DT 26599 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26599

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26599

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

We have a not-too-difficult offering from Giovanni today (although the instrument in 12a was new to me). Let us know how you got on with it.
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Across Clues

1a  Escape from church in warm coat (6)
{FLEECE} – a warm coat is a charade of a verb to escape from and the abbreviation for the Church of England.

4a  Support party, returning after journey (6)
{TRIPOD} – a support, for a camera for example, requires a party (the festive rather than political sort) to be reversed (returning) after a journey.

8a  Contrivance for manipulating the enemy in SF? (4,4)
{TIME WARP} – cryptic definition of a hypothetical distortion used by science fiction writers to allow someone to visit the past or future. The enemy here is the proverbial term used to describe the continuous passage of existence and events which (outside of science fiction) none of us can defeat.

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10a  Healing group led by copper (6)
{CURING} – a synonym for group is preceded (led) by the chemical symbol for copper.

11a  Nimble son to act as snooper (4)
{SPRY} – an adjective meaning nimble or agile is constructed from S(on) followed by a verb meaning to act as a snooper or be inquisitive.

12a  Let’s aspire to play historical instruments (10)
{PSALTERIES} – an anagram (to play) of LET’S ASPIRE gives us medieval stringed instruments played by plucking.

13a  Dog restrained by lead, one friend famously (12)
{PROVERBIALLY} – the definition here is famously or traditionally. Put the habitual name given to a dog inside (restrained by) the chemical symbol for lead and add I (one) and a synonym for friend.

16a  Minor actor with the potential to make a piercing contribution? (5,7)
{SPEAR CARRIER} – cryptic definition of an actor with a non-speaking part, derived from classical plays in which the main characters were escorted on stage by guards carrying pointed weapons.

20a  Vehicle that is going round Loch — prime requirement for Scottish firms (10)
{BUSINESSES} – the definition is firms or companies. Start with a public service vehicle and add the abbreviation for “that is” around the name of a famous loch in the Highlands. Finish off with the first letter (prime requirement) of S(cottish).

21a  Lord Wimsey, say, losing heart (4)
{PEER} – this is a lord and it’s the forename of the fictional detective created by Dorothy L Sayers without its middle letter (losing heart).

22a  Foreign capital in the paper (6)
{MANILA} – double definition – the capital of the Philippines and strong brown paper.

23a  Length of time expected to be cut by fixed amount (8)
{DURATION} – this is a charade of a word meaning expected without its final E (to be cut) and a fixed amount or allotment.

24a  Greeting the onset of spring with a musical instrument (6)
{SALUTE} – this greeting starts with the first letter (onset) of S(pring) which is followed by A and an old stringed instrument with a long neck.

25a  Irritable agent needs to snatch forty winks (6)
{SNAPPY} – the definition is irritable. Put an agent (the James Bond type) around a short sleep (forty winks).

Down Clues

1d  Ambitious people keeping very quiet — types to get along ‘swimmingly’? (8)
{FLIPPERS} – put a term meaning ambitious people (often preceded by high-) around the musical abbreviation for very quiet. The swimming types are dolphins, based on the name of the hero of the 1960s TV series.

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2d  Poem that’s upset you enthralling one of the members (5)
{ELEGY} – reverse (upset) an old word for you and put a member or limb inside (enthralling).

3d  Cold drink for each enthusiastic member of the audience (7)
{CLAPPER} – a member of the audience showing appreciation is a charade of C(old), a verb to drink (like a dog, say) and “for each”.

5d  Clarinet unfortunately missing note in performance (7)
{RECITAL} – an anagram (unfortunately) of CLARI(n)ET, without N(ote), gives us a musical performance.

6d  Artist needs beer to have inner spark (9)
{PORTRAYER} – a dark brown beer contains (to have inner) a gleam or spark (of hope, perhaps) to make someone who paints or draws likenesses.

7d  Cleric turning up to pursue study in US city (6)
{DENVER} – reverse (turning up, in a down clue) the abbreviated title given to a member of the clergy and append it to a study or private room to make the state capital of Colorado.

9d  A prig ladies foolishly copied in a bad way (11)
{PLAGIARISED} – an anagram (foolishly) of A PRIG LADIES means copied without permission.

