DT 26824 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26824

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26824

Hints and tips by Gazza

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

One of the joys of blogging on Tuesdays is that there is no set pattern and I never know what sort of puzzle I’m going to get. I thought that there were some really good clues in this one and I really enjoyed it. How about you?
If you want to reveal an answer just slide your cursor through the spaces between the brackets under the clue (If you’re an advanced user with a hand-held device there’s some advice on how to extract the answers in the FAQ section).

Across Clues

1a  In goal blocking shot (6)
{TRENDY} – the definition is the innocuous-looking first word of the clue. A goal or aim is inserted (blocking) in a shot or attempt.

4a  Northerner once seen flying along the track? (8)
{SCOTSMAN} – a straight definition and a cryptic definition harking back to the age of steam.

10a  Sportswear, and more feminine, belonging to us (4,5)
{PLUS FOURS} – this is a style of clothing particularly associated with golf. It’s a charade of a preposition meaning more or in addition, F(eminine) and a possessive pronoun.

11a  Important area around northern country (5)
{KENYA} – this East African country comes from a synonym of important and A(rea) with N(orthern) inserted.

12a  Give ground in harbour (7)
{RETREAT} – double definition, the second being a place of refuge.

13a  Set of clothes still worn by deceased (7)
{LAYETTE} – this is a set of clothing for a newborn child. A synonym of still goes inside (worn by) an adjective meaning deceased.

14a  Notice about public relations fling (5)
{SPREE} – a verb meaning to notice or spot contains the abbreviation for public relations.

15a  Herb garden mother planted (8)
{ROSEMARY} – this fragrant herb is formed from the alternative spelling of a garden dedicated to one type of flower with an affectionate abbreviation for mother inserted (planted).

18a  Check remainder prior to wet weather (8)
{RESTRAIN} – a verb meaning to check or curb is a charade of a synonym for remainder and another word for wet weather.

20a  Merrymaking in back bar (5)
{REVEL} – reverse (back) a bar (the sort used for prising) to get a lively feast or merrymaking.

23a  One stunner captivating male in charge (7)
{IMPEACH} – I (one) and a rather old-fashioned term for a very attractive girl (stunner) go round (captivating) M(ale) to make a verb to bring charges against (normally used in relation to someone in high office such as a US President).

25a  Letters received after getting sack (7)
{POSTBAG} – a term used for all the letters received by someone (especially someone well-known) comes from a charade of a prefix meaning after and another word for sack.

26a  Turnips observed when turning over front of plot (5)
{NEEPS} – what a 4a would eat with his tatties comes from reversing (turning) a past participle meaning observed around (over) the front letter of P(lot).

27a  Make a fuss about pub shortly after increase (5,4)
{RAISE CAIN} – this is a phrase meaning to make a fuss or commotion (deriving from the first murderer in the Bible). A two-letter abbreviation for about or approximately and a truncated (shortly) pub go after a verb to increase.

28a  Money just for wool (8)
{CASHMERE} – a type of fine, soft wool is a charade of ready money and an adjective meaning just or nothing more than.

29a  Astute running secures bronze (6)
{STATUE} – an anagram (running) of ASTUTE gives us what a bronze is an example of. I think that there ought to be some indication that bronze is just an example of this.

Down Clues

1d  Those in authority raised prize money (3,5)
{TOP BRASS} – a phrase describing those in authority, especially in the military, is a charade of a prize or trophy reversed (raised, in a down clue) and an informal word for money.

2d  A quote misconstrued by reading circle? (7)
{EQUATOR} – an example of a great circle is an anagram (misconstrued) of A QUOTE followed by R(eading).

3d  Unusual fender — fit in a new way (9)
{DIFFERENT} – this is an anagram of FENDER FIT but you can take your pick as to which end of the clue is the indicator and which the definition.

5d  Men feeling hurt must keep hold of special pipe dreams (7,2,5)
{CASTLES IN SPAIN} – an old-fashioned alternative word for rooks (men) on a chessboard is followed by a phrase meaning feeling hurt (2,4) containing (must keep hold of) S(pecial) to make pipe dreams or unattainable plans. Why the dreams related to this particular country is not clear but the phrase dates from medieval times and may refer to the unrealistic hopes of landless knights to own an estate abroad.

6d  Wine all right after drop of tequila? (5)
{TOKAY} – a sweet wine, originally from Hungary, is an informal adverb meaning all right after the first letter (drop) of T(equila).

