DT 26578 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

DT 26578

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26578

Hints and tips by Gazza

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

We have an enjoyable puzzle from one of our mystery setters today, although I have a couple of quibbles. I found the bottom half more difficult than the top – let us know how you found it.
To reveal an answer drag your cursor through the space between the brackets under the clue.

Across Clues

1a  View one teetotaller held — maintain the same position (3,5)
{SIT TIGHT} – a phrase meaning to maintain the same position is a view with I (one) and the abbreviation for teetotaller inside (held).

5a  A lake-like expansion of a river overseas (6)
{ABROAD} – an adverb meaning overseas is also, when split (1,5), a lake-like expansion of a river, especially in East Anglia.

9a  The very same dialect in broadcast (9)
{IDENTICAL} – an anagram (broadcast) of DIALECT IN.

11a  Fine the Parisian in vehicle (5)
{CLEAR} – a synonym for fine, in a description of a day without clouds or rain for example, is formed by putting a French definite article inside a vehicle.

12a  A sculpted figure of Ulysses originally sited in Maine, perhaps (6)
{STATUE} – put the first letter (originally) of U(lysses) inside what Maine is an example of (perhaps).

13a  Cast a spell on the way in (8)
{ENTRANCE} – double definition.

15a  Very poor organist shone, surprisingly (2,1,10)
{ON A SHOESTRING} – an anagram (surprisingly) of ORGANIST SHONE produces a phrase describing how a very poor person may live. This doesn’t work for me – the answer is an adverbial phrase, describing, for example, how a film was made, whereas the definition (very poor) is adjectival. I can’t think of a sentence in which “very poor” can be replaced by the answer.

18a  Amateur covering canvas with newspaper and rope? (6,7)
{SUNDAY PAINTER} – this is a description of someone who works on a canvas in their spare time, rather than professionally. It’s a charade of a weekend newspaper and a rope used to tie up a boat.

22a  Speed of an amateur penning short review (8)
{ALACRITY} – A and an adjective meaning amateur go round (penning) the abbreviation for a review (of a play or film, for example) to make a synonym for speed.

23a  Guy almost rented a small cabin (6)
{CHALET} – the sort of small cabin that you might find at a ski resort is another word for guy without its final P (short) followed by a verb meaning rented out.

26a  Beau’s extremes of depravity? (5)
{DANDY} – another word for a beau or fop comes from the two letters at either end of depravity (1,3,1). Very neat!

27a  Get out again and enjoy hanging around bar (9)
{REPUBLISH} – get out is being used here in the sense of print or bring out a publication. A verb meaning to enjoy contains (hanging around) another word for bar.

28a  Boom crossing Plymouth river (6)
{THRIVE} – hidden (crossing) in the clue is a verb to boom or do well.

29a  Article given to yours truly — your old stone, a precious stone (8)
{AMETHYST} – this is a violet or purple precious stone. To make it we have to string together four separate bits: a) an indefinite article, b) how I’d refer to myself (yours truly), c) an old word for your, and d) the abbreviation for a stone in weight.

Down Clues

1d  Careless fielders keep dropping Lancashire’s opener (8)
{SLIPSHOD} – this is an adjective meaning careless. Some fielding positions close to the wicket at cricket (I can hear the complaints already) are followed by a verb meaning to keep or retain with the first letter (opener) of L(ancashire) dropped.

2d  Greek character telephones, initially, before he volunteers (5)
{THETA} – this is the eighth letter of the Greek alphabet. Start with the first letter (initially) of T(elephones) and add HE (in the clue) and the abbreviation for our volunteer soldiers.

3d  Little interest shown by girl, actually (2,5)
{IN TRUTH} – the definition is actually. It’s a charade of an abbreviation for interest and a girl’s name (and also the name of one of the books of the Old Testament).

4d  Overworked horse in roughly built hut with no roof (4)
{HACK} – the hut we want is a bit rougher than a 23a. Take off its first letter (with no roof, in a down clue) to leave an overworked horse.

6d  A rum graduate, eccentric one (7)
{BACARDI} – this is a type of rum, originally from the West Indies. String together an arts graduate, an eccentric and I (one).

7d  Nearly caught in open, suddenly (9)
{OVERNIGHT} – the definition is suddenly and the answer is used to describe how a hitherto unknown person instantaneously becomes a celebrity, for example. Put an old or poetic term for nearly inside (caught in) an adjective meaning open or evident.

8d  County Durham’s top store wrecked (6)
{DORSET} – an English county is formed from the first (top, in a down clue) letter of D(urham) followed by an anagram (wrecked) of STORE.

10d  Printer’s machine — vandalised it openly (8)
{LINOTYPE} – an anagram (vandalised) of IT OPENLY produces a machine used for printing newspapers, now largely superseded.

