DT 26905 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26905

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26905

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

This is a fairly gentle puzzle by Giovanni with none of his usual religious references. I’d never heard of the composer at 6d but the name wasn’t difficult to get from the checking letters. Let us know how you got on and your view of the puzzle.
If you need to see an answer just drag your cursor through the space between the brackets under the clue that’s causing you problems.

Across Clues

1a  Ingenious mechanical device by entrance to castle (6)
{CLEVER} – an adjective meaning ingenious or astute appears when you append a mechanical device for moving a heavy weight to the opening letter (entrance) of C(astle).

5a  Way to gain speed within reason (8)
{MODERATE} – a charade of a way or manner and a synonym of speed produces an adjective meaning within reason or non-excessive.

9a  How one may spin round having drunk cocktails and wine! (13)
{ANTICLOCKWISE} – this is a clever anagram (drunk) of COCKTAILS and WINE.

Apparently one of the questions asked of those being interviewed as potential codebreakers at Bletchley Park (where thinking outside the box was a virtue) was “In what direction do the hands on a clock-face move?” – the hoped-for answer being “It depends on which side of the clock-face you’re standing”.

10a  Mum enjoys life touring round 500 islands (8)
{MALDIVES} – this is a chain of islands in the Indian Ocean. An affectionate abbreviation for mother is followed by a verb meaning enjoys life containing (touring round) the Roman numeral for 500.

11a  Bird hide is to be concealed (6)
{SISKIN} – a small songbird related to the goldfinch comes from a hide or pelt with IS contained inside it.

12a  Characters involved in quite a serious problem (6)
{TEASER} – a problem is hidden (characters involved) in the clue.

14a  Wise person gathering speed as befits our modern era? (5,3)
{SPACE AGE} – a wise person (4) goes round (gathering) a synonym for speed or velocity to make how we might describe our modern era (since about October 1957).

16a  Lawyer giving advice to those who’ll miss live broadcast of Opening of Parliament? (8)
{RECORDER} – this lawyer works as a part-time judge. Cryptically, those wanting to have a delayed viewing of the Queen’s Opening of Parliament might be advised to do this (6,2).

19a  Liquid nourishment that’s knocked back for example at work (6)
{POTAGE} – this is a thickish soup and thus liquid nourishment. String together a) the abbreviation of for example, b) AT (from the clue) and c) the abbreviation of an artistic work, then reverse the lot (knocked back).

21a  After damage mum must get rid of her rodent (6)
{MARMOT} – a burrowing rodent comes from a verb to damage followed by the more formal term for mum without the HER.

23a  Eccentric person, a mum in America’s added spice (8)
{CARDAMOM} – a gingery spice is made from an eccentric or comical person, A from the clue and mum again (her third appearance in the puzzle, this time with the American spelling).

25a  Use public transport across Sweden’s capital to relieve pressure? (4,3,6)
{TAKE THE STRAIN} – this phrase meaning to relieve pressure (what we were urged to let BR do once) comes from a phrase to use public transport containing (over) the capital letter of S(weden).

26a  Hardly seeing defacement around cathedral (8)
{SCARCELY} – this is an adverb meaning hardly or barely. It’s a charade of a defacement or skin blemish, the single-character abbreviation for around or about and a cathedral in Cambridgeshire.

27a  Firm prepared to put leader out on street (6)
{STEADY} – a synonym for prepared loses its leading R (to put leader out) and what’s left is appended to (on) the abbreviation for street to make an adjective meaning firm.

Down Clues

2d  What you’d get from a keg with ale bursting out? (7)
{LEAKAGE} – this bursting out is an anagram (from) of A KEG and ALE.

3d  Zealously loving couple initially going out made a mark? (5)
{VOTED} – start with an adjective meaning zealously loving and loyal, then remove (going out) the initial couple of letters to leave a verb meaning made a mark (probably an X).

4d  Brought back as a spruced up item of furniture? (9)
{RECOVERED} – double definition, the second how you might describe a renovated sofa, say.

5d  Poles gathering round one, old-style Communists? (7)
{MAOISTS} – poles (the sort used to support something, not people from Poland) contain (gathering) the round letter and I (one).

6d  Composer unhappy, upset about country not his (5)
{DUKAS} – reverse (upset, in a down clue) a synonym for unhappy then insert the abbreviation for a country that we’re all familiar with (not France) to make the surname of a French composer whose most well-known work was The Sorcerer’s Apprentice.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

7d  Once again look at way of restraining half of those watching the match (9)
{REINSPECT} – the definition here is once again look at. Something used to restrain a horse or a toddler is followed by the first half of those watching a sporting event.

8d  Piling up in arena after match (7)
{TIERING} – a present participle meaning piling up in layers is a match in a knockout competition followed by an arena.

13d  One working at court? (9)
{SHOEMAKER} – cryptic definition of someone working at what court is an example of. The last time I published a picture of these my selection was universally ridiculed by our female readers as being nothing like the real thing – I’ll try to do better this time.

