DT 26590 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26590

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26590

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

I made a complete dog’s breakfast of 1a at the start, but once I’d sorted that out this enjoyable puzzle by Shamus didn’t take overlong. How did you find it?
If you want to see an answer highlight the space between the brackets under the relevant clue.

Across Clues

1a  Choose first voting system always blocked by France (6)
{PREFER} – I got off on the wrong foot here, writing in FAVOUR (well, it does mean choose first and it has got FR and AV in it) without thinking too much about it – I had to swiftly backtrack when 2d obviously didn’t fit. The correct answer starts with the abbreviation for proportional representation, then the single character abbreviation for France is inserted (blocked) in a poetic synonym for always.

5a  Source of energy before autumn producing unexpected riches? (8)
{WINDFALL} – this is a charade of a source of green energy and what autumn is called in North America.

9a  Dim inspector taken in by natural impulse (10)
{INDISTINCT} – the abbreviation for detective inspector goes inside (is taken in by) a natural or intuitive way of acting or thinking to make an adjective meaning dim or unclear.

10a  Follow closely those lower in order (4)
{TAIL} – double definition, the second referring to those batting later in a cricket team.

11a  Mound of discarded stuff with dirt set out around middle of hut (8)
{DETRITUS} – an anagram (out) of DIRT SET goes round the middle letter of (h)U(t).

12a  Light repartee featuring in club anteroom (6)
{BANTER} – some light repartee is hidden (featuring) in the clue.

13a  Forbidden key for all to see (4)
{TABU} – a word, from Tongan, meaning forbidden, is constructed from a control character (key on a keyboard) used to move the cursor to the next field or input area followed by the letter used in the old classification system to mean that anyone was allowed to see a film.

15a  On reflection, secure end to game for fellow lodger (8)
{ROOMMATE} – reverse (on reflection) a verb meaning to secure a boat and add the decisive end to a game of chess.

18a  Role flock played with no end of magic in ancient customs? (8)
{FOLKLORE} – the definition is ancient customs and it’s an anagram (played) of ROLE FLO(c)K without the last letter of magic.

19a  Knock back drink, last of drink in gloom (4)
{MURK} – reverse (knock back) a “short” drink and add the last letter of (drin)K.

21a  Little woman with small bottle showing sociable humour (6)
{JOVIAL} – the name of one of the girls in Louisa May Alcott’s most famous work is followed by the alternative spelling of a small bottle used for medicine.

23a  Indulge in affairs? Chap is found in sorry state (8)
{WOMANISE} – according to the tabloid press this is what some professional footballers do all the time. Put a synonym for chap and IS inside a word for grief or misery (sorry state).

25a  Note restricted car (4)
{MINI} – a musical note without its final M (restricted) is a type of car.

26a  I’m getting source of revenue in operas I organised? (10)
{IMPRESARIO} – this is an all-in-one clue. Start with I’M and add an anagram (organised) of OPERAS I with R(evenue) inserted.

27a  Good person with park employee and guest (8)
{STRANGER} – the abbreviation of a good (and holy) person is followed by a park or forest officer to make the sort of guest that you didn’t know previously.

28a  Poet providing unexciting study (6)
{DRYDEN} – the name of an English Restoration poet is a charade of an adjective meaning unexciting or dull and a room (study) where you can work or relax in private.

Down Clues

2d  Wash section of counter in service (5)
{RINSE} – a verb meaning to wash is hidden (section of) in the clue.

3d  Batman to Robin? (5,4)
{FRIAR TUCK} – an amusing bit of deception – Robin is not the Boy Wonder but the legendary outlaw. This is one of his companions (batman is stretching the relationship a bit, hence the question mark) who is traditionally portrayed as enjoying plenty of food and ale.

4d  Turn about to retain old odds and ends (6)
{ROTATE} – the definition is turn, as a verb. Put a preposition meaning about or concerning around (to retain) O(ld) and worthless rubbish (odds and ends).

5d  Move weird new pincers, an aid for drivers? (10,5)
{WINDSCREEN WIPER} – an anagram (move) of WEIRD NEW PINCERS.

6d  Old boy with school held up approval for container of jottings? (8)
{NOTEBOOK} – reverse (held up, in a down clue) the abbreviation for old boy and a public school, then add an abbreviation signifying approval or agreement. What you end up with is where you might keep your jottings.

