DT 26668 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26668

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26668

Hints and tips by Gazza

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

One of the Tuesday Mysterons has given us a very enjoyable puzzle (with a tasty pun in the Quickie) this morning. Let us know how you fared in a comment.

Across Clues

1a  Wild revelry after tea? Strange but not, that is, for one in ancient race (10)
{CHARIOTEER} – the sort of wild revelry that we had on our streets a few weeks ago follows an informal word for tea. All this precedes an adjective meaning strange or frightening without its final IE (the abbreviation for “that is” being removed) to make a competitor in a type of race in olden times.

6a  Diaries now and then providing platform where opinions may be aired (4)
{DAIS} – this platform appears when you select just the odd letters (now and then) of diaries.

9a  Prop’s swaggering gait (5)
{STRUT} – double definition.

10a  Charm ally out of tears (9)
{LACHRYMAL} – the definition here is “of tears”, i.e. it’s an adjective meaning related to tears or crying. It’s an anagram (out) of CHARM ALLY.

12a  Clearly pantomime footwear (5,8)
{GLASS SLIPPERS} – cryptic definition of the transparent (clearly) footwear the props department may have to find if this year’s pantomime is Cinderella.

14a  Man U stew about possible pen (4,4)
{MUTE SWAN} – an anagram (about) of MAN U STEW gives us a graceful bird which, if it were female (hence the “possible”), would be a pen.

15a  Guaranteed missing Old Master will be painstakingly drawn (6)
{PRISED} – start with a verb meaning guaranteed or pledged and remove the abbreviations for O(ld) and M(aster) to leave a past participle meaning drawn out or extracted laboriously.

17a  With Tottenham’s fifth, no exclamation of disgust is sufficient (6)
{ENOUGH} – the definition is sufficient and it’s a charade of the fifth letter of Tottenham, NO (given in the clue) and an exclamation of disgust.

19a  Laurel and Hardy’s separate starts in knockabout comic western — a ready source of money (5-3)
{MILCH-COW} – insert the initial letters (starts) of L(aurel) and H(ardy) separately into an anagram (knockabout) of COMIC and finish with W(estern) to make what is literally a farm animal kept for her dairy produce but which is used figuratively to mean a source of easy money. I do like knockabout as an anagram indicator.

21a  One stands serene revelling in inactivity (13)
{SEDENTARINESS} – an anagram (revelling) of I (one) STANDS SERENE produces a clumsy word for the state of being inactive (like a couch potato).

24a  Support in advance of Kasabian’s first record with commercials a source of friction (5,4)
{BRAKE PADS} – these very necessary sources of friction in your car are a charade of a support garment, the first letter of K(asabian), an old vinyl record and an abbreviation for commercials. I had to look up Kasabian who are, apparently, an English rock group.

I wish to make it clear that the following aide-memoire is provided purely for WBGEDDES (and it was his idea!)

25a  Enforced absence from former French island (5)
{EXILE} – string together a prefix meaning former and the French word for island.

26a  Rough sea suppressing last bit of interest in food (4)
{EATS} – my initial answer here was saté (Indonesian food) which works equally as well as the correct solution but which, as I discovered, causes problems with 13d. This informal word for food is an anagram (rough) of SEA containing (suppressing) the last bit of (interes)T.

27a  What drunks do nightly? (5,5)
{SLEEP TIGHT} – cryptic (but not very grammatical) definition of how drunks may spend the hours of darkness. The phrase is normally said by a parent sending their young child to bed.

Down Clues

1d  ‘The point of the moon is…’ leads to controversy under Sartrian philosophy (4)
{CUSP} – the pointy bit of the moon comes from the initial letters (leads) of four consecutive words in the clue.

2d  Okay but not quite entirely correct? (7)
{ALRIGHT} – this is a very clever clue. The answer means ok or not bad, but it’s not entirely correct in two senses – a) if you insert a second L and split what you now have (3,5) it means entirely correct, and b) the spelling of the answer is frowned upon by some purists (although, as the ODE points out, similar constructions like “altogether” are accepted).

