DT 26776 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

DT 26776

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26776

Hints and tips by Gazza

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

Last Tuesday’s puzzle inspired a volley of complaints about its difficulty but I’m pretty sure that we won’t have the same reaction today. This one is a bit of a pussycat but it’s ideal for those trying to get to grips with what cryptic crosswords are all about. Let us know how you got on.
To reveal an answer slide your cursor through the space between the curly brackets under the clue.

Across Clues

7a  Italian aristocrat not implicated in unseemly cases (8)
{CONTESSA} – an Italian lady aristocrat comes from an anagram (implicated) of NOT placed inside another anagram (unseemly) of CASES.

9a  Article about spies in plant (6)
{ACACIA} – to get this plant string together a) an indefinite article, b) a two-letter abbreviation meaning about or approximately and c) the US federal agency that carries out spying.

10a  Energy required to cross river current (6)
{STREAM} – a current comes from a type of energy containing (required to cross) R(iver).

11a  Short memo to be written about volunteers, each one? Forget it! (3,2,3)
{NOT AT ALL} – a polite response to an expression of thanks (forget it!) is constructed from a memo without its final E (short) containing our part-time soldiers, then finishing with a word meaning each and every one.

12a  Overaction bars criminal from viewing vehicle (11,3)
{OBSERVATION CAR} – this vehicle is a railway carriage designed to allow good views of the scenery being passed through. It’s an anagram (criminal) of OVERACTION BARS.

15a  Catch that woman palming ace (4)
{HEAR} – a verb meaning to catch or make out is a feminine pronoun (that woman) containing (palming) A(ce).

17a  Sappers left in charge of historical object (5)
{RELIC} – to get this object of historical interest combine the abbreviations for a) the Sappers (Royal Engineers), b) L(eft) and c) in charge.

19a  Greek leaving Scottish village for high peak (4)
{ETNA} – remove the abbreviation for Greek from a famous Scottish village to leave a high peak in Sicily.

20a  The tips I give cabbies may not be well received (4-4,6)
{BACK-SEAT DRIVER} – … because they are unsolicited bits of advice.

23a  Crazy shot gaining trophy (8)
{CRACKPOT} – an informal adjective meaning eccentric or crazy is a charade of a shot or attempt and a trophy.

25a  Subtle difference in tone used by sister describing a church (6)
{NUANCE} – this sister belongs to a religious order. She goes round (describing) A and that is followed by one of the usual abbreviations for church.

27a  Never worried about eastern front (6)
{VENEER} – this is the sort of front which disguises the true nature of someone or something by giving it a superficially attractive appearance. It’s an anagram (worried) of NEVER containing E(astern).

28a  Boiler suit complete with latest in wellingtons (8)
{OVERALLS} – the definition here is boiler suit. An adjective meaning complete or comprehensive is followed by (with) the final letter of (wellington)S.

Down Clues

1d  Penny adrift, so pull a face (4)
{POUT} – a verb meaning to contort one’s face into a petulant expression comes from the abbreviation for a penny followed by an adjective meaning adrift or incorrect (describing a wrong calculation, for example).

2d  Strength and determination shown by English rock ‘n’ roll star (6)
{STEELE} – this entertainer, now 75, was regarded as Britain’s first rock ‘n’ roll star in the 1950s. A metaphor for strength and determination is followed (shown) by E(nglish).

ARVE Error: need id and provider

3d  Hand on knight, a chess piece (4)
{PAWN} – a type of hand is followed (on, in a down clue) by the letter used for a knight in modern chess notation to make another chess piece.

4d  Display shabby articles also (6)
{TATTOO} – this is a display by military personnel involving music and marching. An informal word for shabby articles of little value is followed by an adverb meaning also or moreover.

5d  Extremely small piece in paper’s third column (8)
{PARTICLE} – the third letter of paper is followed by another word for a column in a newspaper.

6d  Go through mountains to reach area used for target practice (5,5)
{RIFLE RANGE} – an area used to practise shooting is a charade of a verb to go through or search and a line of mountains.

8d  Aroma’s very different in metal urn (7)
{SAMOVAR} – an anagram (different) of AROMA’S and V(ery) produces a Russian metal urn.

13d  Complaint about food raised — something in a bun? (10)
{BEEFBURGER} – start with an informal word for a complaint, then reverse (raised, in a down clue) a preposition meaning about or concerning followed by a slang word for food.

