DT 26626 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26626

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26626

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty */**Enjoyment **

This is a pretty gentle puzzle for a Tuesday. My problem with it is not its relative ease, but that the compiler seems to have put all his/her effort into getting the wordplay right without paying too much attention to the surface readings. As a result the surface in a number of the clues is clunky or meaningless. Do you agree or disagree? – let us know in a comment.
In the unlikely event that you need to see an answer just drag your cursor through the space between the brackets under the clue.

Across Clues

1a  Imposing, most of place where the US Masters golf is played (6)
{AUGUST} – an adjective meaning imposing or distinguished is the name of the place in Georgia where one of the four golf “majors” is played every Spring without its last letter (most of).

4a  One holding a sword, blackleg confronting poet (8)
{SCABBARD} – something used to hold a sword is a charade of a blackleg and a poet. The surface is not very smooth.

9a  Mean and waspish? (6)
{STINGY} – double definition, the second a cryptic description of a wasp.

10a  Celebrity wearing badly torn accessory (8)
{ORNAMENT} – a famous person or celebrity is surrounded by (wearing) an anagram (badly) of TORN to make an accessory or decoration.

11a  More than one museum in large isle abroad (9)
{GALLERIES} – an anagram (abroad) of LARGE ISLE.

13a  Commander elected once more (5)
{AGAIN} – the definition here is once more. It’s a charade of a military commander under the Ottoman Empire and an adverb meaning elected.

14a  Weatherman ran across English mapper of mountains (13)
{METEOROLOGIST} – this weatherman is a charade of the past tense of a verb to run across, E(nglish) and someone who studies mountains (from the Greek word oros, meaning a mountain).

17a  The loquacious poker player may be told to raise or fold (3,2,2,4,2)
{PUT UP OR SHUT UP} – this is the blunt advice which may be given to a poker player who’s dithering and wondering aloud whether to make a bet or throw in his hand. Start with a phrasal verb meaning to raise, add the OR (from the clue) and finish with another phrasal verb to fold (put sheep, for example, into a pen).

21a  Mistake admitted by conjuror, really taken aback (5)
{ERROR} – hidden (admitted) and reversed (taken aback) in the clue is a mistake.

23a  Avert shock by A-team? (4,5)
{TURN ASIDE} – a phrasal verb meaning to avert is a charade of an emotional shock, A (from the clue) and a synonym for team.

24a  TV programme, extremely childish — so what’s new? (4,4)
{CHAT SHOW} – start with the outer (extremely) letters of C(hildis)H and add an anagram (new) of SO WHAT.

25a  Animal coming from mountain, a cat with no tail (6)
{ALPACA} – this is a domesticated South American animal valued for its long silky wool. Start with a word for a high mountain and add A and CA(t) (without its tail).

26a  Parisian’s article in newspaper is classic (8)
{TIMELESS} – put the French definite article (plural version) inside a London daily newspaper.

27a  Bother about religious instruction? I surely do (6)
{PRIEST} – someone who should be concerned with religious instruction is a bother or nuisance around its abbreviation.

Down Clues

1d  Delegate when cross (6)
{ASSIGN} – a verb meaning to delegate or allocate a task is a synonym for when followed by a verb to consecrate with the symbol of a cross.

2d  A diver, seabird after catching one, soaring to me (9)
{GUILLEMOT} – what we want here is a diving bird which is a member of the auk family. Put (catching) I (one) inside a seabird and add a reversal (soaring, in a down clue) of TO ME. The surface is pretty poor.

3d  Separate FBI agents in series (7)
{SEGMENT} – the definition is separate, as a verb. Put the abbreviation for FBI agents (1-3) inside a complete series or collection.

5d  Wren, perhaps, and others chirp away (11)
{CHRISTOPHER} – an anagram (away) of OTHERS CHIRP gives us the forename of a famous Wren.

6d  Showing off, supporter meeting five before a party (7)
{BRAVADO} – a word meaning showing off or boastful posturing is the usual feminine support garment followed by the Roman numeral for five, A and a party.

7d  Space around new stadium (5)
{ARENA} – a space or piece of ground goes around N(ew).

8d  Set off from college in time (8)
{DETONATE} – a verb meaning to set off (an explosive, for example) comes from putting the usual Crosswordland college inside another word for time.