3d  Obstinacy creates innings constructed without modicum of style (13)
{INTRANSIGENCE} – an anagram (constructed) of CREATE(s) INNINGS without the first letter (modicum) of S(tyle).

4d  Inherent in fatalism: a nihilistic charm (8)
{TALISMAN} – hidden (inherent) in the clue is a charm thought to bring good luck.

5d  Former member of string quartet losing inclination to get better (5)
{EXCEL} – bring together a prefix meaning former and the player of a large stringed instrument and then remove the synonym for inclination or slant to leave a verb meaning to be superior or better.

7d  Drifting east amid sails flapping around mast top (7)
{AIMLESS} – the definition here is drifting or unfocused. It’s an anagram (flapping) of SAILS containing E(ast) and the top letter of M(ast).

8d  End of many a space mission making front-page news on descent (10)
{SPLASHDOWN} – this is the way most space missions used to end before the arrival of the shuttle. It’s a prominent or sensational news story followed by (on, in a down clue) a descent or low place.

11d  Reconciliation with professional body-builders in court following criminal charge (13)
{RAPPROCHEMENT} – the definition here is reconciliation. The abbreviation for professional is followed by macho types or bodybuilders (2-3) inside the abbreviation for court. Then all that you’ve accumulated so far needs to be put after a slang word for a criminal charge.

13d  Semi-limber freestyle swimmer should be so (10)
{IMMERSIBLE} – an anagram (freestyle) of SEMI-LIMBER.

16d  Hot topic is man-size Kleenex packet finally running out (3,5)
{BIG ISSUE} – this is a hot topic or major area for discussion. It’s a charade of an adjective meaning large or man-size and what a Kleenex is without (running out) the final letter of (packe)T.

18d  Rating from previous season? (3,4)
{OLD SALT} – there’s a nice bit of misdirection here, trying to make us think of league tables and the like, but the rating is actually a sailor for which we want an informal term. It’s a charade of an adjective meaning former or previous and a verb to season.

20d  Senior officer getting on top of honey-trap’s budget (7)
{COSTING} – put the abbreviation for a senior officer (the one in command) in front of (on top of, in a down clue) a deception (of which a honey-trap is an example) to make an estimation of the price of something (budget). I think that there ought to be some indication here that honey-trap is just an example, one type, of this deception.

22d  Benefit from a reported cover-up (5)
{AVAIL} – cover-up is clever because it makes you (well, it did me) think that a reversal is involved. However this is a verb meaning to benefit which is A and a homophone (reported) of a cover-up for the face.

23d  Cooped up in pup tent, badly put out (4)
{PENT} – what’s left of P(up t)ENT after an anagram (badly) of PUT is removed (out) means cooped up.

My top clues today were 14a, 24a, 2d and 18d. Let us know what you liked.

Today’s Quickie Pun: {STAY} + {CANNED} + {AIL} + {PIES} = {STEAK AND ALE PIES}

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66 comments on “DT 26668

  1. After yesterdays gentle introduction to the week, this came as a bit of a shock. Solved only 3 clues after first trawl through. However, gradually unravelled it and feel a sense of achievement having completed. Last in for me was 11a which I thought was a bit long-winded. Great Xword so thanx to the Mysteron and to Gazza for his review which surprisingly I didn’t need. Four* for Difficulty and Enjoyment from me.

  2. Good morning once again gazza, a 4* for me today, I thought this was a ‘toughie’ and after half an hour still only had two answers!! Perservation, a lot of help from my ‘friends’, and an SOS to my brother ( I try not to do that) but even he hadn’t finished it and he has been doing these for 40 + years compared to my two, even so I gave him 4 answers today :-) , there were obvious anagrams intodays but I just couldn’t make sense of them for ages, would never have got some of the words without my ‘finder’ and even then had to work them out backwards, whew, exhausting, all the while asking myself, ‘is this fun?’ !! I did however have one favourite clue 27a, I have to admit a lot of clever clues but the constructions are much to complicated for my enjoyment, off to read your hints now Gazza and see if I got it right, good luck everyone, you may find it easier than I did

      1. Hi isisgms – welcome to the blog.
        It’s a new word coined by Mary which hasn’t yet made it into Chambers.
        I’ll leave it to her to explain further.

