DT 26722 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26722

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26722

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

There’s nothing too tricky today but it’s a solid puzzle and I enjoyed it. Let us know how you got on.
If you still can’t get an answer you may want to highlight the space between the brackets below the clue.

Across Clues

1a  Country of fairy stories? On the contrary (5)
{SYRIA} – hidden (of) and reversed (on the contrary) in the clue is the name of a Middle-East country which is currently much in the news.

4a  Ring us following shake of great significance (9)
{MOMENTOUS} – a circular letter (ring) and US follow a word for a short time (shake meaning a short time as in the phrase “two shakes of a lamb’s tail”) to make an adjective meaning of great significance.

9a  Find out when? Sure (9)
{ASCERTAIN} – the definition is to find out and it’s a charade of a conjunction meaning when and a synonym for sure.

10a  Blunder made by foreman? Almost (5)
{GAFFE} – this blunder is all but the final R (almost) of a word for a foreman.

11a  Bring information back about old soldier (7)
{TROOPER} – reverse (bring … back) an account or information around O(ld).

12a  Let out group without charge (3,4)
{SET FREE} – a phrasal verb meaning to let out or release is a charade of a group of people with common interests and an adjective meaning without charge.

13a  I name patient, as a precaution (2,4)
{IN CASE} – string together I, N(ame) and someone receiving medical treatment (patient) to make a phrase describing a precautionary measure.

15a  Horrible urge to change one or other (8)
{GRUESOME} – an anagram (to change) of URGE is followed a way of referring to an unknown or unspecified person or thing (one or other).

18a  Cheap joke on Russian plane backfired (8)
{GIMCRACK} – to get this adjective meaning cheap and shoddy we have to append a quip or joke to a Russian fighter plane which is reversed (backfired).

20a  Eryngo growing wild, wild on grey breakwater (6)
{GROYNE} – we have not one but two anagrams for this structure built out into the sea to break up the force of the waves (breakwater) – 1) an anagram (growing wild) of ERYNGO (which is another word for sea holly), and 2) an anagram (wild) of ON GREY.

23a  Buddhist priest describing naughty dance (7)
{LAMBADA} – a Buddhist priest goes around (describing) a synonym for naughty to make a fast dance from Brazil.

24a  Issue over tenancy agreement (7)
{RELEASE} – a verb meaning to issue (a book or record, for example) is a preposition meaning over or concerning and a tenancy agreement.

26a  Letter from Greece among post he takes (5)
{THETA} – the eighth letter of the Greek alphabet is hidden (among) in the clue.

27a  Down measure of beer when framing introduction to rather an original plan (9)
{BLUEPRINT} – an adjective meaning down (in the sense of depressed) is followed by the standard British measure for the consumption of beer with the introductory letter of R(ather) inside (framing).

28a  Recovering, continuously swallowing them (2,3,4)
{ON THE MEND} – a phrase meaning recovering after an illness comes from putting a phrase meaning continuously (“she went without food for days ** ***”) around (swallowing) THEM.

29a  Stand in calm lake (5)
{EASEL} – a verb meaning to calm is followed by L(ake).

Down Clues

1d  Cast drinking bitter, and staggering! (9)
{STARTLING} – put a verb meaning to cast or throw around an adjective meaning bitter or sharp in taste.

2d  Page clergyman right away (5)
{RECTO} – today’s old chestnut – remove the final R (right away) from a clergyman to leave the right-hand page of an open book.

3d  A rugby forward’s very large, by the way (7)
{APROPOS} – string together A, a rugby forward in the front row of a scrum and a clothing size meaning very large to make an adverb meaning by the way or incidentally.

4d  Thin, a group’s leader plunging into lake (6)
{MEAGRE} – A and the leading letter of G(roup) go inside a lake to make an adjective meaning thin or slight.

5d  Service small cars before test (8)
{MINISTRY} – the duties or service of a member of the clergy comes from putting small cars (once British, now German) ahead of a verb meaning to test.

6d  Loose thing that is put on (7)
{NIGHTIE} – an anagram (loose) of THING is followed by (put on) the abbreviation for ‘that is’ in this all-in-one clue (read the whole clue for the definition). The words “gift horse” and “mouth” spring to mind

7d  Collection made by Conservative supporting bid (9)
{OFFERTORY} – another word for Conservative (with a capital C) follows (supporting, in a down clue) a verb meaning to bid to make the collection of money taken at a religious service.

