DT 26569 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26569

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26569

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

We have the usual polished puzzle from Giovanni this Friday. I enjoyed it a lot and it was perhaps slightly less difficult than usual (please remember that difficulty is very subjective and the grading can often depend on whether you get one key answer early on very quickly or not). Let us know how you found it in a comment.
To reveal an answer just highlight the space between the brackets under the clue.

Across Clues

7a  Copper has trouble with something useless — a climbing plant (8)
{CUCUMBER} – the chemical symbol for copper is followed by an old verb meaning to weigh down or hamper with something useless (we’re more used to seeing this verb with en- at the front, when it means much the same). The result is a climbing plant which produces fruits which are definitely off the menu in German homes at the moment.

9a  US author having effort to produce something that isn’t prosy (6)
{POETRY} – this is a charade of a US short story writer and a synonym for effort to produce a type of literary work. Prosy, which actually means commonplace or dull, is used here in the cryptic sense of prose-like.

10a  Gown of fellow given cheers outside university (6)
{MANTUA} – start with a synonym for fellow and add a short informal word meaning thanks or cheers around U(niversity). The result is a woman’s loose outer gown, worn in the 17th and 18th centuries.

11a  Obstruction ordered with security device to be brought in (8)
{BLOCKADE} – a past tense meaning ordered has a mechanism for keeping something fastened (security device) inserted (brought in) to make an obstruction.

12a  Hypocritical grief from snappy types trying to appear wet? (9,5)
{CROCODILE TEARS} – cryptic definition of simulated or hypocritical grief (derived from a belief that the relevant snappy reptile became sentimental and wept whilst devouring its prey).

15a  A family of trees? China has millions (4)
{PALM} – a family of tropical or sub-tropical trees is made from what china (“china plate”) means in rhyming slang followed by M(illions).

17a  Bolt from drive, terrified (5)
{RIVET} – a bolt is hidden (from) in the clue.

19a  Performer frowning in the auditorium? (4)
{DOER} – this is someone who prefers action to words and it sounds like (in the auditorium) an adjective meaning gloomy or frowning.

20a  Incendiarism — it could be thoughtless and chaotic (14)
{INDISCRIMINATE} – an anagram (could be) of INCENDIARISM IT produces an adjective meaning without judgement or selected at random.

23a  Our beast on the rampage, a wrecker (8)
{SABOTEUR} – an anagram (on the rampage) of OUR BEAST makes a wrecker (derived from people who threw their wooden clogs into early machines in order to wreck them).

25a  Steer clear of dodgy region (6)
{IGNORE} – an anagram (dodgy) of REGION.

27a  Part of hospital goes on after illness without interruption (6)
{FLUENT} – an adjective meaning flowing freely (without interruption) is formed by putting a hospital department after an abbreviated illness.

28a  Man of steel in plight rolling around in drink (8)
{BESSEMER} – the name of the English engineer who gave his name to the first successful method of making steel in quantity and at low cost is formed by reversing (rolling around) a plight or dilemma and putting it inside an alcoholic drink.

Down Clues

1d  Wild beast climbing up, ascending in the morning (4)
{PUMA} – a large wild cat found on the American continent is UP reversed (climbing, in a down clue) followed by an abbreviation meaning in the morning which is also reversed (ascending).

2d  Countryman’s game with short rod (6)
{RUSTIC} – a 15-a-side game is followed by another word for rod without its final K (short) to make a countryman or yokel.

3d  Pirate’s short card game (4)
{CRIB} – a verb meaning to copy illegally (pirate) is also the abbreviated (short) name for a card game.

4d  Choose not to join in, being top maybe (3,3)
{OPT OUT} – this is a phrasal verb meaning to choose not to join in. It’s also how you might write a clue for an anagram (fodder + indicator) of TOP.

5d  Sailor has all the cards, enough of them for one to play with (8)
{DECKHAND} – the definition here is sailor and it’s a charade of a full pack (all) of playing cards followed by a subset of them which a single player has been dealt.

