DT 26791 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26791

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26791

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Last week I gave the Giovanni two stars for difficulty and provoked a lot of disagreement. Undeterred, I’m awarding this one the same – do you agree this week? It’s got some very good clues and I enjoyed it.
If you’re stuck for an answer even after reading the hint just highlight the space between the brackets under the clue.

Across Clues

1a  Mum is carrying a catalogue — we may want to buy a load of stuff (12)
{MATERIALISTS} – these people are dedicated to acquiring worldly goods rather than cultivating spiritual values. The latin word for mother is followed by IS (in the clue) containing A and another word for catalogue.

9a  Fresh motion, top thing to get debated (4,5)
{MOOT POINT} – an anagram (fresh) of MOTION TOP produces something that is the focus of discussion and dispute.

10a  Actor may be seen at front of house (5)
{GABLE} – double definition, the first being an American film actor.

11a  Maybe exposing the secrets of Sally (6)
{OUTING} – another double definition – 1) exposing someone’s secrets (especially with regard to his or her sexual orientation) and 2) a sally or excursion (ignoring the false capitalisation).

12a  The pigs he swept off their feet (8)
{TROTTERS} – remove HE (swept off) from a way of describing the pigs or unsavoury people (3,7) to leave pigs’ feet.

13a  Wartime broadcaster making one laugh? (3-3)
{HAW-HAW} – double definition, the first being part of the nickname (following Lord …) that the British gave to William Joyce who broadcast German propaganda during WWII and was later executed for treason. As a verb it means to laugh boisterously.

15a  Super celeb? Returning scoundrel’s an outstanding example (8)
{MEGASTAR} – put together a synonym for scoundrel (plus the ‘S), A (an) and a jewel or outstanding example, then reverse the lot to make an A-list celebrity.

18a  Dutch artist by river entertains Italian in courteous manner (8)
{POLITELY} – append a Dutch-born artist (who became court painter to King Charles II) to an Italian river then insert the abbreviation for Italian vermouth.

19a  Band to interrupt play rudely? (6)
{STREAK} – double definition, the second being to demonstrate one’s tackle at a sporting event (but remembering to keep one’s socks on!). Yes, I know you were all expecting to see Erica Rowe again!

21a  One comic, nasty and ‘cheap’ (8)
{ECONOMIC} – an anagram (nasty) of ONE COMIC.

23a  Poles leave, finally thin on the ground (6)
{SPARSE} – the definition is thin on the ground. Another word for poles or rafters is followed by the final letter of (leav)E.

26a  Quiet little fellow may be loaded with books (5)
{SHELF} – this is a charade of an order to keep quiet and a small supernatural creature.

27a  Independent school’s negative aspects (9)
{DOWNSIDES} – double definition. The name of an independent school near Bath (plus the ‘S) also means negative aspects.

28a  Give chaps a little time to admit one funny feeling (12)
{PRESENTIMENT} – this is an intuitive feeling (normally one of foreboding). A verb meaning to give or hand over is followed by a synonym of chaps and T(ime), then I (one) is inserted (to admit).

Down Clues

1d  Huge male insect that’s caught in the morning (7)
{MAMMOTH} – M(ale) and a nocturnal insect contain (caught) the abbreviation for in the morning.

2d  Turkey not in fashion? Get fish (5)
{TROUT} – String together the International Vehicle Registration code for Turkey and an adjective meaning no longer in fashion.

3d  Transformed Peter, new within, an adherent ultimately sorry for sin (9)
{REPENTANT} – the definition is sorry for sin. An anagram (transformed) of PETER has N(ew) inserted, then this is followed by AN (in the clue) and the ultimate letter of (adheren)T.

4d  A riddle with no conclusion? You’re joking! (2,2)
{AS IF} – A is followed by a verb to riddle or sieve, then the final T is dropped (no conclusion) and what’s left is split (2,2) to make an informal expression indicating incredulity.

5d  Put down below, Edmund is deprived of freedom (8)
{INTERNED} – a verb meaning to put down below (about six feet normally) is followed by an abbreviation of Edmund.

6d  Neat drink in excess could make you this (5)
{TIGHT} – double definition, the first a synonym for neat or efficient (with regard to the running of a ship for example).

7d  Sailor dispatched to the East repeatedly — he’s not here (8)
{ABSENTEE} – join together one of the abbreviations for sailor, a verb meaning dispatched and E(ast) repeated.

