DT 26575 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26575

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26575

Hints and tips by Gazza

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

Giovanni has given us a stiffer test today than for the last few weeks and has reclaimed the title of “most difficult of the week” for Fridays. There are some top-rate clues here, as well as a couple of homophones which are bound to polarise opinions. Give us your view in a comment.
To reveal an answer drag your cursor through the space between the brackets under the clue.

Across Clues

1a  To loosen restrictions on ale? Risible, daft! (10)
{LIBERALISE} – the definition here is to loosen restrictions on and it’s an anagram (daft) of ALE RISIBLE.

6a  Charity some volunteers may hold back (4)
{LOVE} – hidden (may hold) and reversed (back) in the clue is a word meaning charity, as used in the New Testament rather than in its current sense.

9a  Before journey start with safety belt (5)
{STRIP} – put the first letter (start) of S(afety) in front of a journey or excursion to make a belt or zone (like the Green Belt, say).

10a  European composer uttered ‘things to do’? (9)
{CHECKLIST} – put together homophones (uttered) of a citizen of a Central European country and a Hungarian composer to make an aide-memoire of the things to be done.

12a  Bit of a game in pub — sing out (7)
{INNINGS} – a part of a game of cricket is formed from a pub followed by an anagram (out) of SING.

13a  Bottle yet to be returned sitting round end of larder (5)
{NERVE} – a word meaning bottle, in its informal sense, is formed by reversing (returned) a synonym of yet (as used in a phrase like “yet more rain”) round the last letter of (larde)R.

15a  Maybe the piece doesn’t require piano (7)
{ARTICLE} – this is a tale of two pieces. The first is a minute portion of matter from which the leading P(iano) is removed (doesn’t require) to leave the sort of piece that may be penned by a journalist.

17a  Violent male animal to huff and puff (7)
{RAMPANT} – an adjective meaning violent or fierce is a charade of a male animal and a verb to huff and puff.

19a  Way for sending out message sounding like ‘Next monarch a king’ (7)
{AIRMAIL} – a way of sending a message overseas sounds like ‘heir male’.

21a  What establishes authority and must be accepted by comrade (7)
{MANDATE} – the authority that all governments claim after a general election (even if only three out of every ten people entitled to vote have actually voted for them) is formed by putting AND inside (must be accepted by) a comrade.

22a  What has coils going round? (5)
{SPOOL} – this was the last clue I got and having S?O?L in the grid I was convinced that it was an anagram of coils, but Chambers resolutely refused to recognise scoil as a legitimate word so I had to think again. Actually it’s a clever semi-all-in-one – reverse (going round) coils or rings to make a device round which tape or thread can be wound.

24a  Model is tense (7)
{PERFECT} – double definition, tense being used in the grammatical sense.

27a  Discourse from displaced person right away (9)
{EXPATIATE} – remove the R(ight) from a national of one country living in another to leave a verb meaning to speak at length.

28a  A person in the club ignoring me? A warning sign (5)
{AMBER} – this is a warning sign for a motorist. Start with A and someone who has paid his or her subs in a club and then remove (ignoring) the ME.

29a  Wine in marquee? (4)
{TENT} – double definition. A red Spanish wine and something of which marquee is an example.

30a  Black dogs for fashionable types always on the move? (3-7)
{JET-SETTERS} – a charade of an adjective meaning black and breeds of dog produces high-fliers.

Down Clues

1d  Woman of 51 with oomph (4)
{LISA} – the Roman numeral for 51 is followed by an abbreviation for oomph or personal magnetism to make a girl’s name (Miss Simpson, perhaps).

2d  Lawyer creates obstacle restricting good person (9)
{BARRISTER} – actually it’s the other way round. An obstacle containing (restricting) the abbreviation for a good or holy person creates a lawyer.

3d  Mature President taken in by nothing overseas (5)
{RIPEN} – insert P(resident) inside the French for nothing.

4d  Authorise silence for recollection (7)
{LICENSE} – an anagram (for re-collection) of SILENCE gives us a verb to authorise.

5d  Writer brought aboard ship meeting Her Majesty, a poet (7)
{SPENSER} – the name of the Elizabethan poet who wrote The Faerie Queene is formed by putting a writing implement inside (aboard) the usual abbreviation for ship, then finishing with The Queen’s initials.

7d  Tree is more comfortable, less cold (5)
{OSIER} – a comparative meaning more comfortable or snug loses its initial C (less cold) to leave a type of willow tree.

