DT 26833 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26833

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26833

Hints and tips by crypticsue

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Gazza very kindly offered the ‘weekend’ bloggers the chance to do an on-the-day blog today and as the two gentlemen had prior engagements,  I took up the challenge of the Good Friday Giovanni puzzle for the second year running.  Giovanni normally gives us a religious clue or two, but the nearest I can find is 19a which always makes me think of Biblical retributions.   Not sure what Gazza would think about the anagram count, but  I didn’t really notice until I came to do my notes for the review!

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought. You can also add your assessment by selecting from one to five stars at the bottom of the post.


1a           Stable lad can be trained (8)
{BALANCED}  Not a home for horses but a noun meaning stability or equilibrium is derived from an anagram (trained) of LAD CAN BE.

6a           Tree found in part of London (6)
{POPLAR}  The view from my window has five of these trees, a member of the willow family which has the same name as a part of East London.

9a           Gesture with heavenly body — it’s received the wrong way! (6)
{MOTION}  Reversing IT (it[s]… the wrong way) and inserting it into the Earth’s natural satellite produces a verb meaning to gesture or make a movement.

10a         Dad gets shown reconstructed piano in uncle’s place (8)
{PAWNSHOPUncle’s place is a euphemism for somewhere one might take items to pledge as security for a,  hopefully, temporary loan when short of funds.   Another  childish or familiar word for father followed by an anagram (reconstructed) of SHOWN and then the abbreviation for piano, used to mean soft in music.

11a         Observe what shopkeeper may do before giving change (4,4)
{TAKE NOTE}  A double definition – to observe carefully, or what a shopkeeper might take from you as a means of payment before giving you change.

12a         The woman’s brought back wood — old stuff being used again (6)
{REHASH}  Something being made of materials formerly used – a reversal of the female pronoun followed by a well-known timber tree.

13a         Spanish males engaged in art of commerce (12)
{SALESMANSHIP}  The art of selling and persuading customers to buy is an anagram (engaged) of SPANISH MALES.

16a         Two things (semi-competent?) violinist might do to be obsequious? (3,3,6)
{BOW AND SCRAPE}  A definition of someone who might not play the violin very well, or semi-competently, is also an expression meaning to ingratiate oneself sycophantically.

19a         Hits coming from small child in the middle of lesson (6)
{SMITES}  An archaic synonym for hits – as the clue clearly instructs, just insert a small child into the middle letters of leSSon.

21a         Instrument with which this person has left theatre (8)
{MELODEON}  A small organ or harmonium –   Follow a pronoun meaning I with L (left) and a theatre used by the Romans and Greeks for musical contests,  used more these days as a name for a cinema chain.

23a         I’d not eat nasty poison? Certainly not! (8)
{ANTIDOTE} Something you might take to counter the effects of a poison is an anagram (nasty) of ID NOT EAT.

24a         Drink — the next thing on from Product X? (6)
{BRANDY} An alcoholic spirit distilled from grape wine –  a particular type or make of product followed by the letter after X (next thing on from… X).

25a         Dancing round in truck (6)
{BOOGIE}  Insert O (round) into a type of low, heavy truck to get a dance to pop music.

26a         We in the army will want ruler to be changing slightly (8)
{TWEAKING} Changing slightly or fine-tuning –   Insert WE into the two letter abbreviation for our volunteer army and follow this with a male ruler.


2d           Distinctive odours, as evident around Italian’s capital (6)
{AROMAS} Spicy or distinctive fragrances –  insert the way in which an Italian would refer to his capital city (Italian’s rather than Italy’s capital) into AS (from the clue).

3d           A female with wrath that is burning (5)
{AFIRE} Burning, on fire, or in a state of inflammation – a simple charade of A (from the clue) the abbreviation for Female and a synonym for wrath or rage.

4d           Grabbed by bounder, simpleton is kissed and cuddled (9)
{CANOODLEDThis clue did make me smile!   Just insert an informal term for a simpleton into a man who lacks the instincts of a gentleman, a bounder to get part of an informal verb meaning to kiss and cuddle.

5d           Senior journalist upset his colleagues generally, bringing dismay (7)
{DEPRESS} To dismay or lower the spirits of –  reverse the abbreviation for the top man at a newspaper and follow him with the term for newspapers and journalism generally.

