DT 26842 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26842

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26842

Hints and tips by Gazza

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment **

This one is not too difficult although the omission of clue 28a in the newspaper version may have made it a bit trickier for back-page solvers. I didn’t enjoy it that much – the anagram count is quite high (I have ten As written on my printed sheet) and there also seemed to be a lot of clues where you had to insert or delete single characters. Let us know how you got on.
To reveal an answer just highlight the space between the brackets under the clue.

Across Clues

1a  Big tree outside university (7)
{POPULAR} – put a tall tree around U(niversity) to make an adjective meaning big (as in “He’s very big in the States”).

5a  Selects chess moves, pressing centre of clock twice (7)
{CHOOSES} – an anagram (moves) of CHESS contains (pressing) the central letter of clock twice.

9a  A grid fabricated by a male — it’s designed to explain something (7)
{DIAGRAM} – an anagram (fabricated) of A GRID is followed by A and M(ale).

10a  Took no notice of tailor ordering no end of fur (7)
{IGNORED} – a verb meaning took no notice of comes from an anagram (tailor) of ORDE(r)ING without the end letter of fur.

11a  Hearing what a ship might be doing around ends of the haven (9)
{LISTENING} – what a ship might be doing (if it has an unbalanced cargo, for example) goes around the end letters of (th)E (have)N.

12a  Fury surrounding new kitchen fireplace (5)
{RANGE} – an enclosed kitchen fireplace comes from a synonym of fury surrounding N(ew).

13a  Secretive about promotion, unfortunately (5)
{SADLY} – the definition here is unfortunately. An adjective meaning secretive or deceitful goes round the abbreviation for a promotion or plug.

15a  District Attorney, with an exclamation of repugnance, meeting majority of brusque relations (9)
{DAUGHTERS} – to get these female relations string together a) the abbreviation for District Attorney, b) an exclamation of repugnance or disgust and c) a synonym for brusque or curt without its final E (majority).

17a  Overwhelmed, prisoner asked one to leave (9)
{CONQUERED} – an abbreviation for prisoner (not lag, the other one) is followed by a verb meaning raised a question or asked without the I (one to leave).

19a  Whiffs pants (5)
{PUFFS} – double definition. The verb to whiff can mean to have a smell of (which is presumably how we’re meant to read the surface) and also to blow slightly.

22a  Fish caught in beginning of year? On the contrary — whoppers being invented (5)
{LYING} – on the contrary means that instead of a fish caught in the beginning of year we want to include (catch) the first letter of Y(ear) in a fish of the cod family. The result is a present participle meaning inventing whoppers.

23a  Temporarily having hygiene problem with last bit of hair falling out (9)
{BORROWING} – the definition here is the first two words of the clue. The abbreviation for a personal hygiene problem is followed by the last bit of (hai)R and a synonym for falling out or having an argument.

25a  Was present left to absorb son? (7)
{EXISTED} – a verb meaning left (by going out the door) contains (to absorb) S(on).

26a  At home, hint about diamonds to get embrace (7)
{INCLUDE} – the usual word for at home (i.e. not out) is followed by a hint or pointer containing D(iamonds) to get a verb meaning to embrace or incorporate.

27a  Enthusiastically changing gear in city (7)
{EAGERLY} – the cathedral city in Cambridgeshire is usually clued as a see. Put an anagram (changing) of GEAR inside it.

28a  Serious pledge (7)
{EARNEST} – double definition.

Down Clues

1d  Become confused following parking — beginning of spousal rows (7)
{PADDLES} – a verb meaning to become confused, muddled or rotten follows P(arking). Finish with the beginning letter of S(pousal) and you have a verb meaning rows (on the river, perhaps).

2d  Applauded after pressure’s lifted (7)
{PRAISED} – start with P(ressure) and add a synonym for lifted.

3d  Spanking ne’er-do-well’s rear with awful rage (5)
{LARGE} – this is not a meaning of spanking that I’d have thought of but it is in the BRB and the wordplay is clear. Start with the rear letter of (ne`er-do-wel)L and add an anagram (awful) of RAGE.

4d  Rest cue having pocketed second of balls (9)
{REMAINDER} – a word meaning cue or prompt contains (having pocketed) the second letter of balls to make the rest.

5d  Stick chlorine in bottom of jug (5)
{CLING} – a verb meaning to stick comes from a charade of the chemical symbol for chlorine, IN and the bottom letter of (ju)G.

6d  ‘Possession’ wins her ‘top novel’ — not Byatt’s last (9)
{OWNERSHIP} – the definition is possession. It’s an anagram (novel) of WINS HER (t)OP without the last letter of Byatt. A S Byatt won the Booker Prize in 1990 for her novel titled ‘Possession’.

