DT 26847 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26847

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26847

Hints and tips by Gazza

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

Libellule is otherwise engaged today so he and I have done a swap, which enables me to blog a puzzle from our very popular Monday setter. I don’t know about you but I thought that this was a bit trickier than we usually get on Mondays. It has a good supply of the trademark cryptic definitions and I found it very entertaining.
Please let us know how you got on. If you want to reveal an answer just highlight the space between the brackets under the clue.

Across Clues

1a  Assembles for prayers (8)
{COLLECTS} – double definition, the second being short prayers, normally ones applicable to a specific day or occasion in the church calendar.

6a  Salad item makes a girl come out in spots (6)
[Paper version: Vegetable makes a girl come out in spots (6)]
{RADISH} – a girl’s abbreviated name appears inside an outbreak of spots on the skin.

9a  Beat decisively in field event (6)
{HAMMER} – double definition – an informal verb to beat decisively and a field event at an athletics meeting.

10a  He suffers from depression (8)
{INVESTOR} – .. because the value of his portfolio goes down when there’s an economic depression.

11a  Pay to reside at university (6,2)
{SETTLE UP} – this is a phrasal verb meaning to pay what’s owing. A verb meaning to reside or put down roots is followed by a short word for at university.

12a  This singer, given a chance, could win a fortune (6)
{TREBLE} – this is a singer with a high-pitched voice. If followed by the word ‘chance’ it’s a form of betting on football. I remember my dad used to spend ages studying form to try to predict the eight draws that might mean a fortune (£75,000 seemed to be the top prize in those days) then listening to the results at 5 pm on Saturday to find that he’d been unsuccessful once more.

13a  Bold to break in using a jemmy? (12)
{ENTERPRISING} – an adjective meaning bold or resourceful could cryptically, if split (5,7), mean to break in using a jemmy.

16a  Navy planes in sorry state (12)
{PENNSYLVANIA} – a US state is an anagram (sorry) of NAVY PLANES IN.

19a  Container of uniform capacity? (6)
{KITBAG} – i.e. it’s big enough to hold a uniform.

21a  Demanding much in either effort or money (8)
{EXACTING} – double definition – the description of a task that’s arduous or a present participle meaning compelling payment.

23a  Commons vote leads to disagreement (8)
{DIVISION} – the time in the House of Commons when a member has to rush into the Chamber and work out which lobby (either the Ayes or the Noes) to go into (he or she will have been given a schedule by their whip with the “correct” answer clearly identified). It also means a divergence of opinion or disagreement.

24a  Organ swell that may affect one’s hearing (6)
{EARWAX} – a charade of a bodily organ and a verb to swell (like the moon). I don’t think that this works terribly well, because the organ is the same in the wordplay and the definition.

25a  Man on board, Sir (6)
{KNIGHT} – the board here is a chessboard.

26a  Driver of train having crossed lines (8)
{MULETEER} – what this person is driving is a train of animals which are cross-bred (having crossed lines).

Down Clues

2d  Spoke of alternative possible date (6)
{ORATED} – a verb meaning spoke comes from an alternative followed by an anagram (possible) of DATE.

3d  Check breaking point (5)
{LIMIT} – a verb meaning to check or restrain is also, as a noun, a breaking point as in “She tried my patience to the *****”.

4d  Find fault with record in woodworking (9)
{CARPENTRY} – a charade of a verb to complain or find fault and a record (in a ledger, say).

5d  Master, one taking physical exercise? (7)
{SKIPPER} – double definition.

6d  Concentrate to cut off top of hedge (5)
{RIVET} – lop the top P from a type of hedge to leave a verb meaning to concentrate or fix unwaveringly (e.g. “His eyes were *****ed on the scene before him”).

7d  Pepys said sadly it might be the result of unwise eating (9)
{DYSPEPSIA} – an anagram (sadly) of PEPYS SAID produces a problem that he probably suffered from, since he had a great appetite.

8d  Not the only part of the UK wanting tax to come down (8)
{SCOTLAND} – a charade of an old word for a tax and to come down to earth (like an aeroplane) gives us a country which is not the only part of the UK.

13d  Providing a subject with a title? (9)
{ENNOBLING} – gentle cryptic definition of giving a title to a commoner.

14d  Cause one to remember it’s time for church? (4,1,4)
{RING A BELL} – a phrase which means to arouse a memory also describes how the officials at a church remind the locals that a service is about to start.

15d  One girl I converted to the faith (8)
{RELIGION} – an anagram (converted) of ONE GIRL I.

