DT 26836 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

DT 26836

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26836

Hints and tips by Gazza

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

We have a pretty gentle easing back into the daily grind after the Bank Holiday. I don’t think that this will cause too many problems. Let me know how you got on.
Cryptic Sue has asked me to tell you that she is enjoying a tramp today and cannot give her Toughie Tip in person, but her view is that anyone who thinks that they couldn’t possibly solve a Toughie should definitely have a go at today’s because they’ll never have a better opportunity.

Across Clues

1a  Psychiatrist’s technique revealed in brief conversation with union (4,11)
{WORD ASSOCIATION} – what’s the first thing that comes into your head if I say psychiatrist? A brief conversation is followed by another word for union or partnership.

9a  In front of chops is gold tooth (7)
{INCISOR} – a tooth used for cutting is built up from IN, the front letter of C(hops), IS and the usual heraldic term for gold.

10a  Bony, a maltreated langur (7)
{ANGULAR} – an adjective meaning bony or lean comes from A followed by an anagram (maltreated) of LANGUR.

11a  Assessed situation and bought shares (4,5)
{TOOK STOCK} – double definition.

12a  Subject, English, to be set by those people (5)
{THEME} – this is a subject or topic. Put E(nglish) after (to be set by) a pronoun meaning those people.

13a  Soldiers beheaded and left in hollow in surrounded area (7)
{ENCLAVE} – start with a word for soldiers (not officers) and remove the initial M (beheaded) then insert L(eft) in a hollow or underground chamber to make an area which is entirely surrounded by foreign territory.

15a  Talk about southern herb (7)
{PARSLEY} – a noun or verb, derived from French, meaning talk goes around S(outhern) to make a common herb.

17a  Small mollusc in sink (7)
{SCUTTLE} – S(mall) is followed by a mollusc resembling a squid to make a verb to deliberately sink one’s own ship.

19a  Truncheon around back of hip brought to work in police station (7)
{COPSHOP} – I would have written this informal term for a police station as two words but Chambers agrees with the setter. Put a heavy stick or truncheon around the back letter of (hi)P then finish with the abbreviation for an artistic work.

21a  Lock in criminal at chokey (5)
{LATCH} – hidden in the clue is a lock or fastener.

23a  Hedonist, tense after examination in German city (3,6)
{BON VIVANT} – this is a term, from French, for someone who enjoys the pleasurable things in life, especially fine food. Put T(ense) after an oral examination which is contained in the city on the Rhine which was once the capital of West Germany.

25a  Phone nervously about outsider’s first run — rank outsider (2-5)
{NO-HOPER} – an anagram (nervously) of PHONE contains the first letter of O(utsider) then all that is followed by R(un).

26a  Establish colony around a US port (7)
{SEATTLE} – a verb to establish a colony goes round A to make a port city on the west coast of the USA.

27a  The navy renowned at sea? Not all of the time (5,3,3,4)
{EVERY NOW AND THEN} – an anagram (at sea) of THE NAVY RENOWNED.

Down Clues

1d  Artist not finished? Blow me! (7)
{WHISTLE} – an American-born artist, most famous for his painting of his mother, loses his final R (not finished). What’s left is a verb to make a shrill sound (like a referee). This clue doesn’t really work for me. [Thanks to Jezza – see comment – for pointing out that the clue makes a lot more sense if you treat the answer as a noun rather than a verb.]

2d  Page clergyman shortened (5)
{RECTO} – the right-hand page of an open book is an Anglican clergyman shorn of his final R (shortened).

3d  Sit with Santa’s new helper (9)
{ASSISTANT} – an anagram (new) of SIT and SANTA’S.

4d  Sounds like Twist, for example, revolting Dickensian character? (7)
{SCROOGE} – start with what sounds like a verb to twist (falsely capitalised in the clue) and add a reversal (revolting) of the abbreviation of for example.

5d  Praise expert on horseback (5,2)
{CRACK UP} – we had this phrasal verb meaning to praise only last week from Rufus when it attracted some criticism (although I don’t understand why). It’s a charade of an adjective meaning expert and an adverb meaning on horseback.

6d  A head of Rugby understood slang (5)
{ARGOT} – a word, from French, meaning slang, comes from joining together A, the first (head) letter of R(ugby) and a verb meaning understood or twigged.

7d  I will cure half of this sickness (3,6)
{ILL HEALTH} – this term for sickness is a charade of a) the contracted form of I will, b) a verb meaning to cure and c) half of the word this.