7d  Throttle lever initially missing? Bizarre (7)
{STRANGE} – remove the initial letter of L(ever) from a verb to throttle.

8d  Some rockets send astronauts the wrong way, creating misery (7)
{SADNESS} – hidden (some) and reversed (the wrong way) in the clue is a word meaning misery.

14d  Canadian rock star disturbed rest for child (9)
{YOUNGSTER} – I have to admit that I didn’t know that this rock star was a Canadian. His surname is followed by an anagram (disturbed) of REST to make a child.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

16d  Nude worried by start of Rubenesque wrinkle, causing stress (9)
{UNDERLINE} – a verb meaning to stress or emphasise comes from an anagram (worried) of NUDE followed by the start letter of R(ubenesque) and a wrinkle or furrow.

17d  Cut-up artwork with article rejected for Eastern educational establishment (7)
{COLLEGE} – start with a piece of artwork made from various pieces cut out and stuck to a backing then replace the indefinite article with E(astern).

18d  Securing number below par (7)
{NAILING} – there’s a nice bit of deception here – my initial thought was that we needed a number after (below) something meaning par. But actually what we want is N(umber) followed by an adjective meaning below par or sickly.

20d  Catastrophe if a rule’s broken (7)
{FAILURE} – an anagram (broken) of IF A RULE.

21d  Recommend last bit of grog’s swallowed by drunk guests (7)
{SUGGEST} – a verb meaning to recommend or propose comes from inserting the last bit of (gro)G inside an anagram (drunk) of GUESTS.

23d  Man with no hair left moving slightly poorly (5)
{BADLY} – start with a, rather unkind, description of a man with no hair, then move the L(eft) slightly (down one place, to be precise).

24d  Turn up once, oddly, with dog (5)
{OCCUR} – a verb meaning to turn up or come about is generated from the odd letters of once followed by a mixed-breed dog.

The clues I liked best today were 4d and 18d. How about you?

Today’s Quickie Pun: {WILDE} + {BORES} = {WILD BOARS}

86 comments on “DT 26842

  1. Not too difficult an offering today. 28a was the most difficult without a clue but with a lucky guess I got it right. Thanks to compiler & to Gazza for the review.

    1. Morning Gaaz, I am replying under bifields comment because I don’t seem to be able to use the comment box for some reason, so apologies, no real favourites for me today, I like anagrams so no complaints there, however I don’t like clues that use bits and pieces of words, last in 1d and 13a must admit to having these wrong at first putting puddle and dodgy!!! how stupid is that :oops: nice and sunny here today but cold, good luck all a two to three star for me today

      1. I don’t mind Mary, we are both travellers at heart. We may meet up on a site somewhere.

        1. Oh yes, particularly as we are now getting our motorhome this weekend :-) I think we will use it much more than the caravan :-), my sons tell me I am going back to my roots as my great great grandparents were ‘proper’ Irish tinkers :-D

            1. It is a 1999 model but only done 36,000 miles slightly dated next to the ‘spaceage’ ones of today but there is no way we could afford one of those, we have done a straight swop for our ‘x’trail and caravan!! Hope we’ve done the right thing!

              1. I think a motorhome suits us very well. We use it all year round , if only for day trips in the winter. My avatar is ours, only a budget model but we enjoy it.

          1. I think the Rock Star bit comes from his stuff with Crazy Horse, which is more loud & electric. When I first heard him, I thought his music was country.

        1. Morning campers or caravaneers. **/**.Not difficult but several alternative meanings of words which were new to me ie 3d’spanking’ and 28a’ pledge’ Guessed 28a as no paper clue provided ;confused when my dictionary gave a meaning of’ pledge’ as ‘earnest’, but when i looked up’ earnest’ it did not give pledge as a synonym! Has anyone else got ‘The Irish Consice Dictionary? After the goldrush–

  2. Cos I like anagrams I enjoyed this puzzle, some knotty bits for me, my knowledge of contemporary music is on a par with Cricket terms.

    Thanks Gazza for review and to compiler for a nice puzzle.

  3. Would have been a lot easier with a clue for 28A, but managed to get the right word anyway! Like Gazza, I can’t say I really enjoyed this one, very bitty for my liking and the wording of the clues didn’t really flow too well I’m afraid. Having said that, I thought 15A and 23A were pretty good.

  4. I loved this one – it cheered me up on a damp and grey day in London Town. After struggling yesterday on five or six clues when everyone else seemed to find it straightforward, today was a day of many firsts:
    – first complete without any use of dictionary or electronic aids
    – first complete before the Blog hints were posted
    – first complete without needing to write out the letters of the anagrams in order to solve them (am I the only one who likes to add this challenge).
    So a great start to the day – and as a result i’d have to go */****. Favourite clue 19a as ‘Whiffs pants’ will appeal to my 8 year old son’s sense of humour when I show it to him tonight.
    A big thank you to the setter – and thanks for all involved in this Blog. I’m sure tomorrow I’ll be back to earth with a bump and waiting patienly the hints to be posted…

      1. Simon officially, but Simo when I’m in a good mood. I have an Australian wife and the antipodeans seem to like shortening words/names and then end them in an ‘o’ e.g.: relo (relative), journo (journalist). I’m not sure why. To my brother-in-law (Stevo) I’m a Simo.

