DT 26899 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog

DT 26899 ~ Posted on

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26899

Hints and tips by Gazza

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

Last Friday’s Giovanni was, I thought, on the easy side but this week he’s given us a meatier puzzle with some cracking clues. Let us know how you found it and how you got on.
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Across Clues

1a  Lucid state (10)
{ARTICULATE} – double definition, although really two parts of speech for the same thing. As an adjective it means lucid or fluent and as a verb to state or speak in a lucid or fluent manner.

6a  Stylishness in race (4)
{DASH} – another double definition – stylishness or panache and a verb to race or speed.

9a  Chap’s remorse ultimately evident in minister’s house (5)
{MANSE} – this is a house provided for a minister (not a government minister but a priest, especially one in the Church of Scotland). It’s a synonym for chap, the ‘S from the clue and the ultimate letter of (remors)E.

10a  What, by implication, could be images for modern movement (3,6)
{NEW AGEISM} – this is a semi-all-one and the first of two reverse anagrams in today’s puzzle. The answer is a modern movement based on alternative approaches to traditional Western culture and involving a variety of beliefs including mysticism, astrology, holistic medicine and environmentalism. If you treat the answer as an instruction to form an anagram (what, by implication, could be) you end up with IMAGES.

12a  A titchier man, I fancy, may be one who has no trouble with tots! (13)
{ARITHMETICIAN} – an anagram (fancy) of A TITCHIER MAN I produces someone able to tot up.

14a  Request certain to bring delight (8)
{PLEASURE} – a charade of a request or entreaty and a synonym for certain leads to delight or enjoyment.

15a  Achieve end of disease with very loud form of therapy (6)
{EFFECT} – a verb meaning to achieve or bring about comes from stringing together a) the last (end) letter of (diseas)E, b) the musical abbreviation meaning fortissimo or very loud and c) a form of therapy involving shocking treatment.

17a  I am black, impeding sun’s return? (6)
{NIMBUS} – a superb all-in-one clue, especially relevant this summer. The contracted form of ‘I am’ and B(lack) go inside (impeding) the reversal of sun (the orange ball that we used to see in the sky) to make an all-too-familiar rain-cloud.

19a  Like intimate combat in time immediately before start of lunch break? (3-2-3)
{ONE-TO-ONE} – double definition, the second only sixty seconds before the traditional time for lunch.

21a  Like some energy supply expected before too long? (2,3,8)
{IN THE PIPELINE} – where oil may be found between the well and the refinery has come to mean under consideration or being planned.

24a  Journey to lake with tour guide (talked nonsense!) (9)
{DRIVELLED} – the definition here is talked nonsense. Start with a journey by vehicle, then add L(ake) and a description applied to a package tour to indicate that it has a guide.

25a  Bird heading west across a South African village (5)
{KRAAL} – this is a word, from Dutch, for a traditional African village with a fence round it. Reverse (heading west, in an across clue) a songbird with a reputation for rising early and insert (across) A.

26a  Bout of illness? Sleep cut short, little energy (4)
{DOSE} – a word used for a bout (of flu, say) comes from an informal verb to sleep (especially in rough accommodation) without its final S (cut short) followed by a little E(nergy).

27a  Love joining meeting, swallowing one drink to begin with (10)
{ORIGINALLY} – an adverb meaning to begin with is constructed from the letter used to represent zero or love (zero in tennis scoring) and a political meeting with I (one) and an alcoholic drink inserted (swallowing).

Down Clues

1d  Top account this writer’s provided (4)
{ACME} – a word meaning the top or highest point is a charade of the abbreviation of account or invoice and the objective pronoun describing the setter (this writer).

2d  Metal objects in water disintegrating (7)
{TINWARE} – an anagram (disintegrating) of IN WATER.

3d  Believe lover may create some sort of financial control (6,7)
{CREDIT SQUEEZE} – a verb meaning to believe or take as gospel is followed by an informal term for a girlfriend or boyfriend to make a type of financial control restricting the amount of money that individuals and businesses may borrow.

