DT 26734 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26734

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26734

Hints and tips by Gazza

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Today’s puzzle is a bit more meaty than the ones we’ve had on recent Tuesdays. Give us your opinions in a comment.
If you want to see an actual answer just highlight the space between the curly brackets under the clue.

Across Clues

1a  One beginning to attend to five coming in for start of treatment (6)
{NOVICE} – the definition here is one beginning. Start with a verb meaning to attend to or become aware of, then bring the Roman numeral for five in to replace the first letter of T(reatment).

4a  Insulating material, like finest used by sailor (8)
{ASBESTOS} – this insulating material (the use of which is now banned in the European Union for health reasons) is a charade of a) a synonym for like or similar to, b) a superlative meaning finest, and c) the abbreviation for an Ordinary Seaman.

9a  Fiery pit shown in painting (6)
{ARDENT} – insert a pit or cave in another word for painting to make an adjective meaning fiery or passionate.

10a  Member’s spoken about one concerned with heraldry (8)
{ARMORIAL} – start with a bodily member then put an adjective meaning spoken (as opposed to written) around I (one).

11a  Italian must go after fall? Don’t be ridiculous! (4,3,2)
{COME OFF IT} – this is an informal phrase meaning ‘don’t be ridiculous’ or ‘you must be joking’. A phrasal verb meaning to fall (from a horse, for example) is followed by the abbreviation for Italian vermouth.

13a  Disinclined to move from container terminal (5)
{INERT} – hidden (from) in the clue is an adjective meaning disinclined to move.

14a  Ever pinch some comic in school? (13)
{COMPREHENSIVE} – an anagram (comic?) of EVER PINCH SOME produces a type of school.

17a  Minister in PA (4,9)
{HOME SECRETARY} – PA in the surface is meant to be read as Pennsylvania (at least I hope it is!) but in the wordplay it’s a personal assistant. Put a more mundane term for a personal assistant after where you are if you’re “in” to make a senior minister in the Government.

21a  Delight about mother coming round (5)
{DREAM} – a preposition meaning about or concerning has a mother (of a horse, say) round it.

23a  Powerful guns, not well positioned in main road (9)
{ARTILLERY} – an adjective meaning not well is positioned inside a major route.

24a  Pass through stand (8)
{OVERTAKE} – a verb to pass (another car, say) is a charade of an adverb meaning through or completed and a verb meaning to stand or endure.

25a  No good coming back after glass of beer (slang) (6)
{JARGON} – the definition is slang. NO and G(ood) are reversed (coming back) after an informal word for a glass of beer.

26a  BSI emblem, two articles surrounded by three kings (8)
{KITEMARK} – this is the certification symbol of the British Standards Institution. Put an individual article and an indefinite article inside three abbreviations (one being repeated) for king.

27a  Climb a trail (6)
{ASCENT} – a climb consists of A followed by another word for an animal’s trail or spoor.

Down Clues

1d  Sister outside a church in shade (6)
{NUANCE} – put a religious sister around A then add one of the abbreviations for church to make a shade or subtle distinction.

2d  Handbook — copper shown in volume made me nervous (4-5)
{VADE-MECUM} – this is a useful handbook that a gentleman might have carried around with him at all times in order to have information at his fingertips (a sort of Victorian equivalent of an iPad). Its name comes from the latin for “go with me”. Put the chemical symbol for copper inside V(olume) and an anagram (nervous?) of MADE ME.

3d  Agree to study mould (7)
{CONFORM} – a verb meaning to agree or comply with is a charade of a verb to study and a verb to mould or fashion.

5d  Hay fever sufferer may take one and withdraw from contest on Hampshire river (7,4)
{SCRATCH TEST} – a medical procedure to determine whether someone is suffering from an allergy such as hay fever is a verb to withdraw from a contest followed by (on, in a down clue) the river that enters the sea at Southampton.

6d  Sentiment expressed by English poet (7)
{EMOTION} – this sentiment is E(nglish) followed by the surname of our previous poet laureate.