8d  Part of play watched in the auditorium (5)
{SCENE} – a distinct section of a play sounds like (in the auditorium) a past participle meaning watched.

14d  Cheese — a part brought into court (9)
{CAMEMBERT} – put A and a constituent part of a more complex structure inside (brought into) the abbreviation for court to make a French cheese.

16d  Hint given to a learner? That’s natural (9)
{ELEMENTAL} – a word meaning a small amount or hint is followed by (given to) A and the usual letter for a learner to make an adjective meaning relating to the powers of nature.

17d  Scratch game (8)
{SCRABBLE} – double definition, the first a verb meaning to scratch or grope around.

19d  All are getting drunk imbibing English beer (4,3)
{REAL ALE} – an anagram (getting drunk) of ALL ARE has E(nglish) inserted (imbibing).

21d  Runs slip away causing setback to recovery (7)
{RELAPSE} – this is a setback to recovery from an illness (which may reverse the progress made at 28a). Start with the cricketing abbreviation for runs and add a verb meaning to slip away or pass by.

22d  Stadium beginning to get full (6)
{GROUND} – the first letter of G(et) is followed by an adjective meaning full (as applied to a curvaceous figure, for example).

23d  Off the booze during card game and bingo (5)
{LOTTO} – put the abbreviation for off the booze inside (during) an old gambling card game to make a children’s pastime similar to bingo.

25d  Sign of tooth decay, canine’s first to be extracted (5)
{ARIES} – this is a star sign. Remove (to be extracted) the first letter of C(anine) from tooth decay.

The stand-out clue for me today is 6d. How about you?

Today’s Quickie Pun: {MAYORS} + {TALE} = {MARE’S TAIL}

59 comments on “DT 26722

  1. Another fun but untaxing puzzle today. Not too sure why 24A had to have a double anagram though, I guess that its just because it could.

    Marvellous photo illustrations Gazza. Nice to see 19D again, haven’t come across Blonde Witch for ages.

    1. Hi skempie, re 20a, double anagram, neither on its own would have made much sense in reading, I suppose and it was nice change :-D

  2. Found this crossword quite straightforward but why the double anagrams in 21a, I’ve never come across this before?

  3. Good morning Gazza, from Wild Wet Windy West Wales, What a day! Thanks for blog/hints, lots of opportunities for your flair for illustrating clues today :-D , at first run through I only managed 20a, now how could I fail there with the two anagrams, I had to look up Eryngo afterwards to see what it was, the site I looked at said it was any plant belonging to the carrot family! Once I got going I found it to be the type of crosword where each clue is ‘workable’ , although I didn’t find it too easy I did in the end have to say I really enjoyed it, when I put 6d in, as that was the obvious answer, with the checking letters I had, I didn’t ‘see’ it until later! 3* for difficulty and 4* enjoyment for me today :-D

  4. I could comment on Gazza’s “stand out” clue but I won’t. Another gentle & not too taxing puzzle following yesterday’s Rufus offering. Does that mean we’ll have a right belter from Ray T on Thursday?

  5. Good morning, an enjoyable puzzle very workable for my frame of mind today. Looked difficult at first glance when walking back from the papershop but once I sat down with a cup of coffee it was quite straightforwar. I did not notice the double anagram in 20a, it worked fine with just the one for me.

  6. 18a was last in for me, and I had to look it up to ensure it existed! Apart from that, all fairly straightforward. Like others, I didn’t see why the double anagram was needed, but none the less enjoyable for that. Thanks to setter, and to Gazza for the review.

  7. Has anyone else got an extremely irritating pop-up ad on this site that refuses to go away? It jumps up and downs saying Congratulations you are to-day’s winner of an ipod 45. I don’t believe this, and have clicked no and clicked on the cross in the corner, but nothing gets rid of the b***** and it’s been there for three days now!

      1. I did have it yesterday but not today, it was in the area immediately below the quickie pun solution. (version IE7)

      2. It has just this minute happened to me, using Google Chrome. Clicking on the “X” takes you to another website which i couldn’t get out of without shutting down the browser completely.

    1. Yes, I’ve got it too. After failing to get rid of it using the same techniques you tried, and being reasonably satisfied it didn’t signify a virus on my laptop, I decided to ignore it. Very annoying though!

    2. Hi patsyann, yes I had it for two days as you say nothing would make it go away except switching off and starting again! So far today it hasn’t appeared …..

