DT 26797 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

DT 26797

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26797

Hints and tips by Gazza

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

I completed three-quarters of this one pretty swiftly but then slowed down in the NW corner (which upped the difficulty level to 3* for me). Thanks to Giovanni for the customary Friday enjoyment and a warm-up for the impending five-setter with Elgar. Let us know how you fared.
If you’re stuck for an answer, even after reading a hint, then just highlight the space between the brackets under the clue.

Across Clues

1a  TV presenter is given a new job that’s dull mostly (6)
{ANCHOR} – this is someone who presents a live TV programme (often a news programme) involving a number of contributors. String together A, N(ew) and a dull job without its final E (mostly).

4a  Wine or tot knocked back by trainee (8)
{MUSCADET} – a dry white wine from the Loire valley is made from a verb to tot or add reversed (knocked back) followed by a trainee in the armed services or the police.

10a  Religious individual before day’s begun (9)
{PIONEERED} – the definition here is begun or instigated. Start with an abbreviation meaning devoutly religious, then add a single individual, a poetic synonym for before and D(ay).

11a  Bloke has no time for a meanie (5)
{MISER} – take the T(ime) out of an ordinary bloke’s title.

12a  Stop a group performing (7)
{ABANDON} – this is a verb meaning to stop or discontinue. It’s a charade of A, a musical group and an adverb meaning performing.

13a  Became unrestrained in rave around port (3,4)
{RAN RIOT} – a phrase meaning became violent and unrestrained comes from a verb to rave or sound off (4) containing (around) a South American port (3).

14a  Run as one of a crowd? (5)
{EXTRA} – double definition, an example of a run at cricket and someone in a crowd scene on a film set.

15a  Set of problems with tax engaging lady of much wealth! (8)
{EXERCISE} – this is a set of problems such as may be set by a schoolteacher. Put a tax levied on certain commodities around (engaging) the lady who (in the terminology of the next clue) is the no. 1 female in the UK (and who is pretty wealthy).

18a  Yon American singer was once the No.2 female in UK? (8)
{THATCHER} – a charade of a more modern word for yon and the name of a female American singer gives us the politician who once announced “We have become a grandmother”. I imagine that no. 2 is not being used here in the potty training sense!

ARVE Error: need id and provider

20a  Love having no speed at all? It brings zing! (5)
{OOMPH} – the letter that looks like zero (love in tennis scoring) is followed by what looks like the speed being achieved by something stationary.

23a  State of agitation in which female’s left, say (7)
{FLUTTER} – abbreviations for F(emale) and L(eft) are followed by a verb to say or speak.

25a  Losing a bit finally, the inside becomes less bulky (7)
{THINNER} – drop the final letter (losing a bit) of TH(e) and add a synonym of inside to make a comparative meaning less bulky.

26a  Sailor wants a litre on table (5)
{ALTAR} – this is a table found in a church. An informal word for a sailor is preceded (wants .. on) by A and L(itre).

27a  Peevish or irate getting befouled with dirt (9)
{IRRITATED} – an anagram (getting befouled) of IRATE and DIRT.

28a  Make new sketch for merchant ship’s flag, omitting one of the names (8)
{REDESIGN} – the flag flown by British-registered merchant ships (3,6) loses its first N (omitting one of the names) and has what’s left squashed up.

29a  Publicity given to one boy in family creates stir (6)
{PRISON} – what stir is a slang term for comes from an abbreviation for some publicity followed by I (one) and a boy in a family.

Down Clues

1d  Mountain height, a risk for several characters (8)
{ALPHABET} – a set of letters (several characters) comes from a high mountain, H(eight), A and a risk or wager.

2d  One may take the heat out of the situation (7)
{COOLANT} – weakish cryptic definition of a liquid or gas used to lower the temperature.

3d  Arrangement with bank manager finally accepted by maiden? Silly! (9)
{OVERDRAFT} – this is an arrangement with a bank. Join together what a maiden may be (in cricket) and a synonym for silly, then insert (accepted) the final letter of (manage)R.

