DT 26587 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26587

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26587

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

We have the usual entertaining Friday puzzle from Giovanni. Let us know how you got on with it (and do have a go at the Quickie pun – it’s very good).
If you want to see an answer just highlight the space between the brackets under the relevant clue.

Across Clues

1a  Summaries given when astronaut returns (6)
{RECAPS} – a term used in science fiction for an astronaut has to be reversed (returns) to make an abbreviation meaning summaries of what has previously been said.

4a  River-crosser wants tea before getting on (6)
{CHARON} – put an informal word for tea in front of ON to get the name of the old man in Greek mythology who ferried the souls of the dead across the river to Hades.

8a  Doctor needs to make room for a break (3)
{GAP} – one of the abbreviations for a medical doctor has A inserted to make a break.

10a  Accurate recipes for cooking (7)
{PRECISE} – an anagram (for cooking) of RECIPES.

11a  Salad plants — I have put in odd bits (7)
{ENDIVES} – the contracted form of “I have” goes inside the miscellaneous bits that normally follow “odds”.

12a  Name a place that’s dirty and unpleasant (5)
{NASTY} – the definition is unpleasant. String together N(ame), A and a traditionally dirty place.

13a  Waterproof protection — one needed by preacher entering lake (9)
{TARPAULIN} – put the name of an early Christian missionary (and prolific letter writer) followed by I (one) inside a small mountain lake to make a heavy-duty waterproof cloth.

14a  Medical specialist got hate mail so unfairly (13)
{HAEMATOLOGIST} – an anagram (unfairly) of GOT HATE MAIL SO.

17a  Plastered dame at sea in boat (6,7)
{PADDLE STEAMER} – an anagram (at sea) of PLASTERED DAME produces the type of boat associated with the Mississippi river.

22a  Picnic over a wide area? (6,3)
{SPREAD OUT} – double definition – a cryptic definition of a picnic also means dispersed over a wide area.

23a  Individual going to doctor — person unwilling to work? (5)
{DRONE} – append an individual to an abbreviation for a doctor to make a lazy person who lives off the labours of others.

24a  Ease the pressure in disappointment (3-4)
{LET-DOWN} – double definition – a phrasal verb (without the hyphen) meaning to allow air to escape (ease the pressure) is also, as a noun (with the hyphen), a disappointment.

25a  Dismissed railway plan (7)
{OUTLINE} – this plan is a charade of a word meaning dismissed (at cricket, possibly) and a railway.

26a  Container that’s smaller than small (3)
{TIN} – remove the final Y from a synonym of small to leave a container.

27a  Stone attached to front of garment is something flashy (6)
{STROBE} – the abbreviation for a stone (i.e. 14lb) goes in front of a garment to make an intermittent flasher (no illustrations available).

28a  Song coming from hut (6)
{SHANTY} – double definition.

Down Clues

1d  Murmur from agent in China maybe (6)
{REPINE} – this is a verb meaning to murmur or fret. Start with the abbreviation for a sales agent and add IN and the abbreviation for where China is in the world relative to us.

2d  Bill’s daughter in fashionable London area (7)
{CHELSEA} – double definition, the first being the name of Bill’s (and Hillary’s) daughter.

3d  Poor woman losing pair of spectacles in the loo! (5)
{PRIVY} – start with POOR and add a woman’s forename (think of former Corrie resident Ms. Brennan). Now remove (losing) the two letters which together look like a pair of spectacles.

5d  Hay strewn around new garden plant (9)
{HYDRANGEA} – an anagram (strewn) of HAY goes around another anagram (new) of GARDEN to make a flowering plant.

6d  Rebels about to join units of shocking significance? (7)
{REVOLTS} – a preposition meaning about or concerning is joined by the SI units of electromotive force (too many of which can give you a nasty shock) to make a verb meaning rebels.

7d  Number sitting on grass sniffing (6)
{NOSING} – a present participle meaning sniffing or examining by smell is formed from the abbreviation for number followed by (sitting on, in a down clue) a verb meaning to grass or turn informer.

8d  Arrive at headland and say what has to be said? (3,2,3,5)
{GET TO THE POINT} – double definition.

9d  What driver stops at — wants patron’s toilet badly (6,7)
{PETROL STATION} – an amusing surface reading for this anagram (badly) of PATRON’S TOILET.

14d  Trendy joint (3)
{HIP} – double definition.

15d  Worked for weapons manufacturer and got very rich? (4,1,4)
{MADE A BOMB} – double definition, the second an informal phrase meaning earned a great deal of money.

16d  Eminence achieved by only half the Conservatives (3)
{TOR} – the first half of the alternative name for Conservatives means a rocky peak (eminence).

