DT 26557 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26557

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26557

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ****

We have a great puzzle from Giovanni today which I really enjoyed solving and blogging. Let us know how you fared in a comment.
If you need to see an answer just drag your cursor through the space between the curly brackets under the relevant clue.

Across Clues

4a  Separate area reached by sailors (8)
{ABSTRACT} – a verb meaning to separate or draw away is a large area of land preceded by an abbreviation for sailors.

8a  Country making a new attempt when backed by the French (6)
{ANGOLA} – this is a country in South-West Africa. String together A, N(ew), a synonym for attempt and a French definite article.

9a  What knocks back editor — if a VIP is genuine (4,4)
{BONA FIDE} – this is an adjective meaning genuine, from the latin for “with good faith”. Put together the abbreviation for editor, IF, A and an informal word for a VIP, then reverse the lot (knocks back).

10a  Title of my French gentleman used around European community (8)
{MONSIEUR} – start with the French word for my (masculine version) and add the title afforded a gentleman with the current abbreviation for what used to be known as the European Community inside.

11a  Moggie let out with other animals (6)
{CATTLE} – this is a neat clue in more ways than one. Start with a more formal word for a moggie and add an anagram (out) of LET.

12a  Mayor with yen to move in a particular social group (8)
{YEOMANRY} – an anagram (to move) of MAYOR and YEN produces an historical group of small freeholders.

13a  London complex issuing claim of competence following insult (8)
{BARBICAN} – this is the name of an arts centre in London. The way someone may claim competence (1,3) goes after an insult or hurtful remark.

16a  Plant Zola and I found in meadow (8)
{BUDDLEIA} – Zola is not Emile the writer or even Gianfranco the footballer but a South African female athlete who featured in a grubby episode in the 1980s when she was given British citizenship in record time by the Thatcher government so that she could circumvent the boycott on South Africa and run in the Olympics representing the UK. After her surname we want another word for meadow with I inserted to make a plant with fragrant clusters of purple and orange flowers.

19a  Happy, having existed again with inner energy (8)
{RELIEVED} – an adjective meaning freed from anxiety or happy (in the sense of content) is formed by putting E(nergy) inside the past tense of a verb meaning to exist again.

21a  Things collected from street in the morning — empty pots (6)
{STAMPS} – the abbreviations for street and in the morning are followed by P(ot)S (empty) to make items which we all collected when I was a lad.

23a  So fortifying and comforting (8)
{SOLACING} – a present participle meaning bringing comfort or consolation comes from SO followed by a word meaning fortifying (by adding a shot of hard liquor, for example).

24a  Pure music comes from this (8)
{VIRGINAL} – double definition – the second being an old keyboard instrument.

25a  Sit back collecting the sums of money for the church? (6)
{TITHES} – reverse (back) SIT and insert (collecting) THE.

26a  American movement that’s presided over by mad character? (3,5)
{TEA PARTY} – what was presided over by the mad character in Lewis Carroll’s work is currently the name of a right-wing political movement in the States. I love this clue – Giovanni couldn’t be thinking of the frightening Sarah Palin, could he?

Down Clues

1d  Rude gesture? Then it’s time to abandon a game (7)
{SNOOKER} – a rude gesture, involving putting the thumb to the nose with the fingers held vertically and spread out, is followed by a long and distinct period of time without its final A (to abandon A) to make an indoor game.

2d  Domestic servant, awfully hideous, mum retained (9)
{HOUSEMAID} – an anagram (awfully) of HIDEOUS has MA (mum) inserted (retained).

3d  Wear nothing, needing to get into shelter (4,2)
{HAVE ON} – this was the last clue I got. The definition is just “wear” and we need to put the letter used to signify nothing inside a place of refuge or shelter.

4d  Victorian artist when drunk could be bleary dauber, yes? (6,9)
{AUBREY BEARDSLEY} – this is a Victorian artist and producer of often erotic and controversial drawings. His name is an anagram (could be) of BLEARY DAUBER YES.

5d  It’s safe to go outside home for a picnic (8)
{SINECURE} – something requiring very little effort (a picnic) is a synonym for safe around (to go outside) the usual Crosswordland word for home.

6d  Engineers appropriate for providing a new set of equipment (5)
{REFIT} – this is a charade of the abbreviation for the Royal Engineers and an adjective meaning suitable or appropriate.