8d  Clean up device that detects signals audibly (6)
{CENSOR} – this is a verb meaning to take out the rude (or otherwise unacceptable bits) from something or clean it up. It sounds like (audibly) a device that detects signals.

14d  Wife, given permission, lolled around (8)
{WALLOWED} – W(ife) is followed by (given) a past participle meaning given permission to make a verb meaning lolled around (like a hippo in mud).

16d  Not in favour of yesterday’s independent course (9)
{ANTIPASTI} – this is an Italian course of appetisers or hors d’oeuvres. Start with a prefix meaning not in favour, then add an adjective describing yesterday’s or belonging to times gone by and I(ndependent).

17d  Stars in side leap about (8)
{PLEIADES} – an anagram (about) of SIDE LEAP makes a group of stars in the constellation Taurus.

18d  Quiet period coming with new life? It brings delight (6)
{PLEASE} – this is a verb meaning to bring delight. The musical abbreviation meaning quiet is followed by a word used in the expression “a new ***** of life” to mean renewed strength or liveliness.

20d  Parliament limited by weakness eternally (7)
{KNESSET} – hidden (limited by) in the clue is the name of the Israeli parliament. I reckon that this is a semi-all-in-one because the Israeli system allows many minority parties to win seats, meaning that no single party can ever get overall control.

22d  Present in box without lid (5)
{OFFER} – remove the initial C (without lid, in a down clue) from a box to leave a verb meaning to present.

24d  Journey traversing good high ground (5)
{RIDGE} – a journey goes round (traversing) G(ood) to make a long narrow hilltop.

25d  Graceful bird showing off, not half (4)
{SWAN} – start with an informal present participle meaning showing off, then remove the second half (the royal bit?) to leave a graceful bird.

The clues that took my fancy today were 9a, 19a and 20d. Let us know what you enjoyed.

Today’s Quickie Pun: {WATT} + {AFFRIGHT} = {WHAT A FRIGHT}

95 comments on “DT 26791

  1. Good morning Gazza, a few that held me up make this a three star for me today, having spelt 28a wrong the only thing I could come up with for 16d was ‘autopista’ ! also put ‘range’ in for 24d at first, thinking if you range you journey and it was high ground but realising it didn’t really fit!! So the bottom r/h corner was last to go in, couldn’t quite see how 18a worked, although I had the answer right, I was thinking of the river Ely!! must admit had never heard of 20d or 27a although I did get the answers eventually, thanks for the hints as usual Gazza I really needed some of those explainations today, two clues I liked were 12a and 5d, very ‘nice’ pictures today Gazza! :-D

      1. Good afternoon Mary. I’m just getting going. If I finish without using Gazzas’ hints it will be 2* but if I have to use them it’s 3*. This I know.

    1. Haven’t even downloaded it so must get started. Been busy this week and not sure where it went!!!

      How was your exhibition yesterday Mary – were you pleased with your presentation in the exhibition?

      I went to a painting class again this week and was pleased with my composition – tulips, daisies and lavender – came out well and “teacher” was pleased. Hope you are carrying on with your painting – what’s next on your list?

      1. Hi Lea, considering it was supposed to be beginners exhibition there was some really good stuff there, I was quite happy with mine for a beginners effort! just putting the finishing touches to a still life, roses in a vase next to old wonky wooden candlestick! half term now so no class today, well done you on going back to classes I have the feeling you’re not a beginner? good luck with todays, I suppse it is quite mild for Giovanni but I did get stuck in a few places and needed usual ‘help’ :-)

  2. Enjoyable crossword from Giovanni and relatively gentle. I think 2* is spot on for difficultly.

    Anyone venturing to try Myops should be advised that it is best tackled lying down in a darkened room at midnight with the lights off whilst wearing a very thick black blindfold and keeping your eyes closed. The clues make more sense that way!

    1. Agreed about the Toughie! Been struggling on-and-off all morning and just about given up – done about half :sad: Was beginning to think it was me so glad to see your post :grin:

    2. Oh dear – thanks for the warning about the toughie – I think this could be a day to find a few things that need to be done rather urgently, leaving me no time to even look!

      1. I’ve just had a peek and it’s not for the faint hearted. I’ll give it a go tonight but it doesn’t look promising. I think the darkened room may need an extension by the look of it if Pommers & Prolixic are struggling.