14d  Major oil centre close to vast lake in America (5)
{TULSA} – this city is a major oil centre in Oklahoma (with a 76-foot statue of an oil worker known as the Golden Driller). The closing letter of (vas)T is followed by L(ake) inside the abbreviation for the United States. The city is not far from a large lake (Lake Texoma) so the clue may be regarded as a semi-all-in-one.

16d  Two-wheeler in red (was green?) (8)
{RECYCLED} – put a word for a two-wheeled vehicle inside RED and you have a verb demonstrating that you were environmentally friendly.

18d  Rhythm of dance organised in outskirts of Carlisle (7)
{CADENCE} – an anagram (organised) of DANCE goes inside the outer letters of C(arlisl)E.

21d  Splendid salesman aboard coach going north (6)
{SUPERB} – put an abbreviated salesman inside a coach (the vehicular type rather than a trainer) and reverse the lot (going north, in a down clue).

22d  At home and not at home, to some extent (2,1,3)
{IN A WAY} – a phrase meaning to some extent is a charade of words for at home (2) and not at home (4).

24d  Extremely large implement (4)
{TOOL} – an adverb meaning extremely is followed by L(arge).

26d  Not windy in local market (4)
{CALM} – a word describing conditions that are the opposite of windy is hidden in the clue.

The clue I liked best was 14d. How about you?

Today’s Quickie Pun: {ADDER} + {LAID} = {ADELAIDE}

97 comments on “DT 26776

  1. I wasn’t sure about this one when I first read it through, but once I got going the answers flowed, favourite clue 20a. The Toughie is very do-able today too, at least the right hand side is, I’m still pondering with some of the left hand side. Thanks as always to setter and hints.

    1. Me too on the Toughie – right hand side seemed to go in quickly – Like you, pondering the left hand side!

  2. Morning all. No comments from me yesterday I’m afraid, it was Father-In_law’s birthday so only got to read the paper at 7 last night.

    Nice Tuesday puzzle this week with no nasties at all, having said that, I couldn’t find any real favourites either, all the clues seem straight forward although it was nice to see the answers to 25A, 2D and 8D making an appearance.

  3. Easier than last weeks offering. Nice straightforward puzzle with no surprises for me. I liked 25a and14d. Thanks to setter and to Gazza.

  4. Nice puzzle to start the day. No problems with this. Liked 5d, 12a, 16d and 20a. Working through the Toughie right now. Thanks to Gazza for the hints, tips and fab illustrations! Love ’em!

  5. Compared to last Tuesday’s offering this was a breeze although there were a few moments where I got held up. Thanks to setter & to Gazza for the hints. Car is in for MOT on Thursday I wonder if the mechanic at 28a will be there…

  6. Thanks to the setter & Gazza for the review & hints. Agree with Gazza’s difficulty rating, found this quite straightforward. Enjoyable though, favourites were 5d & 16d. Last in was 9a. 3d was in a puzzle the other day.

  7. Couldn’t get going today and needed the blog to teach me … Still persevating, Mary
    Sorry Gazza, but your Pussycat is more of a tiger to me … thank you for the help.

    1. Keep at it Mark – there is always help here and the more you do it the “easier” it gets.

    2. Mark,
      I know that it can be a bit irritating to have a puzzle described as a pussycat if you’re struggling with it – I should probably have said that it’s a pussycat for the more experienced solver. Keep persevating and you’ll soon be one of those!

      1. No problems Gazza … I appreciate here that I am in a virtual room of experts …. knowledgeable and encouraging.
        And I really appreciate your alternative clues. I got most of the answers before revealling.

        Thank you for this … a bit more confidence and 12a & 28a would have been in pre-blog.

    3. Hi Mark, you have to keep perservating with an ‘r’ not persevating, that’s where you’re going wrong :-D. seriously, I didn’t find this a doddle today, it took me a while to get going on it, don’t forget, unlike us there are solvers here that have been doing these for forty years or more, nevertheless they are all only too happy to help us lesser mortals!

  8. Lovely pussycat of a puzzle for me too. I liked 19a as it is such a regular in cryptics that it was nice to see it clued in a different way. I also liked 2d but not sure what younger solvers will think. Thanks to the Tuesday Mysteron and Gazza too.

    The Toughie purrs along nicely too and is a good one for those new to the Toughie.

  9. Finished at 12.30 :how decadent is that ! feel i ought to be clearing out more kitchen cupboards instead. Nice easy puzzle today, just one query : how is one to know , though i had it as a checking letter, that the last letter of vast starts the answer to 41d ?
    Not very practical overalls.

  10. gazza, the Golden Driller seems to have done a runner! He can’t have got far – just a few minutes from Tulsa!