7d  A mark the French waiter is given (7)
{CEDILLA} – this is a cryptic definition of the little squiggly mark that goes under a C in some French words (such as garçon for waiter) to indicate that it is to be pronounced with an S rather than a K sound.

14d  Tiny rec in derelict downtown area (5,4)
{INNER CITY} – an anagram (derelict) of TINY REC IN.

15d  One arguing about a member of the family starts to exaggerate ridiculously (8)
{REASONER} – someone who argues rationally starts with a preposition meaning about or concerning, and this is followed by A, a family member and the initial letters (starts) of E(xaggerate) R(idiculously).

17d  Straighten out nut that’s drunk alcoholic drink (7)
{UNTWINE} – a verb meaning to straighten out is an anagram (drunk) of NUT followed by an alcoholic drink.

18d  Ramble with ungrammatical alternative to ‘The Queen and I’? (7)
{MEANDER} – an ungrammatical way of combining I and the Queen (in that order) produces a verb to ramble.

20d  See restricted literature — a particular novel (6)
{LOLITA} – this is a controversial novel by Vladimir Nabokov. Start with an exclamation meaning see! Then add an abbreviation (restricted) for literature and A.

22d  Swot showing face at university (3,2)
{MUG UP} – a phrasal verb meaning to swot is a combination of an informal word for face and an adverb meaning at university.

The clues I enjoyed included 11a, 1d, 7d and 22d, but my favourite today was 26a. Let us know what you liked in a comment.

Today’s Quickie Pun: {SIR} + {ROW} + {GAIT} = {SURROGATE}

39 comments on “DT 26557

  1. A lovely puzzle from Giovanni. I would plump for 26a as favourite as well followed by 24a and 9a.
    Many thanks to Giovanni and to gazza.

    1. I took longer on this than the toughie…probably because I got sidetracked with artist after I had the a and b and thought it must be Albert (the other letters were in the anagram)…..taught me a lesson!!

  2. Good morning Gazza, thanks for review and hints, which I needed once again, I have been really struggling this week, strangely enough 3d was one of the first in for me and 1d although I really didn’t know why that was the answer, have never heard of that gesture, once again no favourite clue! Good luck tonight, I think you and Dram may be struggling for 2nd place! :-D

  3. Ditto the above. A treat to solve and the added bonus of Pasquale in the Guardian too – slightly trickier than this one. Many thanks to Giovanni and to Gazza for the review.

    1. I see from 255 that Giovanni has also set today’s Times and FT puzzles. Two more treats in store!

  4. Lovely puzzle, no particular favourites,they were all good, thanks Giovanni and Gazza for the hints, 40 years in the Hotel business and never employed a 2d like yours Gazza!! :-)

  5. This is one of my “oh dear” days! :sad: I thought that it was very difficult and was rather hoping that it might have got an extra * . Maybe it’s just me. Eventually gave up (things that I really HAVE to do today) with about five that I just couldn’t get. Although I couldn’t justify it I had ‘untwist’ for 17d so that screwed up 26a. Have heard the expression ‘cock a snook’ but I didn’t know what it meant and the only rude gesture that sprang to mind was ‘finger’ and that didn’t seem to help much. Clues that I liked (and managed to solve) include 11, 16 and 21a and 7, 18 and 22d. Thanks to Giovanni and to Gazza for the much needed hints.

  6. I really enjoyed solving Giovanni’s puzzle this morning. :D It took me a while to get going but things fell nicely into place with 4d safely bedded in. Lots of fav. clues but I epecially liked16a. It evoked dim memories of Alf Garnet gently mocking his wife in a wheel chair making slow progress along the road…. “Here she comes… Z… B…! Great puzzle and excellent blog Gazza. Thanks.

  7. Excellent puzzle today – really enjoyed it. Some I found very tough at the end though, including 4a (one of the last in), 12a (just couldn’t figure the anagram), 16a (ages before penny dropped), 24a (never heard of it – as an instrument, had to look it up), and 4d (had to look him up). Favourite clue 26a. Thanks to Giovanni and to Gazza for blog.

  8. Thanks to Giovanni for an enjoyable puzzle to end the week, and to Gazza for the review. Fav clue – 11a.
    I wonder what Crypticsue would say about the Toughie today.. I found it particularly hard, and needed to use all 5 online hints to complete.