4d  Cow that presents something of a big dilemma? (8)
{LONGHORN} – double definition, the second cryptic. A breed of cattle could also be, as (4,4) a big dilemma (based on the phrase likening a dilemma to being about to be gored by one or other of the sharp bits of a bull).

5d  Old-fashioned punishment could get contrary English pupil working hard (5)
{TAWSE} – an old implement used for corporal punishment in Scotland comes from reversing (contrary) E(nglish) and one of the two spellings of a pupil who is forever working at his books.

7d  A province having policy for chemical that can be used in dyeing (7)
{ANILINE} – string together A, the abbreviation for a province of the UK (but not of Great Britain, as BD would point out if he were blogging) and a synonym for policy or stance to make a product of coal tar used extensively in dyeing.

8d  The animus I developed for certain academic subjects (10)
{HUMANITIES} – an anagram (developed) of THE ANIMUS I gives us non-scientific subjects of study, such as literature, history and philosophy.

11d  Feeling very sad if Reg is this? (5-8)
{GRIEF-STRICKEN} – our second reverse anagram. A compound adjective meaning overwhelmed with sadness would, if you treated it as an anagram instruction, lead you to IF REG.

13d  Old writer to make sure editor is unprejudiced (4-6)
{OPEN-MINDED} – an adjective meaning unprejudiced or willing to listen to different points of view is formed by stitching together a) O(ld), b) a writing implement, c) a verb meaning to make sure or take care and d) the abbreviation for editor.

16d  Perform inadequately, becoming ultimately someone in adversity (8)
{UNDERDOG} – a verb meaning to perform inadequately or come up short is followed by the ultimate letter of (becomin)G to make someone in adversity or with little status in society.

18d  Service is gripping congregation finally after dull start (7)
{MATTINS} – I don’t remember seeing this church service spelt with a double letter but it is an accepted alternative spelling. IS contains (gripping) the final letter of (congregatio)N then that goes after an adjective meaning dull or without a shine.

20d  Altogether like the supreme boss (7)
{OVERALL} – an adverb meaning altogether could, if split (4,3) describe the supreme boss.

22d  I had left with little hesitation, being inclined to skip work (5)
{IDLER} – a being or person who’s not an assiduous worker comes from assembling a) the contracted form of I had, b) L(eft) and c) a little word indicating hesitation.

23d  Put under cold earth (4)
{CLAY} – a verb to put or place goes after (under, in a down clue) C(old) to make a fine-grained sticky form of earth.

There are some very good clues here. I particularly like 10a, 4d and 18d but the outstanding clue for me is 17a. Let us know what entertained you.

Today’s Quickie Pun: {TRANCE} + {CRYPT} = {TRANSCRIPT}

75 responses to “DT 26899

  1. It would seem that Giovanni has opted to provide something more difficult this morning. I struggled all the way through this but did manage to finish. 10a was probably my favourite, although the long anagram at 12a is something I always appreciate.

  2. I’m with you gazza on your choice of favourite clue – 17a. Thanks for the review, and many thanks to Giovanni for a fine puzzle, which I found difficult, but as always, very fairly clued.

  3. Good morning gazza, I agree a toughie almost from giovanni today, I would never have finished it without my books and machines etc. a definite 3 to 4 star for me today, all workable I suppose with lots of perservation, a few things I hadn’t heard of, e.g. 5d, 7d, 25a, I didn’t know how longhorn worked although I had soved it due to checking letters,
    not a clue I liked, however very pleased to have finished it today :-D, off to read the rest of the hints now, thanks gazza :-)

  4. I enjoyed this one very much – found it very difficult and at one stage I really wondered if I was ever going to get anywhere with it. I think if it had been called a Toughie I would have given up but, because it wasn’t, I didn’t!
    I was very slow to get the 12a anagram – I was thinking of the wrong kind of tots – thought of kids and drinks but not sums. Also I wasn’t very sure about 4d or the second word of 3d – never heard of it meaning girlfriend or boyfriend – I’m sure that someone will tell me that it comes up quite often in crosswords – in that case I’ve forgotten it! I didn’t know 5d and haven’t seen 18d with a double T.
    I liked 10, 17 and 25a and 5 and 11d. I’m sure I remember someone saying that reverse anagrams were disapproved of except in Toughies – maybe I’ve got that bit wrong.
    With thanks to Giovanni and gazza.
    Wet, windy and generally horrible in Oxford. :sad:

      • Rain stopped but still terribly windy – garden is looking very battered. No sign of any blue patches.

