DT 26887 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26887

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26887

Hints and tips by Gazza

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

Good morning from a storm-racked Devon. This is my first blog this month and I’m returning to duty with a Giovanni puzzle which has a mixture of pretty easy clues with a few trickier ones thrown in. Let me know how you got on and how you liked it.
If you want to see an answer just highlight the space between the brackets under the clue – further information for users with mobile devices can be found in the FAQ.

Across Clues

1a  Something bag-like carried by soldiers and pillagers (10)
{RANSACKERS} – the ‘something bag-like’ that has to be inserted (carried) is a 3-letter word rather than the 4-letter word which it appears to be on first sight. What it’s inserted in can be either private soldiers or commissioned officers who have risen from being privates.

9a  Like some American spellings unacceptable to snooty English? (3-1)
{NON-U} – double definition – color, honor or favor, for example and how snooty people in this country may refer to unacceptable (to them) behaviour.

10a  A crime is no different in a Pacific location (10)
{MICRONESIA} – an anagram (different) of A CRIME IS NO gives us a region in the Pacific consisting of a large number of islands.

11a  Curved edge in the auditorium’s barrier (6)
{GROYNE} – this is a barrier built out into the sea to check erosion. It sounds like (in the auditorium) an architectural term for a curved edge formed by two intersecting vaults (or more commonly a sensitive area of the human body).

12a  Town providing overnight resting place for daughter (7)
{BEDFORD} – this is a town north of London. It’s a charade of where you rest overnight, FOR (from the clue) and D(aughter).

15a  Fastened like dog in hut by meadow (7)
{LEASHED} – the definition is fastened like dog. A hut follows (by) a meadow.

16a  Style said to suit this big house (5)
{MANOR} – this large country house sounds like (said) a style or method.

17a  Smart material in which article is wrapped (4)
{NEAT} – an adjective meaning smart or tidy comes from inserting (wrapped) an indefinite article in open-meshed material.

18a  Overwhelmed by evil, I’m powerless, lacking backbone (4)
{LIMP} – hidden (overwhelmed by) in the clue is an adjective meaning lacking backbone.

19a  Enjoy that number! (5)
{DIGIT} – if you split this number as (3,2) it’s an informal phrase meaning to enjoy something.

21a  Maiden getting on and regarded as rich (7)
{MONEYED} – the abbreviation for a maiden over in cricket is followed by ON (from the clue) and a past participle meaning regarded or watched.

22a  Church member meeting the Queen is a smoothie (7)
{CHARMER} – string together an abbreviation for church, a bodily member and the letters that identify our Queen to make a smoothie (the suave gent rather than the drink).

24a  Overcharges for plants (6)
{RUSHES} – double definition, the first an informal verb meaning overcharges and the second plants that grow in wet areas.

27a  Edit a clue that’s tricky to get word finally made clear (10)
{ELUCIDATED} – an anagram (that’s tricky) of EDIT A CLUE is followed by the final letter of (wor)D.

28a  Love I had for penning verse? (4)
{OVID} – this is an all-in-one clue (i.e. the whole clue is the definition) leading to the name of a Roman poet. The letter that looks like zero or love (in tennis) and the contracted form of ‘l had’ contain (penning) V(erse).

29a  Records attempts to produce artistic works (10)
{TAPESTRIES} – outdated media for holding records are followed by a synonym of attempts. The result is artistic works.

Down Clues

2d  A group of coppers becoming sour (4)
{ACID} – A is followed by a police department (group of coppers).

3d  Untidy person getting right into scrape (6)
{SCRUFF} – insert R(ight) in a verb to scrape (your shoe against something, for example) to make an untidy person.

4d  Trick class to do as told (7)
{CONFORM} – a verb (or it could be a noun) meaning trick or hoax is followed by a class of schoolchildren.

5d  What’s the point of feasting? (4)
{EAST} – hidden (of) in the clue is a point of the compass.

