DT 26653 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26653

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26653

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

We have a fairly standard puzzle from Giovanni today with several fairly easy clues to get you started, then a few to make you think a little bit more. Let us know how you got on.
If you want to see an answer just highlight the space between the brackets under the troublesome clue.

Across Clues

5a  Excel almost certainly with success in exam (7)
{SURPASS} – a verb meaning to excel or outdo is a charade of most of a word meaning certainly and success in an exam.

7a  Jog along with husband in old-fashioned marriage pledge (5)
{TROTH} – an old-fashioned word for faith or loyalty (at one time associated with plight in a marriage service) comes from a verb to jog followed by (along with) H(usband).

9a  Boy needs practice session to produce poetry (6)
{SONNET} – a charade of a male child and a practice session for a batsman.

10a  Extreme strictness is grim or nasty (8)
{RIGORISM} – an anagram (nasty) of IS GRIM OR produces extreme strictness.

11a  Become embarrassed about a politician being insulting (10)
{DEROGATORY} – the definition here is insulting. Start with a phrase (2,3) to become embarrassed and reverse it (about) then add A and a right-wing politician.

13a  Wicked demon has head chopped off (4)
{EVIL} – decapitate (by chopping off the initial D) a demon to leave an adjective meaning wicked.

14a  Ancient doer of wrong in alliance (13)
{CONFEDERATION} – this alliance is an anagram (wrong) of ANCIENT DOER OF.

16a  Little skip for which rubbish would be a bit too much (4)
{TRIP} – this was the last answer I got. A slang word for rubbish or nonsense is shortened (by dropping its final E) to leave a light short step or skip.

17a  Latvian once in power acting without restraint (7,3)
{LETTING RIP} – a name for someone once living in what is now Latvia is followed by IN and a synonym for power or control to make a phrase meaning acting without restraint.

19a  Thus go round when you hear wine mentioned (8)
{SAUTERNE} – homophones (you hear … mentioned) of an adverb meaning thus or in this manner and a verb to go round or revolve are combined to make a sweet white French wine. In my student days when this appeared quite sophisticated (and more importantly, cheap) I never remember seeing a bottle without a trailing S on its name but Chambers does allow both spellings.

20a  Hooligans rush and go wild (6)
{ROUGHS} – an anagram (wild) of RUSH and GO.

22a  Object first off to Ecstasy and joint (5)
{HINGE} – drop the initial T (first off) from an object and add E(cstasy) to make the sort of joint on which a door swings.

23a  Girl gets round with little hesitation, rancher on horseback? (7)
{LASSOER} – string together a synonym for girl, O (round) and a short interjection expressing hesitation to make what you could conceivably call a rancher or cowboy catching livestock from the back of his horse.

Down Clues

1d  Clever person, not one for healthy food? (4)
{BRAN} – a metaphor for a clever person loses its I (not one) to leave the roughage that we’re all urged to eat as part of a healthy diet.

2d  Salt gives food item value (8)
{TARTRATE} – salt here is not, as I first thought, a synonym for sailor and part of the wordplay, but the definition and something that you may have come across in chemistry lessons. A verb meaning to value is appended (gives) to an item of food with a pastry base.

3d  Affected man at party you previously upset (6)
{STAGEY} – this is an adjective meaning affected or excessively theatrical. Start with a man attending a male-only party and add an old (previously) word for you which is reversed (upset, in a down clue).

4d  Becoming rude could make a son cringe (10)
{COARSENING} – the answer means becoming rude or less refined and an anagram of it could make A SON CRINGE.

5d  Music ultimately reaches heart (5)
{SCORE} – the ultimate letter of (reache)S is followed by a synonym for heart to make the music for a film or stage show.

6d  PM could bring out reporters’ bile (3,6,4)
{SIR ROBERT PEEL} – this nineteenth century prime minister (who was credited, during his time as Home Secretary, with laying the foundations for the modern police force) is an anagram (could bring out) of REPORTERS’ BILE.

8d  Long-term prisoner, Scotsman in coarse fabric (7)
{HESSIAN} – a strong coarse fabric made from jute is a charade of the name of a long-term prisoner (for over forty years) in Spandau prison in Berlin and one of the forenames traditionally associated with a Scottish man.

