DT 26602 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26602

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26602

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment **

We were taken to task yesterday, in a comment from StevieG, for referring to some puzzles as fairly straightforward, because this might be discouraging to some solvers who don’t find them straightforward at all. However, if we’re writing a review we have to be able to say how difficult we found the puzzle relative to the average back-pager, and in my opinion this one is, well, fairly straightforward. It does have a few entertaining clues (but too many anagrams for my taste). Do feel free to agree or disagree.
If you want to see an answer just drag your cursor through the space between the brackets under the clue.

Across Clues

1a  Government’s in vogue following newspaper editorials (10)
{LEADERSHIP} – a slang word meaning in vogue or trendy follows newspaper editorials to make a synonym for government.

6a  Hit book for essayist (4)
{LAMB} – an informal verb to hit hard (rarely seen outside crosswords) is followed by B(ook) to make the surname of the English author who wrote Essays of Elia.

10a  Puts nuts outside back of cage, creating agitation (5)
{UPSET} – an anagram (nuts) of PUTS goes around the last letter (back) of (cag)E.

11a  Partner developing sea-coast around island (9)
{ASSOCIATE} – the definition here is partner (normally used in the business rather than relationship sense). It’s an anagram (developing) of SEA-COAST around I(sland).

12a  Satisfied completely by one cold tinny (8)
{METALLIC} – this has a nice surface reading with the setter wanting you to think of tinny as a noun meaning a can of XXXX or similar down under. As the definition here, however, it’s an adjective, built from a verb meaning satisfied or matched, a synonym for completely, I (one) and C(old).

13a  Calm before start of the horse-riding competition (5)
{EVENT} – another word for calm precedes the first letter (start) of T(he) to make a horse-riding competition (possibly one lasting three days).

15a  Left maintaining saint was alive (7)
{EXISTED} – the definition here is was alive. A verb meaning went out or left contains (maintaining) the single-letter abbreviation for saint.

17a  Orders UK fills for expert (7)
{SKILFUL} – an anagram (orders) of UK FILLS.

19a  Moaning Higgins goes to pot (7)
{SIGHING} – the surface here is all about snooker and, depending on your age, Higgins might be the late, wayward Alex “Hurricane” or the current world champion, John. The answer is an anagram (goes to pot) of HIGGINS.

21a  Farmyard animal — one’s scattered birds (7)
{PIGEONS} – a farmyard animal is followed by an anagram (scattered) of ONE’S.

22a  Near heart of total darkness (5)
{NIGHT} – an old word meaning near precedes the middle letter (heart) of (to)T(al).

24a  A long time since wrinkly’s operations (8)
{AGENCIES} – a word meaning a long time is followed by an anagram (wrinkly) of SINCE.

27a  Curse babe’s mixed grills (9)
{BARBECUES} – we have yet another anagram (the fifth in six clues). This time the indicator is mixed and the fodder is CURSE BABE.

28a  Offensive fabrication in article (5)
{ALIEN} – an adjective meaning offensive or distasteful is formed by putting a fabrication inside the indefinite article.

29a  Relax in settee, as ever (4)
{EASE} – hidden in the clue is a verb meaning to relax.

30a  Switch in aircraft that helps you to see (10)
{FLASHLIGHT} – switch (either as a noun or verb) can mean whip, so insert a synonym for this inside a group of aircraft operating as a unit.

Down Clues

1d  Noisy couple turning up to back Liberal (4)
{LOUD} – reverse (turning up, in a down clue) a couple (of musicians, possibly) and put it after (to back) L(iberal).

2d  Meeting some swans we ringed (9)
{ANSWERING} – hidden (some) is a present participle meaning meeting or satisfying.

3d  Run over (5)
{EXTRA} – one of the two words in the clue relates to cricket (and this time it’s not over!). This is a double definition – a run in cricket which is added to the team’s total but not to that of any individual batsman and a synonym for over or in excess.

4d  A nerd’s worried about beginning of line getting tangled (7)
{SNARLED} – an anagram (worried) of A NERD’S goes around the first letter (beginning) of L(ine).