  11. Back again after a long (and VERY cold) weekend in Edinburgh.
    Before I say anything about today’s crossword I’d like to wish BD and all the wonderful contributors to this brilliant blog a rather belated Happy Birthday. It sounds as if the birthday party was a jolly and suitably alcoholic affair! Do hope that everyone enjoyed it. :smile:
    A much easier crossword today than last Tuesday. I’m ashamed to say that I was defeated by 2d – even with alternate letters I couldn’t do it – how silly! I blame my frozen brain!! Lots of lovely clues – to mention just some of them, 19, 20 and 25a and 6, 13 and 14d. With thanks to the setter and to Gazza.
    One thing I’ve learnt this weekend is that I CAN do the crosswords on my own – did Saturday, Sunday and yesterday without any books or access to this blog – perservation is the name of the game!

    1. Hi Kath, was wondering where you’d got to, only pommers seemed to know you might have gone away :-)

        1. I really don’t want to sound smug but I was quite impressed too – didn’t know that I could!! Just knowing that I was on my own with the crossword (husband and daughter not much use on these) made me keep going, whereas had I been at home I would probably have “caved in” and looked stuff up in a dictionary or consulted the hints. :smile:

          1. Shows what you can really do if you try Kath! Well done. They weren’t the 3 easiest puzzles of the year either. BD could probably do with another blogger . . . can you think of anyone?

              1. Hey Kath, one day perhaps? I certainly couldn’t have blogged even a 2* puzzle 3 years ago but that just shows what this blog and a bit of perservation does for you! Seen you a bit on the Toughie blogs recently – you getting keen or something?

                1. .. quite like to keep stretching the grey matter a bit, specially at this time of year when nothing useful can be done in the garden. Come late Feb/early March the garden will take over again. But yes, one day perhaps …. and thanks for the encouragement! :smile: I do love this blog!!

  12. Afternoon Gazza, I must say that at first I was really stuck on this one but once I got into it, it wasn’t too bad, fav clue today 22d, didn’t like 24d doesn’t seem quite right somehow, finished earlier but had to go sort out dreaded tax bill!! Thanks for hints Gazza, manged without today but still needed ‘a little help from my friends’ :-)

  13. Interesting. Yesterday’s I had little problem with yet this one made me really struggle. Needed lots of help today. Can’t say I enjoyed it much, no real clever clues apart from perhaps 4d, all a bit of a trudge. Many thx to Gazza for the excellent clues.

    1. This is how things happen in crosswordland Brian. Normally Mondays is reasonably easy and they tend to get tougher as the week wears on. Tuesday is always a funny day as there is no fixed setter for Tuesdays and so we get a mixture of puzzles, some are guest compilers trying their hand for the first time, others are more used to setting the inside toughie. Personally I enjoy Tuesday because you never know what/who you might get setting the puzzle.

    1. Hi Pommers – sorry for my non reply the other day. The after eight club could be on the verge of resurrection. I have been busy last few months so have not posted much. I was a bit worried on this one to begin with as I read 6 or 7 clues before I solved one but soon sorted the left hand corner and the only one that held me up was 7a but got there in the end.

      1. Hi Ainsley, nice to speak again. Pommette and I started a bit slowly but then it all fell together with ease. Enjoyable though and with some vey nce clues. I’m here tonight as I’m listening to to footy coomenarty via the computer so BD is there as well.

  14. Gazza’s interpretation of a boiler suit is a little stretched – as is the flimsy peice of material being worn by the lady!

    A gentle puzzle for me but enjoyable to solve. Thanks to the setter and to Gazza for the review..

              1. The mind boggles to think of the picture that Gazza would chose to illustrate a Freudian Slip if the above is his idea of an overall. Mind you, if that is an overall, I would sue under the Trades Description Act.

                  1. How do you know this kind of thing – it really is my favourite clue of all time!! It never fails to make me laugh! My second favourite is another one of his, and please forgive if I haven’t got it entirely right:- “Move rhythmically, topless on a pole, perhaps?” (9)

                    1. Cryptic No 26664

                      9a Topless, move rhythmically on pole, maybe (9)
                      {PERCHANCE} – take a word meaning to move rhythmically, drop the initial letter (topless) and precede it by a pole for a bird to roost on to get the cunningly disguised definition – maybe.

                      (How do you know this kind of thing? Not me but Google – just type in “Bigdave44” and then any bits of clues that you can remember.
                      I would like to know how Google stores all this information and makes it all immediately available. )

                      Thanks to BD and Messrs Page & Brin.

