DT 26710 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26710

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26710

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Today’s puzzle provides an entertaining but not too strenuous workout (although it does contain one interesting phrase which is new to me). Let us know how you got on.
If you need to verify an answer just highlight the space between the brackets under the clue.

Across Clues

5a  Dismiss member with pistol, say (7)
{FIREARM} – a charade of to dismiss from employment and a bodily member produces what a pistol is an example (say) of.

7a  Disdainfully refuse second cereal (5)
{SCORN} – start with S(econd) and add a cereal crop.

9a  Disturbance caused by strange tailless cat (6)
{RUMPUS} – this disturbance comes from a synonym for strange followed by an informal word for a cat without its final S (tailless).

10a  Take out US mag to do something whilst waiting (4,4)
{KILL TIME} – the definition here is to do something (normally something trivial like solving a crossword) whilst waiting. Start with a verb to take out (as soldiers might do to an enemy) and add a US current affairs magazine.

11a  Be grateful for rise (10)
{APPRECIATE} – double definition.

13a  Reckless collision, not chauffeur’s first (4)
{RASH} – a collision without the initial C(hauffeur) leaves an adjective meaning reckless.

14a  Currant buns? I feel my secret is out (3,10)
{FLY CEMETERIES} – this was my last in and I had to wait for all the checking letters, even though it’s fairly obviously an anagram (is out) of I FEEL MY SECRET, because I’d never heard of this humorous description of buns or cakes which are full of currants visible on the surface. Now that I know it I shall use it at the first opportunity.

16a  Time-sharing has hidden trap (4)
{MESH} – a constricting type of trap is hidden in the clue.

17a  Method of treating drug addiction in distant country (4,6)
{COLD TURKEY} – this is an informal term for a method of treating drug addiction by the abrupt withdrawal of the supply. It’s a charade of an adjective meaning distant or unwelcoming and a country which straddles the border between Europe and Asia.

19a  Preprandial drink provided by a retiring salesman, Italian (8)
{APERITIF} – a small conjunction meaning provided follows (by) A, the reversal (retiring) of an abbreviated salesman and the abbreviation for Italian vermouth.

20a  Miss engrossed by court secret (6)
{CLOSET} – a verb meaning to miss or fail to take goes inside the abbreviation of court to make an adjective meaning secret or concealed.

22a  Subject of article: Middle East (5)
{THEME} – this subject is a charade of a definite article and the abbreviation for Middle East.

23a  Beat man for touching (7)
{TANGENT} – an adjective meaning touching without intersecting is a charade of an informal verb to beat someone (as a punishment) and a synonym for man.

Down Clues

1d  Leave, going uphill in carriage (4)
{TRAP} – reverse (going uphill, in a down clue) a verb to leave to make a light two-wheeled horse-drawn carriage.

2d  Trounce large group — race fixed? (8)
{MASSACRE} – a verb used figuratively to mean to trounce or defeat decisively comes from a large group followed by an anagram (fixed) of RACE.

3d  Legendary princess died in one, alone (6)
{ISOLDE} – this is the name of a princess in medieval legend, later the subject, together with her lover Tristan, of an opera by Richard Wagner. Insert D(ied) in I (one) and a synonym of alone.

4d  Sly type having row about stray dog (3,7)
{FOX TERRIER} – a breed of dog is formed from the animal that symbolises cunning (sly type) followed by a row (of seats, perhaps) around a verb meaning to stray or sin.

5d  Drab woman producing fine steak (5)
{FRUMP} – combine F(ine) and a cut of steak to make a woman who wears old-fashioned clothes.

6d  What one may do with 17 is spend more time than is necessary (4,1,4,2,2)
{MAKE A MEAL OF IT} – what one may do literally with 17a (quite often round about the 27th of December) also means to string something out to an unnecessary extent.

8d  Meissen bombed in retribution (7)
{NEMESIS} – Meissen is a town in Saxony (which as far as I am aware was not heavily bombed in WWII, unlike its near neighbour Dresden) and it provides the fodder for an anagram (bombed) to make the Greek goddess of divine punishment, whose name has come to mean retribution.

12d  Man, the artist Prince, US rhythm and blues singer (3,7)
{RAY CHARLES} – there’s a lot of misdirection happening here. Combine the surname of the American surrealist painter who used the forename Man and the name of the prince who is our current heir to the throne to make a US rhythm and blues singer.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

14d  Rush into appropriate cinema (7)
{FLEAPIT} – put a verb meaning to rush or hurry inside an adjective meaning appropriate or suitable to make a derogatory term for a run-down cinema.