5d  Small creatures in schools (7)
{INSECTS} – these small creatures are formed from IN (given to you in the clue) and another word for schools (groups of people with a shared religious or philosophical outlook).

7d  Come to a vigil (5)
{AWAKE} – a verb meaning to come to is also (1,4) a vigil or watch.

8d  Dead excited? (10)
{BREATHLESS} – double definition.

9d  Twisting body in grass (8)
{SCREWING} – put a body (of shipmates, possibly) inside an informal verb meaning to be an informer (grass). I don’t think I’d get away with a picture here.

14d  Inexpensive woolly bear on sale (10)
{REASONABLE} – an anagram (woolly) of BEAR ON SALE means inexpensive.

16d  Prime time and neither’s broadcast (8)
{THIRTEEN} – start with T(ime) and follow this with an anagram (broadcast) of NEITHER to make a prime number.

18d  Blooming humiliating supporting France (9)
{FLOWERING} – a present participle meaning degrading or humiliating comes after (supporting, in a down clue) the IVR (International Vehicle Registration) code for France.

20d  Good artist to celebrate coming up step-by-step (7)
{GRADUAL} – the definition here is step-by-step. Join together G(ood), the abbreviation for a top artist (Royal Academician) and a verb to celebrate or praise which has to be reversed (coming up, in a down clue).

21d  Priest hires suits (7)
{PLEASES} – the single letter abbreviation for priest is followed by a synonym for hires to make a verb meaning suits or satisfies.

23d  US soldier starts to raise Luger and stupidly misses (5)
{GIRLS} – the definition here is misses or young females. Start with the abbreviation for a US soldier (for years I thought that this stood for General Infantryman but in fact it means Government Issue – it’s what soldiers called themselves because “Government Issue” was stamped on all clothes, shoes, guns and other equipment that they were given) and follow this with the initial letters (starts) of Raise Luger Stupidly.

25d  What a swimmer might do to move slowly? (5)
{CRAWL} – double definition.

26d  Shore bird’s rate of speed (4)
{KNOT} – another double definition – a short-billed sandpiper (whose name, Chambers informs us, is not related to King Canute) and a rate of speed at sea.

The clues which I liked best were 12a and 23d. What did you like?

Today’s Quickie Pun: {SUNDAES} + {COOLS} = {SUNDAY SCHOOLS}

64 comments on “DT 26602

  1. Morning Gazza – yes, I agree entirely with your assessment. Favourite was 12a which I thought was brilliantly clued. Thanks to setter, and to you for the review.

  2. Morning Gazza, got stuck on 1d and 5d for a while today, but I might have known, cricket again :-( all in all I enjoyed this one today and I never object to too many anagrams, my favourite clues today were 8d and 23d, only question today was for 16d, surely ‘prime’ could refer to a number of things??? Thanks to setter for a very enjoyable crossword and thanks for review Gazza which I will read thoroughly later, things to do, places to go, none very exciting!

    1. Morning Mary……
      When you say “cricket” are you referring to the 6 legged versions? Otherwise you’ve lost me.

      And prime…… as in a number that cannot be divided exactly by another one. Or something. So yes, the answer could have been “three” or “seven”, but they don’t fit. :-)

    2. Lostboy, I like your “cricket” reference – :wink: – I always thought they had more than six legs! Wrong again!

  3. Good Morning all, a not quite so straight forward puzzle today as compared with yesterday, with some interesting words. I agree with Gazza, there are too many anagrams but I enjoyed it and found it solvable!

      1. Captain Lethargy,
        Your comment was held up because your email address was slightly different from the one you’ve used before – I’ve amended it to be the same as the one used previously.
        p.s. Captain Lethargy is my type of superhero :D

          1. Captain Lethargy, I love anagrams as well! Also, love your moniker! Just off for a lie down!

  4. Enjoyable, 22d my favourite. Had SPEECHLESS for 8d (can you see my point?) Which didn’t help for surrounding answers! Thanks to all.

  5. Bonjour encore from Honfleur.

    Nicely straight forward I thought.
    Got stuck on 1a, and completed it from the South West, heading vaguely East and North East.

    12a, 23d both worth a smile.

