DT 26563 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26563

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26563

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

It’s Friday so, as usual, we have an entertaining puzzle from Giovanni. Let us know your opinion of it in a comment.
If you want to see an answer just highlight the space between the brackets under the relevant clue.

Across Clues

1a  Change into suit (6)
{BECOME} – double definition – change into / suit (as a verb).

4a  Part of Africa traversed by Doug and Alice (6)
{UGANDA} – an East African country is hidden (traversed) in the clue.

8a  Paper facing criticism — anger inside building potentially dangerous (8)
{FIRETRAP} – the initials of the pink paper are followed by an informal word for censure or criticism, then a synonym for anger is put inside to make a potentially dangerous building.

10a  Possibly a learner driver’s late autumn road hazard (6)
{NOVICE} – this is someone inexperienced (possibly a learner). If you split it as (3,3) it could be a late autumn month followed by a road hazard.

11a  Garment not right for short piece on stage? (4)
{SKIT} – remove the R (not right) from a lady’s garment to leave a short (normally amusing) sketch.

12a  One against top officer being seen with model — one hating the image (10)
{ICONOCLAST} – this is someone, a puritan for example, who seeks to destroy images used in worship and, by derivation, anyone who attacks traditional or established beliefs or institutions. It’s a charade of I (one), an adverb meaning against, the abbreviation for the top military officer in a unit and a model used by a cobbler.

13a  What can be produced by farm — foie gras and cheesy stuff (7,5)
{FROMAGE FRAIS} – this cheesy stuff is an anagram (can be produced by) of FARM FOIE GRAS.

16a  Silly chap at leisure caught out in poet’s office (12)
{LAUREATESHIP} – the office of a poet is an anagram (silly) of (c)HAP AT LEISURE with the C(aught) taken out.

20a  Old Labour orator ahead of the game — one going over lines? (10)
{FOOTBRIDGE} – the name of an old Labour orator (and one-time leader of the party) precedes a card game to make a structure that enables you to cross railway lines. Here’s the orator making fun of the perpetually puzzled Sir Keith Joseph in the Commons.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

21a  Women facing trouble sob (4)
{WAIL} – the abbreviation for women is followed by a verb meaning to trouble.

22a  Shows off five relations (6)
{VAUNTS} – a verb meaning shows off or boasts is constructed from the Roman numeral for five followed by female relatives.

23a  Shop? One’s about to join queue with hesitation (8)
{RETAILER} – a type of shop is a charade of a preposition meaning concerning or about, a queue (in the heraldic sense as the back bit of some animals) and an interjection expressing hesitation.

24a  Enzyme, as found in old cows (6)
{KINASE} – I’d never heard of this enzyme (Chambers has it as “an enzyme that catalyses the phosphorylation of its substrate by adenosine triphosphate (ATP)” – so that’s clear then!). The wordplay is very straightforward if you remember the Biblical story about Joseph’s interpretation of the Pharaoh’s dream involving seven fat cows and seven thin cows. Put AS inside the old word for cows.

25a  Old statesman’s boring routine in campaign vehicle? (6)
{BRUTUS} – put a boring routine that you can get into inside a vehicle that party leaders tend to utilise at election time so that they can travel round the country seeking out babies to kiss. The result should be the name of an old Roman statesman.

Down Clues

1d  Joint during alcoholic drinks? When druggie ultimately emerges there’s flashing lights! (8)
{BLINKERS} – put a joint (i.e. something that connects) between (during) alcoholic drinks from which one instance of the last letter of (druggi)E has been removed (emerges). The result should be lights that are capable of flashing intermittently (but the purpose of which seems to have been forgotten by most drivers these days).

2d  Take a break descending from cold summit (5)
{CREST} – a break or breather follows (descending from, in a down clue) C(old) to make a summit.

3d  Assessment brings harm to top man (7)
{MARKING} – I’m a bit puzzled by this one. I thought that the first three letters might be a noun meaning harm, but the word only seems to exist as a verb, in which case I would have expected “bringS harm” to end in S. The last bit is a royal ruler (top man) and the definition is assessment or grading. [Thanks to Andy for pointing out that “brings” here means brings together “harm” and “top man”].

5d  Vessel with 500 stuck in lagoon after storm (7)
{GONDOLA} – an anagram (after storm) of LAGOON has the Roman numeral for 500 stuck inside to make a vessel.

6d  Writers of TV lines, so absurd (9)
{NOVELISTS} – an anagram (absurd) of TV LINES SO produces writers.