6d           Effectiveness of cosmetic daughter denied (5)
{POWER} Removing D (Daughter denied) from a cosmetic patted onto the face to give a smooth appearance leaves you with a synonym for effectiveness.

7d           That posse goes out as quickly as possible (9)
{POSTHASTE} Another anagram – an adjective meaning speedy or immediate is an anagram (goes out) of THAT POSSE.

8d           A stucco I fancy as characteristic of auditorium? (8)
{ACOUSTIC}  An anagram (fancy) of A STUCCO I gives a quality necessary in an auditorium to enable everyone to hear the performance clearly and well.

13d         Piece of wood to lean in hanging support (9)
{SCANTLING} The one that caused major blogger’s panic!  I hadn’t heard of this narrow piece of timber and I had to really think about the wordplay.   Insert a verb meaning to lean or tilt on a slope into a hanging support for an injured arm.

14d         One science unit in a valley still to let? (9)
{AVAILABLE} An adjective meaning still obtainable – insert I (one) and the abbreviation for a place where scientific experiments are carried out between A (from the clue) and a poetic word for a valley.

15d         Soldier gives sign for pausing followed by frantic nod (8)
{COMMANDO} A soldier from the Special Service Brigade, especially from the Royal Marine Corps – follow the punctuation mark used to provide a pause in a sentence with an anagram (frantic) of NOD.

17d         Order chaps in court to provide explanatory note (7)
{COMMENT}  A note providing a covering explanation – Insert into CT (the abbreviation for court) the abbreviation for the Order of Merit and the more formal word for ‘chaps’.   

18d         Stupid person crossing road was a famous general (6)
{GORDON}  The general mostly remembered for his association with Khartoum –  put a name for a stupid person round (crossing) the two letter abbreviation for road.

  20d         Land by sea gets temporary support (5)
{SHORE} A double definition – the land bordering the sea or a temporary prop used to support a wall or excavation.

22d         Director, foul, had G&T maybe (5)
{DRANK} The past participle of a verb meaning consumed liquid – not a fan of a G&T myself and it’s a bit early in the day!   Just follow the abbreviation for Director with an adjective meaning foul or offensively strong-tasting.

Thanks to Giovanni for the crossword and to Gazza for letting me have the opportunity to undergo the on-the-day blog experience!    The clues I liked included 10a, 16a and 23a but my top favourite was 4d.   I am off now to have a cup of tea and hot cross bun and see whether the Micawber Toughie is as splendid as usual.

The Quick crossword pun: {four} + {gettable}  = {forgettable}

60 comments on “DT 26833

  1. Really enjoyed this puzzle, high anagram count which suits me as if I spot them I can generally solve them.
    All completed confidently except 13d, which I put in as it was all that fitted. No electric helpers today!!
    Thanks CS for review.
    Thanks to Giovanni for an enjoyable start to my day.
    Too cold and windless to go for a sail so flushed with success I think I’ll have a crack at the Grauniad.

  2. That was a good Friday puzzle – thank you Giovanni and thank you CS for the review.

    I took longer than normal for a ~Friday as got in to my head that the final word of 16a should be fiddle so couldn’t work out why nothing else was going in until I got a change of idea.

    I liked 26a and 10a but did not like 25a.

  3. On first pass, thought this was going to be trivial having got more than half in, which is very unusual for me.

    Then slowed down a bit and had to work harder in the SW corner. Clues definitely suited me though and ended up with a somewhat shortened bath (< 1.7m :-)).

    But, no birds, buds or bible, what a joy! Absolutely loved it.

    Many thanks and happy Easter to all.


    1. If you followed the 1976 instruction that we should ‘save water, bath with a friend’ you could have help solving the crosswords :D Still think the idea of an i-Pad and hot water together a bit risky – you might end up, as no 1 son used to say when about 3, ‘electroniced’!

      1. Sue thanks for the kind offer! I’ll let you know when I’ve bought an extra loofah!

        1. I prefer showers myself and am definitely a ‘solve it in the paper’ person – perhaps some other kind person will volunteer later in the day :D

          1. I like a shower too but I really haven’t mastered doing the crossword in it. I take my hat off to you.

  4. ***/*** For me today,steadily plodded through it and enjoyedit,never heard of 13d,i’m sure i.m not alone!
    Was the ‘syymetry’ in the SE corner intended?ie 18d being a well known G of 22d G@T,22d to imbibe it and 24a another tipple,perhaps i’m just an alcoholic.

