DT 26890 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26890

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26890

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment **

We have fairly standard fare today with nothing that really stands out for me. Let us know what you made of it and how you got on.
If you want to reveal an answer just drag your cursor through the space between the curly brackets under the clue that’s causing you problems.

Across Clues

3a  Peers go out together in a London suburb (5,5)
{EARL’S COURT} – a charade of peers and a verb meaning to go out together romantically gives us a part of London once known as Kangaroo Valley because of the number of Australian backpackers to be found there. I’m not sure that ‘suburb’ is strictly accurate – it’s fairly central.

8a  Relative in Quantico (US Intelligence) (6)
{COUSIN} – if you read any American crime fiction you’ll know that Quantico is where the FBI Academy is based and if you’re a fan of John Le Carré you’ll be aware that this word (in the plural) is the nickname used by British Intelligence operatives for their US counterparts. However, you don’t need to know any of that to find a relative hidden in the clue.

9a  Flighty Sudanese ballet performer (8)
{DANSEUSE} – a female ballet dancer comes from an anagram (flighty) of SUDANESE.

10a  Digested notice about card game (8)
{ABRIDGED} – the definition here is digested, in the sense of arranged and reduced systematically to produce a shorter version or digest. Put an abbreviated notice or announcement around a card game for four people.

11a  Undergraduate ultimately failing to pass (6)
{ELAPSE} – the ultimate letter of (undergraduate)E is followed by a failing or oversight.

12a  Amends plans? Not initially (10)
{REPARATION} – the definition here is amends, as a noun meaning compensation for wrongs which have been committed. Remove the initial P from a word meaning plans or groundwork.

14a  Remaining financial record showing extravagance (13)
{OVERSTATEMENT} – a charade of an adjective meaning remaining or surplus and a financial record detailing debits and credits produces an extravagance or exaggeration.

20a  Spotted blunder by Greek character in retirement flat occasionally used? (4-1-5)
{PIED-A-TERRE} – this is a flat used occasionally (fairly obvious from the enumeration). Start with an adjective meaning spotted (a horse or piper, for example), then put together a verb to blunder and the seventh letter of the Greek alphabet and reverse it (in retirement).

22a  A few words from Lear finally entering stage (6)
{PHRASE} – the final letter of (Lea)R enters a stage or period to make a few words.

23a  Avoid team with pace (8)
{SIDESTEP} – a charade of synonyms for team and a pace gives us a verb to avoid or dodge.

24a  A way into free flight (8)
{AVIATION} – string together A (from the clue), the word from latin meaning way or road and an anagram (free) of INTO to make mechanical flight.

25a  Outspoken Shaw play, unfinished (6)
{CANDID} – drop the final A (unfinished) from the title of a comedy by Shaw to leave an adjective meaning outspoken or frank.

26a  Dramatist is wary, possibly put in dangerous situation (10)
{PLAYWRIGHT} – this is not the name of a specific dramatist but another word for dramatist. Insert an anagram (possibly) of WARY in a dangerous situation or predicament.

Down Clues

1d  Dark piece of ribbon round wide-brimmed hat (8)
{SOMBRERO} – an adjective meaning dark or subdued is followed by the first letter (piece) of R(ibbon) and the letter that’s round to make a wide-brimmed hat.

2d  Guess tie’s sorted — game over! (8)
{ESTIMATE} – an anagram (sorted) of TIE’S is followed by the final act of a game of chess.

3d  Riddle cracked in game (6)
{ENIGMA} – an anagram (cracked) of IN GAME produces a riddle.

4d  Theologian after game fish (4)
{RUDD} – the abbreviation for a theologian with a doctorate follows the 15-a-side game to make a freshwater fish of the carp family.

5d  Prison term given by one lacking awareness? Just the opposite (8)
{SENTENCE} – this is a prison term as handed down by a judge. ‘Just the opposite’ means that instead of dropping awareness from one we have to start with a word meaning awareness or consciousness and take out the I (one).

6d  Individual means ‘not reciprocated’ (3-3)
{ONE-WAY} – a charade of an adjective meaning individual or singular and a synonym for means or manner gives us an adjective meaning not reciprocated.

7d  Oppose all others crossing small island (6)
{RESIST} – this is a verb meaning to oppose. I think that there are two ways of parsing this: a) a word meaning all others containing (round) single-character abbreviations for small and island, or b) all others containing a two-character abbreviation (small) of island.

13d  Utterly unwise to discard spades, senseless (5)
{INANE} – start with an adjective meaning utterly unwise or not of sound mind and discard the S(pades) to leave an adjective meaning senseless or foolish. Although the answer here was fairly obvious I was a bit surprised by ‘utterly unwise’ until I found that it is one of the definitions in Chambers.

15d  City in Brazil surrounded by delightful lake (8)
{SUPERIOR} – a city and port in Brazil is surrounded by an adjective meaning delightful to make the name of the largest of the five great lakes in North America.

16d  Service uniform, good worn by lad (8)
{EVENSONG} – a church service appears when an adjective meaning uniform and G(ood) go round (being worn by) a synonym of lad.

17d  Reportedly call boy to find a spice (8)
{TURMERIC} – what sounds like (reportedly) a verb to call or name is followed by a male name (boy) to make a spice.

18d  Miner’s tool in small shed (6)
{SHOVEL} – a tool that a miner might use comes from S(mall) and a shed.

