DT 26635 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

DT 26635

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26635

Hints and tips by Gazza

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Today we have the usual entertaining puzzle from Giovanni (I presume, although it’s a bit low on the trademark religious references and the answer to 1a could conceivably be a hint to a different setter). Let us know how you liked it in a comment.
If my hints leave you frustrated and you still need to see an answer just highlight the space between the brackets under the relevant clue.

Across Clues

1a  American male in Prohibition who’d take people for a ride? (6)
{BUSMAN} – put abbreviations for American and male inside a prohibition (ignoring the false capitalisation) to make the driver of a public service vehicle (and the identity of one of the Toughie setters – is this significant?).

4a  Fliers in place executing one aerial attack (6)
{STRAFE} – this is an attack from low-flying aircraft, derived from the German verb meaning to punish. Put the armed service best equipped to carry out such an attack (fliers) inside a synonym of place from which the I (one) has been removed (executing one).

8a  See large beast scratch finally with two insects around (8)
{BEHEMOTH} – a large beast referred to in the Book of Job (and taken to be a hippopotamus) is formed by putting together two insects around the final letter of (scratc)H.

10a  Says crazy people should be beheaded (6)
{UTTERS} – start with a slang term for crazy people and behead it by removing the initial N to leave a verb meaning says.

11a  Support for President initially (4)
{PROP} – a preposition, from latin, meaning for is followed by the initial letter of P(resident) to make a support.

12a  Illumination in only half of street — one difficult situation (5,5)
{STRIP LIGHT} – a type of illumination containing a long fluorescent tube is built from the first half of STR(eet), I (one) and a difficult or unfortunate situation.

13a  Endless comfort I had embracing sweetheart, being made secure (12)
{CONSOLIDATED} – a verb meaning to comfort or commiserate with loses its final E (endless) and this is followed by a contraction of “I had” round (embracing) a sweetheart or someone that you go out with. The result is a verb meaning made secure or strengthened.

16a  A thousand blokes in bed with stars, according to reports! (12)
{COMMENTARIES} – put the Roman numeral for a thousand and a synonym for blokes inside  a (child’s) bed and add a constellation of stars representing a ram. Nice surface alluding to endless tittle-tattle in redtop newspapers.

20a  Loony eavesdrops — gets ignored (6,4)
{PASSED OVER} – an anagram (loony) of EAVESDROPS gives us a phrasal past participle meaning ignored.

21a  Fraudulent scheme of rascal cut short (4)
{SCAM} – remove the final P (cut short) from a rascal to leave a fraudulent scheme.

22a  Area within county capital given hospital (6)
{PARISH} – the definition here is an area or administrative district within a county. Start with a European capital city and add H(ospital).

23a  Great crime creates ill-will — men must be caught (8)
{ENORMITY} – a synonym for ill-will or hostility has the abbreviation for (service)men or soldiers inserted (caught) to make a great crime or outrage.

24a  Ruffles making a nasty sound, audibly (6)
{ANNOYS} – a verb meaning ruffles or disconcerts sounds like (audibly) A and an unpleasant sound.

25a  Silly little woman stands the wrong way (6)
{STUPID} – the definition here is silly. String together an abbreviated woman’s name (little woman) and a verb meaning stands or places then reverse it all (the wrong way).

Down Clues

1d  Excel, having way, it’s said, to produce vegetable (8)
{BEETROOT} – we need two homophones (it’s said) here; firstly a verb to excel or outdo, secondly a way or course. When put together the two give us a dark-red vegetable (the consumption of which, it is claimed, boosts blood flow to the brain and improves brain health).

2d  Old PM’s turned up with the rest (5)
{SLEEP} – reverse (turned up, in a down clue) the name of a nineteenth century British Prime Minister (I wonder what he’d have made of the current difficulties of the Metropolitan Police) plus the ‘S to make a synonym for rest.

3d  Excitement that can get Laura so upset (7)
{AROUSAL} – excitement (especially of a sexual nature) results from an anagram (upset) of SO LAURA.

5d  Celebrate with something yellow in the spring? (7)
{TRUMPET} – a verb meaning to celebrate or proclaim noisily is also the name given to a number of flowers including a variety of daffodil.

