesser’ consonants . I thought at first that 17D had the same answer as 28A. Stupid I know! .

  11. Thoroughly enjoayable today. Rattled through this but found a few little tricky clues to hold me up – 21d (I never spot the substitution clues) and believe it or not 19a (I can never spot backward run-ons). Still in the NCCC – as I needed hints from my own personal blogger to finish this one off.
    Pommers enjoyed this too (he loves Shamus) but he’s cleaning the courtyard at the moment to make it habitable for our visitors arriving in 2 hours! I must away to finish cleaning the house !!!
    Thanks to Shamus & Gazza for a fun Tuesday. But sorry Gazza, only 9/10 – still no “pretty” pictures!
    Have a good day everyone.

    1. Sorry for the lack of “interesting” pictures, pommette. I’ll try to do better on Friday. I did intend to look for an attractive nurse to illustrate 28a but ran out of time.

      1. Glad you didn’t. Knowing that your choice of pics would be of the “carry-on” genre, I would be back on the lift and separate thought again! And then Mrs T would stop helping with the clues.

  12. Lovely crossword today, loved 28a and 4 and 24d. Didn’t understand 7d or 23d and still don’t in spite of having pored over Gazza’s hints, oh well, some you win and some etc. Thankyou very much Shamus and Gazza for an entertaining morning

    1. brendam,
      I’m not sure that I can give any better explanations for 7d and 23d than those already in the hints, but I’ll give it a go:
      7d The answer is a cricket stroke. It’s an anagram (ground) of OVER IN containing the first letter of D(rinks).
      23d The answer is a verb meaning to designate, label or brand something. It sounds like (for audience) stile.

  13. As expressed above, some lovely clues in this one, to which I would add 21d. Sorry that the non-cricketing club (NCC?) threw their toys around again. Believe me, a well-executed 7d compares with a crossword of today’s quality – tiz a thing of beauty, only bettered by its off-side equivalent.

    1. Thanks, Chris – I must have had a CRAFT moment (can’t remember a flaming thing!).

  14. Courtyard cleaned, kitchen cleaned and pommers cleaned! Visitor still not arrived so I’ve got a minute to post.
    Great xword today which I really enjoyed so thanks to Shamus and, of course. to Gazza for a fine blog. Too many good clues to pick out a favourite.

      1. Not Pegasus, don’t know what part of Spain he’s off too but we did have The_Chairman staying only a few kilometres from us in Jan/Feb. Never met up with him though!

  15. Enjoyable puzzle – thanks Philip!
    Liked : 12a, 15a, 27a, 3d, 7d, 14d & 16d. (no excuses for 16d).

    Missed yesterday’s.

  16. Bit of a curates egg for me today. NW, SW and SE corners were Ok but got stuck on the NE corner. Needed the help of the blog for that bit.

  17. Very short of time yesterday and only did about half (found it more difficult than usual for a Monday too), so it was nice to complete this in good time today. Agree with the 2 stars for difficulty but 4 for enjoyment. Some amusing clues, I thought. Thanks to the setter and Gazza.

  18. I can’t, for once, really add anything to all the above comments. Couldn’t understand the ‘G’ in 10a – always forget the Nato alphabet. I liked 17, 19, 25 and 27a and 1, 4, 21 and 24d. Not surprisingly DIDN’T like 7d! 17d made me laugh – many years ago a friend of mine who was always sewing something used to take a chair, a small table and her sewing machine into the playpen leaving babies and toddlers the run of the rest of the room – it worked far better than the other way round!!
    Thanks to Shamus and Gazza.

  19. SO much easier than yesterday – or maybe just more on my wavelength? Got most of top half before having to go out, did some more on return and then got stuck in SE corner – needed hints for a couple, partic 19a which I would never have got otherwise and was last in. Many thanks to Shamus for a most enjoyable puzzle and Gazza for necessary help!

  20. After reading the across clues and barely understanding anything, I nearly didn’t bother to read the downs. Then 1d and 13a fell in quite quickly and before long I just had a few spaces in the NE corner and needed a few hints to complete it. Didn’t stand a chance with 7d of course …

    Lots of good stuff here, most enjoyable; many thanks to Shamus and Gazza.

  21. Most of those commenting today seem to have enjoyed the Shamus puzzle, so can I point out that tomorrow’s Toughie is also by Shamus – possibly an opportunity for some of those who don’t usually venture into Toughie territory to dip their toe in the water?

    1. Thanks for that bit of information Gazza – time permitting will probably have a go.

  22. Such a relief after yesterday’s! I usually start with the acrosses, but sometimes — like today — I’m more successful starting with the downs. I got a bit stuck on the NE corner, but managed to work my way through, only needing help with 7d. So thanks ever so much to Shamus and Gazza. :-)

  23. Just back from a long day at work so it was very nice to read Gazza’s review and all the comments – many thanks for taking the time to do so!

    1. Shamus, this was great! Thanks, and I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s Toughie.

  24. Mixed bag for me too but I loved 10a & 6d. My favourite though was 27a- brilliant!

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