6d  Walk cockily having got grand in second bet (7)
{SWAGGER} – insert (having got) G(rand) in S(econd) and a bet to make a verb to walk cockily.

7d  Imply ethos is wrong with this sort of belief (10)
{POLYTHEISM} – belief in multiple gods is an anagram (wrong) of IMPLY ETHOS.

8d  Fantastic prudes, pure characters being disturbed (5-5)
{SUPER-DUPER} – an informal description of something fantastic or marvellous comes from an anagram (characters being disturbed) of PRUDES PURE.

12d  Tissue — one bit in the middle of supermarket is put into cart (4,6)

{BONE MARROW} – this is the soft tissue in the hollow parts of bones. Insert ONE and the middle letter (bit) of supermarket in a handcart.

13d  A sting? I, doc may be trying to analyse what’s wrong (10)
{DIAGNOSTIC} – an anagram (may be) of A STING I DOC produces an adjective meaning useful in attempting to identify what’s wrong.

14d  Artist beginning to draw, as keen as mustard (5)
{DAVID} – this is Jacques-Louis, the French artist who became actively involved in the Revolution. The first (beginning) letter of D(raw) is followed by an adjective meaning as keen as mustard.

15d  Mathematical power one gets with cold reason (5)
{LOGIC} – the definition here is reason or good sense. Start with the abbreviated form of the power to which a number must be raised to produce another number (this was a method of simplifying (?) multiplication and division in pre-calculator days but as I remember you had to carry around a great book of tables to be able to do it). Add I (one) and C(old).

19d  Make off having eaten second sweet (7)
{DESSERT} – a verb to make off or go AWOL has (having eaten) S(econd) inserted to make a sweet.

20d  No place for driver to hang about — it’s hell! (3,4)
{THE PITS} – double definition – the place on a racetrack where the mechanics are even faster at changing tyres than a Kwik-fit fitter and the lowest depths of hell.

23d  Mend material needing to be on display (6)
{REPAIR} – a verb to mend is a type of corded cloth (material) followed by (needing to be on, in a down clue) a verb to display or make public.

25d  When crisis has to be dealt with, you’ll want to get over it (4)
{HUMP} – cryptic definition of the most difficult part of something which it’s good to get over.

26d  Got the pip, we hear? Give up! (4)
{CEDE} – a verb to give up which sounds like (we hear) a pip or stone.

The clues I liked best today were 9a, 13d and 20d. How about you?

Today’s Quickie Pun: {FORCED} + {HAULED} = {FORESTALLED}

87 comments on “DT 26887

  1. A fine start to a Friday! Quite enjoyed this and finished in 2* time except for 1a (last in) where it took ages for the penny to drop. Eventually guessed the answer from the checkers but then couldn’t see past the 4 letter bag until the light suddenly dawned!

    Agree with your favourites Gazza (especially 20d of course :grin: ) and reckon 15d is worth a mention in despatches as well.

    Thanks to Giovanni and Gazza.

    Now back to the Toughie which is putting up a fair old fight!

  2. Oh no after just writing in my comments I was told to enter my name and email again! Now I have to start again!
    Good morning Gazza from a wild, wet West Wales, after having a beautiful week in Exmouth we are now sharing the same weather again!!!
    Fav clues today 5d and 19a, a three star for me today doable with help from my ‘friends’ and perservation but not as enjoyable as yesterday
    Never heard of 14d or 28a – this is one of those all in ones that just doesn’t work for me!
    In 24a I have never heard of to rush meaning to overcharge
    Although I didn’t need the blog to finish I did need some explainations especially 1a so thank you once again Gazza :-)

    1. Mary this new site can be a bit flaky as you describe so I have taken to copying my comments before posting so if it goes down you can just do a paste.
      Glad you enjoyed my nemesis yesterday, I failed to get a single clue, found it as always totally impenetrable.