    1. A long-buried memory of a clue involving a ‘short fish’ surfaced [pun intended], giving me 13d. I could then hear my uncle referring to laths as such.

  5. Fantastic puzzle today I thought. What a great mixture of clues. As always with a Giovanni, everything you need is there, you’ve just got to sort it out. Many thanks to Mr Manley for a great start to the holidays.
    Just wish I knew why I can do most Giovannis and cannot even start a Ray T! I’m sure I am missing some good puzzles as most people really enjoy a Ray T. Wish I could

    1. Perhaps its because you are so convinced you can’t do a Ray T that your mind immediately thinks ‘I won’t be able to do this’ and thus prevents you from trying. Next time try working on the theory that he went to all that trouble to set a puzzle that people could solve, don’t give up straight away, come back to it on and off during the day and you might find you achieve more than you think.

    2. I agree with CS, Brian. When you go into something thinking that you can’t do it you almost give up before you’ve even started. You really are missing some great puzzles – he is SO funny!

    3. I still find RayT difficult Brian but I do usually manage to solve them most of the time with a little perservation and electronic help, depends how much you really want to :-)

    4. Thx people, I do take on board your comments and I do go through the excellent hints but often I struggle to make the connection between the clue and the answer. I just can’t seem to comprehend his mindset. Never mind, I’m sure Ray T won’t lose any sleep over me :-)

      1. My apologies, I forget to thank Sue for her hard work even though I didn’t need the hints today.

      2. Get Mrs Brian to stick something on the paper to cover up the quick clues on a Thursday and try starting the puzzle without knowing from the single word clues whether it is Ray or not.

          1. I used to be in your camp, Brian, regarding Ray T, but yesterday I flew through his offering. I don’t know what happened, but something must have clicked. I used to get really tense about his crosswords, and now I approach them with no more fear than I do anybody esle’s, except for some reason I seem to freeze at his trademark ‘queen’ clue and have to give myself a good talking to.

            Today, it was 13 down that had me completely stumped, but otherwise found it enjoyable.

            Hail this morning in Valencia and snow lying on the mountains a little higher up – I mention it just to show that we don’t always have great weather here in not-always-sunny Spain!

            Happy Easter everyone.

            1. Happy Easter to you Nora, we’ve not had hail here in Cambridgeshire but decidedly colder than last week

            2. Happy Easter to all – I think 13d was the one that stumped everyone today. As I said earlier, there is almost always a word that is new to me in Giovanni’s puzzles.
              No hail – no rain – just chilly, grey and dry! :sad:

  6. Hi sue, good to see you on a Friday, thanks for the hints, I needed two of them, 13d and 25a, a three sta for me today, I got stuck in that bottom left corner, top went in quite quickly, but as Kath said last week, I had trouble with the bottom!! fav clue 1a, cool but dry here at the moment, sunny earlier but cloudy now :-( , really looking forward (not) to wedding tomorow, sigh!

    1. Mary – DON’T remind me ….. :oops:
      Hope that the wedding goes well and that you don’t freeze. We are going up to Birmingham tomorrow to spend Sat/Sun with eldest daughter and her partner – suspect that I’m going to be pressed into service in their garden!

  7. All went remarkably well until I got myself in a terrible pickle in the bottom left corner. I’d never heard of 13d but eventually got there when I spotted the “hanging support” and had also never heard of “bogie” for “truck”. In desperation I looked up “truck” in the BRB and it’s almost the first thing it says. I know I’ve said it before but I’m going to say again that Fridays and Sundays are the two days when I’m most likely to “meet” words that are new to me. I agree with the 3* for difficulty. I was half expecting an Easter theme with lots of religious clues today. Favourites include 16, 24 and 26a and 4d. With thanks to Giovanni and Gazza.
    Might have a go at the toughie if I feel brave enough after cutting the grass …

    1. Do have a go at the Toughie, Kath. There are lots of clues to get you started and a wonderful d’oh moment about the wordplay of one clue.

        1. Yes. As BD said on another review earlier today, although he has relaxed the requirement to enter name and email address, please do put them in as it is always nice to know who ‘anonymous’ might be – the same person or several??

      1. How silly – how did I do that? :roll: I must have already put on my dim hat for the toughie!

  8. I enjoyed this puzzle, whistled through the top half whilst having breakfast but stuck slightly on the lower part until the brain cleared. Learnt a new word -13d- and particularly liked 24a and 4d, they amused me. Thanks to Giovanni and crypticsue, though I didn’t need her help today.