14d  Put off drinking tin or bottle (8)
{DECANTER} – place a verb meaning to put off or dissuade around (drinking) a synonym for tin.

16d  One practising self-denial in a British town? Almost right (9)
{ABSTAINER} – this is someone who practises self-denial. Start with A and B(ritish), then add the name of a town on the Thames in Surrey without its final S (almost) and finish with R(ight).

17d  Note making one irritable? Not quite (8)
{CROTCHET} – a musical note is also an adjective meaning irritable without its final Y (not quite).

19d  Dash over to look at Kirov’s latest dancer (7)
{NUREYEV} – this is the name of a flamboyant Russian dancer, trained at the Kirov, who defected to the West and formed an unlikely partnership with Dame Margot Fonteyn. Reverse (over) a verb to dash, then add a verb to look at and the last letter of (Kiro)V.

20d  People in costume (7)
{INHABIT} – people here is a verb.

21d  Sounds like outlawed Italian criminal (6)
{BANDIT} – this is a criminal or brigand. A past participle which sounds like a synonym for outlawed or prohibited is followed by the abbreviation for Italian vermouth.

24d  Ordinary people from Italy, loosely (5)
{LAITY} – this is a word meaning people in general as opposed to those with some particular profession (derived from the word used for amateur in 22a). It’s an anagram (loosely) of ITALY.

25d  Plans to circulate junk mail (4)
{SPAM} – this is one of those annoying clues where you know that the answer has to be one of two words but there’s no way of deciding which one until you have a checking letter. In this instance it’s the plans which have to be reversed (to circulate) and the definition is junk mail.

I liked 1d, 6d and 19d today, but my favourite clue was 26a. Let us know, in a comment, what you liked.

Today’s Quickie Pun: {QUEUE} + {WEIGHT} = {KUWAIT}

47 comments on “DT 26578

  1. Thanks to Gazza and the setter for an enjoyable puzzle. Got them all bar 22a. Is CR the abbreviation for Critical Review? Bottom half was harder than the top I thought. Favourites were 29 and 19.Where is everyone today?

      1. Thanks Gazza and Digby, that clue really messed me up! I thought it was Laity round cr, but now, with your help, I can see it’s Lay round crit.

        1. Surely the hardest clue in the puzzle.
          I ended up writing it in and THEN looking at the hint to show me where it came from.

  2. Enjoyed this quiet a lot. If the girls haven’t heard of slips in the context of 1d, then I would claim to struggle with ironing or evening. The clue worked well for me, as did the other county reference at 8d. Also liked 26a, so thanks Gazza and “X”.

  3. Quite enjoyable today with some thought provoking clues. Can’t say I was too impressed with the answers to 22A and 24D – same word being used in both but I enjoyed a number of other clues (1A, 5A, 27A,20D and today’s favourite 26A). Not too sure that I liked 6D (not keen on product placement I’m afraid) but nice to see 19D – quite sure that I would be unable to spell his name at all except with the clue being as it is.

  4. I found this quite enjoyable. I’d never heard of the answer to 18a and had to look it up for confirmation. 15a had me wondering for a bit whether “very poor” or “surprisingly” was the anagram indicator – nice deception, although I agree with Gazza’s comment on this one. Liked 26a & 19d particularly. Too much mention of amateur and laity – 3 different clues if I’m not mistaken. Thanks to mystery setter, and to Gazza for the review.

  5. I didn’t find this one very difficult but I do agree with everyone’s comments on 15a. I am sure 26a was in another crossword not that long ago, but it might have been in another newspaper – too many crosswords, not enough memory :) I liked 1d and 29a. Thanks to the Mystery Setter and Gazza.

    I highly recommend the Toughie, has some tough moments, some penny dropping moments (thanks BD!) and a great theme.

    1. Sue, I believe you’re thinking of Prolixic’s themed NTSPP about comics, where DANDY was clued as “The outskirts of Derby” or something very similar.

        1. See you’d think even my ageing memory banks would remember that one as I not only test-solved it but reviewed it too!!

          1. Maybe, but say you do 3 crosswords a day, average 30 clues each, that last appeared about 6570 clues ago!!

            1. Crumbs – it’s probably a lot more than that then as I do 5 a day on weekdays.

  6. Like Gazza, romped thorugh the top half and thought a sub ** minute solution, but then whoa. Unable to get 22a without peeking I am afraid. Thanks for the help.

      1. We don’t want to start comparing solving times. Just saying faster/slower than usual is fine.

        1. I just wondered, if it takes Joe half an hour and it takes me an hour, do I get twice the enjoyment??

          1. Solving time surely equates to the difficulty of a crossword. Enjoyment relates to the quality of the clues and the amount of pleasure one derives from the solving of them and the completion of the crossword.

