DT 26880 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog

DT 26880 ~ Posted on

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26880

Hints and tips by Gazza

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

Big Dave has not yet made it home after yesterday’s festivities in London so I’ve been given the opportunity to review a Thursday puzzle. This wasn’t one of my favourites – some of the surface readings are a bit weak and few of the clues stood out. Let me know your thoughts about it.
If you want to see an answer just highlight the space between the brackets under the clue.

Across Clues

7a  Power many deployed miles away in guns and the like? (8)
{WEAPONRY} – an anagram (deployed) of POWER (m)ANY after M(iles) has been taken away produces guns, etc.

9a  Minister grabbing time in part of territory (6)
{CANTON} – insert (grabbing) T(ime) in a clergyman attached to a cathedral to make a sub-division of a country (Switzerland, for example).

10a  Exercise adopted in silent place of learning (6)
{MUSEUM} – a verb to exercise or implement goes inside (adopted) an adjective meaning silent to make a place of learning.

11a  Lead in tragedy developed in phase — by such? (8)
{THESPIAN} – a semi-all-in-one. The lead letter of T(ragedy) followed by an anagram (developed) of IN PHASE gives us someone who may take the lead in a tragedy. The surface is not great.

12a  Paper composed by conservationists is evident around church before joint training period (14)
{APPRENTICESHIP} – the definition here is training period. Start with an anagram (composed) of PAPER, then add the abbreviation for the organisation that preserves places of historic interest, IS containing an abbreviation of church and, finally, a bodily joint.

15a  Amused reaction or what might partner it around joker’s finale (4)
{GRIN} – this is the sort of amused reaction that I had when I solved this clue. What you might drink with your ‘it’ (i.e. Italian vermouth) goes around the final letter of (joke)R.

17a  Reporting of what police investigate in city (5)
{LEEDS} – a city in West Yorkshire sounds like (reporting) what the police are supposed to follow up.

19a  Challenger, perhaps, restrained by left ankle (4)
{TANK} – hidden (restrained by) in the clue is something of which Challenger (with a capital C) is an example.

20a  Admire lowly pub that’s renovated getting more established socially? (8,6)
{UPWARDLY MOBILE} – an anagram (that’s renovated) of ADMIRE LOWLY PUB produces a phrase meaning becoming more established in society.

23a  Alienate good man in the Himalayas say? (8)
{ESTRANGE} – a verb meaning to alienate comes from inserting the abbreviation for a good man (in the religious sense) in how you might describe the Himalayas for example (1,5) (bearing in mind that the Himalayas are a chain of mountains in the East).

25a  Tidy figure following clipped approach (6)
{NEATEN} – a two-digit number follows a verb to approach which has had its final R removed (clipped).

27a  Gloomy river fringed by North American animal (6)
{MOROSE} – insert R(iver) into (fringed by) a large North American animal. I’m not sure how a river can be fringed by an animal.

28a  One making fun of sculptor not new stuck in old period (8)
{PARODIST} – the name of the most famous French sculptor loses its trailing N (not new) and what’s left goes inside (stuck in) bygone times to make someone who pokes fun at someone by imitating their style.

Down Clues

1d  Country engulfed in deeper upheaval (4)
{PERU} – hidden (engulfed) in the clue is a South American country.

2d  Look shown by an elevated figure, we hear (6)
{APPEAR} – a verb meaning to look or seem sounds like (we hear) an individual who has been elevated to the House of Lords.

3d  Source of disease starts to cause youngster serious torment (4)
{CYST} – an abnormal growth in the body that may be the source of disease comes from the leading letters (starts) of four words in the clue.

4d  Proposal by the writer to follow Southern revolutionary (6)
{SCHEME} – this is a proposal or plan of action. How today’s compiler would refer to himself (or herself) follows S(outhern) and the name by which the iconic Argentinian revolutionary is known.

5d  Instant record revealing game’s passionate (8)
{SNAPSHOT} – a charade of a children’s card game, the ‘S from the clue and an informal adjective meaning passionate.

6d  Pal learns to get excited about round environmentalist’s device? (5,5)
{SOLAR PANEL} – something utilised to produce green energy is an anagram (to get excited) of PAL LEARNS containing (about) the letter that is round in shape.

8d  So-called bird following number over lake (7)
{NOMINAL} – the definition here is so-called or titular. The alternative spelling of a bird which can be taught to mimic human speech follows the two-letter abbreviation for number. Then all that goes before (over, in a down clue) L(ake).