15d  Gear, as put out for soldier to wear (9)
{APPARATUS} – the definition is gear or equipment. It’s an airborne soldier inside (to wear) an anagram (out) of AS PUT.

17d  The Spanish wine, cold and ‘springy’ (7)
{ELASTIC} – a word meaning springy is a charade of a Spanish definite article, an Italian sparkling wine and C(old).

18d  What gardener manages having no time for 14 science? (7)
{ROCKERY} – this clue should give you no problem at all if you did the Virgilius puzzle of 17 June (or if you read Crypticsue’s excellent review of it yesterday). Remove the T (having no time) from the science associated with 14a to leave a garden feature.

20d  Complained, finding duck in garden wandering around (7)
{GROANED} – put the letter that looks like the number of runs scored if you get a duck in cricket inside an anagram (wandering around) of GARDEN.

22d  Heading for the championship (5)
{TITLE} – double definition.

24d  Saw a duke get older (5)
{ADAGE} – if the word ‘saw’ crops up in a clue there’s a reasonable chance that it means a maxim or saying and that’s what it is here. String together A, D(uke) and a verb meaning to get older.

The clues I enjoyed most were 9a, 16a and 2d. Which ones tickled your fancy?

Today’s Quickie Pun: {PAIN} + {GUESSED} = {PAYING GUEST}

53 comments on “DT 26905

  1. Top RH corner gave me a bit of difficulty but apart from that and 16 all went reasonably well. I have to admit to letting out a groan when I saw the explanation of 16. ‘orrible clue!

    1. I think you’re meant to see 16a as Record ER (i.e. Her Majesty) rather than ‘er which your comment implies.

  2. So far I’m the first to comment but I bet that by the time I’ve done it I won’t be!!
    This was closer to a 3* for me just because of my last couple of answers – 16a and 13d – which took a long time. With 13d I couldn’t get some kind of matchmaker out of my head, then thought of tennis and, eventually, remembered gazza’s last picture clue for the shoes! I’m not sure if I would have got the answer to 18d as quickly as I did if a similar clue hadn’t come up recently. This particular Mum wouldn’t mind being somewhere like the picture for 10a!
    I liked 9, 10, 16a and 21a and 2 and 13d.
    With thanks to Giovanni and gazza.
    Very windy in Oxford – garden being flattened, and if the muntjacs aren’t eating everything in sight the moles are digging it all up! :sad:

  3. I was so sure that 15d was an anagram of ‘gear as put’ that I could see why the answer does’nt fit. Thank you for your guidance Gazza (I was half right)

      1. Tritto! i did the same till i decided my answer fitted -there was another similar case a couple of months ago with the paras involved.Anyway enjoyable and give ***/****.Needed the blog to discover the wordplay in 3d-i was trying to subtract the first letter of loving couple ie l and c instead of two letters from the front dho!

  4. Brain dead this morning, couldn’t get to grips with this, needed quite a lot of your help Gazza, thanks and thanks to Giovanni for a very demanding crossword (well I thought so) the quick crossword wasn’t a walk in the park either, daren’t look at the Toughie.

  5. I found this by far the most difficult crossword of the week. Guess i’m just not on compilers wavelength. Enjoyable however but far more than** for me. Thanx to Compiler and Gazza who’s explanations for 16a and 24d were needed (didn’t know ‘saw’ indicated maxim or saying), one for the memory bank.

  6. Gazza might like to put up a recording of The Sorcerer’s Apprentice for Dukas — i use it on crossword courses to introduce the clue ‘Does he have spelling lessons?’. Those who went through this quickly could go to the FT website for today’s Bradman. Thanks, as ever.

    1. Don Giovanni, today’s Bradman in the FT? Not one of yours by any chance?

      I get the impression that the FT may be more difficult – just off to have a look. Thanks for this one.

      1. The Bradman is slightly more difficult and does have the religious references missing from today’s DT

    2. Thanks to you and Gazza for today’s puzzle which I enjoyed having made the same mistake as others on 15d!. FT was an added bonus as I have to obey doctor’s orders today and take things easy.

  7. I did know the composer.but I’m in the anagram of GEAR AS PUT camp :grin:

    Otherwise no problems with this entertaining puzzle.

    Thanks to the two G’s

  8. I found it very hard to get going today and wouldn’t have managed it without your help – thank you. For some reason I just couldn’t get my head around the wordplay today – probably couldn’t get into the compiler’s mindset.

  9. I really enjoyed thisone which took me the average time for a Giovanni. Thak you to him for a very nice start to Friday – my favourites were the same as gazzas with the apparently ‘orrible 16a being the top favourite. Thanks to gazza too – a very nice assortment of illustrations.

    The Toughie is by Elgar – which says it all really – the review will explain all those ones you don’t understand – well we hope so anyway :)

  10. Thanks to G&G for today’s puzzle and review. Needed help for 8d – my last one NOT in. Liked 16a very much.

    6d – Never heard of the composer – strange as the piece of music is so well known!