            1. That’s true, Sue.
              That’s why I sometimes carry an unfinished crossword around with me for 2 or 3 days- if I enjoyed it but got stuck on the last couple of clues.

          2. Ask Gnomethang.! If he spoils his walk with 110 shots or with 72, for the same green fee, is one better value than the other/

        2. Absolutely agree with gazza, my times can vary from 45minutes to 3 days, as I don’t always get a single run at it, and anyway, in my experience, it often helps to clear off and do something else and then come back to it.

          1. Me too!
            And I’m always disappointed when I finish after 2 days, and everybody else on the blog have already cleared off to another puzzle, leaving me feeling all pointless and alone. :-(

            1. If you post on an old puzzle the blogger and BD (maybe more) will get an email telling them you’ve posted. I’ve had posts on my blogs about 5 days late! Also you’ll come up on the recent comments list on the right of the screen.

            2. I never post before 10 pm because I don’t get the time & my brain works best at night!

  7. Thanks to the setter and to Gazza, a pretty standard crossword for a Tuesday but quite enjoyable.

  8. What a great crossword. It got me steaming along on the top half then it brought me down to earth on the bottom half.Managed to finish gave it four stars.

  9. Can someone please help me understand the forming of the answer to 7d? I’m new to this and don’t quite understand this one!

    1. Hi Dougy – welcome to the blog.
      The definition is suddenly, as in “he became a star overnight”. NIGH (nearly) goes inside (is caught in) OVERT (open).

  10. Thank u! This crossword has saved me from boredom on my train from London to glasgow!

  11. Top half, record time.
    Bottom half, really slow.

    On average it took me slightly less time than usual.
    Quite enjoyable overall.

  12. Good puzzle today, mostly – I agree with Gazza’s comments re 15a, but I’ll let the setter off because of 26a! I have to admit that I hadn’t worked out the wordplay properly and didn’t know where the ‘dan’ came from, then I read the hint and just went, ‘Oh, that’s brilliant’!!
    CrypticSue thought she’d seen this clue quite recently – I felt that way about a few others: I’m sure we had 21d very recently and wasn’t 19d in a recent crossword too? (Although that could have been another dancer ending in ‘v’ – they’re all the same to me! :-))
    Thanks, as always.

  13. Definitely a game of two halves! However, after a bit of head scratching 21d went in and the rest fell into place. I agree with Gazza on the subject of 15a and today my fave was 26a which is clever. It reminds me of my favourite clue ever which is:
    H,I,J,K,L,M,N,O (5) …….have you got it yet?

  14. This is clearly not going to be my week for crosswords. No problems with the top half and then came to a complete halt in the bottom half. Ended up giving in and reading the hints for the first word of 18a, 22a and 26a and 16d. The second day running that I’ve had to resort to the hints – I think I must be getting worse. :sad: I’ve never heard of 20d but, with alternate letters and knowing that it had to be an anagram it was OK. Oh, and I DID manage 1d and am not even going to complain about it! Agree with the comments about 15a. Liked 1 and 27a and 3, 17 and 19d. With thanks to the setter and to Gazza for, again, very much needed hints.

  15. Just got back from an awfully spoilt walk. I agree with gazza regarding the game of two halves. I had all the northern hemisphere complete and one in the bottom. I ground the rest out and kicked myself on a couple. Thanks to gazza and the setter.

  16. Not as quick as yesterday but finished after about four different attempts – but had to peek at hints for 21d – for some reason just couldn’t get my head around that one. Don’t much like 28a – bit of an obscure definition, I thought? Despite being one of the “I hate cricket clues” brigade, even I had heard of “slips”, so managed that one!! Realised what 19d was without any checking letters, but had to go to Wiki to ensure the spelling – so won’t forget that in a hurry. Liked 29a too. Most enjoyable crossword – thanks to mystery setter and Gazza. Oh, like others above, I steamed through the top half and then came to a grinding halt, particularly in SW corner, despite having 19d.

  17. Favourite clue was 26a. Whilst it went in quite early it took a long time to really see it.
    Good review gazza

  18. Liked 26a a lot. Slightly lazy using Italy in two clues and 15 a was a bit naughty but overall a nice puzzle.

  19. Maybe it’s a ‘hard of thinking’ morning here on the Dorset/Devon border where t’Internet is just receivable now the string has dried out and I’ve polished away the rust from the cans following Sunday’s unseasonal downpour, but the hint for 26a seems ti me to contain a solecism that potentially renders it numerically inaccurate. Surely Gazza should have written: “the letter from each end”? ;-)

Comments are closed.