12d  Mention top criminal having total control (10)
{OMNIPOTENT} – an anagram (criminal) of MENTION TOP.

14d  Ford’s place for getting wet? (3-4)
{CAR-WASH} – cryptic definition of where a Ford (or any other vehicle) is deliberately made wet.

15d  One tending certain insects — a very good skill is needed in that (8)
{APIARIST} – someone who looks after bees is constructed from A, an abbreviation meaning very good or holy and a skill with IS inside it.

17d  Fat monarch gets food supply (6)
{LARDER} – this word can mean both where perishable foods may be kept (more so in the days before refrigerators) and the food itself. Combine a type of fat and the initials used by our current monarch.

18d  Fluid of the gods seen in rich ornamentation (5)
{ICHOR} – hidden (seen) in the clue is the fluid which the old Greeks thought flowed through the veins of their many gods.

21d  Strange objects visible to all, loud and huge (4)
{UFOS} – these strange, often crockery-shaped, objects are made from three abbreviations: a) the letter once used by the film censors to indicate that a film could be seen by everyone, b) the musical abbreviation meaning loud and c) huge, in clothes sizes.

I enjoyed 16a, 15d and 21d today but my favourite clue was 11a. Let us know what tickled your fancy.

Today’s Quickie Pun: {HAMPERS} + {HAND} = {AMPERSAND}

46 comments on “DT 26653

  1. Thanks to Giovanni for the puzzle, and to gazza for the review. Having read the above, I realise I had 15d incorrect (obviously thinking of birds and not bees, I had a ‘v’ as my second letter – which I doubt is actually a legitimate word).
    My last in was also 16a.

    The toughie is a little tricky in parts – awaiting explanation for a couple.

  2. Very enjoyable today, no great favourites though.
    Must apologise for not posting much this week, but I’m house-sitting for a couple of weeks and after feeding the dog, feeding the cat, feeding the rabbit, letting the dog and cat out, letting dog back in, doing crossword, letting cat in, letting dog back out and in, getting ready for work and avoiding the dog shedding on my suit, I find I don’t have much time to get on here. May be a bit different for the next few days as I’m getting up early for the rugby world cup.

    1. Skempie
      This is not related to the pun so BD might censor this. You may be aware of them already but I managed to find 3 TP short stories on the web which I had never heard of in all my 20+ years of reading his work – “Bridge of Trolls”, “Theatre of Cruelty” and “The Sea & the Little Fishes.”

      1. Theatre of Cruelty was published in an anthology of short stories (bought it for my Mum 10 years ago). I’ve heard of the other two, but haven’t got around to looking for them yet – I was told that at least one of them you had to pay for, but hopefully that’s changed now, will look when I have a chance, thanks :-)

  3. Hi Gazza, didn’t need the blog for explainations or help today :-) Oh sorry, yes I did , I couldn’t see where the ‘u’ came from in 21d! however I did need all my other ‘help’, a 3* for me today, my fav clue 16a, I got this by putting r for rubbish inside tip, obviously wrong!! Thanks once again Gazza

  4. Not my most favourite Giovanni but still good for all that. Couple that I don’t understand even though the answer is there from the wordplay. Can someone explain 15d, I don’t understand the hint above and where does the Latvian comes in in 17a. Usual problems with the 4 letter clues such as 1d and 16a neither one of which I got until the clues came up. Thx to Gazza for the invaluable hints and of course to the Setter for the best puzzle of the week.

      1. Do you mean Lett? I always thought people from Latvia were Latvians at least that was how a Latvian lady who worked for me described them.

    1. 15d – The answer is constructed from A PI(short for pious,or in this clue, ‘very good’), and a 3-letter word for skill containing the word IS (given in the clue)

    2. Well the way I worked out 15d Brian (and I often work them out wrong!) is – the definition is ‘ one tending certain insects’ – ‘a’ from the clue followed by ‘pi’ for very good, followed by ‘art’ for skill with ‘is’ inside (is needed in that) I’m sure Gazza will correct me if I’m wrong :-)

      1. Thx Mary, it was the PI that was puzzling me, never come across that before. Another bizarre offering from Crosswordland!