      1. Thanks Brian I’ll remember that, as for yesterdays puzzle, I’m usually with you as far as RayT goes, you either lover him or not, however for some strange reason I seemed to be on his wavelength yesterday and really enjoyed it, a one off I’m sure, keep perservating though, one thing I don’t do (except if I try a toughie) is give up, persistant perservation, that’s the thing :-)
        Ive been doing cryptics for three years now and still haven’t finished more than about half a dozen without my books and electronic friends!

        1. You really are an inspiration to me :-)
          I will of course take your advice and I do go through the answers, just usually think “how on earth can I make that connection” he is the only setter whose wavelength I simple cannot get on.

          1. I used to dread Fridays more, Giovanni puzzles struck terror in my mind when I first started, now I find I look forward to them (usually)
            Of course I don’t know if I’ve ever told anyone ;-) , Rufus on a Monday is by far my favourite and it was one of his puzzles that was my first ‘unaided solve’ – ok ok I may have mentioned it once or twice………..

            1. No Mary I don’t think you have told anyone that Rufus is your favourite!!!!! Mine is Giovanni and always has been. Strange isn’t it – I find I have more difficulty getting on Rufus’ wave length than Giovanni’s. It’s what has always been said – what suits one person doesn’t suit another and that goes for all kinds of things.

    1. Glad to hear that I am not the only one in the sub 10 unaided bracket. I’m about 5 years in now and can normally get to within 2 or 3 away without help. Today I got about half way before cracking but then with help getting 1a, the rest dropped in apart from a few which I had never heard of.
      Chamonix is in the cloud line today so am just looking to see if there is any sunshine within a couple of hours before throwing a mattress in the back of the van! Maybe Genoa for some anti pasti and chianti :-)

  3. Didn’t like 11a, I thought it a lazy clue. One of those you either know or don’t. I’m still trying to work out the justification in the clue to help me get the answer. A bit convoluted, I don’t envy Gazza trying to explain it. Other than that a fine crossword with usual Friday quality.
    Thanks to G and G

  4. I do enjoy Giovanni puzzles.

    A workmanlike trek through with no electric helpers, 12d , 18a held me up for a while, 1a thanks for explanation, so much better than my convoluted justification .
    Thanks to setter.

  5. Gazza, I didn’t really understand 1a. Could you explain it a little further

      1. It was ‘rankers’ which threw me. I’d never heard of the word. Many thanks

    1. It’s what you would hear a Frenchman call a bag inside a load of young soldiers

  6. Usual brilliant Friday offering. Got a bit confused about 11a but the checking letters gave the answer. Loved 8d, 12d and best of all for me was 20d, lovely stuff!
    After yesterday’s disaster this was a very enjoyable outing for me. Many thx to all concerned.

  7. Well I enjoyed it – can’t remember the numbers of the ones I liked best as did it on line and forgot to mark them down but the one that stuck in my mind was the “no place for driver” one.

    Thanks to G & G – an enjoyable Friday.

  8. Struggled with 11a – I don’t like homophone clues and this has done nothing to change my mind. Apart from that enjoyed today’s offering. Many Thanks.

  9. I have been waiting with baited breath for the hints today. Much needed I’m afraid.
    Strangely however, in many cases I had the right answer – I just didn’t know why (1a and 28a being cases in point). I even had 27a but had not spotted the anagram so I could not work out whether it was right.
    A mistake with 22a (I had “climber” – C(hurch) + LIMB + ER) held me up and (once again!) I failed to spot the hidden word indicator for 18a, with the checkers I guessed (wrongly) WIMP (lacking backbone!)

    Not as much fun as yesterday but enjoyable nevertheless. Thanks to setter and to Gazza (not much opportunity for gratuitous visual entertainment today – but I think you missed a trick with the moneyed maiden of 21a!).

      1. Oh! I see what you mean! :)
        Good job it’s half term. You Tube is blocked at work!

  10. Thought this fairly straightforward. Not as enjoyable as yesterday, but still fun. My fave was 15d.
    Thanks to Giovanni and Gazza.

  11. Wild & windy here in Bristol but apparently less windy than Cornwall where we have just left. quite enjoyable but needed the hints for some explanations. 3* for me today. Thanks to compiler & to Gazza for the explanations.