6d  I make journey on track that’s shimmery (10)
{IRIDESCENT} – an adjective meaning shimmery starts with I and “make a journey”. This is followed by (on, in a down clue) a trail or track.

8d  Run after beer’s started — this being weak? (7)
{BLADDER} – a run (the sort seen in tights or stockings) comes after the first letter (started) of B(eer) to make a storage device which tends not to store so well after a few pints.

13d  One wearing authentic fur? That could be accomplished (10)
{REALISABLE} – a description of something that is feasible (could be accomplished) comes from I (one) between (wearing) a synonym for authentic or genuine and the dark brown fur of a type of marten.

14d  Seaweed in a basin (5)
{LAVER} – this is both a type of seaweed (used to make a Welsh dish) and a basin used to hold water for washing oneself.

16d  It sounds like there could be two maidens here given a new look (4,4)
{MADE OVER} – this is a phrase meaning given a new look or totally transformed (with different hairstyle, dress, etc.). The first word sounds like a young girl and the second is a series of six balls in cricket which could be a maiden if no runs are scored from them.

18d  Books about Military Intelligence for soldiers (7)
{TOMMIES} – the traditional name used for private soldiers in the British army (which we had as recently as two days ago in the Toughie) is made by putting large books around the abbreviation for Military Intelligence.

21d  Last of birds on open country? Protection needed (6)
{SHEATH} – the last letter of (bird)S precedes an area of uncultivated land to make something which may protect you from cutting yourself on a sharp blade, or alternatively may prevent an unwanted pregnancy.

22d  Worker in comfortable home finishing early for port (6)
{NANTES} – put the usual working insect inside a comfortable home without its final T (finishing early) to make a port on the river Loire in western France, which gave its name to the Edict in 1598 which granted religious freedom to Protestants and ended the French Wars of Religion.

24d  Garment of York turned up (4)
{ROBE} – the abbreviation of the Roman name for York, still used in the signature of its Archbishop, is reversed (turned up, in a down clue) to make a garment.

26d  Smell from bay caught drifting away (4)
{REEK} – start with a bay or cove and remove (drifting away) its initial C(aught) to leave a smell behind.

I enjoyed 5d, 8d and 13d today but my favourite clue was 16d. Let us know what you liked.

Today’s Quickie Pun: {WAITER} + {MOMENT} = {WAIT A MOMENT}

63 comments on “DT 26569

  1. Yes, not too demanding today IMHO. No real favourite for me, although I found it all very enjoyable. Many thanks to Giovanni and Gazza. Didn’t get the chance to look at yesterday’s which I understand was very tough (having read BD’s intro). I’ll give that a go now – with no real expectation of success!

  2. Only one point where I differ from Gazza’s excellent analysis. Clue of the day was 8d for me!

    Many thanks to Giovanni for an enjoyable crossword.

  3. Thanks for both blogs. Like Kath, I was enjoying a birthday yesterday — with new grandson born two days earlier. And like a lot of you I found the back-pager ( and the quickie!) on the tough side

    1. Grandsons at this time of year seem to be high on the list – my first grandson was 2 yesterday and the second one was born on Tuesday – exciting times

        1. Happy birthday – would like to put a picture of a birthday cake here as BD did yesterday but, alas, I’m not clever enough to be able to do that! :smile:

    2. Happy birthday to you for yesterday – I hope it was a good day – congratulations on the birth of your grandson and thank you for a great crossword today.

      1. I second Kath’s comments wholeheartedly, and wish a happy birthday to Dickiedot too. :-)

  4. 8d was my favourite when I finally got it!. I was a bit dim this morning and needed to be told by crypticsue that 8d was great, 10a was doable from the wordplay (when I stopped trying to put F(ellow) in the answer!) and a couploe of others (27a/21d) were obvious – just not to me at the time.
    The usual excellent Friday puzzle. My thanks to Giovanni and to gazza.