13d  Playing of piano users showing a convincing quality (10)
{PERSUASION} – an anagram (playing) of PIANO USERS reveals a convincing quality.

14d  Perfect statement by person in charge of pack? (5)
{IDEAL} – double definition – an adjective meaning perfect is what the person who has hold of the pack may say (1,4).

16d  Secure at sea to turn up following directions in a place for subs? (8)
{NEWSROOM} – subs here are neither submarines nor subscriptions but sub-editors. Where they may work is a verb to secure or tie up a seagoing craft which has to be reversed (turn up) after the four cardinal points (directions).

18d  Dubious means I start to reject in academic discussion (7)
{SEMINAR} – an anagram (dubious) of MEANS I is followed by the starting letter of R(eject) to make an academic discussion.

21d  Old actor initially avoided park employee (6)
{RANGER} – the old actor was born in London as James Stewart but changed his name because there was already an actor called that. Drop the first G (initially avoided) from his new surname to get a park employee.

22d  Bachelor getting hot drink (6)
{BRANDY} – an alcoholic drink is made from B(achelor) and an adjective meaning hot or lustful.

24d  Catch sight of locomotive finally attached to sleeper (4)
{ESPY} – a verb to catch sight of comes from the final letter of (locomotiv)E followed by what a sleeper may be an example of in the shady world of espionage. I think that the clue needs some indication that sleeper is just an example here.

26d  Support for artist brought short rest from work (4)
{EASE} – an artist’s support is truncated (brought short) to leave a verb meaning to rest from work.

The clue I liked best was 15a. How about you?

Today’s Quickie Pun: {HELL} + {SIN} + {KEY} = {HELSINKI}

52 responses to “DT 26880

  1. I would agree that this was not one of the better puzzles we have seen recently. I did however like 15a very much.
    Thanks to setter, and to gazza.

    Any recommendations for the toughie? Not sure if I will have time to look at it (throwing things into suitcases for a middle of the night departure to the South of France).

    • I’ve been out in the rain doing a door to door collection to help those poor hard up souls. The reaction has been positive – I’ve managed to collect £2.37 and i have donated some old pesetas from a holiday a few years back.

  2. Well I’m here!
    Found this puzzle a bit stodgy, and waded through it with little joy or entertainment, did like the anagrams though.

    Thanks for review and to setter.

  3. I wasn’t sure about this one – wondered if it was the unaccustomed gallivanting – and before anyone starts, I spent most of the evening on fruit juice :D I thought 15a was particularly good too. Thanks to the Thursday Mysteron and to Gazza too.

    The Toughie took me a proper toughie time.

    • Oh dear! If you found the toughie hard going then I don’t hold out much hope for this journeyman.

      • I am quite tired but Gazza who presumably isn’t said he found it was tough too. But if you don’t try you will never know.

  4. I’m here too, finally! I did this in bits and pieces in between doing other stuff – very busy weekend coming up and I’m really not sure if it’s Christmas or Clapham Junction at the moment.
    While I was doing it I found it quite difficult – at least a 3* – but having finished it I can’t really see why. I took a long time to sort out 12a. I liked 15a (although it was a while before the light dawned on why it was what it was) and 22d.
    With thanks to the mystery setter and gazza.
    I do hope that BD makes it home in one piece some time today!!

    • Your first comment made me smile as yesterday I was test-solving a Christmas crossword on my way to Stratford International. Not quite Clapham Junction but nearly the same thing. :D

      When I left the pub last night, BD was in fine form ( ;) ) and there was talk of going on for a curry. His sister was on non-alcoholic refreshment so presumably got him back to her house OK!

        • Very enjoyable indeed – lots of lovely setters and bloggers all having a great time.

      • BD, his sister, Tilsit & I made it to the Curry House. Tilsit got a cab, the remaining three all missed the last Tube. I took two buses and got home at 1:20. BD & Sis were heading south by bus, I reckon that they got back later than me!

        • A “snort” on the train – how disgusting! Ah, not that sort of snort! It was very funny though :lol:

      • You should see my husband’s writing – in 35 years of marriage, and a good few years of knowing him before we got married, I’ve NEVER been able to read his writing – I think it’s an occupational hazard, or perhaps an affectation with what they all think is a valid excuse!!

        • I always thought there was a module in the Doctor’s training syllabus that taught how to write in a wierd script that only other doctors and pharmacists can decipher – us normal people would need the equivalent of a “Rosetta stone” to even make a start :grin:

          • “WHAT DO WE WANT?”
            “TIME TRAVEL!”
            “WHEN DO WE WANT IT?”
            “ITS IRRELEVANT!”

