DT 26755 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26755

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26755

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ****

This was a game of two halves for me. Three-quarters of the grid went in fairly quickly, then I got held up in the NE corner where I was convinced that 9a was going to be a country and that the definition of 5d was “provided” – some nice bits of misdirection here. Thanks to Giovanni for a very enjoyable puzzle.
Let us know what you thought of it. If you want to reveal an answer just highlight the space between the brackets under the clue.

Across Clues

7a  One’s touched when great respect is shown (8)
{FORELOCK} – what the lower-classes in days of old were supposed to tug at when the lord of the manor went past.

9a  Country singer gets about, with woman and son providing backing (6)
{REEVES} – this is an American country singer who died in a plane crash in 1964. A preposition meaning about or concerning is followed by a woman’s name and S(on).

ARVE Error: need id and provider

10a  Book in English period (6)
{ENGAGE} – the definition here is book, as a verb meaning to sign up (an entertainer, say). It’s an abbreviation of English followed by a synonym of period.

11a  Female writer to head for Gretna Green? (8)
{PENELOPE} – a female name (think of Ms. Cruz) comes from a writing implement followed by what a young couple with the intention of going north to Gretna Green may be planning to do.

12a  Grower with green trademark specially designed (6,8)
{MARKET GARDENER} – an anagram (specially designed) of GREEN TRADEMARK.

15a  Defect in fine Scottish footballer of yesteryear (4)
{FLAW} – this defect is F(ine) followed by the surname of a legendary Scottish footballer.

17a  European Society repeatedly restricting organisation for women? (5)
{SWISS} – the definition is European, so we want the native of a European country (where women were not given the right to vote until 1971, so the surface is very apt and the clue may be read as a semi-all-in-one). The abbreviation for society appears three times (repeatedly) around (restricting) a women’s organisation.

19a  Get some food in eatery? (4)
{DINE} – this is an all-in-one with the whole clue providing the definition. The answer is hidden (get some) in the clue.

20a  Chicken handlers do dire manoeuvres (5,6,3)
{RHODE ISLAND RED} – an anagram (manoeuvres) of HANDLERS DO DIRE gives us a breed of chicken.

23a  Little drinks knocked over in act that’s regarded with contempt (8)
{DESPISED} – the definition is regarded with contempt. Reverse (knocked over) tiny intakes of drink inside a synonym of act.

25a  Hate a hotel abroad (6)
{LOATHE} – an anagram (abroad) of A HOTEL.

27a  Meal inside after first hint of darkness (6)
{DINNER} – put a synonym for inside after the first letter (hint) of D(arkness). It’s a little bit odd that we’re having the same meal that we partook of only four clues ago.

28a  Indicate dicey radioactive element (8)
{ACTINIDE} – an anagram (dicey) of INDICATE produces one of a (new to me) series of 15 radioactive elements.

Down Clues

1d  German city where b-bigwig turns up (4)
{BONN} – the German city on the Rhine which was the capital of West Germany until re-unification is a reversal (turns up, in a down clue) of an informal word for a bigwig with the first letter repeated to imitate the clue.

2d  Once again indicate comment (6)
{REMARK} – a comment could also mean, as a verb, to indicate once again.

3d  Omit to provide something for the rubbish? (4)
{SKIP} – double definition – omit to provide / something you get for your rubbish (which is normally soon filled with that of other people if you delay putting your own in!).

4d  Cut fruit, dried date (6)
{PRUNED} – the definition here is cut. A fruit (that is) dried precedes D(ate).

5d  Provided cases of refuse — 500 (8)
{DECLINED} – this was my last answer but eventually the penny dropped thanks to those latin classes of many years ago. The definition is “provided cases”, i.e. listed the nominative, accusative, genitive, etc. forms of a noun. It’s constructed from a verb to refuse or turn down followed by the Roman numeral for 500.