8d  Petitions and submissions put away inside (10)
{ENTREATIES} – the definition is petitions, as a noun. Insert a verb meaning to consume or put away inside submissions (in a competition, for example).

11d  Relations who couldn’t help Humpty? No good! (7)
{KINSMEN} – ignoring the horses (as a child I could never understand how they were expected to carry out repairs) take the others (4’1,3) who tried in vain to put Humpty back together, then remove the G (no good) to leave male relations.

14d  Man’s heart’s fluttering? That’s no excuse for this! (10)
{HARASSMENT} – an anagram (fluttering) of MAN’S HEART’S.

16d  Could this be a little fellow’s string of beads? (7)
{CHAPLET} – double definition, the first a cryptic stab at what a small fellow might conceivably be called, the second a string of (normally 55) beads for keeping count in working through a rosary.

18d  Woman beginning to prepare meal is willing to fit in (9)
{ADAPTABLE} – the definition is willing to fit in or able to adjust. Start with a woman’s name (that of the Countess of Lovelace who is credited with being the first computer programmer, for example) and add the first letter of P(repare) and a synonym for meal.

20d  French mathematician gets the position in the Sorbonne (7)
{LAPLACE} – this is a mathematician referred to as a French Newton. His name in French (i.e. in the Sorbonne) means the position (2,5).

21d  Arboreal mammals — planet is home to five pairs (7)
{MARTENS} – the name of the red planet surrounds (is home to) the product of five x two to make animals closely related to the weasel.

23d  Fastener at the bottom of yellow plant (5)
{ORPIN} – a fastener with a sharp point comes after (below, in a down clue) a yellow heraldic tincture to make a purple-flowered plant.

25d  Revoked legislation to be precise? (5)
{EXACT} – double definition, the first a cryptic definition of a piece of legislation which is no more (2,3).

26d  Lady and I facing endless danger (4)
{IRIS} – to get this lady’s name start with I and follow this with a synonym for danger without its final K (endless).

I liked 21a, 22a and 21d today, but my favourite was 11d. Let us know what you liked in a comment.

Today’s Quickie Pun: {PRO} + {TOE} + {COLL} = {PROTOCOL}

52 comments on “DT 26575

  1. Certainly a stiffer test from Giovanni today, but as always, impeccably clued. The SW took me the longest to complete.
    Thanks to Giovanni for the puzzle I enjoyed the most this week, and to Gazza for the review.

  2. Ahhhhh – Back to Friday standards again. Extremely enjoyable today, one unknown (in meaning) word (never knew it was a wine), one French person to check up on (20D) and some very clever clues. Enjoyed 3D, 18D, 21D and 23D but my favourite today was 11D (not too difficult but got the grey matter working)(for a given value of ‘working’)

  3. All went in fairly easily until getting stuck in the SW corner. So, special mention goes to 22a, 16d and 23d, but like others, my favourite clue was 11d. Thanks to Giovanni and Gazza.

  4. Excellent crossword from Giovanni today. I agree that this was trickier than usual but it had all the entertainment value we have come to expect. Many thanks to Giovanni and to Gazza for the review.

  5. Struggled with this one today. Last one in was 24a as I had 18d wrong which gave me an ‘L’ for the checking letter. Favourites for me were 27a and 30a. Thanx to Compiler and Gazza for his review. Also liked the pun in the quickie

  6. Very nice. A little more difficult than the usual DT cryptic, with excellent clues. Great fun.

    Thanks to Giovanni and Gazza.

  7. Glad to see that others found this tricky today as I was beginning to think that the ongoing Sicilian head lurgy was affecting my cryptic cells. I needed the Law for the SW corner, which delighted the Gnome as he knew a plant I didn’t. I liked 21d but my favourite has to be the splendid D’Oh-inducing 22a.

    I found the Toughie tough too, but then it is Friday and my sinuses are bunged up, and the Gnome was relying on me so…… Give it a go and see how you get on.

    1. I agree with you on 22a, a sweet moment when the penny dropped. I briefly toyed with snake when it was clear it was not an anagram but the cross-checking letters did not allow this.

        1. I spent a while thinking of snails, their spiral shells, and that kind of staircase ‘en limaçon’.

        2. Being completely unable to do 23d even having read the hint (needed to look at the answer) I thought about snake AND snail until I got 16d.