7d  Hail Chief of Staff in performance (6)
{ACCOST} – put the abbreviation for Chief of Staff inside a performance to make a verb meaning to approach and address someone.

9d  Publisher’s employee who sorts out some letters? (11)
{PROOFREADER} – a cryptic description of someone who checks a written work prior to publication and corrects any errors found.

14d  Hormone that can make Latino men excited (9)
{MELATONIN} – an anagram (excited) of LATINO MEN produces a hormone that induces sleepiness.

15d  A degree of order I had at home with Teresa coming round (8)
{TIDINESS} – put the contracted form  of “I had” and the usual Crosswordland word for at home inside an abbreviated form of Teresa.

17d  Jimmy in America ascends (7)
{UPRISES} – my first thought here was that Jimmy was referring to Master Riddle but it’s an alternative spelling of jemmy, so we want a verb meaning to force open which goes inside an abbreviation for America.

18d  Quaint bird without its tail — it gives out high-frequency sounds (7)
{TWEETER} – an adjective meaning quaint or sentimental precedes an aquatic bird without its final N (tail) to make a device designed to reproduce high-frequency sounds (or, these days, someone who posts short messages).

19d  Hairstyle of doctor, one inclined to be aggressive (6)
{MOHAWK} – this is used in North America for what we would call a Mohican hairstyle. Put one of the abbreviations for a doctor in front of a person who advocates aggression (as opposed to a dove).

21d  Middle part superfluous from what we hear (5)
{WAIST} – the bit between the ribs and the hips (middle part) sounds like (from what we hear) an adjective meaning superfluous or discarded.

I liked 1a, 8a and 25a today, but my favourite clue was 20a. Let us know what you liked.

Today’s Quickie Pun: {MAINE} + {ROWED} = {MAIN ROAD} {or possibly, if you’re a nostalgic  Manchester City fan, Maine Road}

41 comments on “DT 26563

  1. Entertaining, and not too difficult. I liked 20a, recalling his sartorial elegance. Thanks to Gazza and The Don. Almost the Weekend !!

  2. Today’s Quickie is nice too, and another panagram if I’m not mistaken, which helped with a couple of clues.

  3. A very enjoyable outing from Giovanni today. The more unusual words were clearly clued and there were some smiles along the way. Favourite clues were 20a and 14d.

    It was a pleasure to meet Giovanni at the Sloggers and Betters meeting last Tuesday along with Notabilis who provides today’s Toughie – a crossword that lives up to its name.

    Many thanks to Gazza for the review and to Giovanni for the entertainment today.

  4. Enjoyable today and I found it considerably easier than yesterday, not easy easy but I could solve it wheras yesterday’s left me clueless! Thanks Giovanni and Gazza. 12a favourite. The toughie is fun as well.

  5. Thought I was going to struggle with this one at first, but all fell in to place nicely once I had 8a (originally tried to make firedamp work), 12a, 16a (took a while, didn’t spot the anagram and was trying to fit (Stan) Laurel in there as a silly chap!) and 9d – so I guess they must be my favourites. Had to look up 24a as I’d never heard of it, but had worked it out from the clear clu(e)ing. Also, 17d confused me as I’d never heard of Jimmy as the alt (US) spelling for the levering thing. Many thanks to Giovanni for a pleasurable puzzle and to Gazza for the review.

  6. Managed to complete it before Dave had put solution up which is first. 1d I got only through other letters already in, long clues always flummox me

  7. Regarding your reservation to 3 down in 26,563. Isn’t “brings” just a noise word, hence “mar” being an acceptable synonym for “harm”, the clue works just fine?

    1. Hi Andy – welcome to the blog.
      I think you must be right – that’s the only way it will work. Thanks.

  8. Thanks to Giovanni for the puzzle, and to Gazza for the notes. I needed to use a puzzle solver for 24a – I knew where the ‘as’ went, but I have never heard of the old word for cows.

  9. Thanks Giovanni and Gazza, usual Friday crossword, extremely enjoyable and not overly taxing with great review .

  10. Well 3 hours in and I only have one clue in! Have resorted to not only the hints but the actual answers as well! I’m only putting in the long clues though in case a few key letters will kick-start my brain.

  11. I didn’t find this as difficult as usual for a Friday – it can’t be – managed to complete it in spite of the total chaos going on around me – a daughter and several of her friends ALL getting ready to go to a wedding – ALL staying here tonight!! Did most of it fairly quickly, for me on a Friday anyway, and then took quite a long time to get the last five or six clues. I had heard of the enzyme but not the cows in 24a so guessed and looked them up. I liked 1, 8, 12 and 16a and 14 and 19d. Think of us tonight – it could be noisy!! :smile: Thanks to Giovanni and Gazza.