    I’m now back off to the Toughie – I’ve solved the Bonus Clue but little else. I have told myself many times before that I should never attempt an Elgar on a Friday! Grrrrrrrrr!

    1. The last down clue is a well known ‘chestnut’ – perservate Franco it is worth it, honest.

      1. Last down clue – 23d – I’ve got that one – one of the very few.

        Anyway, I notice that the blog for today’s Toughie has now been published – don’t know whether to persevere or just read the hints & tips.

        (A bit early for the Friday Toughie Blog? – Just to put us out of our misery?)

  11. For me this was one of the least satisfying Giovannis ever. 3d, 21a and especially 16a I thought were perfectly dreadful clues. Very difficult at least a 3 star if not a 4.
    Not one clue that I found enjoyable except possibly 23a.

    1. Sorry forgot to thank Gazza for his hints without which I would certainly not have finished esp with the obscure Fremch composer (never heard of him), the obscure rodent and the bird that even my RSPB wife hasn’t come across before. Only got 19a thanks to my love of the Shadlake novels.

  12. Thanks to Giovanni and to Gazza for a thoroughly entertaing crossword and review.

  13. Ditto.
    Slightly more difficult than yesterday’s, judging by my time to complete.
    Many thanks two Gs.

  14. Today’s faves : 10a, 16a, 21a, 25a, 5d, 6d, 13d &18d.

    Back to the box to follow Heather Watson.

      1. 6-0, 6-2 – about 50 minutes!

        Oooh I say! A valiant effort from the British girl – lots of promise for next year!

  15. Oh dear, another crossword I had trouble with — I found certain clues just did not come to me although I did get 16A and 13D. I hope I get back to normal next week but I doubt it, the forecast is for 98 on Saturday and over 100 for some days after, way too hot for me!
    Favourites today, 21 and 25A, 7, 13 and 17D. Thanks to the 2 G’s for a ” good in parts” crossword and the very necessary hints AGAIN

  16. Thanks for hints Gazza, without which I would not have finished – do NOT agree with your “fairly gentle Giovanni” comment!! Has taken me all day, on and off, and then needed the hints. However, you learn along the way – it just seems to me that some compilers obey the rules and some just bend them all whichways – but that’s probably just me?? Liked 9a – I know it’s an anagram but I think it’s very cleverly written – thought 8d was horrid (IS it a word?)Also spent ages with an anagram for 15d!

    1. Giovanni is generally regarded as being one of the most scrupulous setters in sticking to the rules and I don’t think that there’s anything unfair in this puzzle. Anyway, look at it this way – you’ve had a whole day’s entertainment from the puzzle, What more could you ask for? :D

  17. Not on the right wavelength today. At least a *** and ***. Some nice clues but too many where the answer came before the unravelling like 13d. Liked 15d and 19a.

  18. Quiet here today, and fairly quiet for most of the week – must be Mary’s absence!!
    After supper I’m going to have a look at the toughie – I know that I won’t be able to do a single clue so, when I’ve proved that, I will read all the hints and see if I understand any of it!

      1. Thanks gazza, CS and Franco – I am really not expecting to be able to do any of these – it’s a) pure curiosity having always been scared away from these beasts and b) perhaps a bit of learning – who knows – will report back in “the other place”.

    1. Hmmmm – done 9a and 23d but can’t even work out where the bonus clue is meant to go …. ! Oh dear – dim today! Might perservate a bit more in the morning.
      Thanks for encouragement folks. smile: and sleep well to all.

      1. The bonus clue answer goes in the 14 white squares on the very top and bottom lines of the grid.

  19. Well there haven’t been any complaints that the shoe I’ve illustrated isn’t a court shoe, so that’s a relief.

    1. I think we are all in shock from you leavihg out a scantily clad lady who might o might not have been wearing a court shoe :D

    2. I suppose it’s a court shoe – as I think I said last time you did an illustration of one that probably wasn’t (as if the shoe was the point) I know nothing – wellies, flip flaps and boots are all I ever wear. I do think we are slightly low on the female commenters who probably know better! At least 10/10 for effort though …. :smile:

  20. 8d was my last in, still not sure why , i’m hedging towards 3or 4 star difficulty, i certainly found it harder than normal for a friday. Thanks to Giovanni and Gazza.

  21. A nice easy start to the weekend, which I must say I appreciated as I am feeling a little foggy today. No matter how simple the clue is I always think that Giovanni manages to craft/word the clue in a very nice way. Take 2d for example – a complete clue that I got without looking for the anagram. I do like Fridays, especially when they don’t tax my little grey cells too much.

  22. Thanks to G & G, good puzzle , had to resort to the hints for 16 & 27a, and 5 &13d, just couldn’t get ’em. Nice puzzle, favourite was 18a. off to Poole harbour tomorrow.

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