          1. Mary (Mao? Maro?), I’d have to check with ‘Stevo’ to get an official answer for you.
            In my experience, you tend not to be allowed to choose for yourself and if you show any dislike of a nickname it immediately becomes permanent. Pronunciation is also important: a ‘High Rising Terminal’ – i.e. you go up in pitch by about half an octave on the ‘O’.
            Incidentally, my father-in-law is a “bazza” (Barry) – which is a variation on the rule. I wonder if gazza has any Aussie links?

            1. Of course! Skempie, your real name isn’t Stevo is it – or at least a bit of Aussie blood in there?

              1. Got a brother out there and 2 of my nieces were born there (other one was born in Cardiff, so she’s technically English, lol)

  5. I thought this crossword was excellent. Favourite clues were 15a, 17a, 23a, 4d, 6d,16d and 19a for the cheek! **/**** from me. Thank you Gazza and setter.

  6. Yes, agree with you, Gazza. A poor crossword with too much use on end/centre etc of words, I sighed every time I saw one and it must have been every other clue. Surely we can do better than this? I’d like to end on a positive, there were a couple of neat clues. I liked 1 across and thought 23a contained some nice wordplay.

    1. I agree about the bits and pieces of words but overall I didn’t think the readings wee too bad today, there have been worse than this

      1. no the readings (surfaces) are fine, as you’d expect, not too difficult when using end/beginning of random words to fit into your surface meaning. It’s just, give us some variety, pleaasssseeee

  7. I agree with Gazzza and eXternal – too many anagrams/end/centres etc. I also had the ‘where’s the 28a clue?’ problem and the drilling electrician again. Thanks to the Mystery Setter and Gazza too.

    The Toughie is worth a go by Kath and others – the LH side goes in quicker than the right!

    1. Having found this one as difficult as I did I’m not sure that I’ll ever dare look at a toughie again. Maybe I’m just having an off day!

      1. It isn’t you – it’s the back page puzzle. The Toughie answers went in much better than the back pager – even with interruptions.

  8. I seem to be on my own today – I REALLY enjoyed it and found it REALLY difficult. Whenever I disagree with everyone it makes me doubt myself! :sad: Maybe I’d better just go back to the garden where I belong!!
    The lack of a clue for 28a didn’t hold me up as all the down clues going into it were quite easy. I didn’t know that Neil Young was Canadian either. I really don’t see, now, why I found it difficult but somehow managed to fall into every trap that was laid. 19a made me laugh – going by one of the earlier comments I obviously have the sense of humour of an 8 year old boy! Lots of clues that I enjoyed including 15 and 19a and 1 (also made me laugh) 6 and 7d. With thanks to the setter, whoever he or she is, and to Gazza.

    1. Kath, the first time through I got exactly 2 clues so don’t feel bad. Working from them, I managed to finish it but I did enjoy the challenge. I have never heard of any rock stars Canadian or otherwise. When I finally got on the setters wavelength, I thought many of the clues very clever. Favorite clue 15a. Thanks to Gazza and the setter. Was this a new one?

      1. Maybe they’re not “Rock Stars”, but they are all Canadian:- Paul Anka, Joni Mitchell, Gordon Lightfoot, Leonard Cohen…….Justin Bieber?

        Ps. I thought that today’s crossword was very fairly clued, but the same clue construct kept appearing again and again! However, better than I could ever manage …so thanks to the setter. Also, thanks to gazza for the review (despite the lack of the usual pictorial entertainment – just as well – the Bionic Woman has returned. Welcome back to her!)

        1. I noticed the lack of pictures too, franco – not much opportunity though – but, as you say, just as well …. ! :grin:

    2. I found this hard going. Fine with the anagrams, but I didn’t really enjoy the rest. It took me ages to get the north west corner done, but stuck with it and got there without the hints, though didn’t feel particulary thrilled with myself when I managed to finish. Maybe it’s a gardeners thing Kath – I feel like a weeding session will feel more profitable than stretching the brain cells today.

        1. Hmmmm – if I didn’t do regular weeding we would be completely swamped – we already have to fight with the pigeons and muntjacs for all our veggies and fruit (husband walking round the garden muttering “pigeon pie and venison” doesn’t seem to worry them at all) – if they had to contend with weeds as well I think they’d give up completely!