17d  Energy surrounding volcano in Asian land (7)
{VIETNAM} – an informal word for energy or enthusiasm contains the Sicilian volcano to make an Asian country.

18d  Promise to hook up (6)
[Paper version: Promise to meet (6)]
{ENGAGE} – in the surface hook up means to meet by arrangement but cryptically this is a verb meaning to promise to become bound together in a lifelong relationship.

20d  Flash of brilliance (5)
{GLINT} – gentle cryptic definition of a small flash of light.

22d  Card that’s sweet about love (5)
{TAROT} – put a type of sweet or dessert round the letter that looks like love or zero.

The clues I enjoyed included 13a, 19a and 8d, but my stand-out clue of the day is 26a. What floated your boat?

Today’s Quickie Pun: {CANNY} + {STIR} = {CANISTER}

49 comments on “DT 26847

  1. Good morning Gazza, I wasn’t even sure it was a ‘Rufus’ today and was waiting confirmation from yourself, I did manage to finish without your hints but using all my books, electronic friends etc. funnily enough I didn’t have a favourite clue today either, no not a normal rufus for me at least a three star :-(

  2. Very enjoyable if not to taxing again today. Re:18D – the clue in the paper reads ‘Promise to meet’, I think the electronic version is slightly easier with ‘Promise to hook up’. 12A held me up for a bit as I hadn’t got 6D but had the other checking letters and so kept trying to justify putting Presley in. D’Oh

        1. Thanks, dickiedot. What a pain – why do they have to keep tinkering? Does the clue in the paper say “Vegetable makes a girl come out in spots (6)” ?

  3. Very enjoyable start to the week. All pretty straight forward. 2/3* difficulty and 4* enjoyment from me. Particularly enjoyed 12a, 1a, 17d and all the anagram clues. Minor grumble that 10a, 12a, 19a and 20d were a bit too obvious and so I wasn’t sure about them at first. I’m sure some will disagree. Many thanks setter and Gazza.

    1. I should add that 12a is not obvious. I was held up by this one and only got it d=from the checking letters.

  4. LSED, now know where the phrase ”**** free” comes from.
    Really enjoyed this puzzle today, completed without recourse to electrics or hints, but would agree that it was harder than usual.
    We’ve had a really good run of puzzles over the last week or so.
    Thanks to Gazza for his educative review, and to Rufus for another good puzzle

    1. So what does LSED stand for?
      You’re allowed to put bits of answer in your comments when it’s not a prize puzzle.

  5. Must have had a good day,gave it */*** quite a few ‘old chestnuts present, remembered 26a from the distant past-assumed the crossed lines were crossed reins-until i read the blog-thanks Gazza-still gloating over ther the united result! Good start to the week all round.

    1. Can’t agree that this was in the easiest of puzzles As for Greedy United not just wanting to win the title but to do it at City and rub their noses in it… I with you 100%

  6. Definitely a ***. Struggled with 1A, had to look up 26A but a satisfying Monday puzzle for me!

  7. A two sided puzzle for me today, the left hand side went in easily, but then I got stuck on several across clues on the right hand side clues (or should that be East and West??). Anyway, the hints were very welcome so I was able to complete the downs without assistance – if that makes sense. No real favourites today and I’ve never heard of 26a before. Thanks to Rufus and Gazza.

  8. Was happy til reaching bottom rhs then in the paper version 18D didn’t get, 24A guessed only (didn’t like even when seeing soln.) and 26A will now remember this for ever, previously never heard of. Oh well!
    Thanks Gazza for you help.

      1. Found this blog last week after buying the Telegraph last Monday and having trouble with two of the clues. Have now rekindled the crossword bug.
        Many thanks to all the solvers and contributors.

    1. Overall I found this a typical Monday puzzle, but I needed help on 26a and concur with Gazza’s and Howzat’s comments on the solution. I even tried to come up with a solution that was based on the musical type of organs (that include a “swell” featuure)!

  9. A struggle for me today. I got totally bogged down in the SW as a result of writing ECLAT for 20d (which was a fairly stupid thing to do with only the T as a checking letter).
    Thanks to setter, and to gazza.

  10. I thought that this was MUCH trickier than the usual Monday puzzle – quite glad to find that I’m not the only one! Having read all the across clues I only had answers for a few and the downs weren’t much better. I did eventually finish it but needed the hint to explain 26a. 23a would have been easier if I had spelt 15d correctly! I didn’t know the 9a “field event”. Favourites include 13 and 26a, now that I understand it, and 6, 7 and 8d. With thanks to Rufus and gazza.