      2. Hi isisgms, perservation is as Gazza says above, accidentally, if I remember correctly. I’ll have to check Daves link out, since then I have used it regularly and si have several other people, it is not quite what Dave says, it is a mixture of perserverance and perspiration (through the hard sweat of doing these cryptics)
        one day who knows, Chambers here I come :-D

  3. I did not find this difficult, but I cannot say I particularly enjoyed it. At the time of solving, I thought that some of the clues were a little too ‘wordy’.
    You can’t please everyone…. Thanks to setter, and to gazza for the review.

  4. Can’t say I really enjoyed this today, but that might be because I was busy trying (unsuccessfully) to set up my new phone – guess I’ll leave that to this afternoon. I found some of the longer answers a bit laborious to solve, and hadn’t heard of a milch cow (answer should have been cash cow)(but it didn’t fit). Also 11D can be spelled in two different ways (OCHE which was the answer and OACH which is what I had).

    Ho Hum, back to the delights of Mr Blackberry and fingers crossed that I enjoy tomorrow’s offering a little more.

    1. Don’t even start me on Blackberrys. A child could design a better layout for the “Help” and menus.
      Still, it’s better than the HTC I had last year, which seemed to remove the word “Smart” from “Smartphone.”

  5. I enjoyed this crossword (given the pun in the Quickie and the feel of the clues I wonder if this was Petitjean’s handiwork). Many thanks to the setter and to Gazza for the review.

  6. When I googled ‘Satrian’ (1d) before I realised what the clue was saying, none of the spellings were with an ‘i’ all were ‘Satrean’ as in the name, is it a misspelling in the crossword?

        1. I didn’t take much notice of the Sartrian bit – I assumed the setter had just used that to get the S.

          Hope its as sunny in Wales as it is here. Clear blue sky and lovely warm sun too.

              1. Yes I think you have, it did make an effort for about an hour this afternoon! Yes, sorry Kath I thought I’d posted about Geoff, as I thought he was really busy playing for college exams etc. for a while, then he had a nasty fall which laid him up for a few weeks so no boating! he is not fully recovered tho’ nothing was broken, he has found it hard to concentrate with all the pain and trying to get bck into the crosswords now is finding it too much like hard work! I think he needs some encouragement to get going again

                1. Thanks Mary – if you did post about Geoff I missed it – quite possible! Oh dear!! That all sounds terrible – how do we encourage him to get going again?

          1. Yes I know, it was just before I realised that, I googled it and it came up with the other spelling and I was just wondering………….enough of that I think :-)

  7. This didn’t take me long but I thoroughly enjoyed the whole process with lots of dots by clues, my top favourites being 24a 27a, 11d and 18d. Like Prolixic, I did wonder if it is by Petitjean but whoever set it, thank you very much for a super Tuesday solving experience. Thanks to Gazza too.

    The Beam Toughie is good too. Also if you are a fan of Virgilius with a theme, try his alter ego Brendan in the Guardian today.

    1. Ok – I wave the white flag! Would anyone with a scanned in copies of today’s cryptic & toughie please help a fellow blogger out with e-mailed PDFs?

      1. As part of a marginally successful smash & grab raid I managed to print the quickie & the cryptic but then the bugger threw me out! How much longer will we have to put up with this level of 1980s type technology?

        I’m taking no bets that the bloody thing will be sorted out by October 8th – white man from DT, he speak with fork tongue, he blame sky god for heap big trouble.