    1. Hi Graham – welcome to the blog.
      What is it then? Chambers has it as “any tree or shrub of the Palmae ……… sometimes climbers but usually branchless trees with a crown of pinnate or fan-shaped leaves …”.

  5. Well I am back – exciting times with new grandson but worse I didn’t have either a phone nor the internet for several days. Oh how our lives are governed by technology (keeps some of us employed but what a pain when they are out!!)

    Thanks for an enjoyable puzzle Giovanni and for the review Gazza.

    I ageree with the 8d but I also liked 16d (even though it was a cricket term!)

    1. Congratulations on new grandson. I agree with you about technology – fantastic when it works but SO frustrating when it doesn’t and you don’t have the knowledge to fix it.

      1. Thanks Kath – this time it was BT – they managed to cut my line and din’t bvother to tell me!!!!

    2. I’m so glad you’re back, Lea, and know how cut off one feels without the phone or internet. However did people manage?! Congratulations, too, on the new grandson — I’m having great fun with mine. :-)

      1. Thanks Franny – the 2 year old was quite amusing – especially when he tried to “share” his lego block with his bvrother. They are a delight (and you can hand them back).

  6. Typical Friday puzzle I thought, started out tough, got a bit easier after a few clues solved, then lots of scratching around trying to fill in the last few answers. Favourites today were 28A, 6D, 13D and my favourite 4D – very clever word play.

  7. Thanks Giovanni for a lovely crossword, really enjoyed it, and thanks Gazza for the review, to many good clues to single one out

  8. Got on with this one a lot better than yesterday’s. ‘Ebor’ was new to me, liked 19a, 13d and 22d among others. Didn’t see the other meaning of ‘pirate’ in 3d, but that had to be the answer. Thanks to all involved today, and enjoy the sunshine!

    1. By the way, forgot a mark I’d made against 6d reminding me to mention it .. excellent clue.

    2. Roman name for York was Eboracum (among other spellings), The Archbishop of York uses an abbreviated form of this (Ebor).

  9. A lovely start to Friday, thank you to Giovanni and many happy returns for yesterday. As usual I agree with everything Gazza says, but would support Prolixic’s request for 8d to be clue of the day.

    The Elgar Toughie is a fine example of his best work – it is a perservator but well worth the effort for the great fun throughout.

  10. Liked it – one of those I thought on first reading would be more difficult than it was in the end – I looked up from the clues to find it almost finished.

  11. I have REALLY enjoyed this crossword. Normally I find Fridays a bit (and sometimes quite a lot) beyond me but not today. I’m learning so much from this blog – a year ago I would certainly not have been able to get the “man of steel” in 28a – never heard of him – today I actually worked him out and looked him up and there he was!! What triumph! :grin: On the down side I made an initial mistake and put “reasonable” for 13d even though I knew that it wasn’t quite right but sorted that one out eventually. I agree with lots of others that 8d should be clue of the day – I also liked 12 and 15a (whether it’s a tree or not) and 4, 13 and 18d. With thanks to Giovanni and Gazza and everyone else who makes this such a brilliant blog.

  12. I would have finished this in under XX minutes had I not written ‘G’ in 11a even while I was thinking ‘D’. I was obviously in tune with Giovanni.

    1. The convention is that we don’t put actual solving times – just say in a very quick time, or longer than usual, or whatever suits your solving experience.

    2. Me too…….. g seemed so obvious.
      But ‘m getting better at questioning earlier answers.

  13. Bravo, Kath, on finding the Man of Steel! He completely stumped me, as the only one I could think of, from the days of my early youth, was Superman! It was the only word left unfound when I got to the end of this delightful puzzle, and I needed Gazza to put me right. There were many enjoyable clues for me, among them 9 and 27a, but I add my vote for 8d as clue of the day. Many thanks to that great team G&G. :-)

    Incidentally, what is the two-letter game at 2d?