      1. Definitely a gardeners thing! Very profitable few hours weeding today to get me out of the bad mood – it always works! :smile:

  9. I enjoyed todays as well, but I like anagrams. Not too difficult, but hard enough to demand some concentration which is how I like them. Been missing for a while as recovering from shoulder op and having to write and type with wrong hand!

      1. Nearly, thanks. Just a pain having to do everything onehanded and with the wrong hand.

  10. Thanks to the setter and to Gazza but I wasn’t too keen on this one, too many anagrams and not enough thinking. toughie is more enjoyable.

  11. A slow start last night, but the first hour and a half in the office was very productive! Last in was 23a – thought I had it, couldn’t work out why, so needed Gazza’s help for confirmation (only). Is it me or are 18d and 28a appearing fairly regularly?

  12. Sorry to disagree but i thought todays was very tricky esp when faced witha horrible Americanism in 1a

    Didn’t like this one at all.

    1. Finished now with help but I don’t think I have ever had to look up the answers so many clues as today. Some I couldn’t even fathom from the hints! Btw what’s has earnest got to do with pledge? Only decent clue for me today was 14d mentioning the great Neil Young who apart from Bryan Adams is Canada’s only rock star.

    1. Could you please enter an alias/email address with your comments. All comments from Anonymous need to be moderated – and it’s much more pleasant for all of us to have a name that we can relate to.

  13. Really didn’t enjoy. 22a must be one of the most long-winded clues for a five letter answer ever and several others were almost as tortuous – 11a, 17a, 23a, 5d. Like others, never heard of the definition for 3 and 14d is not a word, at least, it shouldn’t be.

    1. Very grumpy, Grumpy Andrew :( Sorry to hear that.
      14d is a common word IMHO, and ‘spanking’ used in the context of the answer to 3 is oft to be hear around my way (Brizzle).
      I quite enjoyed it for once.

      1. Bionic Woman, you’re quite right about 14d, sorry, I disliked so many clues that I managed to list the wrong reason for disliking this one. My complaint with 14d is that we’re supposed to know the nationality of a singer from 40 years ago. I have heard of him and think I can name one of his songs (Heart of Gold? Wow, it drags), but it seems very unfair that anyone is meant to know where he was born.
        I stick to my criticism of 3, though I might test it tonight when I go to the pub and ask for a spanking whisky.

        1. Neil Young is far more recent than 40 years ago – lots of his “stuff” is great (my Dad would probably have said “If you like that sort of thing”) – he was in the group “Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young” before he left and went his own way. Much as I like his music I didn’t know that he was a Canadian.

  14. Thanks to the setter & to Gazza for the review & hints, which I needed to get the Clue rather than the answer for 28a, not printed in the paper :-)Thought Iwas going to struggle, but luckily it all fell into place with the SW corner being last in. Favourite was 14d, as I’m a big NY fan. Wasn’t sure about 11a with “ends of” meaning the last two letters of haven.Also wasn’t sure that spanking=large in 3d.Like winter in Central London.

    1. In 11a the “ends of” relate to (th)E (have)N, not to the last two letters of haven.

      1. Thanks Gazza, my apologies, I totally failed to parse that one !
        I used to blog as Heno, but since WordPress changed, I have to log into WordPress & Heno was already taken. Is there a way I can revert to Heno to blog ? If I log out of word press I can’t seem to post comments on this site.

  15. Back to UK for us now.. And reliable tinterweb. Bit stop start again for some reason, mostly my clumsy fingerwork on the ipad. Agree with the 2/2 rating. Nothing contentious all straight forward .

  16. I found this approaching difficult.
    Having no clue for 28a added spice.
    Come on DT process my flipping Worldpay payment!!!
    Thanks setter and Gazza.

  17. As I prefer solving on paper, I was a bit miffed that 28a was missing, but guessed the answer would be either ‘earnest’ or ‘eeriest’. Anyway, not the setter’s fault – to whom, ‘Thank you for an enjoyable puzzle.’ To the typesetter, ‘Please try harder.’

  18. I was very pleased to finish this as at first reading I only got one answer (12) but glad I perservated inc 28.

  19. Thanks very much. First time on your blog tonight as my pa and me were struggling to get into this one…enjoyed it in the end but not happy with the answer to 28a!

    1. Hi Jimmy Mac – welcome to the blog.
      Now that you’ve found us I hope we’ll get more comments from you.

  20. Finished this puzzle early this morning after a late start last night. Not a difficult job.
    Liked : 15a, 17a, 23a,1d, 6d, 14d & 17d.

    Am really blogging on to see what the clue to 28a is!!

  21. With regard to 19a – nobody has mentioned “Wills Whiffs” – an old brand of cigarettes – that’s what i thought the clue was about – any others?

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