DT 26728 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26728

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26728

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment **

It could be that I’m just feeling out of sorts this morning but I didn’t enjoy this puzzle very much. There are lots of anagrams and also many clues where you have to cut out individual letters as part of the wordplay. Let us know your opinion.
If you want to see an answer just highlight the spaces between the brackets under the clue.

Across Clues

1a  Returning weapons? (10)
{BOOMERANGS} – cryptic (?) definition of hunting weapons as used by Australian aborigines.

6a  Some white chocolate for parrot (4)
{ECHO} – a verb meaning to parrot is hidden (some) in the clue.

9a  Kept trimmed having removed top of hair (5)
{SAVED} – start with a verb meaning trimmed (bodily hair, for example) and take out the first (top) letter of H(air).

10a  Taking the dimensions of uprooted geraniums (9)
{MEASURING} – an anagram (uprooted) of GERANIUMS.

12a  Margin initially missing, editor’s told (7)
{ORDERED} – a word meaning margin loses its initial B, then has the abbreviation for editor appended to make a synonym for told or commanded.

13a  Bird created by sculptor after a change of heart (5)
{ROBIN} – change the middle letter of the name of a famous French sculptor to make a bird.

15a  Rather worried as tide covers middle of dunes (7)
{INSTEAD} – an anagram (worried) of AS TIDE goes round (covers) the middle letter of (du)N(es) to make an adverb meaning rather or as an alternative.

17a  Students might receive these grades (7)
{DEGREES} – double definition. Is this not really the same definition twice or at least two definitions from the same root?

19a  Punishment from father — my net’s broken (7)
{PAYMENT} – a word meaning punishment or retribution comes from a child’s word for father followed by an anagram (broken) of MY NET.

21a  Talk from someone selling new model (7)
{PATTERN} – the sort of talk you’d hear from a slick salesman is followed by N(ew) to make a model.

22a  Children’s question (5)
{ISSUE} – double definition.

24a  American astronaut in acceleration due to gravity is moving quickly (7)
{BUZZING} – the nickname of the second human to walk on the moon is followed by IN (from the clue) and the symbol used for acceleration due to gravity to make a present participle meaning moving in a lively fashion.

27a  Can’t I lie about pinching daughter’s uniform? (9)
{IDENTICAL} – an adjective meaning uniform or matching comes from an anagram (about) of CAN’T I LIE which contains (pinching) D(aughter).

28a  Celebrated college returning degree (5)
{NOTED} – an adjective meaning celebrated or distinguished comes from reversing (returning) the name of an English public school (yes, that one again) and adding D(egree).

29a  Fade away without bit of nourishment to eat (4)
{DINE} – without is one of those words which can mean one thing or very nearly the opposite. It can be either an instruction to remove something or, as here, a request to put a verb to fade away or expire around (without or outside) a bit of N(ourishment).

30a  Makes prisoners trust Clarke’s first reforms (10)
{CONSTRUCTS} – Ken Clarke is the Justice Secretary (who showed excellent judgement by falling asleep during the Chancellor’s budget speech) so the surface is meaningful. A verb meaning makes or builds starts with an informal word for prisoners which is followed by an anagram (re-forms) of TRUST and C(larke).

Down Clues

1d  The wild American president? (4)
{BUSH} – a word used after ‘the’ to mean wild uncultivated land in Australia or Africa is also the name of two American presidents.

2d  Boy’s viola almost stimulating around end of rondeau, clearly (9)
{OBVIOUSLY} – strictly speaking with the anagram indicator following the fodder it should be ‘stimulated’ rather than ‘stimulating’ because the fodder isn’t stimulating, it’s being stimulated. This synonym for clearly or evidently is an anagram of BOY’S VIOL(a) (almost) containing the end letter of (rondea)U. The surface is far from smooth and in no way stimulating!

3d  Finished? Was inclined to leave starter (5)
{ENDED} – a past tense meaning was inclined or was apt to has its starting T dropped.

4d  Appreciated dad’s annoyed having got mud inside (7)
{ADMIRED} – put a synonym of mud inside an anagram (annoyed) of DAD.

5d  Doctor argued about last in ward getting looked after (7)
{GUARDED} – an anagram (doctor) of ARGUED contains (about) the last letter of (war)D.

7d  Rise obtained from head of Co-operative branch (5)
{CLIMB} – the first letter (head) of C(o-operative) is followed by a branch or extremity.