        Good luck everybody and see you on the other side if we are spared.

              1. Someone has just brought back some mini Danish pastries left over from a meeting so I think we are sorted now. I think the people at the meeting must have had their priorities wrong – surely cake takes precedence over whatever is on the agenda? :D

  3. Re 13a, my mother used to tell us about Lord Ha Ha, as she called him, when we were young and how he would broadcast on the radio, threatening Carmarthen, saying apparently,” Don’t worry Carmarthen, we have not forgotten about you”, luckily the town itself was never hit though some bombs did fall on the outskirts!

  4. Another good offering from the Don. Was a little held up in the top right as I’d put Sheen in for the actor (seen with front of house sounded damned good to me). Also had to check the spelling of 17D. It was very nice to see a local school mentioned (even if I don’t think it as good as the one I attended :smile: ).

    Dull day here in the sticks between Bristol and Bath, bt at least its not raining (or snowing).

  5. I don’t know if it’s my computer acting strangely today, but so far I’m the only commenter (sp?) and the only pictures visible are Lord Haw Haw and the swan. Maybe the others will appear later — it’s a long time since I’ve seen, or even thought of the star at 10a. I enjoyed this puzzle and it was all going along pretty smoothly until I got stuck in the SE corner. I didn’t know the school at 27a and it took me ages to find the word hidden at 20d. I’m afraid I still don’t quite understand the clue for 19a — what is the first definition? — and I didn’t much like the clue for 12a, though I got the solution. Aside from those niggles I had a thoroughly good time and send many thanks to G&G. :-)

        1. There is actually a band called Streak Franny, though don’t know how well know they are, you can google them :-)

  6. I enjoyed this one; on the whole fairly straightforward, but a couple to cogitate.
    Thanks to Giovanni, and to gazza.

    Having just finished the Toughie, I am feeling a little disorientated – not one for the faint hearted. I think Prolixic sums it up pretty well.

  7. Much more of a 3* for difficulty for me too. I didn’t know the Dutch artist, the stars or the Israeli parliament but with Giovanni’s crosswords the clues are always possible to work out (or guess) and then look up. 2d took a while to understand – when will I start to remember the IVR codes? I needed the hints to explain 12a and, rather stupidly, 18d. I liked 10, 13 and 27a and 1, 6 and 25d. With thanks to Giovanni and Gazza – VERY restrained piccies today!

      1. .. someone writing the hints – can’t remember who but I don’t think it was Gazza – once referred to it as a Chinese river!

        1. Although I have just found a Jos vand der Pol who is a dutch artist so could the clue work that way Gaaza? Pol (it) Ely

          1. I suppose all things are possible but I don’t think Giovanni would use a very obscure Dutch artist.

      1. Now this is a bit tenuous, BUT. There is a Yellow River in China, Yellow River was also a hit for the Archies when I was a sproglet and we used to sing it when we went wee wee at school, when we were at home (and in bed), the ‘yellow river’ would flow into the po!

        I did warn you it was tenuous.

        1. I remember the hit “Yellow River” but I don’t think it was by “The Archies” – don’t remember who it was though. “The Archies” did “Sugar Sugar” which, for various reasons that I’m not going into, I KNOW was a number one early in 1969!

          1. I’d love to be able to say that i knew this without looking it up, but I can’t. Yellow River was written and recorded by Christie.

            1. Thanks Roland – that would have driven me mad all afternoon – would have eventually got round to looking it up – now I can’t stop singing it!!

  8. Based on my usual Giovanni time, I would give today’s 1.5 difficulty but definitely 4* fun. Lots of good clues, including my favourites, which surprise surprise, are the same as Gazza’s. Thanks to him for the great review too

    The Toughie is an absolute beast of a beast of a thing. Big Boab might get on better than the rest of us. As a guide, you might wish to note that it took me over six times as long as yesterday’s Petitjean.

  9. After a slightly shaky start I eventually completed in what I would consider a ** time. Thanks to Giovanni for the enjoyable puzzle, gazza for the review and Spindrift for kicking off the Geography debate again :-P
    Fo the record I was thinking about the Water Margins of Lian Xhiang Po. So there!

  10. Pleasant crossword, my favourite being 23A because I was fixated on the wrong Poles for so long!

    I feel like a little quibble about 16D; surely the answer is plural but the clue implies the singular?