        1. I have a voucher for discounts in Madrid restaurants!

          Lovely puzzle, but I think I’d have enjoyed it better if it had made me scratch my head for a bit longer. Now what to do with the rest of this beautiful day?

    3. I hope I have now killed it – let me know if it comes up again.

      It’s not a popup, it’s a google ad, and I can block specific advertisers.

      1. Still seems to be there. Personally, I ignore it (like I do all advertising like this), its an annoyance,but not getting in the way of anything.

        1. Whatever you do, don’t hover your mouse anywhere near the No button or it takes itself into further windows upon windows. I didn’t actually click on it the other day, just moved the cursor near it.

  8. Hi Dave, I hadn’t but was just about to when I noticed that the pop-up has disappeared! Maybe it times out or something. If it happens again, I’ll block pop-ups and see if that does the trick. Thanks.

  9. A very enjoyable Tuesday puzzle, thanks to the setter who obviously had Gazza in mind when sorting out these clues :D I don’t think it is a double anagram as surely eryngo is a wild plant growing on a breakwater, so only the second wild is an anagram indicator. Thanks to Gazza too.

    The Toughie is enjoyable too once you remember what MynoT is famous for :)

    1. But the definition is breakwater not eryngo, so if eryngo is not anagram fodder it’s a very odd clue indeed.

          1. knew I was wrong as soon as I pressed post comment but it made sense to me at the time. It’s been another long morning in gloomy East Kent

  10. Many thanks to the setter for an enjoyable crossword and to Gazza for the pictures with a small review on the side!

  11. Defeated by “the old chestnut” which was a new word to me. Favourite was 18a. Super fun as usual. Thank you Gazza.

  12. Very enjoyable wee puzzle, many thanks to the setter and of course to Gazza for the wonderfully pictorial review. By the way, I too have the annoying little pop up, it was there yesterday also.

  13. No irritating pop up thingies at all just an email, which I assumed was spam, saying that I had won £15 iTunes gift Voucher for the prize puzzle 26,714. I KNEW that this had to be rubbish as I have never submitted a puzzle in my life, but husband and I had done this puzzle simultaneously – me in the paper and him on his iPad – (ie me doing it and explaining the answers to him which he then put in) and he had sent it in. :grin:
    Good puzzle today, I thought – not very difficult although 15a and 16d held me up for a while. As soon as I got 6d and remembered that it was Tuesday and that means Gazza doing the hints …..! Really liked 18 and 23a and 1, 6 and 8d. With thanks to the setter and Gazza.
    Beastly day – grey, drizzly and VERY windy – off for dog walk … :sad:

  14. Thanks for the welcome gazza, Its been fascinating reading the various blogs over the last couple of weeks, thought I might as well throw in my comments, they may be a help.

  15. Interesting selection of words on the Scrabble board Gazza – but tastey? Mm I don’t think so. Is this your unfinished game Gazza?
    Many thanks to you and the setter

  16. I’m with Bifield here in that on first read through it looked more taxing than it was. I don’t mind double or triple anagrams as long as we get the photo to go with 6d! Thanks Gazza and setter – but more thanks to Gazza!!!

  17. Didn’t find it as straightforward as most of you and needed hints to complete – was stuck in NW corner and couldn’t see 1a for the life of me! However, all done now so thanks Gazza for helping me finish.

    1. Took me ages to see that one too Addicted even when I got Syria, I wondered what it spelt backwards!!!

  18. Thanks to the setter & Gazza for the hints. A nice start to the week, quite straightforward, with some nice clues. Favourites were 25& 19d.

  19. For some reason I found this one all went in virtually straight away without any hints or even electronic aids – certainly a world record for me as it only took about half the time of my previous record. That may be because for once I got the first 4 across clues straight away and thus had checking letters early on and could get some of the downs before just carrying on through the acrosses to find one I could get the answer to. The other possibility is time of day – I normally print it off and do over breakfast but today had to be out early and didn’t start it until after 5 – wonder if my brain works differently at that time??

    The trouble is I really cannot ever see myself bettering the new record – don’t know whether this is good or bad, but won’t be giving up the attempt!!

    Thanks to setter and Gazza for the review.

    1. Isn’t it funny how trying to do the crossword at an unfamiliar time of day can affect the brain cells? My normal pattern is get up, coffee, shower, dog walk and then come home have more coffee and do crossword. Always assume that I do worse with the crossword the later I start it but am really not sure that this is the case. Must try a controlled experiment – but how? Only joking really – don’t care that much – just enjoy doing them whenever I can. :smile:

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