DT 26848 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26848

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26848

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Nothing too difficult today (although there is a pretty obscure American composer, you should be able to get his name from the wordplay and checking letters). We do, however, have a bonus in the form of a Nina with a couple of Quickie-style puns and that earns the puzzle an extra enjoyment star from me – if you haven’t found them look at the bottom of the review.
If you need to see an answer just highlight the space between the brackets under the clue (those of you using mobile devices should consult the FAQ for advice on how to do this).

Across Clues

7a  Cultivated hemp plant, name not shown in brochure (8)
{PAMPHLET} – an anagram (cultivated) of HEMP PLA(n)T with the N(ame) omitted gives us a brochure.

9a  I grew agitated holding a small insect (6)
{EARWIG} – an anagram (agitated) of I GREW contains (holding) A.

10a  Ready to complain if there’s no starter (4)
{RIPE} – an informal verb to complain or moan loses its starting G to leave an adjective meaning ready (to eat, perhaps).

11a  Downtrodden girl recalled being beaten about at home (10)
{CINDERELLA} – an anagram (being beaten about) of RECALLED goes around the usual short word for at home to make the downtrodden girl from the fairy tale. Excellent clue.

12a  Blooming rent for a shop (6)
{OUTLET} – this is a shop. It’s a charade of an adjective meaning in full bloom and a verb to rent out.

14a  Response concerning lawsuit (8)
{REACTION} – this response comes from a preposition meaning about or concerning followed by a lawsuit.

15a  Most reasonable in Salvation Army shelter (6)
{SANEST} – a superlative meaning most reasonable or rational comes from the abbreviation for the Salvation Army followed by a shelter.

17a  Mean word used to express denial in letter (6)
{DENOTE} – this is a verb to mean or signify. Insert the word used to express a denial or negative inside how one of the letters of the alphabet is spelled out.

20a  Advertising a bar’s sugared almonds (8)
{PRALINES} – this is a confection of sugared almonds. Start with the abbreviation for public relations (I’m not convinced that this is the same thing as advertising), then follow up with A, a bar or stroke and the ‘S from the clue.

22a  Western city daughter avoided (6)
{DODGED} – a city in Kansas that was once a frontier town and featured in many Wild West movies is followed by D(aughter).

23a  Develops complex close to Devizes (10)
{ELABORATES} – an adjective meaning complex or intricate is followed by the closing letter of (Devize)S.

24a  Conservative is livid (4)
{BLUE} – double definition, the second being the colour described by livid (that of bruises, perhaps).

25a  Feel bitter about unopened gift (6)
{RESENT} – a gift without its opening letter leaves a verb meaning to feel bitter.

26a  Make-up item — look at range by end of counter (8)
{EYELINER} – a make-up item comes from assembling a) a verb to look at, b) a synonym for range or brand and c) the end letter of (counte)R.

Down Clues

1d  Wears military-style clothing (8)
{FATIGUES} – double definition (wears is being used in the sense of exhausts or tires out).

2d  English nobleman’s short sword (4)
{EPEE} – a duelling sword is made from E(nglish) followed by a nobleman without his final R (short).

3d  Bring out priest about it (6)
{ELICIT} – a verb meaning to bring out or extract is a charade of an Old Testament priest, a single character abbreviation for approximately or about and IT (given in the clue).

4d  Purchase endless beer, drinking constantly (8)
{LEVERAGE} – the definition here is purchase, in the sense of grip. A type of beer without its final R (endless) contains (drinking) an adverb meaning constantly or at all times.

5d  US composer determined to reject a top medal (6,4)
{ERNEST GOLD} – “Who he?” I hear everyone asking. It was my last answer in and I needed all the checking letters. He was, apparently, a composer of film scores (the most famous, probably, being Exodus). His forename is a synonym for determined or hard-working without the A and his surname is the medal won by the competitor standing on the top level of the podium.