6d  Pet given cane cruelly? Moderation called for (10)
{TEMPERANCE} – pet here is not a little animal but a fit of ill-humour. Follow this with an anagram (cruelly) of CANE to make moderation or restraint.

8d  Mythological male trapped in forest escapes (7)
{ORESTES} – hidden (trapped) in the clue is a chap from Greek mythology who killed his mother.

13d  New UK dealer that is to be found in a capital city (4,6)
{AULD REEKIE} – this old nickname for one of the capital cities within the UK is an anagram (new) of UK DEALER followed by the abbreviation meaning “that is”. I bet that this will be Big Boab’s favourite clue!

14d  Group of stars is/are explosive (5)
{ARIES} – a star group or constellation is an anagram (explosive) of IS ARE.

16d  Huge site for newspapers from what we hear (8)
{WHOPPING} – an informal adjective meaning huge sounds like (from what we hear) the part of Docklands in London where Rupert Murdoch chose to site his newspaper production.

18d  Red mark on top half of letter (7)
{SCARLET} – a residual mark (on the skin, say) precedes (on, in a down clue) the first half of LET(ter).

21d  Make certain unfavourable judgment wanting leader removed (6)
{ENSURE} – remove the initial C (wanting leader) from a reprimand or unfavourable judgement to leave a verb meaning to make certain.

22d  Day with showers? Water will go into these (6)
{DRAINS} – the abbreviation for D(ay) is followed by another word for showers.

24d  Cleric idle, vain, regularly absent (4)
{DEAN} – to get this cleric you have to strip out the odd letters (regularly absent) of “idle vain” to leave just the even ones.

26d  Camouflaged shelter offered by animal’s skin (4)
{HIDE} – double definition.

The clues I liked best today were 7a, 17a, 5d and 6d. Which ones did it for you?

Today’s Quickie Pun: {PREY} + {SWARTHY} = {PRAISEWORTHY}

65 comments on “DT 26755

  1. I enjoyed this one today – I found it more of a challenge than the puzzles earlier this week.
    Thanks to Giovanni, and to Gazza for the review (and for explaining 5d, which was my last to go in).

  2. Thanks Gazza. 5d beat me – I was convinced that the case of refuse ie RE led to the frst two letters! 13d bathed in sunshine.

  3. Like you, Gazza, all went well until the NE corner. Generally fair clues, but my pet hate came up twice: the use of long ago minor celebs. The gent in 9a died 48 years ago while the man in 15a ceased his trade 38 years ago. Their names may be fresh in the minds of those who have owned bus passes for many years, but not necessarily in those of a younger generation.

    1. Come come. My bus pass is but a distant dream but I had heard of both individuals. If all history were expunged from our crosswords they would be duller for it.

      1. “If all history were expunged from our crosswords they would be duller for it”, True, but there is history and there is history

          1. i wouldn’t say I had a knowledge of either – my dad was a cricket fan so I have never really taken much notice of footballers but even I had heard of 15a. I am a recent bus pass owner but again the country singer is well known and didn’t cause a problem. As I always say, reading a lot including the daily paper, trying to stay awake in front of the news (if you haven’t reached bus pass age yet, you wait – the six pm nap will come to you too :) ) retaininng lots of ‘useful for quiz purposes’ stuff, does stand one in good stead for doing all sorts of crossword puzzles, including the cryptics.

            1. I am not saying that I did not know the answer to these 2 clues but that there are many who do not because of lack of interest in either or being below bus pass age

    2. I’m with you LL. The 9a gent has the same name as a well-known comedian. Put comedian instead of country singer in the clue and the reference at least brings us to the 90s.

      1. Thanks, I had not thought of that. I should point out that my own bus pass has well worn corners, but I am fighting for fairness for less mature solvers.

      2. I am with the “lets leave out the country singers crowd”. I couldn’t even get much help when I googled country singers. I made a guess because the letters fit. Names of people, old or new, should be well-know and in common use.