14d  Rudimentary undershirt on one girl, one being hugged (9)
{VESTIGIAL} – an adjective meaning rudimentary or reduced to a functionless state by a process of evolution starts with an undershirt. This is followed by I (one) and an informal term for a girl with a second I (one) inside (hugged).

15d  Mercy one dispensed in a religious event? (8)
{CEREMONY} – an anagram (dispensed) of MERCY ONE produces a formal event which may, or may not, be religious.

17d  The Spanish agent, frightfully stylish (7)
{ELEGANT} – a Spanish definite article is followed by an anagram (frightfully) of AGENT.

18d  Losing competitor didn’t just walk but …? (4-3)
{ALSO-RAN} – sort of cryptic definition of a competitor who didn’t “medal” or “podium” (as the American sports commentators say).

19d  Paintings showing one thousand mountains (6)
{MURALS} – the Roman numeral for one thousand precedes the mountain range which is the traditional boundary between Europe and Asia.

21d  Provide, one way or another (3,2)
{PUT UP} – a palindromic (one way or another) phrasal verb meaning to provide (a stake, for example).

The clues which I liked best today were 16a and 21a. Let us know which ones you enjoyed.

Today’s Quickie Pun: {CAR} + {BUN} + {CULL} = {CARBUNCLE}

37 comments on “DT 26599

  1. Very enjoyable today but got stuck on 8a and needed the hint to solve. Never heard of 12a but worked out from anag and crossing letters, also never heard of the term in 16a used in that way but managed to get there! Many thanks to Giovanni for what I found quite a testing crossword and to Gazza for the review.

  2. I had much fun with 12a trying to invent words that did not exist with the letters I had left over! I think I have heard of the word before (obviously in a crossword somewhere or the other).
    Thanks to Giovanni, and to Gazza.

  3. Morning all, I had the same problem with 12a after lots of scribbling on the back page I finally got it. 8a stumped me, favourite was probably 16a that had me head scratching too. Thank you giovanni and to gazza.

  4. A musical puzzle today. I needed help to find 12a, though I knew it was an anagram and recognised the instrument from some distant context. Looked it up on Google and found it being played with a bow. Great fun and I really needed very little help, but a good deal of persevation towards the end. Last in was 19d as I kept wanting to put in ‘images’ but couldn’t find the mountains, of course. There were lots of good clues, but my favourites today are 16a and 14d.
    Many thanks to G&G. :-)

  5. Joy of joys, got through todays by sheer will power. I only got stuck on 22a as i always thought it had two L’s. Geography, stationery and speling obviously not my strong points (ha ha – point).
    Contrary to Pommer’s assertions, no saucy piccies I note, but I LOVED the Flipper Video……they dont have names like Whip Hubley any more do they? !!!!!! Now reliving my childhood. Hopefully one of the setters will have Belle and Sebastian as an answer next week and then my childish reminiscences will be complete!

    • My favourite always used to be Rip Torn who starred in something about an air boat in the Everglades – he was also in the Men in Black movies.

  6. A typically accomplished Giovanni puzzle that was between 2 and 3 stars according to my solving time. 14d was among the favourites. Thanks to him and to Gazza for the review.

  7. Quite enjoyable today, sailed through most of the crossword except for 8A and 12A. Worked out 12 from the anagram, but 8 gave a few problems. Ended up looking at the second word, thought what could fit into the third letter, tried the rest of the alphabet for the first letter, finally realised the answer and that it fitted the clue.
    Enjoyed 13A, 20A, 22A, 24A, 6D, 9D, 14D and 19D but 8A has to be my favourite as it actually sparked up a few neurons in the cranium and got me thinking big time.

  8. The usual enjoyable fare from The Don – many thanks Giovanni.
    Faves were 8a, 20a, 21a, 6d, 18d & 21d.

    Had a wee bit of trouble with 16a but thanks to Gazza for clarification.

    Weather still magnificent here in PACA.

  9. 12a should be familiary to anyone steeped in the King James version of the psalms. “Praise him with the sound of the trumpet: praise him with the psaltery and harp. Praise him with the timbrel and dance: praise him with stringed instruments and organs. (Psalm 150).