6d  Put up Irish singer in district of Venice (6)
{RIALTO} – if, like me, you’re a fan of Donna Leon and her Venetian detective Commissario Brunetti, you’ll be aware that this is the commercial and financial district of Venice. Reverse (put up, in a down clue) an abbreviation for Irish and add a male singer with a high singing voice.

8d  Holding tureen nervously (6)
{TENURE} – a fairly obvious anagram (nervously) of TUREEN.

13d  One rarely sails laden, blurb set out (4-6)
{LAND-LUBBER} – this is a derogative sailor’s term for someone who rarely, if ever, goes to sea. It’s an anagram (set out) of LADEN BLURB.

16d  Young lady from Madrid is near to collapsing (8)
{SENORITA} – an anagram (collapsing) of IS NEAR TO gives us a young lady from Madrid (or anywhere in a Spanish-speaking country).

18d  Killed and carried out (8)
{EXECUTED} – double definition.

19d  Fly as part of jet set’s entourage (6)
{TSETSE} – hidden (part of) in the clue is a disease-carrying fly.

21d  Help whistle-blower to pen story (6)
{RELIEF} – the definition here is help or succour. A whistle-blower (on the sports field) goes round (to pen) a made-up story.

22d  Film producer dines out with unknown (6)
{DISNEY} – the name of a producer of many films (including 11a) is an anagram (out) of DINES followed by a mathematical unknown.

24d  Barrister forgoing fine cheese (4)
{BRIE} – drop the F(ine) from an informal word for a barrister to leave a type of soft cheese.

My stand-out clue today is 11a. How about you?

If you haven’t yet found the additional puns look at {a) the top and bottom rows of the grid (FEELER + FRAYED = FEEL AFRAID)} and {b) the left and right columns of the grid (PROPER + GANDER = PROPAGANDA)}.

Today’s Quickie Pun: {MILL} + {KEY} + {WHEY} = {MILKY WAY}

73 comments on “DT 26848

  1. Most of this I found fairly straightforward, although I spent a while explaining the answer to 17a, where I initially assumed the ‘denial’ was a 2-letter word!
    I totally missed the nina. My favourite clues was also 11a.
    Thanks to setter, and to gazza.

    The toughie today is good fun too, although I spent far too much time finishing up the last handful in the SE corner.

  2. Can’t say I enjoyed this one today. A lot of the clues seemed rather contrived and bitty (take a letter here, put this letter at the end, put it round this word, etc). Worked out the composer, but on checking, he’s not in the Wikipedia list of American composers, but that’s possibly because he was originally Austrian and his real surname is Goldner.
    Nice to see 19D in a crossword, must be years since I last saw it.

  3. Bit deflated, found this one really difficult, but having read the review, I shouldn’t have.
    Thanks Gazza, with a third unfinished I needed you. Just couldn’t get into it.
    Thanks to the compiler.

  4. I enjoyed this crossword. I’ve never heard of the composer but got there in the end – just about! I needed the hint to explain the first bit of 20a – I always forget about PR. I completely missed the nina. Favourites include 9 and 11a and 1 and 18d. With thanks to the setter and to gazza.
    6d reminds me of being in Venice a few years ago – I went off on my own to prove that I could find my way to the 6d bridge and back to where we were staying – all I did was prove that I couldn’t! I was hours and very unpopular by the time I eventually found my way back! Sense of direction never was a strong point …

      1. The easiest way to travel anywhere (as husbands don’t allow you to turn the map round so you are giving directions in the way you are travelling – I have only had the one husband but assume that this is a general faililng on their part :) ) is to go to the AA website and go to their classic routeplanner and print off the route – saves a lot of arguments as you can just say ‘at the next roundabout take the third exit’ or similar.

        1. We have a different solution to the eternal problem – I drive, he reads the map! The only minor snag is that I have to think about left and right!! Oh dear!! :smile:

              1. What a cunning plan – will have to introduce husband to that one! It’s not that I don’t know left from right, it’s more that I have to think about it, by which time we’ve gone past the “left turn” because I was looking for something on the right! :roll:

  5. I thought todays was quite difficult- a bit like drawing teeth,anyway score it ***/*** as i got there in the end struggled with the composer as i misread the clue -a top model as opposed to a top medal!No prises for me-anyway bike passed it’s MOTand it did’nt rain.