        1. Brian,
          You’ll see PI (short for pious) meaning holy or very good quite a lot in cryptic crosswords.

  5. I found this easier than yesterday’s but still there were a few tricky offerings today which got me thinking. Like others, 16a the last to go in. Thanks to G and G!

  6. You are all very lucky that you are able to do the crossword. This is the third day that I have been unable to get access to the puzzle site.

    1. It took me at least half a dozen attempts this morning Fs, I complained to the site for the first time yesterday and got an email giving me a rebate of £2.99, which is better than nothing but I’d rather the site was up and running properly, they are saying that it will be by the end of Sept!

  7. I thought this is a very friendly Giovanni today which was nice given the trouble I had getting hold of the crossword in the first place. The shop didn’t have any DTs and I couldn’t get on Screwed Up for ages. (I repeat my question of the other day – why can’t we all have a refund, why do we have to spend time sending emails of complaint?) 2* difficulty for me and 3* fun. Thanks Giovanni. I liked 14d the best, although I don’t think I would have illustrated it quite like Gazza did. Thanks to Gazza for the review too.

    The Toughie was the left hand side then the right hand side then a ‘what??’ experience for me today, give it a go and see what you think.

  8. I am still puzzled by the word Lett for Latvians, where does it come from? All the sites I have tried including Latvians.com and Latvian Heritage have no reference to Letts. The Romans called them Aestii and some sites refer to them as Balts but nowhere seems to use the term Lett.

    1. It is one you should add to your list of words to remember as it has appeared before and probably will again. Apparently it’s from the German word for Latvians – Lette.

      1. Thanks Gazza, I never believe anything I read on Wikipaedia so I don’t tend to use it as a reference source. I shall file it away for future use :-)

  9. Shouldn’t Rigorism be spelt with a U? Isn’t rigor an American spelling? Please tell me I’m wrong.

    1. Hi St. George – welcome to the blog.
      You’re wrong. As well as meaning extreme strictness Rigorism is some sort of doctrine in the RC church.

    2. Although rigor is an American version of rigour, it’s also a separate word in UK English, pronounced with a “long” i (as in “eye”).

      However, adjectives, adverbs, etc derived from rigour in British English drop the “u” – hence rigorous, rigorously, rigorousness and so on.

      1. Thanks Qix, Sorry I’m a complete novice but I checked on Chambers and it doesn’t seem to list rigorism.

        1. Hi St George, it does in mine , the 11th edition, it doesn’t give it in Chambers crossword dictionary but it does give rigorously

        2. The 11th ed. has:
          1. Extreme strictness
          2. The doctrine that in doubtful cases the strict course should be followed

  10. Thanks Mary, Qix and Gazza, your comments have been very helpful. I commend your ‘rigorous’ attention to detail. Cheers all!

  11. Another good puzzle from The Don!
    Faves : 14a, 17a, 19a, 23a, 2d, 8d, 14d & 21d.

    Not as tough as normal!

  12. I thought this was about average difficulty for a Friday. Along with lots of others 16a was the last one to go in. I got 11a but needed the hint to explain it – got the first three letters and the “atory” but couldn’t work out the “og”! Bit dim again today! :oops: Also needed the hint to explain 17a. I didn’t know 18d. I liked 19 and 20a and 3, 6, 14 and 21d. With thanks to Giovanni and Gazza.

  13. I have recently bought an iPad and cant see the answers when i highlight between the brackets, can anybody help?

    1. The only thing to do is to highlight the answer and paste it into the note pad to reveal the text.

      1. Or paste into the Google box at the top right when viewing this page in Safari … saves switching apps.

  14. I found this really tricky unlike yesterday’s, only got three clues with no help before I resorted to these invaluable hints.

  15. Thanks to the two G’s. Found this one a struggle, but got there in the end. Liked the wordplay in 15d. Favourites were 23 & 19 across.

  16. Funny isn’t it how we differ. Couldn’t get going on yesterday’s, but finished today’s so was able to go back to Thursday’s & after cheating on 1a, managed to make some progress & finish with the help available.

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