DT 26629 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

DT 26629

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26629

Hints and tips by Gazza

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ****

Good morning from a drizzly North Devon – where’s Summer gone? Luckily there’s a very entertaining puzzle from Giovanni to cheer us up. I look forward to reading your comments (can I just emphasise that the bloggers do read all the comments, though obviously not all need a response).
If you need to see (or check) an answer just drag your cursor through the space between the brackets under the clue.

Across Clues

6a  Man’s hot spirit — sadly he dislikes his fellows (13)
{MISANTHROPIST} – someone who dislikes the whole of humankind is an anagram (sadly) of MAN’S HOT SPIRIT.

8a  President producing nothing great after liberation? (6)
{ORTEGA} – O (nothing) is followed by an anagram (after liberation) of GREAT to make the surname of the current Nicaraguan president (in the 1980s a hate figure of the Reagan administration which illegally funded armed opposition to his rule). A nice semi-all-in-one clue.

9a  Others won’t need a nudge (8)
{REMINDER} – start with a word for others or those not already mentioned and remove (won’t need) the A to leave a nudge.

10a  Old bird’s endless whine (3)
{MOA} – drop the final N from a verb meaning to whine or grouse to leave an extinct gigantic bird, once found in New Zealand.

11a  Soldier finally buried in Polish tomb? (6)
{SHRINE} – put the last letter of (soldie)R inside (buried in) a falsely-capitalised verb to polish to make a place regarded as holy, a tomb for example.

12a  See Conservative with celeb status showing preference for a particular area (8)
{LOCALIST} – we want an adjective describing someone preoccupied with a specific area. It’s a charade of an exclamation meaning see or behold, C(onservative) and a description (1-4) of those qualifying as top-grade celebrities (e.g. Brad Pitt rather than Alan Titchmarsh).

14a  Not the youngest-looking prisoner in bird (7)
{GREYLAG} – this large goose is a charade of an adjective meaning elderly and a slang word for a prisoner.

16a  Scene of battle where elder possibly is cut off, holding fire (7)
{THEATRE} – what elder is an example of (possibly) loses its final E (cut off) and is placed round a synonym of fire to make an area in which military operations take place.

20a  Posy aims to wreck meetings (8)
{SYMPOSIA} – meetings or conferences are an anagram (to wreck) of POSY AIMS.

23a  With one having gone, member enters to show affection (6)
{WARMTH} – remove the I (one having gone) from W(i)TH and insert (enters) a member or limb.

24a  Little child in the wrong runs away (3)
{TOT} – this little child is a wrongful act from which the R(uns) has been taken away.

25a  No longer wanting country sport on estate as new development? (8)
{OFFSHOOT} – this is a new development which cryptically, when split (3,5) could describe someone sick of participating in the slaughter of living things on country estates.

26a  Wild animals with fleshy bits crossing river (6)
{HIPPOS} – these are described as the most dangerous animals in Africa. Put some fleshy bits of the human body round (crossing) Gnomey’s favourite river.

27a  Maybe finger the idiotic extremists (7,6)
{LUNATIC FRINGE} – this is a term given to idiotic extremists on the periphery of society. I always have difficulty in describing this form of wordplay – it’s a reverse anagram where the indicator and fodder are both in the answer and the result of the anagram (FINGER) is in the clue.

Down Clues

1d  Harshness of a dirty hovel in which fairy is imprisoned (8)
{ASPERITY} – a word meaning harshness of manner is formed from A and a dirty hovel (fit only for pigs, perhaps) with a beautiful fairy from Persian mythology inside (imprisoned).

2d  A romance at sea being filmed (2,6)
{ON CAMERA} – an anagram (at sea) of A ROMANCE.

3d  Church has said evensong initially — so no place for this? (7)
{CHORALE} – if a church has a said (i.e. spoken) evensong then, presumably, there’s no place for a hymn tune like this. Start with an abbreviation for church, then add an adjective meaning said or spoken (as opposed to written) and the initial letter of E(vensong).

4d  Huge comedian comes around front of stage (6)
{COSMIC} – an informal adjective meaning huge comes from another word for comedian around the first (front) letter of S(tage).