8d  Garden centre in Surrey, busy after noon (7)
{NURSERY} – an anagram (busy) of SURREY follows N(oon) to make a garden centre.

14d  Footwear item, the type Venus Williams might wear? (5,4)
{COURT SHOE} – this type of footwear sounds as though it might be worn by a tennis player.

16d  Carpet salesman, guy let in free (9)
{REPRIMAND} – this is a verb meaning to carpet or rebuke. Start with an abbreviated salesman, then add a verb to free or purge with a synonym for guy inserted (let in).

17d  Gag made by the Italian during comic scene (7)
{SILENCE} – a verb meaning to gag or muzzle is made by inserting an Italian definite article inside (during) an anagram (comic) of SCENE.

18d  Stop — proceed after amber changes (7)
{EMBARGO} – a verb to proceed or advance follows an anagram (changes) of AMBER.

19d  All the players holding an ace in card game (7)
{CANASTA} – this is a card game that resembles rummy. A list of actors (all the players) in a production contains (holding) AN, then finish with A(ce).

20d  Salesman’s talk on new model (7)
{PATTERN} – the slick and practised talk of a salesman is followed by (on, in a down clue) N(ew).

22d  Opening of historical play inaccurately portrayed? It may be (5)
{HAPLY} – this is a somewhat obscure adverb meaning by chance or it may be. The first letter (opening) of H(istorical) is followed by an anagram (inaccurately portrayed) of PLAY.

24d  The full version of Beethoven’s Fifth? (5)
{AITCH} – how you’d spell out the fifth letter of Beethoven.

The clue I liked best today was 18d. How about you?

Today’s Quickie Pun: {FOE} + {TUG} + {GRAFT} = {PHOTOGRAPHED}

63 comments on “DT 26836

  1. A fairly gentle puzzle today. I liked 24d.
    Thanks to setter, and to gazza.

    re 1d – could the answer be a noun.. ie ‘blow me!’ is telling you what you might blow?

  2. Good morning gazza, I was so disappointed today when I completed all but 22a without any help whatsoever and got stuck on that one! Must admit to never having heard the phrase, nevertheless, I really enjoyed todays and once again not just because it was on the slightly easier side but because all the clues more or less read nicely and made sense, I really dislike long convoluted clues where the readings are rubbish, off for my accupuncture now see you all later :-)

    1. Must admit, I meant to say that I’d never heard of Viva as being an examination. In fact, a quick Goggle search for ‘viva’ doesn’t mention any examination, but a search for ‘viva examination’ does. I would have thought a better word in the clue would have been exclamation.

  3. Strange sort of crossword today IMHO. At first glance it looked quite easy, then I suddenly thought parts were quite tough, then I’d finished it! Quite enjoyable though.

    Survived my weekend in the Smoke (didn’t see any D**kheads swimming in the Thames, but was on a boat at about that time as the Police charged down river – guess they were the ones wot nicked him.

    For those living in London, I’m pleased to report that its still there, still as busy as ever and still as expensive as ever. For those NOT living in London, I’m sorry to report its STILL there, its STILL as busy as ever and its STILL as expensive as ever. Still, helps me to appreciate living out here in the sticks where I get birdsong waking me up rather than traffic.

  4. Agreed on the gentle start back to work as I managed to ‘1d’ through this one – which suggests if must be in 1* territory. Which, incidently, was the only one that caused me any bother. I liked 9a. 2d was a new word for me – but I’m guessueing its not that uncommon in crosswords?

    1. Hi Simon – welcome to the blog.
      Sorry for the delay in getting your comment accepted – the spam filter (which is normally pretty good) flagged it up as spam.
      Yes, recto turns up fairly often.

  5. Another one where I completed without the aid of gizmos or hints and tips. No doubt I will be brought back down to earth later in the week.
    Real doh moment on 24d. Faves; 23a, 27a(even though I missed anagram indicator till I filled it in), 18d.
    Thought 10a was a bit iffy.
    Thanks for hints and tips and to compiler for a fun puzzle.

  6. When I first looked I thought this was going to be tricky but it wasn’t and I did it quickly, for me! I agree with the */** rating for difficulty – might have given it a bit more for enjoyment. For some reason I looked blankly at 26a for a while. I would also have made 19a two words. I think we’ve had 27a, or something quite like it, fairly recently. I liked 17a and 18 and 24d. I don’t think that the shoes in the picture could be called 14d’s – but I don’t imagine that will bother anyone unduly, even assuming anyone notices that she’s wearing shoes! With thanks to the setter and to Gazza.
    Washing on the line – pouring with rain again! :sad: Looks as if I might be having a go at the toughie later….