12d  Irish train soon loaded with emergency supplies of food (4,7)
{IRON RATIONS} – these emergency food supplies are formed from an abbreviation of Irish followed by an anagram (loaded) of TRAIN SOON.

15d  At home, soldier with no one else present (2,7)
{IN PRIVATE} – string together where you are when you’re not out (i.e. at home) and the lowest-ranked soldier.

16d  Blow up theatre put up by canal (8)
{UPPERCUT} – this is a type of blow, in the boxing ring for example. Start with UP (given in the clue) and add the reversal (put up, in a down clue) of an abbreviated type of theatre in which a number of different plays are performed. Then finish with a word for a canal (based on the fact that a passage had to be dug through the earth to make it).

18d  Soldier, in consequence, left umbrella (7)
{PARASOL} – this type of umbrella is a charade of an airborne soldier, a conjunction meaning therefore or as a result and L(eft).

19d  Advertisement for a mobile home (7)
{TRAILER} – double definition, the advertisement possibly one shown in a cinema.

20d  Portable shelter sheltering an occupant (6)
{TENANT} – this is a portable shelter with AN inside (sheltering). The repetition of shelter makes the surface awkward.

22d  Kingdom in actual miles (5)
{REALM} – this kingdom is an adjective meaning actual (as opposed to virtual) followed by M(iles). What do you think the surface means?

For me the best clue today is 24a. How about you?

Today’s Quickie Pun: {COURT} + {ARISE} = {CAUTERIZE}

82 comments on “DT 26626

    1. There’s been a problem since yesterday lizwhiz, see Daves ‘outage’ posting and folow up comments yesterday, however it does seem to be working today

    2. Still having bother getting on line. It has cost me hundreds of points by not being able to submit a couple of puzzles on time. I’m just going to wait a day or two for things to sort themselves outThanks to all for keeping us informed about the current state of things. I didn’t really like today’s cryptic. No real feel good moments.

  1. Not too difficult and, as Gazza said, a bit clunky in my opinion – seemed to be a lot of references to the forces and mobile homes. Having said that, I’ve seen a lot worse and quite enjoyed today’s offering. I thought 5D was an outstanding clue.

  2. Not too difficult but slightly odd – seemed to be quite a lot of those ‘oh, part of its an anagram’ clues. Thanks to the Tuesday Mysteron – I agree with Skempie that 5d was a good clue but I did also like 14a and 2d. Thanks to Gazza too.

    I found the Toughie quite tough too but that may be because instead of the peace of the early morning office, I had the noise of the kitchen table – Mr CS was being particularly disruptive this morning, you’d think he’d know the rules by now! :D

  3. Morning Gazza I agree with Skempie, have seen a lot worse for surface readings, on the whole I didn’t think this was too bad, enjoyed most of it and fav clues were 9a, just amuses me and 5d, 2* for me today, thanks Gazza and setter, hope everyones managed to get onto clued up today, it took me a few attempts but got there in the end :-)

  4. We too found some of the surface readings inadequate. Despite that however, we did finish it!

  5. I solved this a bit too fast to notice the surface readings to be honest. Having looked back I would tend to agree.
    Thanks to gazza and to the setter.

  6. Finished okay but was waiting for the blog to understand how amen can mean celebrity. I thought of ‘A-Men’, but wouldn’t that be
    plural? Probably me being stupid again, but would appreciate further clarification.

  7. Easiest back pager for some time I thought. Agree with it being a bit clunky in places.
    Also liked 24a.
    27a I thought was pretty good too but shouldn’t the last bit read ‘he surely does’? (unless the setter is actually one of these but how are we supposed to know that?).

      1. Take your point and I’m not really complaining Gazza, just wondered if the setter was a man of the cloth as there seem to be quite a few amongst the setters!
        I thought it was a clever clue and perhaps my favourite.

        1. I agree with you about the “He surely does” Pommers.

          In fact that was the very post he was about to make himself, or possibly I was about to make myself, depending on whether I’m writing this, or the post is doing it itself.

          Or something.

  8. Oops manners!
    Thanks to the mysteron for an enjoyable solve and to Gazza – nice to see a bit of lateral thinking for the piccie for 18d! (There’s always a way!)