7d  What some northerners eat is rubbish (5)
{TRIPE} – double definition.

8d  Second place, say, could make you spit (8)
{SPLUTTER} – join together S(econd), the abbreviation for place (as used in a street name) and a verb meaning to say or speak aloud.

12d  Banger in sack, fine specimen (11)
{FIRECRACKER} – a loud device (banger) such as may be heard on 5th November is a charade of a verb meaning to sack or dismiss and an informal term for something exceptionally good.

15d  Brown is one of its members, and girl attending class (3,6)
{IVY LEAGUE} – Brown is the name of one of the eight universities which form this elite grouping in the North-East of the USA. A girl’s name is followed by a synonym of class or division.

16d  Small fish and fruit (8)
{SHADDOCK} – S(mall) is followed by a fish to make a large tropical citrus fruit also called a pomelo.

18d  Sign my post, for a change, ‘Mike’ (7)
{SYMPTOM} – this sign or indicator (of a sickness, perhaps) comes from an anagram (for a change) of MY POST followed by the letter for which the codeword Mike is used in the Nato phonetic alphabet.

19d  A Latin king’s listening intently (3,4)
{ALL EARS} – an informal phrase meaning listening intently is built from A, L(atin), the name of a Shakespearean king and the ‘S.

20d  Sound of seal and young swan (6)
{CYGNET} – old chestnut time. A young swan sounds like a small seal or impression.

22d  Put up before court (5)
{ERECT} – a poetic word for before is followed by the abbreviation of court.

The ones I liked best were 23a and 8d. How about you?

Today’s Quickie Pun: {MADDER} + {GASCON} = {MADAGASCAN}

46 comments on “DT 26734

  1. Yes I agree, a little trickier than the norm for a Tuesday. Very enjoyable, agree with your star ratings on both counts. I’ve never heard of the latin phrase at 2d, so had to look it up. Thanks to setter and to Gazza.

    1. Had this done a few years back FB the only thing that reacted was the one for household dust!! Not a lot I could do to avoid that -:D

  2. Can’t say I really enjoyed this one. I am not )and never was) a latin scholar, so do not appreciate relatively obscure latin phrases turning up in crosswords and it tends to put me off the rest of the puzzle. I also had to look up the fruit, its at times like this that I feel the compiler is starting to show off, not something I like to see in Crosswords. Having said that, I did like 25A. 26A and 19D.

  3. I will buck the trend – I found this easier than yesterday’s crossword but just as enjoyable.

    The Toughie does exactly the opposite of what it says on the tin – a good one for someone to try their hand at his or her first Toughie.

    Thanks to the setter and to Gazza for the review.

  4. I thought bits of this one were quite tricky. I’ve never heard the 2d latin phrase (my knowledge of latin is pretty much confined to well known phrases and medical stuff) and neither have I come across the 16d fruit. At least a 3* for difficulty for me today. I liked 5, 11, 25 and 26a and 18 and 19d. With thanks to the setter and Gazza.
    VERY cold here today – not quite sleeting but rather thick rain – very windy and only 3C. :sad:

      1. It IS snowing in Oxford now – and even colder. Just wondering if dog REALLY wants a walk this afternoon – unfortunately I suspect that she does ….. :sad: Back later if I’m not blown over or biffed on the head by a tree.

        1. I do hope your dog doesn’t feel too invigorated by the cold and cuts her walk short. Ours would occasionally take one look at the weather and go back inside. Hope you don’t get blown or biffed either. :-)

          1. Thanks Franny – back in one piece. Our dog is a collie and so it has to be even worse than it is today for her not to want to go out!

            1. Whilst on a traffic island last night, it started raining, the ridgeback nearly pulled me into the road as he was heading for home as quick as possible . On the other arm was a labrador who i’m looking after this week who was dead set on going to the local pub in the opposite direction. My shoulder sockets are still recovering!