  4. Many thanks for the review. A delightfully deceptive crossword from Giovanni today. 5d was my last one in too.

    Elgar in the Toughie is wearing his pink fluffy slippers today – I think he must have washed them with fabric softener first before setting the crossword.

    Many thanks to Giovanni and to Gazza.

    1. If you thought the Toughie was easy then perhaps you ought to enter the Times Crossword Championship later in the year! Magoo could do with some competition.

      1. All things are relative. To have completed a Friday Elgar by the time I have reached the office is a rare event. Magoo would still have had time to complete a week’s worth of crosswords!

        1. It also helped that getting 12a and 2d in the first read through helped get all the thematic answers and gave enough checking letters to get the remaining non-themed clues resolved.

  5. Well stuck on the NE corner, thanks for the explanations. It would also have helped if I had spelled ARIES correctly in the first place.
    Thanks again Gazza

  6. Happy New Year Gazza, I agree with you about todays puzzle, with the NE corner being the last and 9a and 5d (my latin classes didn’t help I’m afraid and I was stuck on refuse meaning rubbish as in 3d! ) being the last two in, although I put pruned for 4d I couldn’t se exactly how it worked so thanks for that, not keen on 17a or 1d!! fav clues today 3d and 11a, a lot of perservating and help from little electronic friends enabled me to finish without the blog :-)

  7. Looks like I had exactly the same issues as you did, gazza!. Agrred on the nice misdirection soi thanks to Giovanni and to yourself for the review and the lovely pic of Ms Cruz!

  8. I enjoyed this one but thought it was quite difficult – what did I expect – it’s Friday!! Managed most of it and then came to a grinding halt with three clues left that I just couldn’t make any sense of – 9a and 5 and 13d. It was pretty obvious that I was not going to get them, even if I’d spent all day looking at them blankly (which I can’t, anyway) so gave up and looked at the hints. I was right – I would never have got them!! I’ve never heard of the “Scottish footballer” in 15a or the “radioactive element” in 28a but worked them out OK. I liked 7 and 11a and 6 and 16d. With thanks to Giovanni and Gazza.
    Much better here today – the wind has gone and the sun is out. :smile:

    1. I couldn’t get 9a for ages, because I’d put ‘stoned’ at 4d (thinking of cut in the sense of ‘half cut’ as in drunk). Hmm, what does that say about the way my mind works?

      The wind has come south today, battering our broad bean plants, as it does every year, but they usually survive.

  9. A thoroughly enjoyable puzzle. In fact they’ve all been good this week, and I’ve managed to do most of them despite having a filthy cold. I also got stuck in the NE corner, being convinced (for no good reason) that 9a was ‘Sweden’, although I was also pretty sure about ‘pruned’ at 4d. So I needed the hints to complete. Many thanks and a Happy New Year to G&G.

  10. And a happy new year to all of you, from one who has had a bus pass for over six years (like many Telegraph solvers , I suspect — but I’ll surprise you all with Mark Ronson one of these days no doubt!).

  11. Enjoyable fare from the Maestro today, excellent mis-direction in the NE corner (and I didn’t even DO Latin at school). Quite enjoyed 16D.

  12. A good start to Friday, some interesting clues and I was chuffed to get both 9a and 5d after a bit of thought ! I really liked 11a – slick and spot on, once one got it.

    1. Dryburgh,
      You’ve changed your handle so your post had to be moderated. Both old and new should now work.

  13. Very enjoyable puzzle today, and it is reassuring to read that I wasn’t the only one who got stuck on the NE corner. Favourite clue 11a – it made me chuckle!

  14. I put in Sweden for 9a, thought it was obvious, W and S backed and then Eden as first name of Mr Kane! Had to slightly shoehorn him into being a country singer, but it all seemed to fit! How wrong can you be. Thanks for a good puzzle and explanation

  15. Very enjoyable thank you Giovanni. Held up slightly by the NE Corner but not for long. Thanks to Gazza for the usual impeccable illustrated explanations.