5d  Token advice to those wanting to engage Jolson? (6)
{SIGNAL} – a token or indicator might cryptically (4,2) be advice to agree contractual terms for the employment of the entertainer Mr Jolson.

6d  Merrily daft? Not a drunk seen round your old Welsh town (7,6)
{MERTHYR TYDFIL} – an anagram (drunk) of MERRILY D(a)FT (not A – i.e. with A excluded) goes round an old word for your to make a Welsh town (once, apparently the largest town in Wales).

7d  Traverse route differently to find stuff below metal detector? (8-5)
{TREASURE-TROVE} – what you may find if you use a metal detector is an anagram (differently) of TRAVERSE ROUTE.

13d  Time when wise man may lose his head (3)
{AGE} – remove the initial S from a wise man.

15d  Small room with restricted view (3)
{LOO} – a verb meaning to view is restricted (i.e. it loses its final K) to give us a small room. A beautifully simple clue.

17d  Divine male hugged by Hollywood actress in tree (8)
{HAWTHORN} – put the Scandinavian god of thunder (divine male) inside the surname of a Hollywood actress to make a tree.

18d  A fortified drink served up in East is a poison (8)
{ATROPINE} – a poison found in deadly nightshade comes from stringing together A, a fortified wine reversed (served up, in a down clue), IN and E(ast).

19d  Room seen through the French window (7)
{LATTICE} – a type of window is formed from a room inside (seen through) ‘the’ in French.

21d  Sitting quietly on grass with nothing getting in the way (6)
{POSING} – the abbreviation for the musical instruction to play quietly precedes (on, in a down clue) a verb to grass or act as an informer, then O (nothing) is inserted (getting in the way). The result is a present participle meaning sitting (for an artist or photographer).

22d  Little son — what he should sit on, suffering from nappy rash? (6)
{SPOTTY} – an abbreviation (little) of S(on) is followed by what he should sit on, in 15d perhaps.

My favourite clues today are 8a, 27a and 15d. Let us know what you liked (or disliked) in a comment.

Today’s Quickie Pun: {DOUGH} + {NATION} = {DONATION}

36 comments on “DT 26629

  1. Another excellent offering from the Master of Crosswords! After yesterday it was a relief.
    Just one small quibble, in11a was it just a little naughty to capitalise Polish? :-)
    Thank you for a great puzzle and thx to Gazza for some explanation to answers that I got but couldn’t fully understand.
    By the way does the use of this grid type automatically upgrade the diff rating on the principle that is difficult to get first letters?

    1. No, I didn’t take the grid into account. I thought it was a bit more difficult than yesterday’s with at least one clue (27a) having a tricky construct.

    2. False capitalisation does seem to be acceptable, though the opposite (omitting a capital when it should be there) is a no-no.

  2. Many thanks to the two Gs for an excellent crossword and review, no real favourites just a nice 23a on finishing.

  3. Gazza, where DID you get that photo of Goldie from? I don’t think its one of her best to be honest.
    Another good submission from Giovanni today, very enjoyable to read and also to solve. Surprisingly my first answer was 8A and I didn’t even look for an American president. Thoroughly enjoyed the puzzle today with my favourite being 20A.

    Incidentally, it might not be the brightest of days today but it looks like there was a mass ascent from the Bristol Balloon Fiesta today – about 20 sailing past my bedroom window this morning, but a bit further north than normal (its very off-putting when one has a few drinks in the evening and wake up in the morning to see a bunch of carrots floating by the window being chased by a fire extinguisher).

  4. I thought this was one of the best Giovanni puzzles for a while. Thanks to him, and to Gazza for the notes.

  5. Jolly good stuff liked 14 and 19 plus lots of others thanks to Giovanni and Gazza, meanwhile rain stopped play in Brum and it’s pretty grim up north

  6. Good morning Gazza from a damp cloudy West Wales, summer? what’s that? Oh yes I know, we had it in April here this year! Interesting what Brian had to say, the grid today was most unhelpful especially in getting first letters for answers, I still do not understand the wordplay of 27a, I see finger as an anagram for fringe, ind. by maybe and possibly idiotic for lunatic but where does it tell us that lunatic comes before fringe???

    1. Mary,
      If you were writing a clue for FINGER on DIYCOW you might have as part of it “LUNATIC FRINGE”, i.e. an anagram (lunatic) of FRINGE.