  8. 22a was my favourite and also my last in – same edition of Chambers as you have gazza!. I didnt find this too hard when solving last night (although I had just solved the Myops Toughie forst given that I am blogging it today). All in all a fun very satisfying grid fill.
    Thanks to gazza and to Giovanni.

  9. Hi Gazza, was going to say good morning but just realised how long this has actually taken! albeit with a few breaks, really pleased to be able tohave finished this without the review but needing lots of help from ‘my little friends’ :-) the bttom SW corner took me ages and was so proud to eventually solve 22a and 23d!!! HAve to admit to having got 30a wrong, and not knowing why red setters were always on the move and that maybe red was the new black!!! Dunce! 3 womens names today I notice, thought 22a was clever but a bit unfair I was almost going to shout ‘indirect anagram’ til I realised it wasn’t, thanks for review as alwys :-)

    1. Well done to you for getting 23d – I got the “jet” quite easily as as the alternative for black so guess we are even.

      1. Well fancy you remembering Andy actually I’m not really sure if its today or if it was the 6th but thanks for remembering :-)

        1. I can’t take much credit, some days I look at the archives for Crosswords on the same date, and today saw a BD response to you with the Mary in bold, similar to a “welcome to the blog”. I only started visiting this blog in the autumn of last year and what a Godsend it’s been.

          1. Yes I know I came upon it by accident roughly two years ago a few weeks after I started doing cryptics for the first time ever, it has been absolutely invaluable to me, and besides helping me immensely, everyone is so friendly, I have made lots of ‘cyber’ friends on here and most people are quite tolerant of chit chat that sometimes has nothing whatsoever to do with the crossword :-)

  10. While I am here, it is nice to see a few massively undersung but massively influential mathematicians in recent puzzles – 20d today and Euler in the Times this week.

      1. EULER (like 20d here) had a straightforward clue: Mathematician always hanging around university having left (5) – or something very similar.

    1. I kept thinking of descaretes for the Fr mathematician and took a while to get my brain away from that.

  11. Well that was a lovely puzzle – I really enjoyed it. I must admit to needing help with 23d. There were a lot of lovely clues today – did it in two parts (which is why I am a bit late) Top half I did while waiting for the gym to open and then when I came home (after shopping etc) I did the bottom half.

    Thanks to Giovanni for an excellent puzzle and Gazz for a top notch review

  12. Superb crossword and review from the two Maestros, many thanks to both, I loved 30a which no-one else seems to have liked.

  13. Enjoyed this one from The Don very much.
    My likes : 10a, 15a, 19a, 22a, 30a, 7d, 8d, 11d, 20d, 21d & 23d.

    Have any of you who are down here in France read “Mots d’heures Gousses Rames”?
    It contains – amongst others – “Un Petit d’un Petit” and is generally a good laugh!
    We had an old friend who was Anglo-Swiss and when he saw our copy spluttered “this is complete rubbish” but his wife who was Bernese Swiss who had brought up their children in England could read it immediately!

    1. Un petit d’un petit
      S’étonne aux Halles
      Un petit d’un petit
      Ah! degrés te fallent
      Indolent qui ne sort cesse
      Indolent qui ne se mène
      Qu’importe un petit d’un petit
      Tout Gai de Reguennes.

  14. I liked 30a! Also, 17 & 19a. When I saw this had 4*s for difficulty I was expecting a hard slog, but I found it actually all went in quite easily. Must just have been on Giovanni’s wavelength today. I did have to check a couple of words (like ‘wine’ definition of 29a), and I started 23d with ‘lu’ to begin with (I’ve heard of them!), but couldn’t equate that to yellow so decided it must be wrong. I also ended with 22a and completely relate to Gazza’s comment above.
    Liked the pun in the Quick today as well – I got the first two words and then went “but there isn’t a Scottish island called ‘zoa’ “. :-) Didn’t take too long to get the right one.
    Thanks to G&G and have a good weekend, everyone.