18d  Gas supplier’s list set up over time (7)
{AERATOR} – reverse (set up, in a down clue) a list or work schedule around (over) a distinct period of history (time) to make an apparatus for introducing a gas into something.

19d  The most important person — unhappy, upset, wearing away (7)
{EROSION} – a charade of a shorthand way of describing the top person (2,1) and an adjective meaning unhappy or angry needs to be reversed (upset, in a down clue) to make a noun meaning a gradual wearing away.

20d  Footnote on what’s to be given in holy book (6)
{PSALMS} – an abbreviation that introduces a note added at the foot of a letter, say, is followed by charitable gifts (what’s to be given) to make an Old Testament book.

21d  Garden plant? There’s quickness getting rid of it (6)
{CELERY} – remove IT from a word meaning quickness to get our second salad vegetable of the day.

23d  Wife gives endless service to children (5)
{DUTCH} – an informal term for wife (short for duchess) comes from a synonym for service without its final Y (endless) followed by the abbreviation for children.

I liked 13a, 15d and 19d today but my favourite was 3d. Let us know what you liked in a comment.

Today’s Quickie Pun: {MEDDLES} + {HAIRY} + {MONEY} = {MEDAL CEREMONY}

49 comments on “DT 26587

  1. Yes , I liked the quickie pun: Cryptic today was helped (for me) by a some nice anagrams to get me started , the rest went in fairly reasonably afterwards.Thanx to Compiler and Gazza.

  2. If, like me, you’re having trouble with the website and are missing your Friday dose of Giovanni have a look at the Gauniad. It’s by Paquale which is another pseudonym of The Don.

  3. A pleasing and fairly straightforward puzzle form Giovanni. I got a little tied up in the SE corner, as I couldn’t see why my answer to 19d was correct. Thanks Gazza for the explanation. Still cannot get into Clued up.

  4. Still cannot understand the reasoning behind 19d, can see ER is most important person, but as to the rest!!! Otherwise very enjoyable.

    1. ION reversed is the VIP.Does that help? Gazza’s explanation is much more succinct. Good luck!

  5. 1a/1d and 3d gave me a bit of gyp at the end but once again a fun Friday from Giovanni. 3d probably endsed up as my favourite.
    Thanks to Gazza and to Giovanni.
    My crossword head is well and truly frazzled having also done Elgar in the Toughie and also the Times which, maddeningly, was an all but pangram missing the letter Q!

    1. I had the 1a/ 1d problem too.
      1a reversed is something you use in tiling… I mean an Astronaut! really!
      And no I don’t care if it IS in Chambers, so yah boo.

  6. NW and SE corners held me up but a very enjoyable puzzle today. I’ve never heard the word that has to be reversed in 1a used in that context before but found it in Chambers. Thanks to G n G.

  7. Just after my last post I checked my email to find that crypticsue had emailed the puzzle to me!
    Excellent puzzle and like the gnome 1a/1d needed a bit of head scratching!
    Favourite 13a.
    Thanks to Giovanni and Gazza but most thanks to crypticsue, without whom I wouldn’t have been posting this!

    1. I agree with you on 1a/ 1d.
      Let’s start a group to change the clue for 1a to be something to do with backward tiling.

  8. Very enjoyable and not too taxing today. No particular favourites, but I did enjoy 4A, 22A, 23A, 25A, 3D, 6D, 8D, 20D and 21D. Could never have spelled 14A without the anagram letters and the down clues, why do some words have to be so difficult? And who ever thought to call word-blindness dyslexia? Oh, and why we’re at it, why is there only one Monopolies Commission?

    As for the quickie pun – got the words straight away, but couldn’t work out the until I checked it above – nice one !

  9. A nice straightforward Giovanni today which was a good thing as it’s an Elgar toughie! We seem to have had a lot of 13a and 21d appearing in crosswords lately. My favourite clue was 3d. Thanks to Giovanni for a nice start to Friday morning and to Gazza for the hints.

    The Toughie,as I mentioned just now, is by Elgar. You will need every ounce of cryptic brain cell you possess and several hours but it is worth the effort.

    1. You’re not wrong CS.
      Managed the Toughie but only because I had 4 hours on a train with nothing but the DT to fill my time.
      Even did a Sudoku…….

  10. Lots of good clues today. My only gripe is 1d. ‘China maybe’ = e is pushing it for me I’m afraid. Otherwise very nice. Thanks G&G.

    1. I agree – as the solution was a rather unusual word (to me at least!), I think a more ‘solid’ clue for the ‘E’ bit would have been fairer.
      Thanks to both setter and reviewer.

      1. I’ve nnever heard of 1d………. but 1a was worse.
        See above for the new “tiling schism.”

  11. The website was up at midnight, so I was able to do this one. Relatively straightforward, but enjoyable, with good quality clues.