    1. I bow to your superior knowledge of footwear, Kath. The picture came up when I searched for court shoes – the associated article describes them as Mary Jane court shoes.

      1. My knowledge of footwear is limited to wellies and flip-flaps (summer) and wellies and boots (winter)! I know nothing – and was only joking! :smile:

      2. I’m with Kath on footwear (no heels here) but I do know that a court shoe is something much more demure than than the illustration. For example, HM the Queen wears court shoes, which seems appropriate really!

        1. I am very ignorant on the subject of ladies’ footwear but if you do a Google search on “court shoes” then click on “images” you get a whole page of shoes nearly all of which have fairly high heels (and none of which I can imagine HM wearing).

        2. I’m glad that you agree with me – was beginning to wish I’d never mentioned it!! AND no-one should ever bow to my superior knowledge of anything – rather thought that everyone around “here” knew that by now!!

    2. I concur with the CS view that today’s Toughie should be solvable by anyone who can do the back-pager, so do have a go!

      1. As far as CS & her activities today are concerned then all I can say is – lucky tramp!

      2. Today’s Toughie:

        I should know better by now! Whenever CS & Gazza say that the Toughie is “solvable by anyone who can do the back-pager” – Beware!!! I still found it very tough (only 2 more to go in).

        1. I feel suitably warned off! Might garden later but if the rain comes down again I might have a go at toughie.

          1. You should try it Kath, there was a mix up at DT Towers with the online version and the paper being different. BD kindly e-mailed the online DT 751 and it is by the excellent Warbler, pitched perfect IMHO for a Tuesday

          2. Thanks andy – only got the paper version and now feeling completely confused! :sad: However, have sorted out the greenhouse!! :smile:

  7. What a pleasant diversion today’s crossword was.
    Just about right for the first morning at work after a few days “r &r”.
    22d a new word for my grey cells, & I too chuckled at 24d after twigging the little bit of subtlety.
    Thanks compiler, you got it spot on for what feels like a Monday.

  8. Enjoyable if untaxing crossword, thanks to the setter and to Gazza. For those wishing to attempt a toughie for the first time, todays offering from Osmosis is on the lighter side and very enjoyable.

  9. I can do no better than quote BigBoab: “Enjoyable if untaxing crossword, thanks to the setter and to Gazza”.

    My favourites were 23A (last one in, and I’ve worked in that city!), 22D and 24D.

    BTW Gazza, the tooltip for the picture clue for 13A has a typo; it should be “Lesotho”.

  10. Firmly in the one star but very enjoyable camp for me today. Thanks to the setter and to Gazza for the review.

    1. Sorry can I revise that assessment, make it a 4 star for difficulty with obscure words like 22d, 2d, 6d and a French phrase it cannot possibly be a 1 or 2 star surely. Oh and just what is a cuttle when it’s at home, beyond me. Really really disliked this puzzle. Sorry but there it is.

          1. Wasn’t enjoying being in work again after nearly a week, but your comment made me giggle enough to be ready to get on with finding the top of my desk – and I only had one more day off than the rest of them!

  11. A rather easy puzzle after the Easter holiday!
    Likes were : 1a, 13a, 19a, 23a, 1d, 4d, 14d, 19d & (of course with a good laugh) 24d.

    Weather dry today after yesterday’s nonstop drizzle.

    Grilled Icelandic sea-wolf + chips tonight plus a drop of NZ sauvignon blanc then rasps + cream.

    Alan Davidson calls zeewolf wolffish or catfish – it is very tasty but the live specimen is somewhat frightful in appearance!

    1. There are a lot of restaurants in the UK selling wolffish or catfish (as we normally call it) in place of cod. As everyone knows, cod is getting quite scarce, catfish is a good alternative, it tastes very much like cod when fried in batter, but a bit lighter and a lot creamier. Often you will find that this is what’s being served if the menu states ‘Fish and Chips’ rather than ‘Cod and Chips’.

  12. Thanks to the setter & Gazza for the review & hints. I found this very tricky at the start, but somehow it all fell into place. Very enjoyable, favourites were 15a & 5 & 7d. 1a & 1d were last to go in. Been Sunny in Central London, but looks like rain now.

  13. Thanks to setter and Gazza.
    A charming puzzle with some very cute clues eg 24d.
    Nice pair of pins for 14d but those shoes look rather too saucy to be court shoes, I think.