  8. I’m in the “enjoyed” camp today, but agree there were a couple of “wordy” offerings. Favourites 19a, 24a and 11d.
    Thanks to mysteron and Gazza (who I admit to initially entering Sate at 26a as well)

  9. I usually have trouble doing Tuesday’s puzzle, but managed to do today’s all except for the last four words where I needed the hints. One was for 18d where I was thoroughly misled. So many thanks to you, Gazza, and to the mystery setter. :-)

  10. When I read the first clue I very nearly threw my hands up in total horror and gave up on the spot, but then started to get some answers and gradually it all worked and managed to finish without resorting to the hints. I think it probably took me a bit longer than is usual – I enjoyed it very much. For some reason the last one to go in was 15a. Too many good clues to pick out individual ones except perhaps 27a. When we were little and my Dad came up to say good night to us he always used to say “Night night, sleep tight and mind the bugs don’t bite”!! With thanks to whoever set this one and to Gazza for the hints.
    Beautiful day here – warm and sunny – off for dog walk then up the garden.

  11. An extremely enjoyable puzzle to solve – the thinking cap was quite steamy by the time I finished it!
    Faves : 1a, 12a, 14a, 19a, 24a, 27a, 3d, 11d, 18d & 20d.

    Weather here in NL still good but now clouded over – rain is expected later. Trees in the woods across the street are now very yellow – we don’t get the magnificent colours of New England in the fall.

    Roast chicken for dinner with red wine. Slainte!

  12. Took a little while to get into but once there thoroughly enjoyable.
    Fully agree with the Big Dave rating.
    Thanks to mysteron and Gazza for his always excellent hints and pics.

  13. All good clues I thought…kept going back to it and finally went for some help on 1a which then seemed so obvious. I liked 27 a best (hic!)

    1. Hi seymour – your comment needed moderation because you used a homophone of your previous handle. Both variations should now work.

  14. Time and time again I forget to translate ‘support’ into its usual cryptic contribution in a clue.

    In all altrusim would it be possible to have a picture of something appropriate so I don’t slip up again?

  15. I thought this was ok, but I don’t particularly like the really long clues.

    Finished it in below average time, except for 23d. I could have looked at that for a year, and still not got it.

    Good work on the pictures today Gazza!!
    And so (unlike yesterday) on to the Toughie.

  16. Lostboy – Cryptic Sue was thinking of you yesterday – Comment #10 in 26667

    “If Lostboy turns up complaining about the lack of a Toughie, can someone please direct him to the Punk in today’s Independent (available on line). That should keep him occupied for a bit “

    1. I can’t get my breath.
      I was on a train, finished the back page quickly enough, but couldn’t get on to the internet to see the blog!

      Thanks to Sue anyway!

  17. A typo on RAPPROCHEMENT stopped me from getting PRISED for too long!
    Not bad at all tody – I enjoyed a number of the clues so thanks to the setter and to gazza who really helped in committing some of the clue components to (visual) memory.

    1. Even without the typo on “rapprochement” I couldn’t do “prised” – it was the last one to go in. Can’t really see why now …

  18. Far to difficult for a Tuesday. Never heard of 10a and I cannot bring myself to put it in. I needed far too many hints to help with this one

  19. Still can’t get onto the site today… so frustrating. I did email a complaint last week and received a month’s subscription refund as a gesture of good will but I’d much rather be able to access the crossword!

    1. I have the link to the Toughie setters list on my ‘favourites’ and I got onto that OK just now but when I clicked on the other parts of the site, guess what ‘Internet Explorer was unable to connect’.

      Interesting also to note that some people get one month’s refund and some two months. Would be better if every subscriber got something back really. Shame it’s too dark outside for me to see the pigs flying round the village :)

  20. Haven’t dared look at toughie but, since it’s Ray T with his other name, might store it up for a “rainy day”, not that it looks as if we’re going to get one of those for a while yet (sorry Mary!)

  21. Thanks to the mysteron & Gazza. A more difficult puzzle than yesterday, with some very nice clues. Managed it without the hints, but read them anyway. Most entertaining with some interesting pictures :-) Favourites were 19, 14 and 2 down. Last in was 1d. Never heard of 19a, but got the anagram letters and figured it out.

    1. Its not -LO (the instrument) its -LIST (player of said instrument). One of the meanings of list is inclination or tilting to one side.

  22. Just popped in to check ‘milch-cow’ … ! A nice puzzle, thanks to the Setter and to Gazza.

    Very easy I thought, but enjoyable nonetheless.

    Nick

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