    1. Hey Lostboy…are you my son? He is a boy and probably lost, as he doesn’t respond to my texts; he is Honfleur and environs too. The only clue that he has not been mown down by a supertanker is that I did get a response to a query as to whether or not he wants to go and see Rammstein at the O2…which was “OK”.

  6. I don’t care what complaints we get, I thought today’s offering was fairly straightforward (thought yesterday’s was too, but started a new job and didn’t get any time to post yesterday).

    I assume that Mary’s referring to 3D when she mentions cricket – could be worse, could refer to bloody football (nice to know that its the middle of the summer when the only sports that should be played are cricket, golf and tennis, yet the DT still manages six pages of football in the sports section).

    Enjoyed a number of the clues today, but I think 30A was my favourite today.

    1. Congrats on the job from me too Skempie, I am in the same happy position as you, starting yesterday. Less blogging time indeed!

  7. A most annoying morning. Having completed all three DT crosswords before 07:45 I had no option but to get down to some work. The saving grace was confirmation that “old-timers’s” is not yet a concern. ;). 12a and 9d were my favourites, but an excess of anagrams. I note that “LAM” appears in answers in both this and the Toughie today. It’s a typical crosswordland word, seldom used in modern speech … but I’ll try to work it in to a conversation today; perhaps, “Go on the lam” – a typically different use of the word from our cousins across the Pond. :)

  8. I did not find this the most enjoyable of puzzles, however there were a handful of clues I liked.
    Thanks to setter, and to Gazza.

  9. Sorry but I am going to have to say that this one was straightforward (after all my years of solving, there would have been something seriously wrong with my brain this morning if I hadn’t0 – my favourite clue was 23d as I stupidly missed the significance of misses for longer than I ought to have done D’Oh! Thanks to Gazza and the Tuesday Mysteron.

    Now the Toughie, on the other hand, wasn’t as straightforward as I thought it might be but is worth a go.

    1. am I the only one who thought that 10 a could be unset…as in puts(as the anagram indicator) instead of nuts around end of cage meaning stirred as in gelatin(which could be ‘unset’)??

      1. No, you’re not.
        And in fact I’m leaving it in my grid as a protest against clues that have more than one answer!

      2. I know that we get some weird anagram indicators but “puts” would be pretty odd. Also, is “unset” a noun in the same way that “upset” is?

        1. Probably Not.
          But I’m in France, where the reponse to rules is a Gallic shrug, and the word “Pah!”. :-)

          1. Having a French sister-in-law I would say that the usual response is more likely to sound like “Pfffff” when something isn’t quite to her liking!! Don’t get me wrong – she is really lovely but …..

            1. I’ve looked for “Pfffff” in my Collins Robert French Dictionary – but I can’t find it! But I understand what you mean! :smile:

              Elle est une personne très gentille, mais … ..

  10. Thanks to the setter for a fairly straightforward and not very taxing crossword and too Gazza for the review.

  11. A tad under a two stopper for me today and but enjoyable whllst it lasted. Thanks to the mysteron and to Gazza for the review.

  12. took me an age to parse 15a as forgot saint could be abbreviated to s as well as the more usual st. Whilst no particular favourites I did enjoy this. Thanks to Gazza and mysteron

  13. I usually find Tuesday’s crossword a tough challenge, so I was glad today for the number of anagrams as they are often the only way I can get started solving. That said, I found some of the indicators rather strange: ‘wrinklies’ and ‘woolly’ especially. I didn’t think of snooker for 19a, but of Pygmalion’s Henry, and for a while , having a G and a U at 20d I thought of putting in ‘Gauguin’ as the good artist — just as well I didn’t!

    Anyway, thanks to the compiler for an enjoyable time and to Gazza for the explanations. There were lots of good clues, but I agree that 12a and 23d were tops. :-)

  14. At the risk of upsetting anyone I thought this was quite easy but, like CrypticSue, I have been doing them for a long time now. Am I the only one who thinks that 16d was slightly unfair – there is nothing to tell us that we are supposed to be thinking of a prime NUMBER and there are lots of meanings of prime – to start off I tried to make it an anagram of “neither’s” with the definition being “prime time” – this was the clue that held me up for ages. Yes, lots of anagrams but I like them. I liked 12, 19 and 24a and 2, 8, 9 (specially Gazza’s reason for the lack of picture hint!!) and 23d. Thanks to the setter and Gazza.