  5. Just got time for a sneak preview as I’ve got that pesky work thing to get done so will return to the puzzle later this evening with a drop of Oyster Stout. At first glance though it looks like a bit of a challenge. As far as 16d is concerned, I’ve never heard of it but I love learning new words so thanks to setter & to Gazza for the review.

  6. Wasn’t looking forward to this as I had a personal best yesterday, but it wasn’t at all bad. Had to look up 16d as had answer from clue but hadn’t heard of it. Think fave was 23a. Thanks Gazza and setter.

  7. Hi Gazza thanks for the hints I admit to using one or two today eg 2d and 16d, I think at least a three * for me today, a puzzle to get through rather than enjoy IMHO, off for accupuncture now, more needles!!

      1. I came home the other day to find all my windows open and everything gone! My friend suggested I contact the Police, but I decided against it and went and bought another advent calendar.

  8. I agree with Prolixic about the straightforwardness of this one as it was completed in the same time as yesterday but I did enjoy myself so will agree with Gazza on the entertainment factor and favourite clues. Thanks to the Tuesday Mysteron and to Gazza too.

    I sort of disagree with Prolixic’s view of the Toughie – not ever so tough but definitely in the right place in the newspaper. Well worth giving it a go if you have time.

  9. Managed 3/4 ok but the top left was v difficult. Can’t help feeling that the setter is taking the proverbial with 2d. Sorry clues like this this I find just plain silly. And unworthy of the setter. The rest was enjoyable with some lovely clues, 17a being my favourite. Would have got a four star from me if it were not for 2d.

    1. Also not sure that jargon 25a could be described as slang. My copy of chambers gives a number of definitions but slang is not one of them. Just a thought.

      1. Just thought I’d stick my oar in – re Brian’s comment about jargon – the OED defines slang as “The special vocabulary or phraseology of a particular calling or profession; the cant or jargon of a certain class or period”

  10. Thanks to the setter for an enjoyable and not overtaxing crossword and to Gazza for an excellent review.

  11. Definitely 3* for me today. I too had never heard of 2d or 16d, never too old to learn something new. will attempt the Toughie after something to eat. Thanks to Gazza for the hints, which were needed today.

  12. Agree this was on the tricky side – it took me longer than the Toughie!
    Hadn’t heard of the fruit or the Latin phrase but both were guessable from the checkers so OK by me!
    Also agree about 23a and 8d being favourites and 18d made me smile as Mike is my name!
    Thanks to the setter and Gazza.

  13. I found this difficult today, too, and needed your hints to finish much of the left-hand side. In a couple of cases, 1a and 24a, I had the answers but couldn’t make them fit the clues. I don’t think dream and delight are the same thing, had never heard of the fruit or the BSI emblem. I googled BSI and put in ‘standard’ for a while — didn’t know about kitemarks. I had ‘splatter’ at 8d, and spent some time trying to make an anagram of ‘eat is’ for some strange northern
    dish. On the whole, not a very good time. But thank you Gazza for all your help.

  14. Have to agree with Skempie, never heard of 2D or 16D. The compiler can ‘Basia culos meos’ and i had to look that up as well!

    1. I’m with you and Skempie, despite being reasonably at ease with the odd latin phrase. Haven’t enjoyed a puzzle less for a long time.

  15. Today made up for yesterday’s disappointing offer. Much more enjoyable and some new words into the bargain.
    Many thanks to setter and Gazza for the hints, thankfully not required.

  16. Finished it, “cum molto fatigio”. (Oh dear, I hope this doesn’t catch on )! No particular favourites but enjoyable. Thanks to setter and Gazza.

  17. Found this one quite a struggle but did eventually finish without hints, though needed quite a bit of electronic help and a couple of dives into Chambers – notably for 2d and 16d, and I wasn’t alone in this I see from above! Always glad when it’s not just me. The l/h side took me about twice as long as the r/h side, by the way – anyone else find that? A friend of mine has a 16d growing in a huge pot in her conservatory but I don’t think I’ve ever heard its name – either of them! I think 2d was a bit beyond most of us back-pagers, but maybe I’m maligning some of you? In which case I apologise. But overall most enjoyable so thanks to setter and Gazza for the explanations.