8d  Assembling musical instrument, I squeal (10)
{ORGANISING} – the definition here is assembling. It’s a charade of a musical instrument, I and a verb meaning to squeal or act as an informer.

11d  Just a piano (7)
{UPRIGHT} – double definition.

14d  Clarified MP’s lied if foreign leader of investment is involved (10)
{SIMPLIFIED} – an anagram (foreign) of MP’S LIED IF has the leading letter of I(nvestment) inserted.

16d  Perhaps copper’s energy allowed men to be captured (7)
{ELEMENT} – copper here is a definition by example (perhaps). String together E(nergy) and a synonym for allowed and insert (allowed … to be captured) MEN.

18d  Eastern rice gent cooked full of beans (9)
{ENERGETIC} – yet another anagram (cooked) of E(astern) RICE GENT.

20d  Leaves stuck in pipe? (7)
{TOBACCO} – cryptic definition. Here’s the very funny Bob Newhart …

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21d  Gags beginning to change crosswords? (7)
{PUZZLES} – start with the sort of gags that you might use to curb untrained dogs and change the first letter (beginning) to make what crosswords are examples of.

23d  Small bird’s tail (5)
{STERN} – S(mall) is followed by a seabird to make the tail or end bit (normally of a ship).

25d  Private detective’s first to leave banquet (5)
{INNER} – the definition is private. Start with a banquet and remove the initial D (first letter of detective).

26d  Removal of these from the ear will give her chances (4).
{ODDS} – this is a sort of circular clue because you need to know the answer in order to fathom the wordplay. The definition is chances or probabilities and if you remove these letters from ‘the ear’ you’ll be left with HER.

The clue I liked best today was 26d. Let us know what you liked.

Today’s Quickie Pun: {BRAKE} + {THYME} = {BREAKTIME}

43 comments on “DT 26728

  1. Loved this one – because I went straight through. Doesn’t happen very often! Thanks to setter and Gazza.

  2. Again, a thoroughly enjoyable crossword – seemed to be a plethora of Zs at one point though. The only quibble that I might have is for 1A in that not all are designed to come back, but are designed to be thrown straight, also I seemed to recall that Charlie Drake had one that didn’t come back at all !

    • I always thought a boomerang that didn’t come back was called a stick! Seriously, doesn’t it depend on how you throw it?

  3. One of the gentlest puzzles I have seen for a while.

    Re 17a, I suppose one definition could be an academic definition, and another could be a mathematical definition (a grade is a hundredth of a right angle, or 0.9 degrees).
    Thanks to setter, and to gazza.

  4. Hi Gazza agree with you about the clues where you leave letters off words or use part of words etc. I really don’t like them, and they seem to happen much more often now than when I started doing cryptics just over two years ago, it seems in some cases a ‘lazy’ way of clueing?? Re. 26d I can’t make my mind up if this is clever or terrible! having to get the answer before you can solve the clue???! I did however like 11d, my fav clue :-)

  5. Not quite the easiest ever – I would reserve that epithet for today’s Toughie – I solved it over a nice cup of tea in M&S so was proably distracted from all the take a letter off clues. Thanks to the setter and Gazza.

    Anyone with time to spare on this lovely sunny day, who thinks they couldn’t possibly solve a Toughie, will find that today’s example takes a third less than this back pager, well it did me anyway.

    • Hi Sue – well not quite as quick for me, but I did find it relatively easy (I don’t normally do the Toughie). However, I’m stuck in the NW corner. 1a (which I think I know) 3d and 9a are holding me up. Any pointer?

  6. Re 17a, students receive degrees, and there are gradations along (for example) a thermometer which shows degrees. Or that’s how I saw it anyway.

  7. Just noticed the picture at 13a. It’s currently on display at the Turner Gallery in Margate – I have seen it twice now and it doesn’t disappoint,

      • THe other brilliant thing to watch out for in the current exhibition are the three Turner paintings he did when he was 9! Make sure you see them too. We were there last Saturday so sadly I don’t think we will be there again this week – satsuma marmalade making duties will prevent gallivanting this weekend. .

  8. I agree ref the numerous clues where we are asked to omit or change a letter. Surely, there should be an indication of which letter it is to be omitted/changed. So, no problem with 9a for example, but 12a, 3d, 21d & 25d are vague IMHO and are dependant upon one picking the correct synonym to then remove or change the first letter. Having said all that, I quite enjoyed today’s p(m)uzzle and ran through it pretty quickly. I was stuck with 26d at the end though, knowing what the answer had to be but unable to see the reason. Thanks to setter and to Gazza.