      1. Look forward to an appropriate picture as and when , i agree that 11a is the best clue, did’ nt click withy me until i saw the two sisters next door going for a walk!

    1. ***/*** form me also. I found this a bit of a trudge in places. Not helped by me missing some quite obvious bits (with hind sight). I wanted to fit Lido in to 6d and when that wouldn’t fit tried other areas completely missing the most obvious answer. With 21d I also wanted it to be train related (stoker, etc.) until the penny dropped. 20a last one in, again I can’t explain why I found this one most difficult. Can’t blame the setter; it must be me. Many Thanks to all.

  6. Fairly straightforward and enjoyable today. Top favourite has to be 11a. Thanks to the Tuesday Mysteron and Gazza too.

    The Dada Toughie is a thing of great joy – everyone should have a go, even if you need the H&T to finish it off.

  7. I found this trickier than yesterday – maybe not on the same wavelength. Had second part of 5d right but needed Google’s help for the forename as I had not heard of this composer. Favourite clues were 11a and 18d. ***/*** Thanks to setter and Gazza

  8. Hello from Beijing. This was too hard for me today but will put it down to tiredness! Downloaded it when I got of the plane two hours ago. Some good clues but some OT priests and obscure composers did it for me. What a joy to have the crossword/paper/radio out her though. Thumbs up to the iPad and the Internet.

  9. Thanks to the compiler and to Gazza. not the most enjoyable crossword but a reasonable amount of thinking required.

  10. Actually had time to do the crossword and comment today! Not too tricky today and the composer did ring a vague (very) bell with me, which helped. Enjoyed the extra puns. Re 6d, I would say the singer is more commonly a female with a low voice (like mine!).
    Thanks to setter and to Gazza.

    1. I think the singer can be both. Chambers has “a high falsetto male voice; (properly countertenor) the highest male voice; contralto, the lowest female voice; the part sung by a countertenor or contralto; an instrument of corresponding range; a person with a countertenor or contralto voice; a viola (archaic).”
      Confusing or what?

        1. Most choral music is written for SATB, ie soprano, alto, tenor, bass, the top 2 being for women, the bottom two for men, and most of the choirs I’ve sung in (not as many as that makes it sound!) or been to see are split the same way; and the alto soloist is invariably a woman. I’m very surprised that Chambers mentions the male voice first – maybe they’ve never sung in a choir. :-)

        2. Hi gazza, sorry wasn’t around yesterday/today thanks for the vote of confidence ( I think) but Alisons answer seems reasonable to me :-)

  11. We enjoyed this one, a proper puzzle IMHO, so many thanks to the setter.

    Never heard of the composer but guessed it from *R***T ***D and had a quick gander at Wiki :grin:

    Don’t feeler frayed of the Toughie – it’s well worth a go, as is the same sette’s offering in today’s Grauniad.

    Thanks to Gazza aswell.

  12. That was too hard for me. I managed to complete everything but the NE corner – where I became completely stymied (save 9a). Thank you, Gazza, for the helpful hints that were needed to see me through. Following on from a tough one on Monday – what will Friday’s be like?

  13. Glad you thought it was straightforward. I thought it was a Ray T on another day. For me almost impossible!

  14. I feel frayed ,very frayed after that . Definitely ***/* for me to-day. Never heard of the composer and thanks Gazza,needed you today for that one and 20a ,as I had teller ??? in for 21d. and missed the nina completely. :sad:

    1. Cheer up – tomorrow is another day and the Wednesday crossword is reliably a) not too difficult and b) good fun. I think most of us missed the nina – even when I read what gazza had said I STILL needed a pointer in the right direction to find what we were supposed to find.