    1. I also put in Lupin! Never heard of Orpin!
      Found the top half very enjoyable but the bottom quite difficult.

  15. I also managed to work my way happily through it until the SW corner. I needed help to find the orpin and had never heard of a wine called ‘tent’ — tinto, yes. But what a good puzzle, so thanks ever so much to G&G. I liked 17a, 30a and 11d, but the one that amused me most was 16d. :-)

  16. Enjoyed that one, but needed Gazza for some explanations and help. Didn’t know 29a was a wine, never heard of 23d – or 20d, come to that. Got 6a and 26d but couldn’t see why til I read the hints!! Definitely needed Gazza for 22a – had also toyed with “snake” – clever clue, that one. Loved 19a, think it my favourite to-day. Apart from the weather, nice to be home from sunny Turkey and Xwording again – have done most this week except for Tuesdays which I thought was an absolute horror, though it may have been due to the hangover from a heaving Dalaman airport to a perfectly awful LGW south terminal!!

  17. Oh dear, back to the bad old days for me. After an hour I managed 3 answers. Could someone tell why this isn’t the Toughie?

      1. Just seems rather unfair that the ‘experts’ get two puzzles whilst we mere mortals are rather excluded. I wonder how many people looked at the back page of the DT today and thought ‘oh dear!’. I know we are all looking to improve but this was so far above most of us, it was unreachable. You can’t learn if you can’t understand.

        1. ..but if you go through the review of the puzzles you fail on and learn the constructions that currently elude you then you WILL learn Barrie Brian!

        2. Several of us think like you Brian, on a day when the cryptic is as hard seemingly as the toughie! but Gnomethang is right it takes a while I have been at these now for two years never having done a cryptic before and Fridays puzzles by Giovanni were always the toughest (still are mostly) however I did manage today to complete this without the review albeit with my books and machines still, even with them a year ago I probably wouldn’t have been able to and that is all down to this blog, so don’t be down :-( turn that frown around :- ) and just keep on perservating!

        3. Brian,
          When I started doing cryptic crosswords (many years ago) something I used to do if I could get nowhere with a puzzle was to copy in all the Across answers (I had to wait until the next day to do this – you don’t have to wait that long), then with additional checking letters in place have another go at the Down clues (or, vice versa, copy in all the Down answers and tackle the Across clues once more). It’s surprising how many extra clues you can solve this way.
          As Gnomey says, if you use the blog to understand the how and why of all the clues you can’t solve, then you’ll definitely improve.

        4. This puzzle took me longer than the Toughie today.

          Actually, today’s Toughie is by Myops, and although it is more diffiicult than most back-pagers, it really is extremely enjoyable. Some of the clues are not difficult at all, and some are very cunning indeed. It is a great feeling to solve a well-constructed and devious clue.

          The difference between those who regularly complete puzzles and those who don’t is generally experience. When I started solving, as a child, there was no internet, and, as Gazza says, all that could be done with a difficult clue was to wait for the solution, and “reverse-engineer” the mechanics of the wordplay. Nowadays, blogs like this are there to help, and it should be possible to learn much more quickly. Keep at it, and things will become easier.

  18. Tricky yet ultimately enjoyable and much better than yesterday’s RayT offering which left me losing the will. Funny ol’ World. 14d was the key to completion for me although I did need to verify 16&20d as they were unknown. Had a (correct) stab at the plant and thought 19a the best clue. Thanks 2 2G

  19. Fantastic test today. Yup v tricky but v v good. Thanks to Goivanni. Bottom left was the hardest for me.

  20. Posted from the Dorset/Devon border in the rain.

    If only I hadn’t put PRESENT for 24a, 21d wouldn’t have resulted in a pile of sawdust around my feet..

    Liked 3d, 11d and 22a. Had to check 29a after entering it, as I’m more of a beer drinker.

  21. A rather less than good day here. :sad: Started with a 5.15am phone call from my very muddled up Mum – went to her and came home at about 7.30am. REALLY struggled with crossword and almost gave up with about eight clues that I couldn’t do, all of them in bottom left hand corner, but perservated for a while longer and ended up with two that I just couldn’t get – 22a and 23d. THEN no internet!! It eventually came back (from wherever it had been) so I was able to read the hints. I thought this was very difficult so was relieved to find that I wasn’t the only one and that Gazza had given it 4*. I’ve never heard of 16d but worked it out and looked it up. Also never heard of 23d. Liked 10a (not sure anyone has mentioned that), 12a (even though it’s “crickety”) 17 ….. too many to mention really but favourite today was 11d. Thanks to Giovanni and Gazza.
    POURING with rain in Oxford – very wet husband and dog but it is good for the garden (and the poor farmers)

    1. Hope tomorrow is a better day for you Kath and well done to finish such a difficult puzzle in the face of all adversity :-) My fav clue was 11d too, forgot to mention that!

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