  5. Thanks Gazza. Actually you may be surprised to hear that I have finished and before you put the hints up. This either means that you have the difficulty wrong or I can now do 4* crosswords. However my leap from 2* to 4* is questionable. I thought that 17a was clever

    • Well done Collywobbles. I certainly thought that this was at the higher end of difficulty for a back-page puzzle.

      • I am sure that you are right Gazza, maybe it was a fluke. However, I did finish yesterdays’ 4* with only minimal reference to Daves’ hints so maybe I’ve started to improve

  6. ***/**** Excellent puzzle,struggled a bit in the NE corner as wanted to put neo egoism for 10a-thought it sounded like a modern movement even if it did not quite fit the clue! Had a boiled egg and the penny dropped(5 minutes-soft boiled with soldiers) Carried on my war with next doors caterwauling tom-pretty even today,and went to work.Beer and a madras tonight1

  7. Great, very enjoyable and satisfying.
    Ray T or Giovanni?
    Difficult one, that.
    Thanks Giovanni, and Gazza for the review.

  8. How very very strange. I found this the easiest (1.5* ) and most enjoyable (4*) Giovanni for a long time. Thank you to him for an extremely nice start to Friday morning solving. Thanks to Gazza too – I agree about 17a but would probably support Bionic Woman’s yet to be expressed opinion on the illustration for 19a :D

    The Toughie is very tough – start with the very last across clue and be prepared for a struggle back to the top.

    • The toughie took me most of the morning… I have just put the last one in and my head is hurting. I thought it was very good though!

    • Have done quite a few of the toughie clues including the two big long ones across top and bottom and a smattering in the middle. I have to confess that as a result I have a few rather unlikely looking words … perhaps I should give up now!!

    • Dear Lady, I was delighted to read your comment!

      All week I’ve found the cryptic crossword harder than the reviewer, but today is a complete turnaround. Very strange, I was beginning to wonder whether I was starting to lose it :-)

  9. Very tough for me, whizzed through the top half and had a real grind for the bottom, but I do enjoy Giovanni’s puzzles, firm but fair.

    Thanks to the two Gs.

  10. Wow that was a challenge but a very enjoyable one. Last in was 6a which took me ages to see. Would have got 25a much easier if I had spelt 11d properly (a mistake I often make with down clues). Best clue for me was 19a, dead clever I thought.
    Many thx to Giovanni for an excellent puzzle and to Gazza for hints even tho I didn’t need them today. I wish I knew why I can do even the tough Friday one but struggle with you know who? It must be a mindset thing.

    • BTW does anyone else have a problem loading the page using an IPad? Often takes three or four loads to get the full page up. Never had a problem with the old site.

      • Hi Brian,

        I don’t know if there is something wrong with the site today but I haven’t recieved the e-mail notifications today and had to access the blog the long way round.

  11. Agreed: I found this pretty tough going and I’ve been doing these puzzles for more years than I can remember. Mind you, it’s jolly good exercise for the brain when you get to my mature years!
    Absolutely plonking down in W Cumbria; it does run into the lakes here and not the house. Hope everybody is keeping dry.
    Very enjoyable. Thanks to Giovanni and yourself, Gazza.

  12. Many thanks to Giovanni for a terrific crossword, very enjoyable indeed, thanks also to Gazza for a very entertaining review and beautiful interpretation of one to one combat.