5d  Government official needing to sort out nerdy creatures (5-9)
{UNDER-SECRETARY} – this is the title of a civil servant which sounds pretty menial but is, in fact, quite senior. It’s an anagram (to sort out) of NERDY CREATURES. Good surface!

6d  Sounds like it’s not goin’ to be a plant (5)
{CUMIN} – this is a small plant which produces aromatic seeds used as a spice. It sounds like the opposite of goin’.

7d  Daughter is young girl showing fire (7)
{DISMISS} – string together D(aughter), IS and the title given to a young girl to form a verb meaning to fire.

8d  Become nervous initially when trapped by nasty tutor (4,2)
{TURN TO} – this is a phrasal verb meaning to become (as in “water will become ice when it freezes”). Insert the initial letter of N(ervous) inside (trapped by) an anagram (nasty) of TUTOR.

9d  Pair in church marching around — he the ideal groom? (6,8)
{PRINCE CHARMING} – some girls’ idea of a fairytale husband comes from assembling a) the abbreviation of pair, b) IN, c) an abbreviation for church and d) an anagram (around) of MARCHING.

16d  Singer exciting his rector? (9)
{CHORISTER} – well, I hope that it’s just the singer’s voice that he’s excited by! This is an anagram (exciting) of HIS RECTOR.

17d  Playwright hinders a play (8)
{SHERIDAN} – the name of the Irish playwright who introduced us to Mrs Malaprop is an anagram (play) of HINDERS A.

19d  The fellow had to hug female relation? Spooky! (7)
{HAUNTED} – the definition is spooky, as in rumoured to contain spooks. The contracted form of the fellow had goes round (to hug) a female relative.

21d  What’s near top of agenda for at least 120 seconds? (7)
{MINUTES} – double definition, the first being the official record of what happened at the last meeting which often forms the first item on the current meeting’s agenda.

22d  A loud blonde in extramarital relationship (6)
{AFFAIR} – string together A, the musical abbreviation for loud and a synonym for blonde.

24d  Periods defined for school fees (5)
{TERMS} – double definition – periods into which a school year is broken up and agreed fees.

The clues I liked best were 1a, 3d and 5d. Let us know what you liked.

Today’s Quickie Pun: {CEILING} + {WHACKS} = {SEALING WAX}

55 comments on “DT 26797

  1. I was going along quite nicely until I got to 10a, which caused me much head scratching. That clue alone pushed it up to a 3* for me today.
    Thanks to Giovanni- I liked this one, and to gazza for the review.

  2. A quick run-through for me today. Enjoyable nonetheless, but no particular favourites or queries. */***. Thanks to G n G as always.

  3. I really enjoyed this. Probably because I finished it…

    Bottom half went in quickly but top left took a bit longer. Don’t understand why 2d is a cryptic clue, am I missing something, but otherwise thought it very enjoyable.

    Happy weekend to all.

  4. NW corner was my nemesis today too. Apart from that quite straightforward.Enjoyed it overall although no particular favourite. Thanks to Gazza for the hints.

  5. Must admit that the NW corner was the tricksiest part today. Although it was so obviously wrong, I started to write AVALANCHE in for 1D which didn’t help in the slightest (especially as there isn’t room for it, D’Oh), then suddenly spotted 10A and everything went in easy peasy lemon squeezy. Good anagram at 5D I thought, and I always enjoy seeing 20A – I must have seen that clue (or something like it) a dozen times and still have to think about it.

  6. morning Gazza, totally with you, got stuck on the NW corner and had to have your help for a couple, I don’t see that 3d works because the clue is telling us to put the ‘R’ in ‘maiden’?? A three star for me today verging on 4 because of that corner but on looking at it now I think I should have perservated a little longer but have to go to art, I must say Gazza the pictures have been very tasteful of late :-)

      1. A further problem I have with this, Gazza, is that I don’t see “maiden” as a synonym for “over”. I’m not a cricket fan, but surely a bowler can bowl a “maiden over”, but not a “maiden”?