  12. I found this one quite difficult today , the NW corner putting up a fight to the end. I am going to blame not getting home until 1.15 am today and having some sort of Mafia revenge throat problem. No particular favourites amongst some very good clues. Thanks to the Gs for the usual Friday service.

      1. Thank you. Had a great holiday – now back to reality and a struggle with the Friday toughie!!

    1. Not Mafia revenge – probably airline/airport bugs! Poor you – do hope that you feel better soon. :smile:

  13. Quite liked this one, a few good anagrams. 9 across had me barking up the wrong tree. I thought it was Timebomb. The sound clip for 20 was very funny.

  14. Turned wet here in Edinburgh so having a cup of tea (no biscuits!) and a look at the puzzle. Thanks to Giovanni and reviewer.

  15. The NW corner had me scratching my head. 17d,18d and 19d were a bit hard!
    I have always wondered how other people approach their solving. I try all the across clues first, then the down clues, then all the ones that I have letters for. Am I doing it right?

    1. I don’t think there is a righ way or a wrong way – whatever suits you best is what I say. I do the across clues and then the downs as you do and then depending on the setter, sometimes I work my way back up the acrosses from the bottom to the top. I agree with you that the NE corner today was a beast.

    2. I do it your way too – lots of people seem to work on one little patch – ie top right or bottom left or wherever they have some letters in. Think it’s probably just habit – don’t think there is anything that always works.

  16. Got there in the end after dredging up a word or two from the East Wing of my vocabulary. Jimmy made me ponder and I’m still not convinced by 9d and 10a but liked 19d. Achievable and enjoyable. Thanks 2 2Gs.

  17. I found this a very enjoyable puzzle, though I needed Gazza’s help to complete as I didn’t know the enzyme at 24a and had shot myself in the foot by putting ‘flickers’ at 1d. There were many good clues but my favourite was 12a. Many thanks to G&G :-)

  18. Very enjoyable puzzle. I found it tricky but just when I thought I was stuck, something would drop in to place. Good one to do in a few sneaky moments at work! Will admit to a google hunt for the old cow though.

  19. Late doing the x-word today and found it harder than usual but enjoyable and solvable. Favourite was 10a followed by 25a and 18d. Have to admit resorting to franklin on 2 clues! And I don’t care! Thaanks to the 2 G’s for the entertainment and the blog. Have a nice weekend, my younger daughter and her husband are driving up from Leicester so I’ll be able to get out a bit with them which will be quite ewxciting, thanks again

  20. Completed this at a steady pace without the use of any dictionaries or whatever… wasn’t too impressed at the start but some of the clues I put in at the end were super, so overall it was an enjoyable crossword. Thanks to Giovanni and Gazza.

    Favourite clue was 21d, which was also the last one in and made me smile.


  21. Just finished after what seems like hours! I find these more wordy clues a bit of a grind. That said I feel quite a sense of achievement at having finished it. 12a took some pulling apart, I thought I’d never get it. I’m quite worn out now and think I’ll save the Toughie for tomorrow. Just that to crack and I’ll have a full week solved for the first time ever.

    Thanks to the GEEGEES

  22. Very much a team effort by me, Pizza Tim, Mole Valley Kim, Dave Butt, Sandwich Andy, and a complete stranger who told us he was a teacher and should know better. 21a caused some controversy that was only settled by 15d. There was a palpable sense of relief at the end, but we enjoyed it very much. Thanks to the setter and gazza for his hints and tips.

    1. What fun to do a crossword as a team effort – I occasionally do one with my French sister-in-law – I love her to bits but it can turn into a bit of a competition – “I’ve got one, Kath, but I’m not going to tell you what it is … ” which guarantees that I can’t do it!!

  23. First solution from the Var.
    Was a long time doing it as KLM/Air France did not put my luggage (also that of 12 other people) on the flight on Thursday – it was delivered today after noon! They had to lighten the load as they could not refuel in NIce for some unspecified reason!! Had to buy fresh underwear etc. they do give you a bit (vest and briefs) to tie over.
    Weather here is magnificent.
    Fortunately, the smoked eel – vacuum packed – in the case was still cold so we knocked some off for lunch with a drop of oude jenever – traditional routine in our family!

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