19d  Pay, unfortunately, has risen on railway (6)
{SALARY} – an exclamation meaning unfortunately is reversed (has risen, in a down clue) and this is followed by one of the abbreviations for railway.

21d  ‘Enthusiast’, as shown in middle-of-the-road dictionary (6)
{ADDICT} – an enthusiast is hidden (shown) in the clue.

23d  Catch horse after start of steeplechase (4)
{SNAG} – place an informal term for a horse in poor condition after the starting letter of S(teeplechase) to make a catch or hitch.

The clues that I liked best were 12a and 5d. How about you?

Today’s Quickie Pun: {RAW} + {TIE} + {EARN} = {WROUGHT IRON}

25 comments on “DT 26890

  1. No particular favourites for me, but pleasant enough. The last one in for me was 25a, which I should have solved quicker despite my lack of knowledge of Shaw’s plays.
    Thanks to setter, and to gazza.

    The toughie today is fairly straightforward, although there is one word that is not part of my everyday vocabulary.

  2. I quite enjoyed this in a not very exciting kind of way. 12a was my last one in and I spent a bit longer than I should have done trying to make 3a into an anagram. As I was doing it I thought that there were not really any picture opportunities – I hadn’t reckoned on gazza’s inventiveness!
    I liked 3 and 14a and 17d.
    With thanks to the setter and gazza.
    Grey and a bit chilly in Oxford but at least it’s not raining, yet!

  3. Nothing much to trouble anyone in today’s puzzle, thank you Mysteron and Gazza too.

    The Toughie is a ‘start with the downs’ ‘prepare for loud clanging of pennies’ ‘ends up not taking long’ sort of Tuesday Toughie.

  4. Very Nice puzzle today with no real issues – I read the Shaw pplay so that was straight in. Thanks to gazza and to the setter.

  5. Another **/*** from me. Made a little more difficult when the I Pad changed Court to Coust when my back was turned. 11a last in. No problems today though. .. Nice sombrero hat by the way! Many Thanks to all.

    1. I thought 1d’s picture was one of those optical illusions. If you stare at it long enough, eventually you will notice a hat!

  6. I found this hideously tricky today. Def a 4* for me I’m afraid.

    I eventually got to 20A based on the letters already in and then had to work backwards.

    The answer made me chuckle though when I recalled a friend of mine talking with some a group of people at a charity fund-raising party. The friend in case is a well known journalist so I won’t embarass her by naming her but she is well known for her malapropisms and other unfortunate turns of phrase.

    She was talking about a nice little villa near Nice her father had and where we used to go on holiday – my wife and I with her and her husband.

    ‘Oh yes’ she said to all listening ‘I love the south of France, my father has a little menage a trois not from Nice.’.

    Stunned silence apart from audible mirth from yours truly and Mrs G.

    1. Ha ha very good tale. I agree with your estimation also, 4* for me too. Although 20A was one of my first entries.

    2. I agree very tricky. Needed lots of help – thanks Gazza. I could only get two clues filled in last night. Must be the heat here in Texas!

  7. Solved this one rather quickly now that Roland Garros is out of the way – shall follow Queen’s and Eastbourne in the evening as the players warm up for grass at Wimbledon!

    Liked : 3a, 12a, 20a, 22a, 24a, 5d & 15d.

    A fair number of chestnuts in the puzzle.

  8. Took a long time to do this one, but on reflection shouldn’t have, having an off day.
    Thanks for the review tips not needed.
    Thanks to setter.

  9. Thought both of today’s crosswords lacked sparkle – but the sombrero picture brightened things up considerably – ole!

  10. Didn’t find this one a breeze exactly but got there eventually. North end took most of the time and South fell into place fairly easily. If I had a favourite it would be 20a. Enjoyed it though; made me work.
    Thanks to Mysteron and Gazza. (Hope you got my message yesterday).

  11. Good Xword rather than excellent. Needed some of your hints Gazza, for which, thanks and to Mysterion

  12. Think you’ve been far too kind on 3a, no one living in or even near London would describe the answer as a suburb. It’s just a badly written clue that the crossword editor should have corrected.
    Not too fussed one way or the other by the rest of the puzzle.

  13. I found this hideously difficult! Couldn’t get into it at all and needed lots of help.

    Oh well, perhaps I was just having a bad day :(

  14. Quiet here again today – where is everyone? Beginning to feel a bit like Billy-no-mates! :sad:

  15. I had to use some of Gazza’s assistance today but then kicked myself when I got the answers! I did the crossword on my phone today though whereas I think I need to have all the normal scribbles on paper that I tend to do.

  16. Enjoyed this but agree with comments re the London suburb, thanks Mysteron and Gazza

  17. Thanks to the Mysteron & to Gazza for the review & hints. Quite enjoyed it, but found it tricky. Started with 3a, finished with 17d, had to google it as I thought it was spelt tumeric. Favourite was 1d. Mobile site working fine with my new phone HTC one-s. Hope I can get the roof fixed before the next monsoon :-)

  18. Hi Gazza. Thanks for a great blog of what I thought a pretty good puzzle. Did it today as far too busy yesterday, but it filled the Weds gap when pommette and I can’t really do the puzzle together as I’ve blogged it.

    You really are the master of the gratuitous illustration, I doff my hat to you sir. I’d never have thought of that for the sombrero and Prolixic’s correct – I did eventually notice the hat :lol:

    Thanks to the mysteron as well

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