DT 26763 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26763

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26763

Hints and tips by Gazza

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

It’s hectic chez Libellule this morning so he and I have done a swap and he’ll be here tomorrow. This gives me the opportunity to blog a Rufus puzzle. I enjoyed this one (double unches and all) with its beautifully smooth surface readings. Let us know how you got on.
In case my hints prove inadequate the answers are also provided – just highlight the space between the brackets under the clues.

Across Clues

1a  Biblical book provides joy to a clergyman (10)
{REVELATION} – the short title of the last book of the Bible is a synonym for joy after (to) the abbreviated title of a clergyman.

9a  Not a serious quarrel though it turns very noisy (4)
{TIFF} – reverse (turns) IT and add the musical abbreviation meaning very loud.

10a  Manage to give a little publicity to the head of department (10)
{ADMINISTER} – a verb meaning to manage or oversee is a charade of an abbreviated (little) advertisement and the political head of a Government department.

11a  Resolve to pay one’s debts (6)
{SETTLE} – double definition.

12a  Undercooked morsel that’s eaten (7)
{RAREBIT} – today’s old chestnut. This tasty snack is a charade of undercooked (as you’d describe a steak, say) and a morsel or small piece.

15a  In and out of work — it’s not right (7)
{INEXACT} – the definition here is not right, i.e. not precisely correct. Start with IN (given to us in the clue) and add a prefix, from latin, meaning out of or direct from (used to describe goods direct from a warehouse or factory, say) and a verb meaning to work or be effective.

16a  Is prone to untruth? (5)
{LYING} – double definition.

17a  Assemble in the mother ship (4)
{MASS} – a verb meaning to assemble comes from an affectionate term for mother followed by the usual abbreviation for a ship.

18a  They may be inflated, say, and very large (4)
{EGOS} – what may be inflated in people with swollen heads comes from the abbreviation for say or “for example” followed by an abbreviation meaning very large (as a size of clothing).

19a  For leaks get to know Private Secretary (5)
{SEEPS} – a verb meaning to get to know or understand is followed by the abbreviation for Private Secretary.

21a  Is set in this month’s presses (7)
{INSISTS} – insert (set) IS inside the abbreviation used for “this month” in formal correspondence and add the ‘S to make a verb meaning presses or emphasises.

22a  It gets down to sorting the list (7)
{THISTLE} – down here means short, soft hairs so we want the name of a plant which gets such. It’s an anagram (sorting) of THE LIST.

24a  Formidable woman appears to be tedious (6)
{DRAGON} – this intimidating woman can be tedious or long-winded when split (4,2).

27a  Porter found gold ring after party (10)
{DOORKEEPER} – this porter is made from the heraldic tincture for gold and a plain ring worn to preserve a hole in a pierced body part, all coming after the usual Crosswordland party.

28a  Sweet kind of music (4)
{ROCK} – double definition, the sweet being the sort you’d get at the seaside.

29a  Small volume of overseas tourism (6,4)
{PHRASE BOOK} – cryptic definition of an aid to communication for tourists. I once had a very old (nineteenth century) English-German one of these which contained some classic expressions, the one I’ll always remember being “Do you wear combinations?” (Tragen Sie Hemdhosen?)always useful for dropping into the after-dinner conversation.

Down Clues

2d  Some currency back in circulation (4)
{EDDY} – cryptic definition of a current turning back against the main stream.

3d  Show how Venice has developed (6)
{EVINCE} – a verb meaning to show or indicate comes from an anagram (has developed) of VENICE.

4d  A huge pain for David’s wife (7)
{ABIGAIL} – the name of the third wife of King David (he appears to have eight in total, so it’s difficult to keep track) is constructed from A, a synonym for huge and a verb to pain or trouble.

5d  Jot down the first nine letters (4)
{IOTA} – this jot or small amount comes from a reversal (down) of how the first nine letters of the alphabet may be defined (1,2,1).

6d  Dash up and give a number attention (7)
{NURSING} – the definition here is attention or care. Reverse (up, in a down clue) a verb to dash or move quickly and follow this with a verb meaning to perform musically or give (a rendition of) a number.

7d  Triad thugs running wild (10)
{DISTRAUGHT} – an anagram (running) of TRIAD THUGS produces an adjective meaning wild or frenzied.

8d  Behind gets a smack — you’ll be aware of it later (10)
{AFTERTASTE} – a synonym for behind or following is followed by a smack or flavour. Great surface.