6d  Confusing ‘anti-trade’ Bill that could get treasonable Lords expelled (9)
{ATTAINDER} – this anagram (confusing) of ANTI-TRADE gives the name given to an act of parliament used in the past to convict someone of a serious crime (such as treason) without the bother of a trial, sentence them to death and/or confiscate their assets and titles (hence the reference to Lords being expelled).

7d  The woman turns up having to protect paintings etc. in underground shelters (6)
{EARTHS} – the subjective pronoun used in place of “the woman” is reversed (turns up, in a down clue) and contains (having to protect) a generic term for paintings etc. The result is underground shelters used by foxes and other animals.

9d  Hero devours unusual dish to begin with (4,1’6)
{HORS D’OEUVRE} – the enumeration (complete with apostrophe, for a change) does rather give this away – the greater problem being how to spell the answer! It’s an anagram (unusual) of HERO DEVOURS.

14d  Sitting outside church in withdrawn group (9)
{SECESSION} – I was dubious about the definition here, thinking that the answer meant the act of withdrawing rather than the group which had withdrawn. However, as so often, Chambers comes to the rescue – one of the meanings is a body of people leaving a political or religious group. Put a synonym of sitting around (outside) the abbreviation for the Church of England.

15d  Conservative worker involved in exploit is moved to another area (8)
{DECANTED} – insert C(onservative) and one of the usual Crosswordland workers inside an exploit or feat to make a past participle describing people who have been moved to another area.

17d  Took advantage of sunny weather? (4,3)
{MADE HAY} – there’s a proverbial saying, coming from agriculture, meaning to take advantage of favourable circumstances (equivalent to “strike while the iron is hot”). So, this is a cryptic definition of what the farmer did when the sun was shining.

18d  Eject number of people coming to meeting? (7)
{TURNOUT} – the number of people attending a meeting also means, when redefined as (4,3), to eject.

19d  Bit of a hand that’s chewed? (6)
{BANANA} – you need to think of the fruit that comes in hands (presumably because five of them together look like a human hand).

21d  Review creates problem at university (3,2)
{SUM UP} – combine a problem and the adverb used to mean at university to make a phrasal verb meaning to review what has previously been said but in a more succinct way.

I liked 4a and 16a but my favourite clue today was 17d. Let us know what took your fancy.

Today’s Quickie Pun: {LITTER} + {CHEWER} = {LITERATURE}

42 comments on “DT 26635

    1. I wouldn’t bother with a bigger mug. Giovanni’s puzzles always tend to take me a bit longer then the rest of the week – normally two coffees and a trip the the Little Crossword Solvers Room.

  1. Good puzzle today, about par for a Giovanni I think. enjoyed 8A, 16A, 22A 15D, 17 D and my favourite today 12A.

    No cricket reference though :-(

  2. I wonder why people like skempie think it is necessary to tell us which are their favourite clues. Why would I care?

    1. Hi Judy – welcome to the blog.
      Well, for one thing I ask for such comments in the blog. It helps to get discussion going about the clues.

  3. Usual enjoyable Giovanni Friday, and to keep Judy happy my favourites are 6d 17d and 8a. Thanks to Gazza and Giovanni.

  4. The usual very nice start to a Friday morning. I did wonder at 1a as to whether other compiler’s names might appear, or as Gazza says, this one might not be by Giovanni. Thank you very much to the setter anyway. Thanks to Gazza for the hints, pics and favourites. My favourite was 17d.

    The Toughie is on the impenetrable side today but I did perservate to the end. If you want a fun solve, Mudd (Paul, Dada) in the FT would be my suggestion.

      1. Agreed but it is one of those ‘where’s the darkened room to recover in’ sort of Toughies.

    1. The “other” one has beaten me with two left. Soooo annoying!! Going to put it in another room and see if the subconscious can come to the rescue.

  5. I was trying to introduce my 18 year old nephew to the world of cryptic crosswords recently and realised how extensive the shorthand for certain letters and letter combinations is.

    It appears I am still learning too because I really can’t figure out why Men in 23A should be those 2 letters. Can anyone help?