  18. Thanks to the setter & Gazza for the review and hints. I didn’t particularly enjoy this one. Never heard of 2d, also needed help with 10a. Favourite was 26a.

  19. The only problem here was the second word at 5d which I figured must be correct (I dont really have any allergies myself!). Still solved the Toughie quicker and frankly the Times wasnt much longer today – all done before I hit the office. This meant that I had to buy Viz for the return journey where I have 6 left in the ‘Craptic Crossword’ (set by Anus). I also spotted at least 6 Jimmy Hills in the cartoons so may well be on my way to a ‘Letterbocks’ pencil – happy days!.
    Thanks to gazza and to the setter.

  20. This was as grim as my commute into Waterloo today. Either the crossword editor is asleep on the job or considers 2d and 16d fair answers, I hope it’s the former because then at least there’s the hope that he or she will wake up. Thanks for the blog, would have be stranded without it.

    1. I sympathise on the commute. The last two days have been horrendous – fortunately I usually get a seat and the crosswords keep me sane until some blithering idiot in the quiet coach decides to have a phone conversation at the top of their voice.

      With rarer words, you have to expect them now and again. If clued clearly, you should be able to get the answer even if you are unsure of the word – 16d is a case in point. 2d was trickier as the wordplay was complex so may have been less fair.

      1. I would certainly agree with 16d being OK – The wordplay was pretty straightforward and the S + caused me to remember the word. Regarding 2d, similar example for today’s Times I feel is a bit hard on the solver as it requires the knowledge of the bird (singer) and also the wordplay is a bit more complicated than e.g. 16d in this puzzle:

        South American singer from Argentina dropping in, oddly (7)

        TANAGER (SA Singer, bird) is an anagram (oddly) of ARGENT(in)A losing (dropping) the ‘IN’

  21. I thought this puzzle had the same degree of difficulty as the Toughie today. Anyone who does these regularly would have put 2 in straight away as it is quite a chestnut. I enjoyed 12 the best as I was trying to fit Frankfurter in for ages. All good clues – most enjoyable.

  22. I didn’t like this one very much even though I solved it.
    Only faves : 17a, 12d, 15d & 16d.

    At least the DT came in from Brussels today – yesterday’s vanished!

  23. 2d got the better of me as well. I could’ve been a judge, but I never had the latin… All good fun though, thanks to Gazza and the setter.

  24. The usual goody two shoes have put their pennyworth in. I can only say that it took me all day on and off. 2 down and 16d gave me indigestion. But no one has mentioned 8d as a problem Splatter seems better suited to the clue. What on earth is a (S)plutter. My google search throws up nothing for “plutter”; zilch.
    Also “Inert” (In Bob’s dictionary) is actually not doing anything at all as opposed to disinclined to do something. As far as I am concerned that is “Inertia” (I cant be bothered with all that Chambers stuff, what do they know?

    1. Bob, the wordplay at 8d is S (PL – abbreviation for Place) and UTTER so there is not a problem with ‘plutter’. I think that the people who solved this with less trouble happened to be on the same wavelength and spotted a coluple of the trickier clues earlier. 2d is a good example – I know the word as I have a passing interest in Latin words in English usage but also as I read the word a couple of days ago. Conversely, I have compared notes on puzzles (like yesterday’s “Gentle” Rufus start to the week) and found that I struggled when the majority found it relatively easy. Some days are like that but I wouldn’t suggest that there are ‘usual goody two shoes’ types around here – just people enjoying the community.

    2. I spent a long time, unsuccessfully, trying to find a Spitting Image sketch of Roy Hattersley to illustrate spluttering. The wordplay is S (second) + PL (Place) + UTTER (say).

    3. A goody two shoes replies :)

      Splutter comes from S for second + PL (abbreviation for place) + UTTER (say).

      For inert, it can mean sluggish, un-reactive (inert gasses) etc.

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