    1. I’m sure that a mathematician will let me know if I’m wrong, but I think that prime can be used as an adjective to describe a number, e.g. I think that it makes sense to say “13 is prime” without mentioning the word “number”.

      1. Thanks Gazza and Franco – I’m no mathematician either and was really trying to justify why I had such trouble with this one! I’ve only heard of 3, 7 etc being called “prime numbers” rather than “primes”. Having now read all the comments I see that I’m not alone in having doubts about it and I’ll shut up!! :smile:

    2. I didn’t think that 16d was unfair. I’m not a mathematician but I have always thought that “prime” could be used alone as a noun meaning “prime number”. e.g. 13 is a “prime”. (Don’t have a Chambers)

  15. Don’t understand how this can be a 2 star for difficulty, it is on the wrong side of almost impossible! Far too tough for the back page IMHO.

  16. Pretty much managed this one, which definitely makes it easier than usual! Only ones I really struggled with were 6a (I assumed it was after a name, but I don’t know any essayists!) and 3d because I missed the cricket connection. I also don’t quite get 24a, I still don’t see how the answer means operations… (2d meaning meeting is slightly odd as well IMO :P)
    Overall pretty nice, always nice for me to be able to do most of it without resorting to the internet!

  17. Quite a fun romp today, I thought – nothing too tricky, tho’ I was thrown off slightly by 16d – bit of a weak definition, I thought, tho’ the anagram was obvious with all the checking letters. Thanks to setter & Gazza. :)

  18. Thanks to Gazza and the setter, I didn’t like this one very much. Don’t really know why, but just didn’t enjoy it. So, maybe it’s me, rather than the puzzle :-)
    Favourite was 30 across.

  19. Given that the editor gets at least a few letters complaining about hard puzzles, I reckon that this one was a worthy back-page puzzle. I don’t know which of my colleagues set it, but I would urge him or her not to be put off by the low rating from the self-appointed pundits here. It takes all sorts of setters and solvers to make a world. Easy puzzles must be part of the weekly mix.

        1. And so do I. Yes it was fairly straightforward but enjoyable nonetheless. There are more than enough very tricky ones to balance this one out. Cheers to the Setter and Gaza (disappointing pics today!!!!)

    1. As we never tire of saying, the ratings are the personal opinion of the blogger and others are allowed to (and often do) express their disagreement. If the ratings are to mean anything and if 3 stars means “average” then, by definition, some ratings will be higher and some lower than average – to have all ratings at average or above average would be nonsensical.

  20. This was a fun puzzle at a pretty standard level I thought. I had a few in quickly whilst smiling, a few in with checking letters that I enjoyed and was left with a handful that took a bit more thought and were pleasing to solve. Thanks to the setter and to gazza for the review.

    1. How’s the new job? Probably too early to say – always feels a bit like being in a rough sea with no oars, let along engine, for the first little bit. Hope it’s OK. :smile:

  21. I liked 23d best (easy to miss misses) and also 3d. I thought 10a was careless, why ever use nuts as an anagram indicator when it leads to an alternative amswer?

  22. Well I hated it – needed lots of help and thought some of the definitions were decidedly tenuous. Sorry! For instance – why is “alien” “offensive”? Just because it’s different doesn’t make it offensive, does it? Same reasoning applies to 2d and 13a – VERY tenuous, IMHO. But perhaps I’m just being crabby to-day? Or maybe just too literal!

    1. No need to be sorry for having an opinion!
      28a. For alien Chambers has “belonging to something else; foreign; from elsewhere; repugnant or offensive ….”.
      2d. Meeting means answering in a phrase such as “meeting/answering/satisfying the needs of ..”.
      13a. An event is an equestrian competition.

  23. Thank you Gazza for replying. I take your points but, re 13a, does “calm” actually mean “even”? Spose I’d better look in Chambers!!

    1. “Even-tempered” perhaps?

      “Alien to our sense of fair play.”

      Coincidentally, the Times crossword today had SATISFY as a solution, and the definition in the clue was “meet”.

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