  12. I’d say 2* difficulty and 3* fun and the same favourites as gazza (what’s new there? :) )

    The Toughie is what I call the ‘right sort of Toughie’ – you have to work but the penny dropping moments are worth all the effort.

    1. You seem to be totally on Gazzas wavelength as far as favourite clues go sue, maybe you share the same star sign?

      1. Probably all the years we have spent solving hundreds if not thousands of cryptics.

          1. But look how well you are doing AND you enjoy them and we all enjoy your comments.

  13. Gaz.za – I have just read your review for 15d. I seem to remember having to carry those log books and they used to fall out of hands easily when going down stairs so they got to where you were going before you did. We weren’t allowed book bags and had to carry our books from class to class. We moved – the teachers stayed put. Long time ago. Don’t think any of the kids of today would know how to do maths the way we did!!!

    1. Such fun as I remember Lea! I hated school from the age of 2! right up until sixth form, I enjpyed that, I liked all Maths except mental arithmetic as it was called then and ‘problems’ !

      1. I was the opposite – had a super time at school. Only problem was that every two/three years I was at a new school – making new friends etc. as my father was in the forces.

  14. Thanks to Giovanni for an enjoyable puzzle, not one of his more difficult offerings, thanks also to Gazza for the usual immaculate review.

  15. Quite a good puzzle today and I agree, not as good as yesterday’s. Got stuck on 12 across because I had rabid in 14 down rather than the correct answer.

    1. Your comment needed moderation because you’ve changed your alias – both aliases should now work.

  16. I quite enjoyed today’s crossword – got a bit stuck on a few. I needed the hints for 12 and 25d and to explain 1a.
    I liked 9, 10 and 22a and 20d.
    With thanks to Giovanni and Gazza.
    Wet, windy and cold in Oxford too – 12C and it’s June! The garden is flattened and very long haired collie is permanently wet. :sad:

    1. Nothing worse than a damp dog!

      Think we might be brewing for a thunderstorm this afternoon. Hot and very sticky with some rather theatening cloud building over the mountains!

            1. I don’t use Facebook anymore and have never Tweeted in my life! This place is far more fun, and if you’ve nothing better to say, you can always discuss the crossword :lol:

    2. Well I’m lucky to be alive. I just dropped my wife off, turned the car round, drove 300yds back down the road I had just come; to find an enormous tree lying across the road. It destroyed the walls of the gardens on both sides of the road and narrowly missed a parked car. Fortunately nobody was hurt – but if we had been just one minute later…

      Rain lashing down, gale bowing, heating on full blast.
      Summer eh?

      As for Pommers and his air conditioning and hot tub woes… He’s learned to duck e-punches so e-kick on its way…

      1. Ouch, won’t mention the weather again, well, not much anyway :grin: Remind me again, why do I live in Spain?

      2. Poor you (well, actually, lucky you I suppose) but very scary – don’t ask me who but someone must be looking after you and your wife.

      3. eek, glad you are safe Arthur and obviously your wife too, in Cambridgeshire it’s relented, just

  17. Pleasant puzzle which I solved with a little bit of help from Gazza (thanks!).

    Don’t like clue/ answer to 25d – weak IMHO. I would’ve thought something around camels would have been better.

    House nearly blown away here with the wind coming straight up the Bristol Channel oo err missus. Laburnham tree at a gentle lean of 30 degrees now. It wasn’t like that last night…..

  18. The DT must have corrected a strange problem I had when this xword was first published just after midnight. I had the correct answer to 6d but it wouldn’t accept it. I had to use a “t” instead of a”w” which I knew couldn’t be right but what could I do. Since no-one is mentioning it, I assume it was put right.

  19. Totally unconnected to this puzzle so I’m sorry for the intrusion into today’s blog but does anybody know if a “piano bar” is a cocktail?