15d  Ten fancy cake topping – it’s tempting (8)
{ENTICING} – an anagram (fancy) of TEN is followed by the sweet topping on a cake.

17d  Excise permit for meat? (6)
{CUTLET} – a charade of a verb to excise or remove and a second verb meaning to permit or allow.

18d  Level before start of throwing competition (5)
{EVENT} – the definition here is competition. Put an adjective meaning level or flat in front of the first letter (start) of T(hrowing).

21d  Port, unopened, settled (4)
{OVER} – a channel port without its first letter (unopened).

The two clues which stood out for me today were 14a and 4d. What do you think?

Today’s Quickie Pun: {CROW} + {KAYE} = {CROQUET}

49 comments on “DT 26710

  1. Very enjoyable again, just right for a Tuesday. No great problems, although I had also not heard of the phrase at 14A, it wasn’t to difficult to solve (we used to use the phrase Dead Fly Cakes or Biscuits). 9A and 10A were quite clever and my favourite to day was 3D.

    Had a bit of sun earlier, but all gone now :-(

    1. We also just used the term’ fly cakes’. Always put me off eating them :( Very dull again in the NE. Enjoyed this crossword very much. Fav clue 19a. Thanks setter and Gazza.

      1. Fly Pie was my version, but it never put me off.

        I couldn’t quite work out how 14d worked, as I was thinking of ‘apt’ for ‘appropriate’, then the other letters didn’t make sense, so thanks Gazza for straightening that one out for me.

        I liked 9a, but was trying to make ‘fracas’ fit before getting the checking letters in. It just shows it’s often better to do the down clues first.

  2. Good morning Gazza, I enjoyed this today although like yourself I didn’t know the last word for 14a, also 14, couldn’t work out quite where the answer came from! fav clue today 9a, good luck all, off to pain clinic for accupuncture now see you all later :-) lovely sunny day here today, thanks for blog once again Gazza

  3. Gazza: 14a – I get the impression from distant memories that these sweetmeats have currants in a more concentrated form than you illustrate; think Eccles cakes and similar. 21d took us almost as long as the rest of the puzzle, which we found to be a bit of a walk-over, and still managed to get it wrong. I came up with a sailing centre on the Isle of Wight which gives an answer of sorts, but not one that really makes much sense. Thanks for the hint which enabled us to come to a satisfactory conclusion. 8d is a simple anagram, but I like it; in fact there are a number of fun clues, so thanks to the setter as well.

  4. Really enjoyed this one, I hadn’t heard of 14a either Gazza but like you will make use of it a the first opportunity :-)
    Do we know the setter ? Thanks to him and G for the hints not used today

  5. 14a is a Northern expression, usually applied to the biscuits that have a layer of currants between
    sweet pastry slices. Can’t remember what they are called. Was a common expression when I was
    young, many moons ago.

    1. Thanks for all the info on 14a. I’ve done some more research and the proper name for these is apparently currant slices. I’ve changed the picture.

    2. When we were kids, currants were generally referred to as dead flies or rather, “deid flees”. We had deid flee biscuits and cakes. A currant slice was referred to as a flees’ graveyaird. Eccles cakes would probably have been called something similar. Many thanks to the setter and to Gazza for the hints.

  6. Very nice puzzle! I got the squashed fly confection from all the other letters and checking up under “fly” in Chambers and it does indeed refer to Eccles cakes…yum!

  7. Very enjoyable and just right for a Tuesday, I thought. I have always known Garibaldi biscuits as 14a so didn’t have any problem with that one, and it is my favourite clue of the day. Thanks to the Mysteron and Gazza too.

    The Elkamere Toughie is gettable with perservation.

  8. Nice steady puzzle. I also had never heard of 14a but worked out the anagram & googled the answer. Never too old to learn something new.

  9. Yes, not difficult today except for 14a, which I hadn’t heard of before. Tuesdays used to be the toughest day but I think maybe the setter changed a while ago.

    1. I agree.
      Try the Toughie which is brilliant.
      (Actually just posting to point out that we have the same name but different avatars!)

  10. Thought this was very easy, with the exception (as for so many) of 14a.1 star difficulty at most. Toughie also pretty benign today.