7d  Clergyman sacrificing second one in church (7)
{MINSTER} – the setter very precisely identifies which I has to be sacrificed from the clergyman to leave the church. Today’s old chestnut?

8d  Approached parsimonious editor (6)
{NEARED} – a word for parsimonious or mean is followed by the usual abbreviation of editor.

9d  Watch to understand origins of existence regarding early man? (6-8)
{HUNTER-GATHERER} – this is an anthropological term for a member of a primitive society which lived by catching wild animals and picking fruits, etc. as opposed to growing crops. Start with a pocket watch which has a hinged cover protecting the glass, then add a verb meaning to deduce or understand and the initial letters (origins) of Existence Regarding.

16d  Disordered situation making sense in tram? Just the reverse! (5-4)
{MARE’S-NEST} – this is a disordered or confused situation. The wordplay is very clear (and neat) – insert SENSE inside TRAM (both words clearly given in the clue), then reverse the lot (just the reverse). Just why this phrase (and this particular animal) is used to mean a shambles is not clear.

17d  Fine quality — for example, in Eastern cavalry weapon (8)
{ELEGANCE} – insert the abbreviation meaning “for example” among E(astern) and a cavalry weapon with a long shaft.

19d  Intended for a particular purpose, say (7)
{EXPRESS} – double definition – a) an adjective meaning intended for a particular purpose or specific and b) a verb to say.

21d  Against health food being put in it to make one full of energy (7)
{VIBRANT} – a description of someone full of energy is built from the abbreviation used to mean against (especially in sports’ fixture lists) followed by a health food inside IT.

22d  Eat out — it’s a piece of cake (6)
{PICNIC} – double definition.

24d  A host served up tea (5)
{ASSAM} – A is followed by a reversal (served up, in a down clue) of a host or large quantity to make a type of Indian tea.

The clues I liked best were 1a, 9d and 16d. Let us know your likes and dislikes.

Today’s Quickie Pun: {CLOY} + {STIRRED} = {CLOISTERED}

71 comments on “DT 26824

  1. Tricky but solvable today although I can almost hear the complaints now. There were a lot of clues that required some brainwork – particularly in the SE corner and I had to rely on memory quite a bit for words that I haven’t seen for a while or for words who’s context I hadn’t seen for a while. I thought 15A was particularly fun.

  2. This all went in without too much thought today. 20a I would normally expect to see with ‘RY’ at the end.
    Thanks to setter, and to gazza.

      1. For the answer to 20a the BRB has (for the noun) “a riotous feast; merrymaking; …”.

  3. Good, longer to solve than usual, 16d new one to me but got there via google, lots of good ones, 10 &13 especially. Thanks Gazza and the mysteron

  4. I attacked this with alacrity this morning, steaming in with “Dutchman” at 4a. D’oh! After that moment of idiocy I really enjoyed the puzzle – some tricksy clues to exercise the grey matter. Favourite clue has to be 9d.

    I notice an acknowledgement in yesterday’s solution that Kiev is indeed in Ukraine.

    Thanks to Setter and Gazza.

  5. I’m curious..is it the same setter as last Tuesday as I found this one much more accessible! How can one find out who the setter is each day? Just curious.

    1. The only sure way of finding out the setter is if he or she visits the blog and confesses.

  6. Two halves today, LH went in quite painlessly, then totally bogged on RH.
    Really needed hints today as some usages were completely new to me, thanks Gazza.

  7. Nice to get finished before the blog comes up. Thanks for the explanation of the “against” in 21d, I hadn’t twigged that. Some new words (6d and 13a) and a distant memory in 27a. Lots of good clues but my favourite is 1a.

  8. I’ve just tried Gazza’s method for revealing the answers on my phone. It is very similar on the Galaxy SII (and probably most Android devices):

    1. Press and hold the screen over the answer.
    2. Select the whole area in the brackets using the blue ‘widgets’.
    3. select ‘Search’, then ‘Google’.
    4. Result: nothing happens :( The browser has secretly opened a new window.
    5. Press the bottom left options button.
    6. Select ‘Windows’. The answer appears near the bottom of the screen and selecting the new page opens a Google search for the answer.

    Hope this helps.

    1. Is this available for doing on Droids? I looked and could only find the I-Phone version.

      1. I use a similar method on the Droid, but copy then paste into a notepad to reveal the answer.

    2. This might as well be in Greek to me … really don’t understand. :sad: Perhaps it’s something that I don’t need to clutter my brain with!