  9. Very enjoyable crossword, thanks to Giovanni and to Crypticsue for an excellent review.

  10. Apologies to CS – thanks for the hints. I’m so used to putting Giovanni and Gazza together that I must have done it automatically!

  11. My reaction – is this really Friday? Completed all but three in the SW corner before bedtime last night. Will probably need to sneek a peak above for those. Appreciated the anagram count. Have a great Easter. Thanks to G and CS.

  12. Many thanks to the Don for a really excellent puzzle.

    Favourite was 16a and as a viola player pommette was in stiches :grin: and last in was 13d where I’d heard the word but didn’t know the meaning.

    Always thought 7d hyphenated but apparantly not, d’oh.

    Thanks for the fine review Sue, nice to see you on a weekday!

  13. That was fun! 13D was a new one to me, and 25A’s truck only the very faintest glimmer of a memory. I don’t like the lack of a hyphen in 7D, though…

    My favourites were 10A, 25A, 13D and especially 4D for making me laugh!

    Thanks to Giovanni and CS.

  14. Fortunately this was not too tricky today, because I did not have much time allocated to do this. Last one in was 13d, favourite clue – 4d.
    Thanks to Giovanni, and to crypticsue for the revew.

    I am hoping to find some time early evening to have a peek at the toughie (it is already printed off and ready to take with me, if I can get out for a sneaky pint!) :)

  15. 13a never heard of
    25a ditto- truck a bogie?
    10a “. Uncles place? Pawnbrokers? Where did this guy come from?

    1. Welcome dreary. All fairly common words/expressions. People often used to say that they were ‘going to visit uncle’ rather than saying they were taking jewellery or even father’s best suit to the pawnbrokers to get a loan.

    2. Wlcome from me too. I too was unsure about bogie = truck but apparantly it’s a short-wheelbase railway truck used for transporting coal or ore – one lives and learns!

      1. That’s why I knew it – as well as my father being interested in cricket, we also had to look at a lot of steam trains in the days when trains were proper and the drivers waved at you!

        1. That would explain it. I only knew bogie as the sets of wheels at each end of a carriage that rotate so the thing can go round bends. Knew that from my electric train set that dad bought me (?) for Christmas when I was about 2 years old :lol: Still had it when I was 16 – how sad is that? :grin:

  16. The usual Friday fare fron The Don.
    Liked : 9a, 13a, 16a, 24a, 8d, 13d, 17d & 18d.

    Re 18d – He is not under Generals in CCD – Giovanni – it really is time the book was revised!!!

  17. That was a game of two halves for me to-day. I managed the top half very quickly but the bottom half took forever but got there eventually except for 13d for which I needed the hints. My favourite clue was also 4d. Oh to be young and a teenager in love again!! Thanks to Giovanni & CS :smile:

  18. Enjoyed this very much, and yes 4d did make me chuckle as well. Thanks Giovanni and CrypticSue

  19. In our house a bogie is something you pick out of your nose when you think (or hope) that no-one is looking! :smile: I always thought that was its only meaning – however it doesn’t seem to be in BRB!

      1. I expect if Gnomey wasn’t enjoying a post golf pint or several while watching the Masters (well I presume that’s what he’s doing) he would appear to remind us of the golf defintion of bogey too.

        1. I hit a few too many today. Lost pathetically!. Thanks for the review, CS I got there in the end but am leaving the Toughie for tomorrow to do it justice. Thanks to Giovanni as well!

    1. Thanks to all for the enlightenment – was obviously spelling the “nose ornament” (never heard it called that before) wrongly. Have also learnt a new golfing term to be stored up and used the next time it is necessary.

  20. Today’s Cryptic – 13d – “Scantling”

    Yesterday’s Toughie – 9d – “Tilting Fillets”

    What’s going on here? Some sort of …………..

  21. I was rubbish at this – btw I don’t get my paper till late in the afternoon so am often finishing yesterday’s crossword when all the rest of you are already on to todays. Ho hum – not much point putting up comments but I guess it makes me feel better!

  22. Thanks to Giovanni and to Crypticsue for the review & hints. A very nice puzzle with some clever clues. Was beaten by 9a, just couldn’t see it & 13d, never heard of it. Favourites were 10a 15d, and best of all 24a. Late blogging due to the Margate Beer Festival.

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