      1. Yeah – I usually try to do it with racing cars! (remember Lotus?). The one last time of the girl on the allotment was a pure accident! I just keyed ‘allotment’ into Google images and it came up #2 – how could I refuse?

  9. Apologies, thank you Mary. I must be having senior moments, I was sure Gazza had posted the response to my question.

    1. Soldier,
      You’re not having a senior moment. I did actually post a reply but Mary just beat me to it with a better reply, so I deleted my comment.

    1. Tradition. The backpage is supposed to represent a common style of crossword throughout the week and (in an ideal world) you would not be able to tell who the setter was. With the likes of Ray T and (possibly Petitjean) this breaks down slightly but not including the setters’ names strengthens this principle.

      The Toughie is supposed to be more creative and reflect the style of the individual setter and was a much more recent addition to the Telegraph stable. Therefore, I presume that the decision was taken to include the setters’ names.

  10. Thanks again to BD for posting the puzzles as I couldn’t get on the site again (did the NTSPP yesterday, which made a change).

    Mostly fairly easy today, but I did have to look up 16d: I thought of inflate, explode and enlarge for ‘blow up’, but unfortunately I missed the definition required, and I didn’t get it from the wordplay; maybe I should have given it more time…! Definitely preferable to no crossword, so thanks to the setter and to Gazza for the review.

  11. I’ve nothing much to say about this today. I agree with much of what’s been said above: clunky clues, a problem with ‘amen’ at 10a and not too much trouble getting through it. I was also amused by 9a and liked 14a and 5d. Thanks to the setter and Gazza.

  12. Is it Monday again?
    Can’t be, there’s a Toughie (A.T.O.M.!!!)

    Well I liked 9a, but I think we should re-ignite the debate about whether “stingy” in terms of a wasp is a real word, and more importantly, can “apply” mean like an apple?

    Answers on a postcard to
    The “Y not use Y more?” Club,
    25, Y Street
    YO1 1YY

    1. Hello Lostboy I haven’t got a stamp so do you mind if I ‘post’ my answer here? My answer is yes and no, stingy is an adjective (official) but apply :-) to mean like an apple does not ‘apply’ and even if it did it would be appley but it is just not a word, sorreeee :-D

        1. ps,
          I know none of this makes any sense, but I’m at work, slightly bored, and a bit skittish.


          1. that’s ok I’ve already been called Gazza today! Yeees funnt you can always tell when someone’s bored :-) and no you can’t have bananary

      1. Exactly my point CS.
        It was a few weeks ago when “apply” was used in a fruit oriented way in a DT crossword.

        But, Chambers on-line says that stingy is
        stingy1 adj (stingier, stingiest) sharply painful.

        Now a wasp is NOT sharply painful- in fact they have quite a soft downy feel if you stroke one carefully.
        It’s the result of what they do to you that is stingy……. err, that is the result of the sting.

        But then, maybe Chambers online is different to the hard copy (and everyone knows I prefer hard copy to on line) and mine’s at home so I can’t check.

        1. Well one definition of waspish is ‘mean’ so if we go round in circles I suppose stingy is correct whichever way we look at it, but as for apply……… :-D

          1. True enough.

            If you were to put on green eye-shadow, could you use the word apply then?

        2. It is very aggravating when you (or I) can’t think of a valid excuse why our employers should need the Chambers dictionary as opposed to the current, originally perfectly satisfactory volume they already have). The Chambers on-line defniitely isn’t as good as the Red Book.

          1. I knew it wouldn’t be.

            Actually, it’s probably time for me to buy another (latest edition) copy of it, and bring my old one to work with me.

            And put a dust cover on it that says “Web Design for Dummies” as camouflage.

        3. Sure youre’ not confusing them with bees? Wasps have a hard abdomen. Waxy would be the way to describe the feel of them. I know cos I just checked by stroking one, recently deaded (?) by myself..
          My bees however are covered with fine hairs and can feel quite furry and downy to the touch.

          1. Please don’t! I’m coming on all woozy! may have to go to the bar for a stiff one!

          2. My favourite limerick;

            There was a young man from St. Bees,
            Who was stung on the neck by a wasp.
            When asked “Did it hurt?”
            He said “Not a Bit,
            It can do it again if it likes.”