            1. Ah! Well thanks for that vote of confidence, even if misplaced! It had occurred to me that when we go the the quiz, if we find a round is on ‘food and drink’ then pommette always thinks we’re in with a chance of winning as she thinks I’m a P*** Artist and will always get the ‘drink’ questions right! Cruel, I think, but probably accurate :grin:

              1. You sound just like my elder daughter – a **** artist if ever there was one!

                1. Takes one to know one :grin:

                  My sister’s a bit the same but brother-in-law is TT so we always have a driver when we go to visit Cornwall :grin:

    1. It is an establishment where you can drink a cocktail while someone plays the piano.

          1. Franco and pommers – don’t start me off on Billy Joel – what a star – so much stuff that you know but don’t even know that it’s him. There was the most AMAZING live concert, I think from Wembley in the early/mid 80’s, – we recorded it – eldest daughter lent the tape to a boyfriend and we never saw it again. It was wonderful – as I write this husband is trying to find it …..

            1. We have 3 of his cd’s – The Stranger, Piano Man and 52nd Street – love ’em all!

          2. I think my favourite is “Scenes from an Italian Restaurant” … but I love them all!

                1. Bit like a policeman then – the last one that got me for speeding looked about 12 :smile:

  20. Just watched gazza’s youtube clip! :roll: Where DOES he find them! I’m sure this wasn’t quite what Giovanni had in mind!! :smile:

  21. Thanks to the two G’s, I really enjoyed this one, nice surface readings. Started with 2d, finished with 28a. Favourite I’d, just finished in time for Euro 2012!

  22. Lovely puzzle. Done throughout the day because of interuptions. Thanks to Giovanni for an interesting crossword and, of course, Gazza for the hints to which I referred from time to time.

    Sunny here today in the Landuoc. Sorry about the weather in Blighty

  23. Came to this rather late today – missed 12d and my favourite was 12a.

  24. You can tell that pommette’s away. Nothing to keep me occupied (apart from her list but that’s nearly all done)!

    Spent today watching tennis,and some stuff about the TT motorbike races on ITV4 (petrol head!) and have nothing else to do in the advert breaks apart from have a quick look in here! Sad perhaps, but true!

    Going to bed now – but i’ll be back :grin:

  25. A pretty standard solve for me with far too long spent staring at 24a as I DO in fact know the ‘overcharges’ definition.
    Dur me!
    Thanks to Giovanni (nice to see you briefly the other night) and also to gazza for the review.

  26. Thanks for your help Gazza, found it too difficult today. Romped through it yesterday and all the others this week. Perhaps after a day of fog and 20kts of E’ly wind I was just too frazzled to click with it.
    Aberdeen is not quite as pleasant as Spain and Southern France, wish I was there doing the xword!
    Like some other people I got c limb er instead of charmer and also Rushes was a just a bit too obscure for me. I liked 29a best.
    Good night all.

  27. I assumed 6 down was Swagger but on submitting it showed up as incorrect. I put in Stagger and this was accepted. Didn’t anyone else experience this?

    1. Yes – it was incorrect on the Telegraph Puzzles site originally but was corrected later.

  28. Solved this puzzle this morning as didn’t get round to it yesterday – had visitors.

    Faves : 9a, 19a, 29a, 12d, 15d & 20d.

    Very windy yesterday – wet today.

    1. Coo that was early. Not sure my neurons quite that charged up at that time. Have just finished it myself ( with some help here) having not got paper till 7 pm last night after what seemed like v long day at work. M

  29. Only needed help with two clues today . 29a – got tries but just didn’t key into tapes. I had variations , not v good, eg treasuries and once I get into that sort of fix it seems v difficuult to get out. The other one was 20d. I got ‘the’ but then got fixated on a bizarre anagram of ‘it’s hell’! Thanks all for responses yesterday.

  30. For 14d, I much prefer the solution DALID, that being an artist followed by the beginning to draw. Sadly, a trip to the dictionary reveals that DALID does not yet mean “as keen as mustard.” I think it should, and I vow to spend the rest of my life to make it so. Please join in this noble effort.

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