    1. Man of Steel…….. Clark Kent……. Superman…..Kal-El.
      And then the penny dropped. Hoorah for O-Level Physics.
      And for the younger reader, an O-level is an exam we used to do by gaslight before computers, mobile phones and calculators.

      1. You might add that it used to involve actually answering questions that didn’t give you the choice of A, B, C, or D too.

        1. I hope you’re not implying that exams are made easier these days just to make it look like the current Government (whichever it may be) are improving education.

  14. Great crossword and a great review. Loved 8d and 16d. Thanks to Giovanni and Gazza.

  15. Yes, a nice level of puzzle today.
    And now, it’s over to the inside puzzle. Probably already had too much wine to finish it though.

  16. …….however, another rubbish homophone today at 19a.
    Unless, as previously discussed, you’re from Dundee.
    But where I live, it doesn’t work at all.

    Discuss (as they used to say in O-levels.)

    1. I did not like this clue either. Apart from that, an enjoyable puzzle solved before a day of beer and horses at Epsom.
      Don’t ever ask me for any racing tips – 7 races, 7 losers… and as for Fork Handles……..
      Thanks to Giovanni, and to Gazza.

      1. Racing Tips ..? I nearly put some money on Fork Handles…fortunately not! A very well deserved last place in the Oaks! (19a homophone – doesn’t work here either)

  17. Lovely puzzle today but I must admit to needing hep with the last three (13d, 271, 21d). Don’t think I quite understand 24d, whats has it to do with York? Also struggled with 19a and auditorium, got the answer but auditorium???
    Best clue for me today was def 8d, a real smiler :-)

    1. As for Auditorium – means ‘sounds like’ ie a homophone (which also means sounds like)

      1. Yes- but see above for my view on this particular homophone.
        Depends where you live I suspect.
        Perhaps the setter ought to declare his own regional accent so we can guess which homophones work for him.

  18. Hello all,

    Regarding homophones, if it helps:

    When editing the crosswords, I check homophones in the same way as I do spellings and definitions — by looking them up in Chambers. If the homophone is a regional accent, we usually flag that up. Otherwise, if in doubt, we follow the Big Red Book (which actually gives two pronunciations of the answer in question).

    I must admit I also like really bad homophones like Don’s “Scholars munch meals audibly (6)”, but that’s another question!


    1. Thanks for that, Phil.
      Sorry for the delay in getting your comment published – it ran foul of the Spam Filter !

  19. Horses for courses – found this much more difficult than yesterday and dare I say fewer good clues. Enjoayable challenge nonetheless.

    1. Thank you Jcal… i too found this hard going and preferred yesterday’s….glad I’m not alone!

  20. Thanks to Gazza and Giovanni for an enjoyable puzzle. I only managed to do the top half. Had to use the clues for the rest, found it very difficult.

  21. A very late input from me as I was hauled into hospital in Fréjus on Ascension Day and kept in for three days! My son brought me Friday’s DT so solved The Don’s puzzle in dribs and drabs in between examination periods.
    The usual excellent fare from Giovanni – it is always difficult to pick best clues from his efforts as they are all so good.
    I liked 7a, 19a, 28a, 8d, 14d, 16d & 23d.
    Usual good review from Gazza.

    Have now to start on ST 2591 – back at home in The Var.
    Violent thunderstorm last night and more heavy rain today. Needed for the garden.

      1. Thanks Gazza. Atrial fibrillation is the problem – had it for years – and the medication has to be altered every so often.

  22. Unfortunately I’m still about a month and a half behind here in Jamaica due to the local newspaper but I still enjoy the clues and comments after the fact. Can someone please explain the rhyming slang used to come up with pal for China in 15a?

        1. Thank you both very much. Being from a former colony I usually have enough background where things like cricket for example are concerned. Seems like rhyming slang didn’t make it over here however :-)

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