    1. I did exactly the same thing on 23a. I somehow managed to misspell 15d – and for a while I had ‘petition’ pencilled in to 23a. I just couldn’t make the logic work – and finally spotted my typo. I find these puzzles taxing enough without my own spurious letters mixed into the grid!

  11. When half way I through ‘this isn’t a Rufus’. It was trickier than usual however just as enjoyable. Thanks Rufus and Gazza for the review.

  12. A smidge trickier but not sure why – did seem quite chestnutty too – 26a was my favourite too – not a job one hears much about these days. Thanks to Rufus for the usual gentle start to Monday and to Gazza for the explanations.

  13. Just reading the paper while eating my lunchtime sarnie and I reached a headline ‘The new fun-loving Rufus is on top of his game – will he be signed by Chelsea?’ Turned out it related to the singer Rufus Wainwright and a concert at the Chelsea Football Club, but it did make me pause mid bite! :D

  14. I found that hard work today. Normally when I pencil in a few possibilties they end up being right – this time it was the other way around. I finally got there – but not without some electronic help on 23a (a new word for me). Favourite clue by far – 13a. Thanks to Rufus and Gazza.

  15. Many thanks to Rufus for a most enjoyable start to the week and to Gazza for an entertaining review.

    1. Sorry to disagree but I thought 26 a was by far the worst clue of the day closely followed by that dreadful 1a. Best clue for me was 13a, very clever.

      1. There’s no need to apologise for disagreeing, Brian, but it would help everyone’s understanding if you explained why you don’t like those clues.

  16. Welcome to Monday Gazza, and the gentle art of revealing Rufus’s ruses.
    Thanks for un-crossing my lines for the last part of 28a – d’oh!
    And thanks as ever to Mr S – do you think he meant to use the same “faith” word in both puzzles – a new “signature” perhaps?

    1. Hi Digby.
      I noticed the duplication – I don’t think it’s the first time Rufus has done that.

  17. I ,too,thought it was a bit trickier but no less enjoyable , than usual for a Monday. I was held up by 1a and thanks to Gazza for explaining 23a

  18. I found this one quite tricky. The clue that held me up was the same one that gave some others a problem (26a). Thanks to dictionary and Gazza for crossed lines explanation. Favourite was 13a. Good crossword. ***/*** from me. Thanks Rufus & Gazza

  19. I found this puzzle quite hard but managed it in the end. Thanks to Rufus and to Gazza for the hints which were very helpful

  20. Usual entertainment from Jolly Roger!
    I liked : 6a, 13a, 24a, 26a, 4d, 8d, 17d & 22d.

    Strictly speaking the non-decapitated 6d is not a hedge but a bush!

  21. Thanks to the setter & to Gazza for the review & hints. I found this quite difficult, but enjoyable, defeated by 26a, could only think of muletied, which was close, but not close enough :-) A penny drop moment with 13a, favourites were 24a & 8d. More showers and chilly in Central London.

  22. Very enjoyable start to the week. Thanks Gazza and Rufus. Perhaps the discomfort one or two have expressed with 1a is indicative that C of E congregations are becomiing smaller by the year.. We had a clue some weeks ago: meet, as in appropriate, and it troubled a few, until someone commented that it appears every week in Communion services.

  23. Happy St. George’s Day!

    Strange that it is always overlooked! Maybe one day the English will also have their own parliament!

    1. I haden’t forgotten it but I have been expatriate for so many years.
      I trust that you have not forgotten the old saw “unity is strength” or over here “eendracht maakt macht” as I always am against what Alex Salmond is up to!

  24. Got stuck in NE corner so needed hints – thank you Gazza – it was 12a that stumped me and consequently 8d – first part of word a new one on me. Did get 26a but didn’t understand why until reading hints – of course!, why didn’t I see that?? Favourite clue 13a – it just made me chuckle – least fav 22d as “tart” is, in fact, the opposite of “sweet” unless, of course, it is used in the context it is in this clue – if you see what I mean! Agree it was more difficult that usual for a Monday, but very enjoyable nonetheless.

    1. I had to think about this one too but I think “tart” means ”pud” or “dessert” ie a “sweet” in this case ie an “apple tart”. A good clue, I thought. The whole thing was quite tricky for a Monday, in my opinion.

  25. Oh, very tricky this one and lots of holes. Quite a few words I’d never heard of before..such as collects and scot..land.

    re the Treble Chance reference…that brought back memories of the comic Michael Bentine (IIRC) reading out the football results and, as the results progressed, became more and more excited as he thought he was going to win the treble chance…to end up reading very slowly as he’d missed out.

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