    I have commented above on the fluffiness of the Toughie but would add that the Tramp in the Guardian is worth a go too.

  16. Like many, got stuck in the NE corner and only vaguely heard of the country singer. Was confounded by ‘unusual’ link-words ‘gets’ in 9a and ‘of’ in 5d. Like Gazza I generally sailed through the rest. Thanks Giovanni, although looking forward to some up-to-date clues. May I suggest Frankie Cocozza or Jedward? We had Ant and Dec in a Toughie a few weeks ago. Much more my cuppa.

  17. All went in very nicely until coming to a juddering halt with 10a, 5d & 8d providing the buffers. Managed to solve 10a and 8d eventually but no chance with 5d I’m afraid. Very enjoyable nonetheless, and I console myself with the thought that I’ll be (only) slightly less ignorant about Latin noun forms next time around. Many thanks to G and G.

  18. Many thanks to Giovanni for a most enjoyable if untaxing crossword and to Gazza for an equally enjoyable review.

  19. Thanks Gazza, I needed your hints today, that country singer takes me way back, and i never would have solved it. I also need to learn to recognise mythological characters. The benefits of a classical education are many in the world of the crossword.

  20. Was also held up in NW corner – couldn’t see past REDLINED for 5d, which fitted the refuse and 500 part of the clue, but not the case part. As soon as I saw latin in Gazza’s hint the penny dropped. Have also never seen pet and temper as synonyms, so solved from the check letters but didn’t understand why until enlightened by Gazza. A most enjoyable antidote to taking down deccies this morning. Thanks to G & G.

  21. In response to various comments above – personally, one of the things I enjoy about the Telegraph cryptic is that it does often draw upon general knowledge from both classical/historical and more contemporary areas. I entirely understand that football isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but I don’t have a problem with the setter referring to a name that is so well known that they almost transcend the sport or discipline they are known for. eg. I’m no expert on baseball but I wouldn’t have a problem with a clue about Babe Ruth or Joe DiMaggio. I would suggest that Denis Law is well enough known (along with Bobby Charlton and George Best) that one wouldn’t need an in-depth knowledge of football to have heard of him.
    As for the debate about whether the subject is from too long ago, does that mean we can’t have clues about Boadicea, Henry VIII, Marie Curie or Johnny Weissmuller?
    Still – we’re all different aren’t we.

    1. How long ago is not the issue, it is a matter of how well known someone is today. Boadicea, Henry VIII, Marie Curie or Johnny Weissmuller are all names that any reasonably educated person would be familiar with, but would you expect to be able to bring to mind music hall characters whom your grand parents enjoyed? One or two names, perhaps, but not the bulk of them. So, why expect 30 year olds to know minor characters from the entertainment world of long before they were born? Giovanni is probably right when he guesses that the majority of us are on the wrong half of the age graph, but my contention is that the crossword should be accessible to any age.

      1. ……………and I would agree entirely if I considered the two people in question to be not well known today, or “minor characters”. But Denis Law and Jim Reeves? I don’t think you can equate them to obscure characters from Vaudeville for example. I’m a fair way off bus pass age yet (born late 50s), but I’d be quite happy with questions about people who were best known before I was born. I guess it’s all about whether or not they were obscure personailties or were well known. And it seems that that’s going to remain a matter of opinion.

        1. Well, I am in my 30s and would bet anything that most people in their teens, 20s and 30s don’t know Mr Reeves. The only country singer I know is Dolly Parton and probably not for her singing. I only know of Mr Law through his commentary rather than his football playing. I think setters have a duty to be more inclusive and appeal to a wider audience. Time to retire Mr Reeves from grids in favour of Madonna or Michael Jackson.

            1. OK, OK. A compromise. Perhaps the DT just needs a younger setter on the team in the interests of balance. Hint, hint….