12d  Balances books without profit (10)
{REMAINDERS} – double definition, the second being books which have to be sold off at greatly reduced prices, e.g. the memoirs of politicians.

13d  Insects are developing immunity (10)
{RESISTANCE} – an anagram (developing) of INSECTS ARE generates an immunity (to an illness or infection, say).

14d  Sorts letters, perhaps (5)
{TYPES} – double definition.

15d  Spilled a pint, being clumsy (5)
{INAPT} – this is an anagram (spilled) of A PINT. It means not suitable or maladroit and therefore, at a stretch, clumsy.

19d  Kind of comedian to fail to keep a date? (5-2)
{STAND-UP} – a kind of comedian could also mean, as (5,2), fail to turn up for a date.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

20d  Arab leaders give one the shivers, by the sound of it (7)
{SHEIKHS}  – these are Arab chiefs or elders. It is supposed to sound like a fit of trembling or shivering (although the Arabic pronunciation doesn’t sound much like that).

23d  Good pubs re-built (6)
{SUPERB} – an anagram (built) of PUBS RE.

25d  Rise like a lark? (4)
{SOAR} – this is a verb meaning to rise like a bird. I presume that the lark reference is intended to make us think of The Lark Ascending by Vaughan Williams, but, unless I’ve missed something, I think that this is a bit weak.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

26d  Block vote? (4)
{VETO} – a verb meaning to block or ban is an anagram (indicated by the question mark) of VOTE. Excellent!

My favourites today were 18a, 8d and 26d. Let us know what you liked.

Today’s Quickie Pun: {POLL} + {SAP} + {ART} = {POLES APART}

73 comments on “DT 26763

  1. Morning all. A very gentle and genial Rufus today with silky smoothness. I found this one of his easier crosswords.

    The clue for 16a appeared in today’s Globe and Mail Cryptic crossword – for which I believe that Rufus is also the setter.

    Thanks to Rufus for the treat and to Gazza for the review. Hope that things calm down for Libellule.

    1. I agree that for a Rufus, this was easy. I usually find Mondays much tougher than this. There were plenty of lovely anagrams, which I know won’t be universally popular, but I liked them!

    2. Another enjoyable Rufus, thanks to the setter and Gazza.

      Hi Prolixic – the clue for 13d appeared in last Monday’s FT also set by Rufus, as Dante; and another clue in the FT puzzle was 2d last Monday!

  2. Well done Gazza for stepping up to the oche. Typical Rufus start to the week – what would we do without it? 25d was last in for me. I wasn’t sure it was correct – a bit weak,as you say – but it couldn’t really be anything else. All the other 4-letter clues were “fair game, though.

  3. I found this harder than the average Monday Cryptic. Agree about 25d – uncertainty over it delayed me with 29a.

    My 1950s English-German phrasebook included “I’m afraid you’ll need a [dental] crown.” I’ve never had occasion to use that one. :-)

  4. Good morning Gazza, it must be me, or maybe my mind isn’t quite on this, as I was given a Motorola Android xoom as a late Christmas present yesterday and I can’t wait to play with it! Excuses aside, I thought at first this was going to be easy, but got stuck halfway and admittedly resorted to your help for at least three! as for 27a, I have always called this a ‘sleeper’ not a ‘keeper’ never heard it called that, unusually for a Rufus puzzle I didn’t have a favourite clue today, how disappointing, never mind the Android calls :-) , good luck all, I thought it was a three star today, thanks for help Gazza

  5. A pleasant start to a cold & frosty morning. No real problems for me although I still do not fully understand 12d. I did not know Davids wife but it was clear from the wordplay. Thanks to Rufus & to Gazza for the explanations.

    1. 12d, a definition in Chambers reads, “residue of an edition when the sale of a book has fallen off”. Therefore, sold presumably at little or no profit.

  6. Very gentle start to the week, no problems here at all. One quibble – 15D, although it is obvious what the answer is, I would have said that the indicator ‘clumsy’ should point to the answer being INEPT. Isn’t it about time that the answer to 20D disappeared for a while. It was in at least 2 crosswords last week.

  7. I thought this was very enjoyable and for the record, I found it a little more testing than Rufus’ normal offerings. I too thought that 25d was a little weak, but really enjoyed 18a and 5d. I agree Gazza that 15d was a bit of a stretch, I thought INEPT would have suited the definition better (although of course, the anag wouldn’t work), and for 12d I wouldn’t have known the second meaning, so thanks for the explanation. Many thanks to Rufus and Gazza.