  7. ……….sorry hadn’t finished, favs today 9a and 21d, thanks for hints Gazza although I did finish without but had loads of other ‘help’ to do so :-)

  8. Yes another good one .always enjoy Fridays Still raining here in Northumberland …..been doing that for almost a week .Summer “humbug.”….. Couldnt see a balloon up here Skempie if it was right next door, so dull & misty !
    Thanks to all.

  9. Excellent crossword, lousy weather report given that I am heading to North Devon tomorrow :( but made up for by a good review :)

  10. What with false capitals and an absence of political knowledge of central America I have to say this wasn’t as enjoyable for me as 4*

  11. A lovely Friday puzzle – thanks to the two G’s. Got a bit stuck on 16a as was looking for the wrong kind of elder but rate that, 12a and 5d.

    Weather here in West London is clear but muggy – only a bit of rain yesterday so didn’t have to water garden

  12. Nice treat from The Don as usual.
    I filled in the four outer 13-letter jobs at first then got on with the rest.

    Faves : 14a, 26a, 5d, 17d & 18d.

    Not one of Don’s toughest!

  13. Lovely puzzle today. I got a bit held up by about four clues all in the bottom right hand corner and all going through each other – not helpful. Eventually finished without needing the hints. Too many good clues to enumerate them all – if I HAD to it would probably be 17d, if only because it reminded me of:-

    The god of war went for a ride,
    Upon his favourite filly,
    “I’m Thor” he cried,
    The horse replied,
    “You’ve got no thaddle, thilly”!

    Thanks to Giovanni and Gazza.

  14. I thought 9A was “Dominoes”; in fact I’m not sure it’s not better! But it makes 3D Shadily or Shadfly: pity

  15. If this was a 3* crossword, I’d hate to think what a 5* one would be like! I persevered and finally finished it, but wasn’t helped by thinking that (Goldie) Hawn was spelt Horn. I really love my daily battle with the crossword though.

    1. I didn’t see Friday’s paper until this morning, so did Cryptic, Toughie (!!!) and Prize one after the other. A real brain workout!

      Regarding the presumed mis-spelling of Goldie’s last name, a Freudian Slip maybe?

  16. Late posting today because I have been at the seaside with the extended family. I did the Telelgraph crosswords at 7 am to avoid the ‘assistance’ of brother and brother in law. I usually have trouble getting started with a Giovanni but this one didn’t take me long at all, although I have to say that 7 am was a little early to be trying to spell 6d. I have ‘spots’ by lots of clues today so thank you to Giovanni for the fun and to Gazza for the review.

    1. Forgot to gloat and say that we had quite a lot of sun here, no wind at times and everyone but me went in the sea!

        1. Yes honest. Had a great time, sandcastles were built, swimmers swum, small children with nets caught crabs and mussels, we ate lots of lunch. Half the party has gone back home but I still have brother, sister, niece, her husband and two great nieces and three great nephews arriving for meatballs and pasta. Its going to be very quiet when they’ve gone too.

          1. I remember sharing the sun with you a few weeks back and I don’t think you’ve sent it back, enjoy your meatballs lol

  17. I’m done.

    Very enjoyable thank you Gazza and setter. 14a was a new one for me, that’s another think l love about crosswords l learn new words. Favourites today 25a and 26a and 18d.

    weather back here in London very changeable but at least my home suburb has returned to peace and quiet after the hubbub in the early part of the week

    Looking forward to the Saturday DT when l get to sit on the sofa and concentrate


  18. A very entertaining puzzle, thanks to the two G’s. Got ’em all bar 8a. Favourites were 22d & 27a.

  19. Some nice toilet humour today, fave 22d. Before solving 26a properly, was toying with “beast” crossing “r”, giving “breast” as the fleshy bits. Was already looking forward to Gazza’s picture! :-)

    1. Yes – was thinking along the same lines for 26a and having the same thoughts …. ! Are hips really “fleshy bits”? They are, to me anyway, joints. Who knows? Agree about the nice toilet humour. :smile:

      1. Kath,
        I had a similar thought this morning but Chambers has for its first definition (before it gets to the “joint” bit) “the haunch or fleshy part of the thigh”.

Comments are closed.