  13. I liked it, not too much of a struggle, some nice clues. I like the harder Giovanni’s, stretches the mind and even if you haven’t heard of the word you can get there with the wordplay. Can’t say I got the cow one, never encountered that before. Could do without the reverse anagrams too, to be honest, but they were fair enough.

      • The Times calls it ‘mummy porn’, apparently there are going to be a spate of copycats. Should see you through the rest of the year

        • Yes I have heard that there will be ‘others’ but I am just about reaching my limit with this one, you’ll be glad to hear I won’t be reading them :-D

  14. Usual Giovani – tough but fair and with an obscure word or two to learn (and promptly forget!) Thought I had it all sorted, but had 4d as towse as there was an archaic definition ‘to pull apart’ on google. Hey ho. Liked 23d for its simplicity and surface reading.

  15. How can ‘swot’ – (S)tudent (W)ith (O)utstanding (T)alent become ‘swat’ what would the ‘a’ stand for?

    • Where did that phrase come from, Mary, or did you make it up? According to the ODE (and my Dictionary of Slang) swat and swot are dialect variants of sweat.

      • I’m not clever enough to make it up gazza , I just thought it was an acronym and googled it to see what it stood for, there were several others but this was the most likely :-D

        • In one of the Chambers dictionaries I looked it up and swat is to hit (with swot as an alternative) and swot means to study a lot (with swat as an alternative). Not the exact wording but the general thought. Interesting how everything is different. I like your acronym Mary

  16. Tricky little rascal (according to pommette)! Enjoyable though.

    17a absolute favourite but lots of other good stuff.

    Many thanks to Giovanni and Gazza

    • Hi pommers, I liked 17a too, took me ages to get it but it must be my favourite clue, worthy of a toughie clue too IMHO :-)

      • Hi Mary

        Did this over a couple of beers and a buttie in the local so didn’t have BRB to hand and consequently had TOWSE for 5d! Never heard of TOWSE or TAWSE but agree with you about the spelling of SWOT – no doubt the BRB has both spellings.

        • Notice you didn’t mention the weather pommers, too many ‘e’blows been coming your way?? :-) , I had towse because of swot but have never heard the word either!

          • Hot and sunny but only about 28C today which makes a nice change from yesterday – it’s not supposed to get that hot until the second half of July! Doesn’t look too good in the UK, cricket abandoned :sad:

            • ‘Doesn’t look too good’ is the understatement of the year pommers!! although it is sunny and patchy blue skies right now, there is quite a keen wind!

            • June 22 and the heating’s back on! It feels more like October – surely we must be due some decent weather in July.

              • We are going to risk going to Barmouth in the camper on Sunday!!!! It gives a fairly dry patchy sunny start to the week in that area but not too warm!!
                Heating’s hardly been off spindrift, unfortunately the forecast for July is not looking good either, what has happened to our weather????
                The weather where one of my brothers lives in New Mexico has been in the 100s lately

            • “….. only about 28C today” – I’m SO sorry for you – definitely a big “e” blow from me!

    • Now to show my ignorance (once again) who or what is Akond of Swat, OK I’m off to google it

      • Very amusing, I like it, I didn’t realise when I asked the question that it was a part of it! :-) Thanks for the smile Lea

  17. After yesterday’s puzzle, much more enjoyable, needed some help – so thanks to the two Gs. It didn’t help that I was incorrectly creative on 19a and 25a. And, shame on me, living in Texas, I still needed help on 4d. Favourites were 12a and 8d.

  18. On and off day. Been like this all week. I should retire … Again. Like many I spent almost as long on 5d as the rest put together, and now I’m sure we have had it before. I must be getting old! Many hanks to all. Definitely **** from me.

  19. A good dose of hard graft
    Certainly not done in a dash
    Part pleasure part grief
    Articulate alas!

  20. UThanks to the 2 G’s very entertaining puzzle. Started with 1d, finished with 7d. Some really clever clues. Started with 1d finished with 7d. Favourites were 17a, finished with 7d.

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