  8. Definitely a puzzle of two halves for me today. Some answers I could just fill in, others had me stumped for ages, not helped by the fact that I tried for ages to fit the answer to 20d into the space for 23d!

  9. Whizzed through this, this morning, getting it done even before my daughter had headed off for school!!!! A record for me! Thanks as usual to this wonderful blog – off to make the beef curry – yum :-)

  10. Went smoothly enough except for the short NW downs and 15a which would not come for far too long. Thanks Gazza for the explanation for 5d – I could not make much sense of the clue, though I got the right answer, because I was working on the basis that the answer is also the ninth letter of the Greek alphabet, so “down the first” and the plural “letters” were very confusing.

  11. An exceedingly gentle but extremely enjoyable start to Monday morning, many thanks Rufus. Thanks to Gazza too for stepping into the breach. My favourites are, as is usual, the same as yours.

    Fans of Rufus may wish to know that his Guardian puzzle is just as gently enjoyable with a couple of lovely d’oh moments.

  12. Whizzed through about 3/4 of this one and then came to a halt eventually with two left – couldn’t do 15a at all so ended up sneaking a look at the hint and needed the hint to explain what I had for 12d. I agree with Mary that I’ve always called a “keeper” a “sleeper”. I liked 22, 24 and 29a and 6 and 13d. Thanks to Rufus and Gazza.
    We once had a phrase book that included “The plane is crashing!!”
    Back to marmalade making now.

      1. Me too- Sleeper.

        Remember Monty Python- they had “My hovercraft is full of eels” as a phrase in a book!

    1. I once had a Spanish phrase book that included the very useful phrase ‘My cousin is an alcoholic’. Sadly I’ll never be able to use it, as I don’t have a cousin.

  13. I think it was a great start to the week. As CS says gentle and enjoyable. I would love the answer to 28a to be soul as in Arthur Conley (cryptic or what?), but we get what we’re given! Thanks to Gazza and Rufus.

  14. just tried to comment using my android but it doesn’t seem to have worked! what do I know about technology, I love it but it’s probably wasted on me!! :-D

    1. It was delayed because it had to be moderated because of the new alias. Should work ok from now on.

      1. I didnt put the new alias in Gazza it just came out like that, its the one I use on COW without the 1mary on the end!!

    2. Any other people like me who at first thought Mary was trying to persuade her human-shaped robot to submit a comment for her? :D

      1. Well sue, I just have to talk to it apparently and it will do what I tell it!! I think at the moment it’s having a problem understanding my accent!! :-D, I don’t thonk I will ever master it, I can just about use my computer and iphone, in fact it could master me!!

        1. //I just have to talk to it apparently and it will do what I tell it!!//

          It sounds like a husband :D

            1. I occasionally use an I pad to leave a reply and the reply box always comes up in the middle of the blog ie at 1316 today yet there are replies up to 1937. Does anyone know the answer to this.
              Enjoyed today’s offering, no problems either. Thanks to the setter and to Gazza for the hints.

              1. If you post a “reply” to an existing post (by clicking on “reply” within an existing comment) your new comment appears immediately under that post (so that related posts on the same thread appear together). If you want to leave an unconnected comment use the “Leave a Reply” box at the bottom of the blog.

          1. Nor me, Nora! Am just beginning to manage an iPhone but even that’s a bit of a struggle – terribly technically challenged!

            1. It’s a bit like an iphone only much bigger (they are called tablets now) but you cant make phone calls or text from them

              1. My mobile phone is six years old. It makes calls and sends texts. That’s enough technology for me!

  15. To summarise then,
    We all think “Soar” is poor.
    Also some of us have never heard “Keeper” and would use “Sleeper”.

    However, in my own case, this may be due to my use of a Hungarian phrase book to solve the puzzle, and being suitably confused by the expression “My hovercraft is full of eels.”

    Ah well, that’s all for now since, as my phrase book would have it, “My postillion has been struck by lightning.” :-)

    ps, what’s happened to today’s Toughie?

    1. Re your ps. You know what’s happened to the Toughie!! Why not try Quixote in the Indy (available on line) – he is trickier than usual today.

