DT 26752 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26752

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26752

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment **

Good morning from a stormy, windswept Devon and a Happy New Year to all. Thanks to Prolixic, Gnomey and Crypticsue for doing all my blogging last week and giving me a whole week off.
We have a pretty straightforward puzzle today. Let us know what you thought.
If you want to see an answer just drag your cursor through the space between the brackets under the clue that’s giving you problems.

Across Clues

1a  The man’s fear of Spain (8)
{HISPANIC} – an adjective meaning relating to Spain comes from how you’d refer to something belonging to a man followed by an uncontrollable fear.

5a  Dash off short piece extremely well (6)
{SCRAWL} – this verb meaning to dash off or write in a hurried way is a small piece of something without its final P (i.e. short) followed by the outer (extremely) letters of W(el)L.

10a  Woke up before a period ended (4,2,1,4,4)
{CAME TO A FULL STOP} – the definition here is ended. A phrasal verb meaning woke up or regained consciousness is followed by A and the punctuation mark which North Americans call a period.

11a  Devious slash (7)
{OBLIQUE} – double definition (and the second punctuation mark in a row) – devious or indirect and a more formal term for a slash.

12a  Generous artist included in defamatory publication (7)
{LIBERAL} – put the abbreviation for a successful artist inside something defamatory that has been published.

13a  Vessel carrying right flag (8)
{STREAMER} – insert R(ight) inside a type of ship (or possibly a type of kitchen vessel used to cook food in a healthy way).

15a  Guiding beliefs in Soviet hospitals (5)
{ETHOS} – the distinctive character of a person or group is hidden in the clue.

18a  Comic strip character, duck, backing America (5)
{LINUS} – the name of Lucy’s little brother in the classic comic strip Peanuts comes from reversing (backing) another word for a duck (in cricket, say) followed by an abbreviation for America. I’m not sure what the surface is trying to tell us.

20a  Ornate thing by grate, a nocturnal bird (8)
{NIGHTJAR} – this is a nocturnal bird (of the feathered kind). An anagram (ornate) of THING is followed a verb meaning to grate or jolt.

23a  Scuttle in small holidaymaker’s van? (7)
{SCAMPER} – a verb meaning to scuttle or move hurriedly comes from S(mall) followed by a type of large van that provides living accommodation as well as transport for holidaymakers.

25a  Medical complaint, chronic fatigue syndrome, affected sales (7)
{MEASLES} – an infectious childhood disease is constructed from the abbreviation for myalgic encephalomyelitis (chronic fatigue syndrome) followed by an anagram (affected) of SALES.

26a  Flying separately, ahead of time, with one’s head in the clouds (2,7,6)
{ON ANOTHER PLANET} – this phrase is used to describe someone totally out of touch with reality (with one’s head in the clouds). A way of describing someone using a different flight is followed by T(ime).

27a  Handle party at last in negotiation (6)
{TREATY} – a verb meaning to deal with or handle is followed by the final letter (at last) of (part)Y.

28a  French city residence briefly shown on map (8)
{CHARTRES} – this is a city in northern France with a very famous cathedral. An abbreviation (briefly) for residence (as often seen in an estate agent’s description) follows (shown on) another word for map.

Down Clues

1d  Bully boy (6)
{HECTOR} – double definition – a verb to bully and a male name.

2d  Fool’s easy to name (9)
{SIMPLETON} – this fool is a synonym for easy followed by TO and N(ame).

3d  Article’s quite new — not this then (7)
{ANTIQUE} – the indefinite article is followed by an anagram (new) of QUITE to make something that’s not new.

4d  Silly screwy son sacked (5)
{INANE} – start with an adjective meaning screwy or mentally deficient and take out the S (son sacked) to leave another adjective meaning silly.

6d  Bore merit (7)
{CALIBRE} – double definition (bore being the internal diameter of a gun barrel).

7d  Revise table, they say (5)
{ALTER} – a verb meaning to revise sounds like (they say) a sort of table found in a church.

8d  Note attached to cheek cosmetic (3,5)
{LIP GLOSS} – this is a cosmetic. An explanatory note, often written in the margin of a document to shed light on an obscure word, follows (attached to) a slang term for cheek or insolence. The word for note is most often seen these days in a phrase like ‘to put a ***** on something’ meaning to present something in a favourable light or to emphasise the good bits.

9d  Maybe Hereford mist shrouds river and pond dweller (8)
{BULLFROG} – Hereford is a definition by example of a stud animal. Follow this with a thick mist containing (shrouds) R(iver) and you have a pond dweller.

14d  Anchor at sea in my domain (8)
{MONARCHY} – an anagram (at sea) of ANCHOR goes inside MY.

16d  Person in charge on ship is a star (9)
{HEADLINER} – the star performer, whose name is in the largest type on a programme, is a charade of the person in charge (of a school, say) and a type of passenger ship.

17d  ‘Tass’, long spreading a Gorbachev initiative (8)
{GLASNOST} – an anagram (spreading) of TASS LONG gives us one of the two Russian words that we all got to know when Mr Gorbachev was in power. This one means the practice of more open government.

19d  Drink wine got from base (7)
{SUPPORT} – this word for a base is a charade of a verb to drink and a type of fortified wine.

21d  Creeping plant in house on wheels (7)
{TRAILER} – double definition – a creeping plant and another name for a caravan.

22d  In the existing circumstances, arsenic may be used on Italian island (2,2,2)
{AS IT IS} – a phrase meaning in the existing circumstances (used in a statement like ‘I have enough on my plate ** ** **’) comes from combining a) the chemical symbol for arsenic, b) the abbreviation for Italian vermouth and c) one of the abbreviations for island.