  7. Corrrr! After yesterday’s struggle, this was an absolute joy! Hard enough to keep head scratching but I DO prefer it, that when the penny drops you know you’ve hit on the right answer. Thanks to G & G!

  8. I’m not sure about “slowing down” in the NW corner – I came to a complete halt and never managed to get going again! I don’t think I’ve ever heard of 1a with that meaning and if I have then I’ve forgotten it but, for a very long time, I had “icepack” for 2d so that effectively messed up the whole of that corner – only sorted out when I finally got 14a. I was very slow to get 1d – in fact pretty slow in general. Oh dear!! Not my greatest day by a long way! Ended up needing the hints for 1 and 10a and 2d. Clues that I particularly liked include 4, 18 and 20a and 3, 5 and 16d. With thanks to Giovanni and Gazza.

    1. Kath, you and I seem to be on the same wavelength! I also had “icepack” for 2d, Also needed not only hint, but answer! – for 1a, and hints for 10a nd 2d. Are we related, do you think??? Like Gazza, I found NW corner very tricky – indeed,I came to a complete full-stop! Otherwise enjoyed it, though I did think the answer to 23a would have been much better as “fluster” though I do appreciate that wouldn’t have fitted the clue.Once again, the anagrams got me going.

      1. Yes – I agree totally – I think that we MUST be related!!! I also wanted to make 23a “fluster” but read the clue again and realised – it wouldn’t have made any difference to anything else, but it would have been wrong and it wouldn’t have fitted the clue. Let’s see how we do tomorrow.

  9. This was a crossword of two halves, the bottom went in in a straightforward manner and the top, especially the aforementioned NW corner, took longer. I quite liked 16d which was I thought slightly on the risque side for a Giovanni! Thanks to him for stretching the brain ready for the day’s other cryptics and to Gazza for the review.

    Although the toughie is by Elgar, do give it a go as it has a ‘trick’ that will help you sort out quite a lot of it. His ‘Nimrod’ in the Indy isn’t as hard as some either. There is also a Loroso (Anax) in the FT. If you don’t fancy them, I can highly recommend Prolixic in the Church Times http://churchtimes.co.uk/content.asp?id=124724 .

  10. I had exactly the same experience as you Gazza – swift solving until the NW corner but as soon as I had 1d all was done!
    Not one of the Don’s more difficult puzzles this Friday.

    Faves : 10a, 15a, 18a, 28a, 1d, 3d & 6d.

    Someone mentioned yesterday I think that theoretically one may have only one fave – for me a fave is a clue I liked – if there were only one it would be an o/s fave = outstanding!

    Grilling fish tonight in my new oven – I have read the instruction books in English, Dutch and German so I shall be getting experienced with it.
    I always have fresh fish Tuesdays and Fridays and sometimes make salads with tinned fish other days eg Niçoise.

    Sauvignon blanc from NZ with white fish vin rosé from the Var with salmon.

    1. Hi Derek,
      I’m very happy for someone to tell me that I’m wrong but, to me anyway, a “favourite” implies “best” – I don’t think that two of anything can be “best” – or maybe they can!! Either way I’m sure others will have opinions on the matter! :smile:

      1. Hi Kath!
        The trouble with all languages is that they have complex nuances! We have eg “good, better and best” so you may think that that is that! However there is also a phrase “the very best” which leads one to the idea that best may be multiple!
        I was a physicist/electronic engineer by profession but I had to learn a lot of languages. If you do not use a language regularly it sinks into decay but it is still in your noddle and it is amazing how it pours out when you visit a country where it is spoken and written.

    1. Hi Peter, in the words of Mary keep perservating and you will find it becomes clear in time. Like you I thought Fridays impossible but now look forward to it esp after my nemesis on Thursdays.

    2. Hi PeterS when I first started Cryptics a couple of years ago I dreaded Giovanni crosswords on a Friday but now after Rufus on a Monday he is my next favourite :-), as Brian says if you are enjoying learning to solve it’s absolutely worth perservating, ( I had to have lots of help to finish this today)

      1. Have been out all day in the sun at the coast so will get at it later but like you and Brian, I enjoy Fridays now, so I don’t rush —what’s an extra day? Rufus, Giovanni and sometimes the Wednesday setter………..all more my style!