  11. Thanks to the setter & Gazza. A most enjoyable puzzle. Last in was 14a, didn’t realise it was an anagram until I read the hints. Favourites were 9a and 14d.

  12. Agree fairly straight forward today. Like others above called 14A Fly Cakes, must be a NE thing. Put me off eating anything containing currants or raisins. Even now I regard them simply as blackbird food. The full 14A is new to me but like Gazza was my last one in and clear from the checking letters and only then did I realise it was an anagram.
    Thanks to setter and Gazza as always for the excellent hints.

  13. Nice crossword from our Mysteron today. Many thanks to the setter and to Gazza for the review. 14a was the last in for me too – I have always known them as squashed fly biscuits / cakes but like the given answer in preference.

    I agree with CrypticSue that Elkemere is almost so gentle to be cuddly – I simply cannot get used to Anax having a soft side when it comes to setting crosswords!

    1. And the thing is, this ‘Anax-lite’ thing is something I genuinely enjoy. It’s been said by many people on many forums/blogs but is always worth repeating – setting easy cryptics is deceptively difficult; you’re obliged to keep many wordplay devices (and the number of them used within a single clue) locked in the pantry, and that creates a sometimes severe technical challenge when you still want to write smooth clues. It’s hugely satisfying to keep clues accessible but still produce something that offers fun and wordplay frolics.

  14. Another one whe hasn’t heard of 14a!
    Wiki gives the following description of a Garibaldi biscuit which I used to call ‘Squashed fly biscuits’ when I was a kid!

    “They have a golden brown, glazed exterior appearance and a moderately sweet pastry, but their defining characteristic is the generous layer of squashed fruit which gives rise to the colloquial names fly sandwiches, fly cemeteries, dead fly biscuits or squashed fly biscuits, because the squashed fruit resembles squashed flies”

    And being from Manchester I also like ‘Dead fly pies’!

    Excellent puzzle so thanks to the setter and Gazza (for the gratuitous picture).

  15. Please forgive me for butting in – I haven’t seen a DT crossword for years. I chanced upon this thread while clueing-up on folks who might be at the Derby get-together – Big Dave hopefully being an attendee.

    Link linked to link and the discussion about 14a brought back wonderful memories. My St.Helens born mother regularly made Fly Cemetery with sultanas and syrup in a tart. I would never have thought to apply the term to Garibaldi biscuits or Eccles cakes; it was something completely different.

  16. Still on the subject of 14a – my first thought was that we had another Cockney rhyming slang clue – “Currant Bun” = “Sun”! I did, however, spot it was an anagram but it took me forever to work out as, like Pommers, they have always been “squashed fly biscuits” in my family. Liked it though but I think fav was 6d – just appealed to me that one. Last in was 21d – hate pesky 4-letter clues and the penny took for ever to drop. Thanks to setter for a fun puzzle and Gazza for the hints (didn’t need them for once but wanted to check a couple and needed 14d explained – had “got” it but couldn’t “see” it!)

    1. I too wondered about the rhyming slang possibility for a fair while. Eventually gave up and went to Google – Garibaldi biscuits D’oh!

  17. Remembered to post this one in daylight!

    Faves : 10a, 14a, 17a, 4d, 6d, 12d, 14d & 17d.

    Aden & Dover seem to be very popular crossword ports!

  18. I concur that 14a was a new phrase for me. Otherwise a generally good puzzle that presented few problems.

  19. Found todays very tricky. Taken me several goes to complete and only then with help of Gazzas splendid clues. Really disliked 14a and 20a and 3d and I have no idea who ray man is or was. No favourite today.

  20. Exactly the same problem as you gazza. I always knew Garibaldi Biscuits as ‘Fly Biscuits’ but couldn’t sort the anagram for ages. Thanks to the setter and to you, gazza.

  21. Quite a fun offering, I guess – I did get stuck on some of the clues – 14a was a new one on me, never heard of 3d, and I’d not heard of 14d’s cinema described in that fashion before. But you could figure them out from the wordplay, so no real objections there…
    Actually, re 14d, is ‘fit’ really a synonym for ‘appropriate’ – ‘fitting’, maybe…I can’t think of a sentence where you could interchange the two?
    I was pleased that I knew the 12d singer, if only from ‘The Blues Brothers’ movie…:)
    Thanks to Gazza and the setter!

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