  14. Hi,
    Slightly surprised by the rating today, thought it was slightly harder given the number of words that I had not come across before such as Recto, Argot, Scuttle, Haply, Bon Vivant (inc viva which I learnt is an oral exam) but then a number of bloggers have gone on to agree with the rating so I stand in the minority. These were the last ones in, and even with checking letters struggled but managed to work out from the wordplay and then Google!

    1. Alan Hi, horses for courses I suppose, I just ignore the difficulty ratings which are subjective but regularly agree with the enjoyment stars. I am often in the “minority” especially with Virgilius on Sundays!!

      1. I assume that you mean you don’t enjoy the Sunday crosswords. I hardly looked at them before finding this great blog. If I managed three answers I thought that I was doing well and just couldn’t get any further. I’ve learnt so much here that I can now usually do them and appreciate them as great crosswords. Keep trying – they’re really good, and when it all goes wrong there’s always someone around to pick up the bits! :smile:

        1. I really enjoy the Sunday Virgilius offerings Kath, but they can take me most of the week to get my head around, when others comment how “one two ” star it was I am usually sat in a darkened stairwell. My comment was more with Alans sentiments in mind. Thabo says hi

  15. Found this difficult to get going with. Am surprised that lots of people haven’t heard of viva voces ; i had to suffer them many times while an undergraduate. The trick is to try to manipulate the conversation round to a subject which you are capable of talking about !

    22d is not a word I shall be using much. Thanks for hints, though not needed, i agree about the court shoes.

  16. “Viva” is the abbreviated ‘viva voce’ and was common in my school and university days. It’s often used to describe the questioning of a thesis.

    The Atlantic Wolffish – Anarhichas lupus – is not to be confused with the (freshwater) catfish, of the order Siluriformes.

    Kath: I haven’t heard them called flip-flAps for many moons, more usually (commonly?) I hear flip-flOps. BTW, the “flip-flop” is the name by which the Eccles-Jordon Bi-stable circuit is known in electronics/computing argot.

    24d was my chucklesome favourite.

    1. “Flip-flops” in Australia are known as “thongs” which, in this country, refers to a rather skimpy version of ladies’ underwear. Imagine my surprise, therefore, on entering a Golf Clubhouse, to be met with a “dress code” notice which stated “NO THONGS”. (How could they possibly know, I wondered, unless they do a strip search!!) Oh dear, the perils of a “common?” language.

      1. Love it!!! :grin: “thongs” reminds me of one of my favourite Ray T clues – I CAN remember it but will almost certainly get something crucial wrong so will leave it to someone cleverer than me to fill it in!! Going back to the wretched footwear (wish that I’d never started on this one) I’ve always called them “flip-flaps” and have worn them all summer, every summer, for as long as I can remember, and will carry on doing so!

        1. The best “thong” clue I can remember (outside of Private Eye) is one from a Firefly Toughie:
          Fondle a thicker thong? (5)

          1. You mean that I have to use my brain again – you MUST be joking! I’ll think about that and will probably need the answer! The one that I’m thinking of is “It’s tiny – hardly obscuring naked glutes to begin with!” And apologies to Ray T (I’m sure it was one of his) if I’ve got it really wrong!

      2. This has just reminded me of something else – in Australia “sellotape” is called “durex”, or certainly was in the early 1970’s. One of my numerous Aussie cousins was over here and went into a stationery shop and asked for “durex” – he was very surprised at their reaction!
        Where but this blog do we go from “court shoes” to “thongs” to “durex”? Absolutely love it!! :lol:

  17. Enjoyed that and completed without hints but at two different sittings! Favourite clue 24d – loved it. Don’t like 22d, but there you go! Re comment about the Toughie – I have read every clue carefully and am still completely blank so, if to-day’s is supposed to be “easy,” then I’m a complete dumbo. Thanks for hints Gazza – needed them to explain 21a (doh! but then I often miss the letters in the clue, even when I get the answer) and 23a – never heard of that exam though couldn’t see what else the answer could be. Fun to-day.

    1. The waters were muddied a lot today by there being two different Toughies, one in the paper and a different one on-line. The comments (by CS and me) that the Toughie should be solvable by anyone who could do the back-pager were aimed squarely at the Warbler puzzle (Toughie 751) rather than the more difficult Toughie 758 by Osmosis.

      1. Whew! Thank you Gazza – being a “paper version” person I’m very relieved by your information! As an afterthought – why do they do that??

        1. Not by design – according to the message on the website the mix-up was “due to a Bank Holiday production problem beyond the Puzzles Department’s control”.

        2. Ditto that phew, just got one answer on the first read through on the Osmosis puzzle. I guess we’ll get the other one in a few days?

Comments are closed.