  11. Usual exellent end to the working week from the Friday master. Very enjoyable but must admit struggled with 20a which was clever but beyond me and a small comment, 13a would have made more sense with a bit of a clue as to the port (south American would have helped). Fav clue def 9d. Thx for the hints without which I most certainly would not have got 20a.

  12. Best back pager of the week by a long chalk, many thanks to Giovanni for a very enjoyable crossword and to Gazza for the hints/review, I needed to check the reasoning behind 10a but other than that it was quite straightforward.

  13. Yes, I got stuck at the NW corner too, and needed the hints to complete. 10a was a problem as I was looking for ‘religious’ rather than ‘begun’, and I would never have got 14a with its cricketing reference (hate them!). Also I pronounce 6d to rhyme with ‘human’ rather than the opposite of going. But apart from those niggles I enjoyed the puzzle very much. Favourites were 18 and 19d, and many thanks to G&G. :-)

  14. **/*** for me today,solved the ‘left hand side’ ,then’ the right’-don’t know why,no contentious issues today, a real pleasure,not a rottweiller in sight!
    England v Wales,City v Blackburn,all finished off with the shoot dinner,sounds like a good weekend coming up-oh and the crosswords.

  15. I found this one much harder. I got severalof the answers, but had no idea why they were correct until I saw your hints ie 18a ,19d, 13a. I found the northwest corner hardest and even with your hints had difficulty solving them. I would never have got 3d in a million years on my own! So thanks for your help. I liked 9d and 20a.

  16. Along with just about everyone else, I was stuck in NW corner for quite a while.The key was 10a which I eventually worked out and that must be my favourite. Also enjoyed 3 5 [very fitting!] 18 20 and 21. Don’t know what Mrs T would have made of being No 2! Thanks to setter for a good workout.

  17. Totally agree with Gazza’s ratings and comment. The NW corner pushed it to 3* for us with 1d and 10a last two in.

    Excellent stuff throughout :grin:

    Thanks to Giovanni and Gazza.

  18. I enjoyed today’s cryptic puzzle after persevering with the NW corner – put in 10a without really understanding but it started “pi” and fitted, the light dawned later! I rather liked 18a.

  19. Agree with Gazza’s ratings, found 28A rather pleasing, and 16D rather near the knuckle!

    Thanks to all involved.

  20. Excellent crossword from Giovanni today. Fortunately, the NW corner did not detain me so time wise it was **. Getting 1d and 10a early on probably helped.

    Thanks to our setter and to Gazza for the review.

  21. Re 5d – Anyone else remember the Yes, Minister episode where Sir Humphrey was described as sounding like a secretary’s assistant ? :lol:

  22. Thanks to the two G’s. Quite enjoyed this one but was defeated in the NW corner, needed 4 hints. Favourites were 4,13,18a.

  23. Same for me Gazza ,got three quarters done fairly quickly but got totally stuck in NW corner and needed the hints. I had 2d in mind but wasn’t sure until I put 1a in and I confess to looking in the brackets for it. I usually manage Giovanni’s puzzle and even though I struggled with the Ray T yesterday ,at least I managed to complete it so for me definitely 3* but I also enjoyed it, Thanks to the two Gs

  24. A pleasant one indeed! 10a was difficult. It was run today (21 March) in The Daily Nation of Kenya.

    1. Hi Mubarak. You’re only about a month behind the UK so any contributions from you are very welcome.

    2. A rather gentle solve unlike Ray T yesterday.Glad to know there is a fellow Kenyan,Mubarak in this hobby.Please let him contact me on 0722 661418 to exchange texts and compare notes.

      1. If you tell me which is your correct email address (you’ve used two different ones) I’ll forward your comment to Mubarak.

    3. This puzzle appeared today in the National Post in Canada. I have always wondered why they take so long to cross the Atlantic. Now I know – they seem to be shipped here via Africa!

Comments are closed.