            • One of the best Matt cartoons ever (it is on my office noticeboard and I can’t remember it exactly) was about a Retirement Age Protest and the placards say ‘What do we want?’ ‘Why do we want it?’ :D

              • Yes – I remember that one too – unfortunately I CAN’T remember the rest of it ….. ?! :smile:

  5. I quite enjoyed this one although I do agree that it was on the easier side. Thanks to the setter and to Gazza.

  6. We quite enjoyed this one. There’s some neat anagrams which always keep pommette happy. On first pass we only got 6 of the acrosses but then got all the downs bar 16d. The remaining acrosses then just filled themselves in :grin:

    Favs were 12a, 15a and 22d.

    Thanks to the mysteron and Gazza.

  7. Cracked this during a quick lunch-break.
    A couple of stand-out clues (15a / 22d), but otherwise fairly pedestrian.
    It’s only quiet because Mary is not around!
    Thanks to X & Gazza.

    • I think you’re right about it being quiet because of Mary’s absence – I look forward to her return – tomorrow?

  8. Well.i enjojed it , thought it had a good sence of humour-if that’s possible! and give it **/****. liked 28, made me think(without the queen).Also liked 15a, always find clues involving alcohol right up my street- like Kath loved the Matt cartoon,but then i usually do.

  9. Oh Dear! I needed help with 9A~I’m afraid so a little dissapointed ***/** IMHO. Thanks Gazza.

  10. They only let me ut of the basement every 3 hours or so and the signal down there is crap. A workmanlike puzzle, as gazza pointed out – I didn’t dislike it but couldn’t remember much about it until I read the blog. Thanks to the setter and to gazza. I think that BD and some of the others hit the Curry House last night – hope they didn’t fall in to St Katherine’s Dock!.

    • Why are you stuck in the basement? Is it some sort of punishment? Perhaps for the sins of a past life?

      • I have been working in a generator room to facilitate the upgrade of the generators (we are monitoring them and turning off plant depending on load) and also adding new metering software to improve the above. I only get out occasionally to send a quick email to CSue.

        • You need to get out more! Can you not find a generator at ground level? Being in a subterrainian generator room must hamper the Xword solving as well!

          • Curse of the drinking classes, pommers!.
            I expect to have solved the back page and the majority of the Toughie before I get to work and then there is just the Times to deal with. Best days I can do all 3 on my commute – worst days just the DT and a handful in the Toughie. Currrently the Indy, FT and Grauniad are right out unless I spot a setter coming and print one out specifically.
            Problem is this level (!) of work doesn’t help me and CS having email conversations like we did when I wasn’t working!

              • Ah! With the advent of the High Speed Line from Kent a couple of years ago my commute actually reduced in time.
                Fortunately having picked up on the theory behind crosswords at about the same time (and having widened my exposure to them) my times, such as I recognise them, have actually gone down>
                I guarantee that by going through this blog in conjunction with any of the books recommmended on the site, then applying the result will make anyone a decent enough solver

  11. Def tougher than a 2 star. Got a lot of the clues without fully understanding them, esp 15a and def 10a which I still don’t fully get (I see use and mum but place of learning? – weak) thx to Gazza for trying to explain the answers. Still mustn’t complain, at least I finished it and it wasn’t by my nemesis!

    • Hi Brian

      Re 15a – The answer is the amused reaction :grin: like that one! Joker’s finale is the R (last letter) and around it you put gin, which goes with It – as in Italian vermouth. My mum used to drink “gin & It” in her younger days, or sometimes “gin and French” if we had some Dubonnet in the house :grin:

      • Arrived back at my sister’s, via 4 buses, at just after 3:00am having missed the last train

        Finally arrived home at 11:30pm last night after visiting friends en route.

  12. I agree with You Gazza on this one. Did it early this morning then had to go to work! Outrageous! Just got back from the pub after watching my friend carry the Olympic Torch round Bolton. Great evening.

  13. Thanks to the setter & to Gazza for the review and hints. Quite enjoyed this one, but it took me ages to get on the setter’s wavelength. I normally manage to finish a corner, but the whole puzzle looked decidedly threadbare at one point. Then I just seemed to fill in the blanks without really trying. Had to use the hint for 26d, could only think of easel, but couldn’t get ease, how dumb is that? :-) Favourite was 15a.

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