  9. Another one of those that I really disagree about difficulty. I thought this was the most difficult puzzle that I have ever manged to complete. No phrases and all the anagrams either hidden as in ‘doctor’ or part anagrams which I personally dislike. A real slog today that I did not find very enjoyable. Sorry.

  10. I didn’t find this too difficult today. But try as I might I still can’t understand the clue to 26d, even though I got the answer.
    Would someone please explain it to me slowly in words of one syllable, because if I don’t get it soon I shall start twitching.
    I’m just popping down the road to have my hair cut. Perhaps I should discuss it with the barber; he’s the fount of all knowledge.

      • Now I see! Really glad someone else didn’t understand either. Do hope that Harport isn’t twitching TOO much – sounds a slightly dodgy thing to be doing at the barber’s – he might end up without an ear!!

  11. I agree that this was quite easy but got mildly held up with a couple in the bottom right hand corner. I guessed the answer for 26d but, even having read the hint, I still don’t understand it – really sorry to be dim again. Not the most exciting puzzle but OK. I found a couple of the anagrams (19a and 4d) slightly tricky because the clues included an apostrophe “S” and I started off trying to use the “S” as part of the anagram – oh dear – that doesn’t sound terribly clear – do hope that it makes sense! I liked 27a and 20d. With thanks to the setter and Gazza.

  12. Nice one, Gazza. Loved your review of 2d, made me chuckle and I quite agree. My favourites were 25d and 26d. On a review of one of my clues, Anax once stated that you are unlikely to ever see an imperative anagram indicator in the Times/Daily Telegraph, so was stumped for a moment over the use of ‘Doctor’. But I guess, there are always going to be exceptions.

  13. Thanks to the setter & Gazza. I couldn’t get into this one, especially at the bottom half, needed a few of Gazza’s hints. No real favourites.

  14. I’m afraid that I found this far too untaxing and not very enjoyable, a bit like yesterdays.( I stress this is a personal opinion and I do not mean to offend anyone who found them entertaining or indeed difficult ). Thanks Gazza for the review and thank you to the setter. I admire anyone who can set a crossword of any sort.

  15. A struggle for us today and apart from “Boomerang” & Buzzing”not really enjoyable
    And thanks for the explanation for ODDS & EAR – ODDS was the only answer but I didn’t understand why.
    Keep up the good work – love your website

  16. Hmmm.
    Easy enough, except for 26d, got it but thought it was a homophone (from the ear) so needed the hint to explain it.

    May try the Toughie this evening…… but where was it yesterday when I was stuck on a train? ATOM!! ATOM now!!
    (Thought you might be missing my weekly rant. :-) )

      • Thanks CS!
        I’ve been doing the crosswords, but finding it hard to get on-line afterwards.

        Must try harder!!

  17. Back from England I am and weather here brilliant it is. Ass froze in England it did!

    Sorry been doing the Toughie this morning and I seem to have slipped into Yoda-speak!

    Quite enjoyed this one, even though pretty benign, so thanks to the setter and Gazza.

  18. A gentle puzzle in which much of the fodder suggested how you should be thinking to get the answer!
    Faves for me : 15a, 24a, 1d, 16d, 21d & 25d.

    Was the setter Shamus?

  19. I did do it, but couldn’t justify quite a few of my answers so thanks for the explanations Gazza – partic the dreaded 26d, which I had got but couldn’t for the life of me see why! Didn’t do myself any favours by guessing “Bill” for 1d (Wild Bill Hitchcock,wasn’t it? and Bill Clinton) so that did leave me scratching my head over 9a, but otherwise everything was in place. Not sure I paricularly enjoyed this one but am always pleased to complete! Thanks to setter and Gazza for throwing light on the answers. Liked 20d, tickled me that one did so many thanks for the clip – hadn’t heard that for years!

  20. Having been rather too busy for the last couple of months to relax at the end of the day with the crossword I found this one rather fun. I thought 11d the best but couldn’t work out why the answer to 26d was as it was till J read the blog!

  21. I did not think that this was a very good crossword. Some of the clues were very abstruse and poorly constructed – in my opinion

  22. I must say that I really enjoyed this crossword although I did need some help towards the end. My favourite clue was probably 11d or 20d.

    SC

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