    Unable to access the Toughie ATM, but probably need more caffeine for Elgar, so waiting is maybe no bad thing.

  12. Another very enjoyable (meaning not too difficult for me!) crossword today. Only a few clues I needed help with, thank you Gazza. I didn’t know the lovely word for quickness before today.

    Loved the Quickie pun, it took me about 10 times of saying it out loud before I got it!

  13. Lovely crossword – not as difficult as some by Giovanni, in my opinion anyway. 1a, 1d and 3d took me longer than the whole of the rest of the puzzle and I’m not sure that I would have got 21d if we had not had it quite recently – can’t remember when. The spelling of 14a didn’t cause any problems – my husband is one! 27a took a bit of thinking about – was thinking of the wrong kind of “flashy”. I liked 17a and 9d and, best of all having finally got it, 3d. Thanks to Giovanni and Gazza. Still having trouble with the quickie pun – I’m sure I’ve got the three words right (well, they all fit with everything else) but can’t get it and won’t give in and look yet. About to take the hairy four legged one for a walk and will probably walk along saying the three words until one of two things happens – either I suddenly see it or I am arrested and carted off somewhere!!

    1. The Quickie Pun – My neighbours started to complain and then I was surrounded by men in white coats!

    1. Collywobbles, the NO (number) is sitting on (i.e. above/on top of in a down clue) SING which is a synonym for GRASS (tell on/sing like a canary/spill ones guts)

    2. “Sitting on” means “followed by”, i.e. sitting on top of, in a down clue. So it’s NO (number) followed by SING (to grass or inform on).

  14. Excellent puzzle today i thought, contained something for everybody. My only quibble would be
    23a, surely it is the drones who do all the work in the hive or have i missed something in the clue.
    Otherwise my thanks to the maestro for a very pleasurable crossword and my thx to Gazza without whom I most certainly would not have got 21d :-)

      1. Every day’s a school day.
        I was with Brian, but I bow to you Gazza and your apiophiliac knowledge. Or something.

  15. Read through all the clues, and thought I was going to struggle. But having cracked most of the “Plus Sign” in the middle it fell into place nicely. Ditto RachQ @ #13 on the Quickie. Have a nice weekend everyone !!

  16. Loved the Quickie pun, as did many others – took a while, but it was great when it suddenly clicked! Enjoyed today’s puzzle, with just a few tricky bits – I hadn’t heard of 4a, but he was get-able from the wordplay, I put ‘eroding‘ in for 19d, which didn’t help with 28a, and I’ve never heard of that use of 23d. I’ve heard of ‘going d***h’ – is it related? Very pleasant end to the week, so thanks Giovanni and Gazza for the explanations. Nearly home-time – yay!! :-D

    1. “Going Dutch” is apparently not related – it comes from the idea of a “Dutch door” i.e. one split in half horizontally into two parts of equal sizes (so that the top and bottom can be opened independently).

  17. Excellent puzzle, most of it completed fairly quickly. Some great anagrams! Loved 3d- how do the setters think of them? Many thanks to G&G

  18. Got the DT very late this afternoon in Ste-Maxime and knocked this one off reasonably quickly on getting home.
    Enjoyable but not as tough as one expects from The Don!
    Faves were : 1a, 4a, 12a, 27a, 3d, 18d & 21d.

    Weather here in The Var (83) is magnificent.

    Don’t get the DT every day – always om Monday and Friday – market days.

  19. Not the best for me though enjoyed the ones I did solve without help! 3d threw me as was convinced the answer was “poor” so got hung up trying to knock the pair of specs off “loo” – silly me! Never heard of 4a, sadly. Needed help with bottom half – so thanks to Gazza. Don’t much like 1d – does that really mean “murmur”??

    1. For the intransitive verb “repine” Chambers has “to fret (with at or against); to feel discontent; to murmur”.

    2. Well bully for Chambers!! – I still don’t like it!! But thanks for the constructive comment and I do underrstand that life is one long learning curve.

  20. Best crossword of the week, I thought!
    I’m rubbish with different types of plants, so 5d still remained a mystery even with all the checking letters and the hint, although the construction of the clue was pretty obvious.
    Good fun! :)

  21. On the right wavelength today so a nice quick solve. Not sure how this is rated at the same level as Wednesdays which I found v tricky. A bit slow with SE corner, mainly due to having eroding for 19d like some others. A nice distraction from work.

  22. Thanks to the two G’s, an enjoyable puzzle.I needed 4 hints. Favourites were 1 & 4 across.
    Don’t remember this grid before, is it a new one ? It had an expanded cross in the middle, 13 by 3.

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