              1. I would think that the average age of the Telegraph setters (especially if you include the Toughie setters) is already less than the average age of the solvers.

              2. Let’s not just consider age – I have noticed this crossword has a global appeal. Many expatriates like myself, I suspect, but it is no longer just done by those from the UK. (I hope I got the usage right there BD).

                1. I have been making this point since the early days of the blog. There are certainly fewer English towns and girl’s names than there used to be (special mention here for Cephas who has been in the forefront of making his puzzles less UK-centric).

      2. If you’ve heard of them, they are well known. If you haven’t, they are obscure characters. I have a similar problem with “The Weakest Link” and questions about modern pop groups. Up to Mozart, I do quite well! Sorry LL, you have to take the rough with the smooth.

  22. Enjoyable – 20a and 13d were new to me but able to be worked out. Needed the blog to justify 5d – if you provided cases of wine, for example, could you not be said to have delivered them? (That’s what I thought initially, anyway)Thanks to all involved.

  23. Like many of you managed most of it fairly quickly but the NE corner took some time.Had the correct answer for 5d but had no idea why and last one in was 9a and only got it from Gazza’s hint . Should have got it though as my bus pass is also rather dog-eared and I was a great fan of this singer and played his
    LP (note LP) over and over again ..what 40years ago!

  24. Another enjoyable puzzle from The Don.
    Faves : 11a, 15a, 20a, 28a, 1d, 5d, 13d & 16d.

    No trouble with 9a!!

    Simple meal tonight – fish and chips. With Sauvignon Blanc of course.

  25. Thanks to the two G’s. A good puzzle, but quite tricky in places. Needed a couple of hints to finish. I didn’t help myself by misspelling 14d, so couldn’t get 17a. I thought 28a was a bit suspect as actinide is not an element in the chemical sense, but element can mean a part of, so I suppose that could excuse it? Really enjoyed it, favourites were 11a & 16d.

  26. Loved the birds in the hint for Jim Reeves :Coming from a completely uncomputerised generation ,I am full of admiration for people who can put this kind of thing together.

        1. I’ve played the clip at 9a – and many other Jim Reeves songs on YouTube today.

          But, alas, I still don’t understand the connection.

  27. Late on duty today but enjoyed it immensely. Favourite was 16 as I was trying to fit wood in for ages. With regard to Jim Reeves, he was about as big as they come in his time, whilst I am trying to think of a comedian named Reeves.

  28. Took this to the pub last night as I was still stuck on 9a and it had us all scratching our heads until a moment of inspiration struck Andy and in it went. It was only later on that we found he’d been on this site using his phone! So thanks to Gazza for his help with that one, congratulations to the setter for a hugely enjoyable puzzle. I wouldn’t have minded not getting that last one because I’d had such fun anyway.

  29. Find myself agreeing with comments made from Lord Luvvaduck and others here. It is alienating to us younger solvers when the setter starts including lesser-known personalities from yesteryear. I looked up this Reeves chap, and it doesn’t seem like he made a huge impact in the UK – his success seems mainly in Ireland – so, how are you supposed to have heard of him if he was never big and you weren’t around at the time?
    As such, I didn’t enjoy this, and the assumption that Giovanni makes above that his audience is most likely to be >65, I feel, is unhelpful and a bad basis to construct a puzzle upon.
    Maybe he thinks we’re too plugged into our X-Boxes and Nintendo Wiis to take an interest in crosswords – well, carry on compiling puzzles like this, and that will become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

    1. I agree Tim. If we want to keep crosswords going in the face of all the alternatives we now have then the setters must think about the younger audience. S****U doesn’t require general knowledge for example (I know BD doesn’t like mention of the S-word but I like them!).

      I’m 58 and had just about heard of the guy in question, but it was a bit of a stretch and probably only because my mother liked him! I didn’t think of him as a ‘country’ singer though as I know nothing about him – he was killed when I was 11 and I was more into the Rolling Stones and The Animals.

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