    Enjoyable crossword from Giovanni today. Completed it in plenty of time to wrestle with Elgar in the Toughie only to find it possibly the easiest Elgar ever (unless of course you know different).

    Many thanks to Giovanni for the crossword and to Gazza for the review.

    • Totally agree Prolixic, the easiest Elgar I’ve ever done, great one for those who are a bit afraid of “toughies”

  10. 13a and 16a brought a chuckle. Skempie’s approach to 8a is, I’m sure a common one. But it’s prone to error. Try your friends (non-crossword solvers for preference) with this simple test (you have to say it and don’t let them write the letters down):

    What is the only four letter word in the English language that ends in E N Y?

    The majority will struggle, sub-vocalising the word with all the letters of the alphabet in turn. The difficulty they start with is that they think of the pronunciation as “eny” (any).

  11. Quick but enjoyable :) Had to look up 12a and 16a as I had never heard of them! Thanks to Giovanni- I used to struggle SO much with these and now seem to have ‘got in the right mind set!

  12. Not much to add to what everyone else has already said – enjoyable, quick to solve, nice clues – favourites are 8d and especially 16a. I did know the Psalm so the instruments were no problem for me Thanks to Giovanni and Gazza too.

    Agree with Prolixic that the Elgar was the definitely the easiest Elgar in the history of Elgars, without detracting from any of the fun. Paul in the Guardian today is like that too. Have they been on some ‘must be kinder to the solvers’ course? :)

  13. Probably a 3-4* for difficulty for me. Very few answers in after first read through of all the clues. I ended up only needing the hints for two – 8a and 12a – and to explain what I got for 20a – however I looked at it I seemed to have a spare “S”. I’d forgotten about the “Scottish” bit! 1a took me a very long time as I was trying to find a six letter word for “escape” made up from one of the usual two letter abbreviations for “church” inside a four letter word for “warm”. I’ve never heard of the expression in 16a but guessed from all the letters I had in. I liked 13 and 24a and 6, 9 and 14d. Thanks to Giovanni and Gazza. Off to deal with World War Three in the kitchen – our ancient little cat has moved into our dog’s bed!!

  14. Many thanks to Giovanni and to Gazza, a very enjoyable crossword. 12a comes up fairly often in the weekend GK crosswords.

  15. Im with all the other 8a stumped me whizzed through the rest this lunch time at work!!!

  16. I’m with Kath on this one 3 to 4* for me too, had never heard of 12a, got really stuck in top L/H corner , wanted to put ‘clappers in for 1d but already had it for 3d! for 5d thought the note had to be either a, c, or e and just couldn’t make any sense of it for ages, unfortunately never heard of Lord Wimsey either, my brother keeps telling me I went to the wrong school but it was either the girls grammar school or the boys and therefore I had no choice :-)

  17. A pleasant solve to do in the garden this afternoon. Fav clue13a. Never heard of 16a, though was easy enough to solve with earned letters. Thanks setter and Gazza. PS Clued Up’s recent questionnaire should allow bloggers to get a few things sorted out as regards format, quick solvers and solver of the day issues.

  18. I’m late today and only the second one I have done this week – funeral and work interfered.

    Enjoyed this – didn’t have a problem with 12a – brain on that wave length after the funeral – last in was 20a but no real hold up. I liked 8a and16a.

    Thanks to the two G’s

  19. Great puzzle with some interesting answers and excellent clues.
    Thanks to setter and Gazza for the hints.

  20. Thanks to Giovanni and Gazza, for an enjoyable puzzle and review. I found this quite tricky, but got there in the end, with the exception of 22a where I needed the hint. Favourites were 8a and 7d.

  21. Long time since pommette and I were defeated by a back pager but for some reason could not see 8a at all! All checkers in and the answer just would not come! Stupidity on the day of the festival of great stupidity if you ask me – it’s so obvious when you get the hint! Can only think the recent heat has fried the collective brains!
    Oh well, I’ll resign from blogging until Autumn and apply for admission to the CC.
    Otherwise an excellent puzzle and a bit benign for a Giovanni so thanks muchly to the Don.
    Thanks Gazza, needed you for aforementioned 8a!

  22. Enjoyed this. Getting better at them but still a few holes! Still don’t understand 8a but got it eventually through trial and error.
    Dougy

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