  9. Good morning gazza from a glorious West Wales, how beautiful this weather is and what a bonus at this time of year :-) , solving in the sunshine did not unfortunately make my brain function any better and I found this a tricky one, at least three star fo me today, needed your help gazza for 12a, 27a (never heard this) , also never heard of 16d although I did get the answer, no favourite clue for me today, needed all my usual help plus your tips for a few, thanks gazza, ah the sunshine beckons, good luck all, see you later :-D

    1. I’m with you Mary on the 12a – my brain wouldn’t compute that one and it was my last one in. Did get the others and had heard of them before (probably more of a misspent youth than you had Mary.

      How’s your painting coming on? Any more exhibitions?


      1. Hi Lea, last week of term for Friday art class this week, we have been kept very busy with a project practically every week, too much I think, last we we had a demo on ‘painting’ with was, can’t remember what it was called something caustic art I think! quite fun but I wouldn’t like to do it all the time, no more exhibitions on the horizon thank goodness, just enjoying Monday art group how about you?

  10. I enjoyed this today, not too easy but without requiring any extensive research. Thanks to setter and to Gazza.

  11. I really didn’t enjoy this one today. All the answers went in without too much trouble, but it just wasn’t fun. No real favourites today, but several I didn’t like very much such as 27a, 5d and 16d.

  12. A lovely start to Tuesday morning, thank you to the setter whoever he/she may be. You won’t be surprised to learn that once again my favourites are the same as Gazzas. Thanks for review – nice pics apart from the ‘gratuitous’ “peach”.

    Anyone contemplating the Toughie should note that it takes a while and the SE corner is almost impenetrable although I have got there now. Blooming work does interfere with crossword solving :(

  13. Took me quite a while to finish this one today. Tricky in places with some phrases new to me. All clues pretty fair though, all the tricky ones being quite fathomable. Enjoyed 21d 6d and 9d (even though it was last in). A 3.5* and 4* from me.

  14. I like not knowing what to expect on Tuesdays and Thursdays but found this one more difficult than it really was. Having finished and looked all through it again it wasn’t half as tricky as I thought it was at the time. I really enjoyed it very much and thought there were some good clues. I came to a grinding halt in the top left corner for some reason so that bit took a while. Managed to convince myself that 1a had to be football of some kind so automatically couldn’t do it!! I’ve never heard of 16d but it was easy enough to work out. Have also only ever heard of 5d as being “in the air” rather than “in Spain”. Clues that I particularly liked include 15 and 25a and 5, 9 and 16d. With thanks to the setter and to Gazza.

  15. I found this puzzle relatively straightforward, being pleased to get 5d and 9d quickly. I was stuck on 16d for a while, so obvious when the penny finally dropped! So far this week two toughies completed without needing help, I bet tomorrow’s will be a stinker!!

  16. Very pleasant! I particularly liked 27A, 5D, 9D and 16D. Thanks to Gazza and all.

  17. Tough but doable. Got all but one in the end but on a few needed the explanation to fully understand my correct answer.

    Could someone explain why picnic is a piece of cake. Don’t understand that at all.


    1. Picnic is an informal term for something easy or child’s play. It’s normally used in the negative, e.g. “It’s no picnic having fourteen children and living in a shoe”.

      1. Recognise now in the negative context. Never heard in the positive which is what threw me.

        Many thanks for your help.


              1. Sorry Kath!. THe former was a quotation from the audience participation from the Rocky Horror Show:
                The Narrator: “One thing is sure – this was to be no picnic”
                Audience: “Aw Sh*t, and I brought the ants”

                The latter was only to say that the Americans call a picnic a Cakewalk – something easy.

            1. Gnomey beat me , now all clap your working hands,
              It’s just a jump to the left
              And then a step to the right
              With your hands on your hips
              You bring your knees in tight

              you know the rest……

  18. From the comments, most people seem to have found this one relatively straightforward. Sadly not me :( I can usually finish the crossword without the Blog but not today – I felt like I’d lost my command of English! I freely admit I’d never heard of the expressions at 5d and 16d and I wasn’t familiar with the word at 13a. The clue for 9d seemed incredibly contrived to me. Anyway, glad that most of you coped and I will make a stronger coffee tomorrow morning before tackling Wednesday’s crossword.

    1. Don’t feel bad I not only had a hard time today but have been having one for the past week. I needed the blog to fill in the last 4 clues today. I swear they are getting harder. Not even sure of some of the clues when I had solved them. I enjoyed 9d though, it is an expression I have frequently heard in referring to a particular type of man.