      1. Thanks Sue, but I’m on a train and I keep losing the signal.
        Having said that, there’s usually an abandoned Indy knocking about somewhere, so I’ll have a walk up and down the carriage and try to liberate one

    2. The other possible meaning of keeper (which may be the one that Rufus meant) is a “guard ring” (a finger-ring that serves to keep another from slipping off).

      1. Ah, now you’re talking Gazza.

        Since Christmas, I’ve gone the other way, and need half a pound of lard to get my wedding ring off.

        Plays havok with a night out.

  16. With regards to 25d there is a river Lark and a river Soar and as rivers do they not rise.

    1. Hi Graham – welcome to the blog (when I read your name quickly I thought it was Graham Norton :D ).

  17. Tough stsart to the week for me, a few cobwebs to SHEIKH off! Thanks to Rufus and Gazza for finishing it for me.

    1. I thought so too, but Chambers has
      inapt adj 1 not apt or appropriate. 2 lacking skill; unqualified. inaptly adverb. inaptitude or inaptness noun.

      1. Still don’t get this. I am unqualified and lack skill as an astronaut but that does not make me clumsy does it?

  18. Yes, like so many of us I found this a refreshingly easy start to the week, and I’d already done
    the Herculis, Codewords and Quick versions! Wasn’t too sure about “d but put in ‘eddy’ anyway, and I loved 24 a, very clever. Would Mary and Sue be happier exchanging endearments on Facebook, rather than on the Crossword pages? I just ask, no criticism intended!

    1. No! For shame; certainly not. it’s the humanisms that make this blog so enjoyable. I’d never read it if it was restricted to comments soley appertaining to the puzzle…..t’would be very dull!

        1. …. or even IS! Only just back from very chilly dog walk and hands too cold to type properly – well that’s my excuse.

    2. Hi Jerseyman, sorry if we are boring you but on joining the blog we were told we could talk about almost anything, the main thing of course is the crossword but everybody is entitled to say most anything they like, often the weather is the main topic, sometimes cakes and recipes animals etc etc feel free to join in :-D

  19. Starting off with my excuse here.I have a cold. Got very much stuck on the top left corner although now I see it I think 1a is a brilliant clue but what do I know about David’s wife….Samantha didn’t fit….Victoria didn’t fit……but great clue! Thanks to Rufus and Gazza

    1. The great thing about this clue is that you can work it out from the wordplay. I certainly didn’t know who David’s wife was …

  20. I can forgive 25 down being weak, in return for the work of genius that is 5 down. A major doh! moment.when I finally twigged.
    Thanks to everybody – very enjoyable

  21. Thanks to Rufus for the puzzle and to Gazza for the review & hints. I needed a hint for 24a, just couldn’t see it. Managed the rest okay. Very nice puzzle most enjoyable. Favourites were 4,6& 8d.

  22. An entertaining start to the week thanks to Rufus. 2d and 5d were my last but had to confirm them with Gazza’s hints – much appreciated. But I’m afraid I still don’t understand currency=current?

  23. Unusual for me but today I preferred the Rufus in the Grauniad, more laughs and a bit trickier. If you liked this one then I strongly recommend it!

    A fun puzzle though so thanks to Rufus and to Gazza for the log.

  24. Late home tonight and all done last in being 2d as I was convinced this was to do with finance as opposed to rivers! No real problems.

  25. The usual pleasant start to the week from Rufus.
    Faves : 1a, 12a, 22a, 29a, 4d, 8d, 19d & 26d.

    Re 28a – it is a long time since I had any of that stuff but mine was usually from Scarborough, Bridlington or Skegness rarely from Blackpool! Happy days!

  26. I find Rufus puzzles a bit of a mixed bag – generally, there are a lot of very good clues, but then there are others that seems weak, inducing plenty of ‘what the…’ moments for me.
    This one I found a delight from start to finish – absolutely top-notch stuff, beautiful surface readings, clever clues (4d, 19d and 26d) and a lot of fun to complete.
    An easy 5* puzzle from me! :)

  27. We’re a month behind with these being reprinted in the local rag in Wellington, NZ. Regarding 26D – in my relatively short time of doing this daily cryptic, I don’t think I’ve seen a ? used for an anagram indicator before – is that generally fair game?

    21A – I’ve come across ‘this month’ before and was educated in the Latin term INST…which I then promptly forgot when doing today’s crossword. Third time lucky perhaps…

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