    1. I feel quite sorry for the young lady. She obviously bought her overalls some time ago, but she’s grown a bit since then and she can’t afford a new pair.

  15. Found this straightforward to-day with no particular favourites but last one in was 9a (Spooks just didn’t fit). Thanks to the Mysteron & Gazza.

  16. Really – 1* or 2 * for difficulty? It was not terribly tough but neither was it a walkover for me and seemed a 2* at minimum. However, since I finished unaided, perhaps you’re right…Enjoyment level was high though and favorites were 20a and 14d.

  17. Almost whizzed through this one, then the brain stopped on 2d and 9a. I was looking for someone a lot younger than Tommy, and I couldn’t make KGB, MI5, GCHQ fit “AGARIC” – my brilliant solution! Never mind, I’m going to do battle with the Toughie now. Thanks for your help, Gazza.

  18. Pretty straightforward job today.
    Faves : 7a, 9a, 20a, 4d, 6d & 13d.

    Weather here was sunny today but very cold.

    Finishing off the roast leg of lamb tonight – I always get them on the bone, plug them with chopped garlic and coat them with Dijon mustard. Delicious with red wine and all the usual veg..

      1. I’ll try it next time!
        BTW : you never replied to my query several days ago re a book on Haggis – it was a down answer near the bottom of the puzzle – you blogged a picture of a whiskered animal and said “tasty”.
        Look back and reply svp!

            1. No I haven’t read it. If you recommend that it’s worthwhile I’ll keep an eye open for a copy.. I pulled the picture off Google images but yes, I do like haggis very much, especially with a wee dram (or more) of The Glenlivet.

  19. As a child of the ’50s I suppose I should have got 2d in my sleep, but somehow didn’t associate TS with R&R. I thought the puzzle was a good, honest Tuesday challenge, and agree with Gazza’s assessment. I wonder what February will bring?

    1. Don’t know about crosswords but, where I am, February usually brings cold, damp and ‘orrible – worst month of the year! At least the nights are drawing out, sunset 1821CET tonight!.

      1. Yes – evenings are definitely noticeably lighter later. In December I get a bit obsessed with this and always notice and write down the sunrise and sunset times. On 21st December the sun rose at 8.05 and set at 15.56. Today it is 7.42 and 16.48. Can’t be ***** to add up all those minutes but it must be getting on for an hour and a half more daylight. Pity that it’s arctic ….

    2. I’m more a “child” of ’60/70s but I certainly remember TS – if I had to put a label on him I would probably have said skiffle – now I need to go and look that up to make sure I’m not talking rubbish – perhaps a forerunner of R&R?

        1. According to Wikipedia “Steele … adapted the surname of his Scandinavian paternal grandfather, Thomas Stil-Hicks (pronounced Steel-Hicks), adding another E to the spelling”. Perhaps he was only half-way through the process when the record was made.

      1. (Refrain) …a little white bull….Rock & Roll?

        I always preferred Betty Rubble to Wilma! How sad is that? Barney Rubble, you lucky ********! :wink:

  20. Love the mechanic BD! Failed to get NW – 1d (DOH!); 8d (DOH!); 10a (DOH!). Otherwise fairly tame.

  21. Can’t say I found this straightforward today, just couldn’t get into it. Played bridge this afternoon, so perhaps the grey cells were not firing on all cylinders. Thanks Gazza, needed a couple of your hints this afternoon.

    1. Hi Treacle, I have the opposite problem on Mondays! I wear out the brain on the Rufus puzzle over lunch and then have to play bridge in the afternoon. I think I’ll start tracking bridge performance vs Rufus difficulty as I’m convinced the two are linked.

  22. Just finished Gazza after many interruptions. Many thanks for the hints, one or two of which I did need and many thanks to the setter. This blog really is helpful and your explanations are extremely clear

  23. Much more manageable that last week’s glimpse of hell!
    I sped through this one – 8d took a bit of thought as it wasn’t a word I was familiar with.
    ‘Sappers’ was also a new one on me, but it couldn’t be anything else but an indicator for ‘RE’.
    Fave clue was 22d for the silly surface reading…I love clues that read like that! :)

    1. You can still get onto Tuesdays puzzle hints etc collywobs, just click on relevant date on calendar and comment on there, we will still see that you have commented at side of page :-)

    2. I’m a bit puzzled, Collywobbles, because according to your comment (#24 above) you completed this puzzle yesterday evening ??

  24. Finished and very enjoyable, even ‘a quality puzzle’. I was just wondering if anybody has the phone number of 28a but since I am probably on my own now, I guess not.

Comments are closed.