  9. Not sure why 17d doesn’t feature the alcoholic drink inside, rather than after the anagram of NUT? Anyone explain?

    1. Hi Turbotubbs – welcome to the blog.
      There’s no insertion indicator (drunk is the anagram indicator).

  10. I liked 7d best. Three of the down clues – 1,3, and 15 – were too tough for me.

  11. I love Kath! ….Lovely honesty – I liked many things about this puzzle, but some of them were stupidly annoying hated 18d… is it me or what has it to do with the Queen…I thought this answer usually had some witty cockney reference. I just adored 26a though!
    Thank you setter (for delaying me yet again from painting the darned spare bedroom ceiling) and gazza for some much needed help…off to open up the paint pot then…sigh!

      1. Oh yes – I see…serve me right for being grumpy, because I got stuck on that one! Thanks

  12. At the first run through I only found four words, but then, bit by bit, others started to appear. Having got into French mode with 7d and 10a, I was trying to fit quite the wrong Zola into 16a — had forgotten Miss Budd — and needed your explanation, Gazza, for the solution once I’d found it. I managed to finish with only a modicum of help before the blog appeared, with the exception of 3d which I just couldn’t find. There were lots of lovely clues again, hard to choose a favourite, but I enjoyed 24a and 18d.

    I agree with Big Boab about the three G’s — many thanks to Giovanni and Gazza. :-)

  13. Well, I think Giovanni is a bit too difficult for me. I finished two puzzles this week ( Tues & Wed ).
    Today I got 11 clues, then another 8 with your hints, but couldn’t get the other 8, even with the hints.

      1. Hi Big Dave, thank you.
        I’ve been using the site for a couple of months, I really like it.
        It’s nice to be able to get some of the clues from your hints. I’m hoping it will improve my standard a bit.

  14. Didnt enjoy todays crossword. The DT is usually a pleasure to do – but todays was more like a quizword – for without a very good level of knowledge in specific areas – answers such as Aubrey Beardsley, Cedilla, Buddleia, and Lolita would not be attained. Thank goodness for this blog – it does at least help you work through to a conclusion ….but Im afraid I would never have got any of the aforementioned answers in a month of Sundays !!

  15. Too difficult for me to finish within time available and had to seek help on quite a few. Would never have got 7d and it doesn’t help when you can’t spell a plant’s name properly! So, not very satisfying for me today but thanks to the 2Gs anyway.

  16. Another enjoyable puzzle from Giovanni.
    My favourites were : 9a, 13a, 24a, 26a, 3d, 7d & 20d.

  17. I was completely thrown by 24a. I instantly entered ‘original’ which I justified by thinking pure music comes from an original recording. That of course really put the brakes on 17d. So, thanks Gazza for the hint and putting me on the ‘true’ path. Thanks also to my namesake for a splendid end to the week.

  18. Another tough one today, needed a lot of help for the top right and bottom left corners. Mind you it didn’t,t help that I has untangle for 17d! Score this week is 3 for mon, tues and we’d and 0 for the other two. Hey ho!

    1. Hi Brian – keep at it, 3 out of 5 ain’t bad! I gave up on this one for the first time for in months (see below) but 3d and a few glasses of Rioja just didn’t mix! Needed pommettes hints for a couple as well!

  19. Gave up on 3d – D’oh! Stupid or what? In my defence I can only say I went to the local as promised, met friends, had a few, came home for dinner, and then tackled the crossword! Surprised I got the rest!
    Some lovely clues such as 10a which I think might be having a try at being an all-in-one. Title = SIR, ‘my’ (in French) =MON, Europena wotsit + EU put it together gives the answer which is the whole clue as definition as all countries in the EU refer to Frenchmen by this title – maybe not but it’s a thought.
    Also like 9a.
    Thanks muchly to Giovanni and Gazza for a great review (with pictures)!

    1. Hi pommers,
      Yes, I agree that 10a is an all-in-one – I thought so when I solved the puzzle then forgot to mention it when I wrote the review.

      1. Gazza, I wasn’t sure but it looked like it to me. My problem on solving was that I wasn’t sure I’d spelled the bloody word correctly!.
        You can tell from the typing about the glasses of Rioja but I enjoyed this one and your review – I’ll get up to your standard one day (although pommette did me proud with the ‘asses’ picture last Wednesday)!
        Sorry, rambling now – think I’ll go to bed!

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