24d  Saw a duke grow old (5)
{ADAGE} – if you see the word ‘saw’ in a clue it may refer to a cutting tool but it’s just as likely, as here, to mean a proverb or saying. String together A (from the clue), D(uke) and a verb meaning to grow old.

25d  Injures top of head in swamp (5)
{MARSH} – a verb meaning injures or impairs is followed by the top letter of H(ead).

None of the clues really stood out for me today. How about you?

Today’s Quickie Pun: {MOLL} + {TEASE} = {MALTESE}

27 comments on “DT 26752

  1. Back after a Loooong time festivitating and feel much the worse for it (Now where did I put that diet sheet?). Very enjoyable today, although not overly taxing. I particularly enjoyed 18A as he’s one of my favourite Peanuts characters.

    Bloody awful weather here today and (as a very wise advert once said) Oi baint looking forward to the journey back neither.

  2. Thought today’s was super with some lovely clues such as 11a and 1a. Probably not one for the intelligentsia amongst us but I enjoyed it. Thx to the setter and to Gazza for the explanation of 8d which it had to be from the checking letters but I didn’t understand why the second word meant note!

  3. Happy New Year to you, Gazza – I think you deserved the week off – hope you enjoyed it.
    I thought this was a very easy puzzle today and was slightly surprised that it even got 2* for difficulty – I never time myself but I don’t think I’ve ever done a crossword so quickly. Nothing caused me any problems apart from understanding the second word of 8d. There were quite a few clues that I liked – 26 and 28a and 3, 6 and 17d. Thanks to the setter, whoever he or she is, and to Gazza. Not much scope for the usual Gazza style pictures!
    VERY windy and absolutely chucking it down in Oxford – I know we need rain but ….. :sad: Might give afternoon dog walk a miss today.

      1. I wish – I think today was a bit of a fluke! I still struggle with Fridays and Sundays (and random other days too)!! :smile:

  4. Very untaxing today. No particular favourites either. Thanks to the setter and Gazza too.

    It’s extremely stormy here in East Kent too but Mr CS and I are going to venture down the road for an ‘end of long holiday’ pub lunch. If you are staying indoors have a go at the Toughie which I thought lived up to its name, even allowing for the hold-up I had where I had put the wrong letters ni the wrong squares.

  5. Not easy enough to sail through but not so difficult either. My faves were 25a and 8d the latter of which I had mentally pencilled in wrongly! I’d join you CS, but don’t want to leave a warm house as it’s got windier and wilder since you posted!

    1. The lovely log fire and the fact that we had to stay for an extra drink as the hail outside was too heavy for us to leave the pub made the whole outing very worthwhile.

  6. After the most appalling morning weather the rain has now ceased, the wind has stopped, the sun has come out and the sky is blue – so cheer up everyone, particularly those in the east as it is heading that way! Due to enforced incarceration due to filthy cold, have had more time than usual fot the crosswords and have really enjoyed being able to concentrate and focus. Agree that to-days was pretty straightforward though have to admit to resorting to Seiko for 6d and 14d which annoyed me as I should have got both of them, partic 6d as there are two 12-bore in the gun safe!! Thanks to setter and Gazza – needed explanation for 5a – hadn’t worked out the “short” piece.

  7. Thanks to the setter and to Gazza, with yesterdays crossword and todays so called toughie, it has been a very relaxing end to the festivities.

  8. Pretty easy fare today except for 8d, as I had never heard of the said cosmetic but I guessed it anyway. Best were 1a 9 and 10.

  9. I found this straightforward – probably one of my quickest solves.

    Sorry to upset all you UK dwellers suffering the storms, but it’s about 18 degrees with bright blue skies here in España. It’s the warmest New Year weather we’ve had in our six years here. No doubt we’ll suffer later in the winter but are enjoying it while it lasts.

    1. It’s a sunny -9 degrees Celsius in Chicago this morning. Can anyone top that? Nora – our weather usually moves east so expect it to go cooler in a day or two en Espana!!! Found the puzzle enjoyable, challenging but not overly so.

  10. At first glance I thought that would be a lot more difficult than it was. Those two word clues worried me a bit, but once 10 and 26a went in my lunchbreak just flew by. Thanks to Gazza and the setter.

  11. Thanks to the setter & Gazza for the review and hints. Found this fairly easy, favourite were 1& 26a & 9d. Last in was 6d, spent ages on this, trying lots of letters as I couldn’t see it from the clue, but eventually found the answer.

  12. I cant really add more than the concensus above but I did enjoy the solve. A good game today was “count the busted brollys” whilst in town (for the first day back at work.
    Thanks to the setter and gaza for the review – glad you managed to get some well earned R&R.

  13. Pretty straight-forward stuff today, I thought – no real stand-out clues, but nothing that jarred with me either.
    All in all, good fun!
    Thanks to Gazza and the mystery setter! :)

  14. I started late today, with no very high hopes as I often find Tuesday’s puzzle difficult. However, bit by bit — and once I’d realised that 20a wasn’t ‘nightowl’ — I managed to finish it quite satisfactorily. So many thanks to the setter, and to Gazza for his always helpful hints. I liked 1a and 8d. :-)

  15. Haven’t managed to look at this today as pommette’s been a bit off colour. It will have to wait until tomorrow lunch, when we can’t do the Jay together as I’ve already blogged it!

  16. Very late input from me – very stormy day with heavy rain which stopped late in the afternoon so I nipped out to get the DT just before closing time.
    Faves : 10a, 20a, 25a, 26a, 6d, 9d, 16d & 17d.

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