  15. A Nina? Oh come on guys spare a thought for us mere mortals. Def one for the toughie page

    1. The Nina has no effect on your ability (or not) to solve the puzzle. It’s just an additional bit of fun if you spot it.

    2. No – a nina is not one for the toughie at all. IF you spot it (I didn’t and, as far as I can remember, have only ever done so once) it can, just occasionally, help. Do you enjoy any of the puzzles except for the Friday ones?

  16. Enjoyed solving this one on a beautifully sunny afternoon.
    Liked :10a, 11a, 20a, 22a, 1d, 4d, 5d & 21d.

    The woods across the street are now blossoming aside from one tall tree that was struck by lightning some time back.

    1. I’m glad you have blossom – we do too. So what’s for supper? I’m having pasta and tomato sauce (very garlicky) and salad as husband is out and it’s a quick and easy supper (and I love it!)

  17. Logged on today to see the explanation for 17a. Still not impressed! Mind you, working in the ‘nina’ must be indicative of a skilled setter. And yes, 11a is a good clue. Thanks to all involved today.

  18. 5d was inexcusable, exactly the sort of clue that makes attempting to complete a crossword pointless. There are a few others that I never would have solved without the help of this blog – 17a and 20a.
    I did get 9a but can’t see why the world “small” is in the clue. 9a isn’t particularly small, as insects go.

    1. The setter needed a word between “a” and insect, otherwise it would have been “an insect” and incorrect.

    2. Obviously you haven’t seen some of the insects we get around here! An earwig would be considered tiny conmpared to some!

    3. Oh, and I liked 5d. OK, I’ve never heard of the guy but the answer was pretty obvious from the very clear wordplay and a couple of the checkers – it wasn’t rocket science!

    4. I disagree on 5d.
      I have not heard of him (or have forgot him) but the wordplay is clear. Part of the Art of solving a Cryotic Crossword is to understand when there is a definition that you don’t necessarily understand but the wordplay is clear. I do it with flowers all the time!

            1. Honest! But now you’ve reminded me I’ll have to find an opportunity of mentioning it again soon, before I forget again. Perhaps Po will come up in tomorrow’s? Don’t worry, I have an exeedingly short memory :smile:

  19. Got 7a and 9a straight off and then ground to an obstinate halt. Finished eventually with a lot of head scratching, electronic help and final resort to hints! Found it very tough, though seem to be in the minority – maybe just wasn’t on the right wavelength? Found some of the clues a bit weird – partic 22a. But thanks all the same, and for the hints too Gazza.

  20. Thanks Gazza and compiler, witty and enjoyable.
    5d is part of the reason why crosswords are so mentally invigorating, IMO
    “It’s a Mad Mad World” had a great musical score!.

  21. Where’s Mary today? I’m sure that she would have had lots to say – if only because she always does! If she and I ever meet the question is “Who would out talk who”? I suspect I might lose! :grin:

    1. I seem to recall, Kath, from the meet at Liverpool St that we had the the same stream of consciousness with regard to solving but completely different wavelengths!. I think Mary might make things more fun still!

      1. One thing is for sure – there would be lots of donkeys with only their front legs left …

    2. Just reading through yesterdays blog Kath, yes I probably would have had lots to say :-D seemed a fun day, I really am a very quiet person ;-) Life just getting in the way!!!

    1. It’s not so much a nina as a couple of quickie type puns. Look at the bottom of the blog and Gazza has explained about them. Look at the unchecked letters around the outside of the grid, the top and bottom give one and the two sides the other.

  22. Hi Gazza

    Just noticed your comment on 20a. As an ex marketing man I can assure you that Public Relations and advertising are completely different things and should not be confused, but in the context of a crossword, it’s probably OK to claim they’re synonyms. How pedantic are we to be? It worked for me and I’m one person who knows the difference.

  23. Thanks to the setter & Gazza for the review & hints. Was beaten by the first name of 5d. Found it quite enjoyable. Favourites were 1,13,19d. Late blogging today due to Squash Tournament Draw & Barcelona vs Chelsea. Weather still rubbish in Central London.

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