7d  Fellow with refined fashion in bed (5)
{FUTON} – this is a type of bed, originating in Japan, which can be rolled up or folded when not in use. Start with F(ellow) then add the letter used to signify refined or posh and a word, from French, meaning fashion or the “in thing”.

8d  Elizabeth’s favourite, Piggott, in audience? (9)
{LEICESTER} – this is the title given to Robert Dudley the favourite of Queen Elizabeth I and it sounds like (in audience) the forename of Mr Piggott the jockey known as Old Stoneface, who rode many winners for the current Queen Elizabeth and was presumably one of her favourites (at least until he was prosecuted for tax fraud and detained at her pleasure).

14d  Defender in a game getting main point (9)
{APOLOGIST} – someone who argues your case (defender) is a charade of A, an equestrian sport and the main point (of an argument, say).

16d  Test involving guys on a set of tracks is short-lived (9)
{MOMENTARY} – the definition is short-lived. Put an annual test around a synonym for guys and finish with A and the abbreviation for a set of tracks.

17d  Ornamental band manufactured in old mug (8)
{MOULDING} – an anagram (manufactured) of IN OLD MUG.

20d  Threaten male with prison? I had to entertain that (6)
{IMPEND} – this is a verb meaning to threaten or be imminent. Put the contracted form of “I had” around (to entertain) M(ale) and a North American abbreviation for a prison.

22d  Commerce commonly found in northerly road in island abroad (5)
{IBIZA} – northerly here means both that the road is a North-South artery and that its name needs to be reversed (reading north, in a down clue). Inside this (found in) put a slang (commonly) term for commerce or trade to form a Spanish island.

24d  Cut worthless people dogging son (5)
{SLICE} – a verb (or noun) meaning cut is a slang word for worthless or contemptible people coming after (dogging) S(on).

I enjoyed 23a, 2d and 8d today but my favourite was 26a. Let us know what you liked in a comment.

Today’s Quickie Pun: {PERRY} + {GRIN} = {PEREGRINE}

67 comments on “DT 26590

  1. A pleasant puzzle to solve – thanks to Shamus, and to Gazza.
    With this, and the Toughie done, i’ll have to find another online puzzle, or it could be a long, dull day in the office!

  2. Really good puzzle today. My attempt at a dog’s breakfast was starting to write BRUCE WAYNE for 3d before realising it was 5,4!

    Liked 13a and 20d. Particularly liked 26a. Didn’t like 14d … polo a game? Insulting to a royal sport! And I thought “batman” a bit of a stretch.

    Now I have to sort out 6a in the Toughie. My mind has drawn a blank. I’m sure 6d and 7d are correct, aarrrgggghhhhh! It’s all that’s left and it’s driving me nuts!!!

        1. Oi only arsked.

          It’s frustration. I hate not completing a puzzle in one go (although sometimes there are interruptions that SWMBO deems “necessary”). Even more, I hate having to wait for the hints when I’m stuck. :)

          Nevertheless, I’ll endeavour to be a good and patient boy. (Actually, I’m a Scottish Terrier. :) )

  3. Very enjoyable. Did it more quickly than yesterday’s (despite the criticism that Rufus’ puzzle got for being too easy). Didn’t see the reason for the last three letters of 7d, though the answer had to be correct. Thanks to all involved today.

    1. Ton is another word for fashion or style – you never find it anywhere except in crosswords!

  4. Very enjoyable crossword from young Shamus today. Many thanks to him and to Gazza for the review. Favourite clues were 23a and 7d.

  5. Not very happy today as this was too easy and toughie was even easier. Nuff said.

  6. A very enjoyable puzzle, I’d say three stars for difficulty. Favourite clue was 3d (it made me laugh when the penny dropped). 14d appeared almost verbatim in yesterdays Guardian by Rufus. Thanks to Shamus and Gazza.

    1. David,
      Your comment had to be moderated because you omitted your usual space before the ‘R’ – I edited it. (Now that you’ve entered a further comment without the space I’ve approved it so that from now on either should work).

      1. Thanks. That’ll teach me not to muck about with my necessary identifier for Dave rich environments.

  7. Quite enjoyable today, some very clever clues and some unusual answers (13A, 22D). Enjoyed 11A, 23A (but what male doesn’t), 17D and my favourite today 3D (despite the tenuous use of Batman).