            And that’s my last word on the subject.

  13. Was an ok puzzle today, nothing special or outstanding for me. 17a raised a wry smile but that was about it. Still not quite certain what 27a has to do with “I surely do” but the answer was pretty obvious anyway. Still better than a Ray T though!

    1. Hi Brian re 27a it is saying that ‘I’ the answer (priest) bother about reigious instruction

    2. Suggesting that today’s puzzle was better than a RayT may be considered a hanging offence in these quarters – definitely 10 minutes on the naughty step (without drizzle cake). :grin:

      However, we all have our own likes and dislikes.

      I thought that the incredibly clunky 1a set the tone for the whole puzzle. (Don’t have Chambers – how does he define “clunky”?

      1. Quite right too Franco. Anyone ‘dissing’ RayT is not having any of my drizzle cake, even though I’ve got a whole one left after dodging a bullet on Saturday. As per my other post I quite agree about 1a. It was so poor I thought it had been written by my cat. I’d put a smiley face at this point but I don’t know how!!!!:-) (best I can do).

        1. Hi Don 1991 – you do a smiley face by putting colon smile colon. a bigger smile is colon grin colon. My absolute favourite and one that I have to use at every available opportunity is the red blushing face which is colon oops colon. :grin:

          1. :oops:

            One would never know that England is Burning!

            Anyway, the crossword is there for us all to forget all about such things!

            Goodnight All!

          2. Dearest Kath,
            Thank you so much for attempting to help this Luddite. If it works this is for you, :): .
            If it didn’t work it’s either got to do with google chrome, or I’m stupid.
            I admit to being IT illiterate in advance.

            1. It worked, thanks Kath.
              A lovely slice of my best drizzle cake for you next time you’re on the ‘step’ (if indeed you’re ever there).

    3. NOTHING (in my opinion anyway) is better than a Ray T! Do hope that it’s him this Thursday. :smile:

  14. Thanks to the Mysteron and to Gazza for the review & hints, although ( for once ) I didn’t need them today. I agree it was a bit clunky, but I did enjoy 16d & 17a, while 4a & 8d need to be in the Old Clues retirement Home :-)

    1. Tee Hee, quite agree (along with ennui, etui and litotes). As for 1a, well, it’s an absolute shocker. Is it even cryptic? Not sure I’m keen on 1d either for that matter. My fave was 2d. Other than those mentioned it was enjoyable enough. Thanks to the setter and Gazza.

  15. Rather pedestrian clues meant little satisfaction in completing today’s offering – I agree “stingy” for “waspish” (9 ac.) one of the worst. Hope for more entertainment and stimulus tomorrow!

    1. Hi Guardian (spelled it right this time!)
      Sorry to choose your post (out of many on the subject) to reply to but I’m sure I’ve come across ‘waspish’ = ‘stingy’ a few times before! I was just waiting for someone else to say it!

  16. Finished it in record time – for me (the time of this posting has nothing to do with the time I finished it, by the way!) So figure it must have been easy? HATED 16d – last in – but had to go to hints to understand it – horrid clue, very clumsy IMHO. Nonetheless, nice to finish one without hints – am sure the rest of the week will be a different story! (For me, that is) Thanks to setter and Gazza.

    1. Hi Addicted
      I quite liked 16d but that’s probably because nobody in Manchester calls a canal a canal – it’s always a *** so that bit was obvious and rather gave the game away!

  17. This is a late posting i know but shouldn’t 26a say “articles” to get the plural definite article “les”.

  18. Only started looking at crossword at about 6.00 pm and then needed to go and think about supper almost immediately. Completely out of routine which always makes a difference to how hard, or otherwise, I find it. Ended up completely stumped by 11a (would normally have got that very easily) and 5 and 15d. Could see that 5d was an anagram but just couldn’t do it – wondered about the bird (was there another name for it), wondered about the service woman, and then EVENTUALLY saw it. Anyway, that’s enough of my ramblings for tonight. It was an “OK” crossword. I did like 9a – however much I hate the little *******! Bed now – “see” you all tomorrow.

    1. I got slagged off a fewweeks ago about these wonderful creatures! till, I recommend the badminton bat approach, it’s good fun but surprisingly hard as the little ******* don’t fly in a straight line!
      G’night and sleep well.

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