    1. It’s an abbreviation for Other Ranks. Remember it – you will need it again (and again) :)

        1. I am well thank you WB although I would rather be out in the sun than at my office desk. Warn your nephew that he will become addicted for life – I was introduced to the DT cryptic by a fellow commuter when I was 19 and have been addicted ever since – even more so now as I currently solve 6 cryptics a day and start to twitch if I don’t get a chance to solve before lunchtime.

          1. Thankyou Sue. I will pass the caveat on. Alex is from the USA and so he has the language barrier to overcome too.

            Whilst the USA (I think) is the home of the crossword I don’t think they have cryptics from what I can see. Or perhaps I’m wrong.

            1. My sister used to live in New York and got so frustrated with her friends’ lack of grasp of crypticism (is that a word?) that I’d email her clues from the DT crossword just to keep her sane.

                  1. That’s very good, Mary.

                    What’s that programme on Radio 4 with Tim Brooke-Taylor and Barry Cryer? Where they play the Uxbridge English Dictionary Round….???

  6. Very enjoyable crossword today from Giovanni ( I think ) and at the risk of annoying our new correspondent Judy, my personal favourite was 16a with 12a a close second. Thanks to Giovanni and of course to Gazza for the review.

  7. Good afternoon everyone, I really struggled through this one today, although I managed to do it without help. Thanks to giovanni and to gazza for the review.

  8. Too difficlut for me. I shall go out with my estate manager and shoot a coypu in the moat and then tackle something easier, like the Toughie.

  9. Not too tricky although hadn’t heard of 4a and 6d before. Will file the answers away in the back of my brain for when they appear again in the next few years.

  10. Really enjoyed this puzzle, best of the week for me and 16A the best clue. Sorry Judy!
    Thanks to our setter and as always to Gazza for the hints.ede

  11. Hi Gazza and thanks for blog too tough for me to finish today in the time I had to do it so I resorted to your hints for at least a quarter of it instead of perservating, hopefully things will be back to normal tomorrow!hectic week!

  12. Agree with those who found it difficult. Had to resort to the hints for about a quarter, and the reveal answers for 8a and 4aMy fav was 18a.

  13. I needed the hints too and the answer for 6d – knew it was an anagram but a new word for me. Found this a very tough one. Even when I solved the ones I did I didn’t really understand why – partic 15d as have only ever really heard that in connection with port or wine! Was nowhere near 19d – couldn’t get my brain past “nails”!! So thanks to Gazza for all the help and explanations.

  14. Sorry gave up with this one, far far far too difficult for me. I feel very let down by Giovanni today.

  15. This was OK, but I found it more of a slog rather than an enjoyable solve. No real stand-out clues for me.

  16. Just to confirm that it was indeed one of mine — BUSMAN was a coincidence. And to reiterate that one can only please some of the people some of the time, of course! My sympathies to those who found it a chore — I know how you feel, all too well!

    1. Thanks for stopping by, and for the many hours of entertainment you’ve provided.

      I know I was not a big fan of today’s offering, but I am – overall – a big fan.

  17. Late input from me – had daughter and family for dinner so forgot to comment.
    Enjoyable fare from The Don as usual.
    Faves :12a, 16a, 22a, 6d, 17d & 19d.

  18. This is looking really good! We were having a go at it in the local and had looked at the acrosses (got 5) when friends turned up! The Dutch guy, Jack, who lives opposite speaks pretty good English but he’s not up for a Giovanni cryptic so we had to put it away! Now I’ve had too much wine (Jack’s fault) for a Giovanni so it will have to wait till tomorrow.
    G’night all.

  19. Eleven in the evening, so I’ll presumably be last in…

    At the risk of sounding like a grumpy old man, I wasn’t too keen on this – I thought many of the clues were too long and I wasn’t so keen on some of the surface readings (for what it’s worth: 8a, 13a 7d…).

    On the other hand, I though 5d and 17d were super (and that’s with 5d being last-but-one to go in).

    Before I came on the blog, I thought this one was a bit ‘different’ for a Friday, so I’ll say thank you to the Setter (but I don’t think it was Giovanni) and to Gazza for the review.


Comments are closed.