        1. Don’t understand – am I being dim – have wracked brain – I clearly AM being dim!! :sad:

          1. For once I understand the Spoonerism.I think Gazza is best at explaining these things?

            But, maybe, just transpose the “f” with the “t”? :wink:

  8. Very enjoyable, thank you Shamus. Didn’t take long to solve but I was a happy solver at the end. Thanks to Gazza too.

    Everyone should have a go at the Toughie today, and if you have done that and really want to laugh out loud, then the Guardian Paul is the one to try next.

  9. Lots of fun clues although not too long to solve – thanks to gazza and to Shamus (off to next interview after a sandwich break!)

      1. Cheers, this morning was good (apart form a Ladder flting off a van on the M25 150 yards in front and to the right of me. Car in the lane outside stopped so as not to run over it!.

  10. Much more enjoyable after yesterday. Thought 3D was stretching things a bit. The last one to go in for me.
    Thanks to setter and Gazza for the hints.

  11. By the way everyone – HIPPY BATHDAY TO PROLIXIC!!
    Thinking about it I am in Waterloo for an interview at 15:00 – where are you after that??

    1. And from me too. My comments are playing their silly game when they sit in the box after I’ve posted them. Anyone else having the same trouble?

    2. What I want to know is how the Gnome knows that I am old enough now to need hip baths!

      Thanks to one and all for the kind thoughts. If any one want to know, I am old enough to know better but still young enough not to care :)

  12. Good puzzle today, I thought. I wasn’t too sure about 3d to begin with although it had to be OK and I didn’t really understand 10a until I read the hint. Having got 21a and 22d spent the next few minutes trying and failing to find a suitable space to fit in the missing “H”, “Q” and “X” to make it a pangram. Also made life a bit difficult for myself by misreading 24a – thought that it was “dodging” rather than “dogging” son. I liked 9, 13 and 23a and 8 and 14d. Thanks to Shamus and Gazza.

    1. I used to have a sweatshirt by “ton sur ton” i thought it was a fasion label.

  13. After a flying start I slowly ground to a halt at 13a and had to call for help. Spelling was new to me and I couldn’t get it from the wording. OK otherwise apart from the explanation of 7d. Thanks to all.

  14. Thanks to Shamus and Gazza, really enjoyed this one, lots of clever clues.
    Favourite was 3 down.
    Thunder & Lightning in central London, hope it clears for the Oval tomorrow.

    1. Why? What’s happening at the Oval tomorrow?? Hope it’ll be OK for Thursday.

      Off to Gloucester/Somerset on Friday. C’mon you Zidermen.

  15. I’ve not come across that definition of ‘ton’ before either, despite years of crosswording! Having said that, I could well have come across it before I found this site and not had a clue why it was there… love this site. :-) Also, didn’t know the cricket reference in 10a, but got the answer anyway. I agree with Gazza’s rating for this one – not terribly tricky, but enjoyable.

    I do have a small gripe with the quick, however: jalapenos are not “very hot” – they are decidedly mid-range. Habanero or birds eye chillies are very hot, but not jalapenos. I can eat them out the jar!

    1. I’ve just realised that ‘habanero’ would fit, but then it wouldn’t be a pangram…

    2. Have come across ‘ton’ before but only in “crosswordese” – apart from that agree with everything you’ve said, especially the bit about loving this site – where would we be without it?! :smile:

  16. Many thanks to Gazza for his review and all for comments. I did wonder what sort of comments 3d might trigger! Ditto with the happy birthday wishes to Prolixic.

    1. I will pass it on Shamus, I am having a swifty with him at Waterloo – he says he is a bit disappointed with the lack of themed puzzle in honour of the day ;-)

  17. Many happy returns, Prolixic, have a wonderful evening ! A good little crossword today, enough thought to make it interesting but not so tough it puts you off. Needed Gazza’s blog to understand 13a, thankyou, and thankyou Shamus for an entertaining morning. I feel pretty good having completed both the Tel. cryptic AND the Toughie, must have been easy today!!

    1. Well done, Brenda. Shamus is doing the Toughie tomorrow, so let’s make it two days in a row!

  18. I’m probably alone in not much liking today’s puzzle – whilst there were sone clever clues I just couldn’t get into the mindset

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