  11. Thanks to ,Giovanni for a very enjoyable crossword which was also untaxing and straightforward. Thanks to Gazza for a super review and thanks to the many contributors above who have kept me amused.

          1. For me this particular toughie is going to be one of those “wait for the review then try and work out how the hell the answers are what they are”!

      1. Don’t forget that Qix lives in Glasgow!

        He sets the cryptic in the Glasgow Herald every Monday, and the Wee Stinker from Myops is on the same page.

      2. Hum, think I may have to resort to an afternoon G&T as the memsahib isn’t here until much later. Guess that could count as medication

        1. Skempie, if you had made that a wee dram of the amber nectar it might have helped a wee bittie, though it didnae help me much as I usually start to sleep after a few. Sue,, I actually found this a wee bit on the easy side for Giovanni but the Myops was a “richt wee stonker”, and I could’t finish it without the hints.

          1. Like you I thought it a particularly ‘kind’ Giovanni – perhaps he knew we’d need all our brain power for the Myops :)

  12. Well I thought this was very enjoyable, but if anything a little tougher than Giovanni’s normal offerings based upon my solving time. So ***/**** for me. I hadn’t heard of the Dutch artist but was able to work it out from the clue and checking letters. I don’t know that I’m entirely happy about the wording of 18d. The phrase “a new lease of life” doesn’t imply anything about new life IMO, if anything it refers to new enthusiasm found for the old life. However, I’m probably splitting hairs – or most likely wrong!.

      1. Hi Mary, the point I was making was that the clue is worded such that the lease is coming WITH new life. Whereas in the saying “a new lease OF life” it isn’t. As you can tell, I can’t express this very well, but I know what I mean!

  13. Thanks to the two G’s, as usual, a lovely puzzle from Giovanni. Just got beaten by 20a, most annoying, as it’s written in too! Favourites were 26 & 28.

        1. I remember my grandfather scaring the living bejesus out of me & my brother by sticking them up his coat sleeves and pretending they were his claws!

  14. Probably a 3* for me. Had 4 and 6d and 12a but wasn’t sure why. Typical Giovanni – had to resort to google to check obscure artist. Learn something everyday (Friday anyway), just need to learn how to remember it all!

  15. I think that there are a number of obscure clues and I am having great difficulty, relying heavily on Gazzas’ hints to finish. Here’s looking forward to a more friendly puzzle tomorrow

  16. Nice puzzle as usual from Giovanni and I would agree with Gazza’s 2*. Didn’t know the Dutch artist and thought the only Italian reference was the “it” . Had the correct answer but thanks to Gazza for the explanation . :smile:

  17. Hmm – definitely in the mimority here! I thought it was a stinker even if I did eventually manage to complete most of it – half the time wondering why on earth that WAS the answer and needed hints to explain, and hints to complete last two – those being 19a and 20d (which I now see is in the clue!!) Hey ho – obviously not on Giovanni’s wavelength. Can’t win ’em all, I guess.

  18. Another very late input from me – the cooker finally gave up the ghost after many years’ service but I managed to do my dinner! Shall call the technician tomorrow to see about a new one!
    The usual good fare from The Don.
    Faves : 10a, 13a, 18a, 19a, 26a, 1d, 8d, 16d & 25d.
    re 10a it is the side of the house not front! 16d is plural in Italiano so courses!

    Dinner was grilled salmon with a Lussac – St.-Emilion accompaniment then strawbs.

    1. Hi Derek, re 10a – depends which way the roof’s pitched. Can be the side or the front, or various other aspects I dare say. G’night!

  19. Best X word of the week for me. Sorry about delayed comment! I got the right answer for 5d but wonder if anyone else wondered whether it was interred? Glad I was right – would have been easier if I had the BRB with me to check the spelling of inter! I thought it was a clever clue as were many others!

    1. telboy,
      We welcome constructive criticism but the keyword is constructive, so why don’t you tell us why you thought this puzzle was rubbish?

  20. Something of interest for Gazza. 26791 12(a) Crossword was in Gulf News yesterday. Couldn’t get the answer for a long time. Here in UAE the word “p**s” was replaced by “animals”!

    1. Hi Bill – welcome to the blog.
      Thanks – that’s interesting. Presumably references to pigs are removed for religious reasons in the Gulf. I’m not surprised that it took you a long time – the change makes the clue nonsensical.

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