    2. Boxgreen I certainly didn’t find it easy, needed electronic help for 5d, wanted to put castles in the air which neither fitted or made any sense in relation to the clue d’oh….

    3. Boxgreen, my sentiments exactly. I felt like a beginner again with this puzzle! Too many oblique phrases killed my confidence.

  19. I enjoyed that but it did take me a bit of time to get going. Thought there were some nicely constructed clues and my favourites were 13a 18a and 9d.

    Thanks to setter and to Gazza (had to use your explanation for 12a as that defeated me).

  20. Pommette and I enjoyed this one although herself had some trouble getting on the setter’s wavelength.

    3d was interesting as we both spotted the answer at exactly the same time but then found we had read the clue different :grin: I thought the def was usnusual and pommette thought in a new way! Interesting clue – I wonder if it was done on purpose?

    Agree with Gazza’s favourites and also liked 4a.

    Many thanks to the setter and Gazza.

  21. What an unpleasant puzzle at least as far as I was concerned. No fun and very little sense. Def a 1 star for enjoyment.

    1. “He has found a mare’s nest, and is laughing at the eggs; said of one who laughs without any apparent cause.”

      I have heard the phrase before but never realised what it meant. Now it all fits into place.

      Many thanks.

  22. Really enjoyed that one, done in two “hits” – over breakfast and finished over lunch. Didn’t need hints for help but was glad of explanations for a few! Have never heard of 6d but got it anyway – also, have never neard of the particular type of garden in 15a but decided there could only be one answer. Liked 1a along with others, but also liked 21d – thought it a very neat clue. Thanks to mystery setter for a pleasant Tuesday and Gazza for the usual help.

  23. Nothing new to add, but just wanted to say “Hi” to one and all on another cracking day in Heavenly Henfield.
    Enjoyed the crossword and the review – 16d my CotD and last in (replacing MERRY HELL).

  24. Very enjoyable crossword indeed, probably helped by the fact that I was sitting in glorious sunshine overlooking a glorious North Sea. Thanks to the setter and to Gazza.

  25. Thoroughly enjoyable in spite of not getting another stupendous 26818.
    Still, we live in hope.
    Thanks setter and Gazza for the review.

  26. Really liked 5d and 10a, but beaten by16d and 27a (have never heard of either, and didn’t have all day to ponder). Thanks to the setter and Gazza.

  27. Agree with Gazza on faves for today, just back from the old firm game on Sunday to discover my Local is overrun with hammers fans to see Posh play later. Hmmpphhh, and it would have been such a nice “beer garden” evening. oh well…..

    1. Don’t understand any of that but think it’s football/rugby – which I can’t do! :sad:

      1. Football Kath, went to Glasgow for the weekend and went to see Celtic v Rangers. Peterborough nickname Posh were playing West Ham at home, very close to where I live. A mixture of warm weather and alcohol meant it was pretty chaotic everywhere.

  28. Pretty straightforward puzzle today.

    Likes : 1a, 10a, 15a, 27a, 2d, 5d, 9d & 16d.

    I live on the main drag into Leiden (Leyden) and they have been busy resufacing it with asphalt all week. A very thorough scrape-off of the old coating then cleaning and now recoating with a special new mix supposed to be ultra quiet quality! Very interesting massive equipment.
    Rolling now in progress then white-line painting and the job is scheduled to finish late on Friday.
    Then normal traffic once more.

  29. I loved this to-day. I must have been on the setter’s wavelength ,so thanks to setter but I couldn’t see where the men came in in 5d so thanks to Gazza for the explanation. Fav.clue 9d . :smile:

  30. Thanks to the setter & to Gazza for the review & hints. A quite tricky puzzle, but very enjoyable. Got through it after a bit perservation. Favourites were 10a & 7d. Last in was 12a. Another scorcher in Central London.

  31. Enjoyed this, but got a bit stuck in the NE corner for a while.
    My (Scottish) husband always maintains that neeps are not turnips, but what I call swedes when he does a Burns night supper.

  32. Only a cursory glance today due to the fact that I had the M25 to contend with :(
    Strugled on a couple having been preoccupied with various networks but thanks to gazza fro the hints and to the setter for a puzzle that I made a meal out of.

  33. Done without hints but enjoyed them for some explanations eg 15a. 16d and 27a good to build up even if did nit know the expression. First word of 27a obvious but first thoughts for second riot or hell! Liked 10a 26a and 19 21 and 22d. Top half came in first. Then SW and SE last. Last in16d and first in 4a ( coincidentally close to the death of Alan Pegler.)

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