DT 26911 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26911

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26911

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Gazza reviewed yesterday’s back-page puzzle, so today I’m returning the favour. Typical Friday Fare from Giovanni – including his signature religious references!

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought. You can also add your assessment by selecting from one to five stars at the bottom of the post.


7a    My hesitation about central heating after second day it isn’t needed! (8)
{SCORCHER} – put an interjection similar to My! and a two-letter word of hesitation around the abbreviation of Central Heating, all after S(econd), and the result is a type of day when the central heating isn’t needed

9a    Artist and count meeting only very occasionally (6)
{RARELY} – combine an artist and a verb meaning to count or depend to get an adverb meaning very occasionally

10a    Tree by front of mansion is well-rooted (4)
{FIRM} – a coniferous tree is followed by the initial letter (front) of Mansion to get a word meaning well-rooted

11a    Maintaining dignity, protecting a mug? (4-6)
{FACE-SAVING} – a hyphenated word meaning maintaining dignity is cryptically defined by protecting a mug

12a    Festive occasion with a couple of unknowns –- lots of stars too (6)
{GALAXY} – a festive occasion is followed by a couple of mathematical unknowns to get lots of stars

14a    In a storm this may create wet areas (8)
{SEAWATER} – what may cause flooding during a storm comes from an anagram (may create) of WET AREAS

15a    Complete country, as it was, without Scripture (6)
{ENTIRE} – this word meaning complete is derived by putting the former name of a country around some books of the Bible

17a & 24a    University tower that somehow enthrals one (6-4)
{HERIOT-WATT} – this University in Edinburgh comes from an anagram (somehow) of TOWER THAT around (enthrals) I (one)

20a    A cool den specially made for pet (8)
{CANOODLE} – an anagram (specially made) of A COOL DEN gives a verb meaning to pet

22a    Speed of something like chicken crossing a street (6)
{HASTEN} – to get this verb meaning to speed put a female chicken, around (crossing) A and ST(reet)

23a    Awfully quaint, a Fifties youth is seen as behind the times (10)
{ANTIQUATED} – an anagram (awfully) of QUAINT is followed by A and a Fifties youth to get an adjective meaning behind the times

24a    See 17 across

25a    Rush wildly in vehicle, always in poetic style (6)
{CAREER} – this verb meaning to rush wildly comes from a charade of a motor vehicle and the poetic word for always

26a    Assembly wanting advance? Con, not pro! (8)
{CONGRESS} – to get this assembly start with an advance or forward movement and put CON instead of PRO


1d    Start off with exploit that is to restrict tax (8)
{ACTIVATE} – a verb meaning to start off or set in motion is derived from an exploit or deed followed by the Latin abbreviation for that is around a sales tax

2d    Duke’s odd — one has stretched skin (4)
{DRUM} – D(uke) followed by a word meaning odd gives a percussion instrument which has a skin stretched on a frame

ARVE Error: need id and provider

3d    Tricky period in which to work before end of day (6)
{SHIFTY} – an adjective meaning tricky comes from a period of work followed by the final letter (end) of daY

4d    B&B is near sprawling city (8)
{BRISBANE} – an anagram (sprawling) of B B IS NEAR gives this Australian city – the online version interactive version gives B instead of B&B, but the pdf is correct

5d    Cleric in Siberia distributed church books (10)
{BREVIARIES} – put a three-letter abbreviation of a cleric inside an anagram (distributed) of SIBERIA to get these church books containing the daily services of the Roman Catholic Church

6d    Look — a delicate batting stroke! (6)
{GLANCE} – a double definition – a look and a delicate batting stroke

8d    Model again about to join company on stage (6)
{RECAST} – to get this verb meaning to model again combine (to join) a two-letter word meaning about with the company in a stage play

13d    Permits will be distributed at house, sir (10)
{AUTHORISES} – this verb meaning permits or validates comes from an anagram (distributed) of AT HOUSE SIR

16d    Member of Communist organisation roughing up nameless undergrad (3,5)
{RED GUARD} – this member of a Communist organisation in China comes from an anagram (roughing up) of U(N)DERGRAD without the N (name-less)

18d    Source of pleasure is English paper (8)
{TREATISE} – a charade of a source of pleasure, IS and E(nglish) gives a paper dealing formally and systematically with a subject

19d    Hell, sound of clock! Gets you agitated (6)
{HECTIC} – two syllables that sound like (can be heard) an interjection meaning Hell! and the sound of a clock are combined to get an adjective meaning agitated

21d    Plant to reduce to nothing around start of autumn (6)
{ANNUAL} – this plant that lives for one year only is derived by putting a verb meaning to reduce to nothing around the initial letter (start) of Autumn

22d    Hushing up corporal punishment? (6)
{HIDING} – a double definition – hushing up or concealing and corporal punishment

24d    Put on report of conflict (4)
{WORE} – a verb meaning put on an item of clothing sounds like (report of) a major conflict

Don’t forget that our second Monthly prize Puzzle will be published tomorrow morning.

The Quick crossword pun: {winch} + {Esther} = {Winchester}

50 comments on “DT 26911

  1. This took me a while to get going, but I managed to complete it in my normal time for a Friday puzzle.
    Thanks to Giovanni, and to BD for the review.

    I liked the Toughie today. I have no idea who set it, but it was not as tricky as I would have expected for a Friday.

  2. Always look forward to Friday’s Giovanni, so was a bit miffed to find that the electric edition of the Telegraph had omitted the cryptic, many thanks to BD for riding to the rescue with a PDF.

    As always enjoyed the puzzle, nice mix of clues, got a bit hung up bottom right until 24d dawned….doh, and it all fell into place.

    Thanks BD for review and to Giovanni for an entertaining, albeit belated start to my day.

    1. I got the cryptic at 12:05 am but had problems with it telling me some answers were incorrect when I thought they were correct so they may have taken it down to remedy. Or maybe it was the 3rd day of temperatures over 100 in Chicago confusing my brain. I would settle for some cold wet English weather right now. Even with air conditioning it is not comfortable – heat index is supposed to be 110 today and it is humid – ugh. Found this puzzle a little harder than normal, but that may be down to the weather. Thanks to Giovanni and Big Dave.

  3. I enjoyed this one – I found parts of it quite difficult – more of a 3* for me today.
    I’ve never heard of the University and thought, when what it could be finally came to me, that I might have invented it – looked it up and there it was. I also caused myself a lot of unnecessary trouble by being unable to count – for ages I was trying to make 5d an anagram of Siberia and RR. Oh dear!! I’m not sure whether or not I’ve heard the word before – I should think it has probably come up in crosswords as, having got the answer now, it doesn’t seem completely new to me. I dithered before writing in the answer to 26a as having the first three letters of the answer in the clue seemed a bit too simple for Giovanni!
    I liked 7a (wishful thinking or what!), 11, 14 and 20a.
    With thanks to Giovanni and BD.
    Lovely day yesterday but we seem to be back to normal today … :sad:

  4. Hi Dave and thanks for blog, I didn’t need them today but still would rate this as a 3* difficulty for myself, having had to use my usual electronic friends, books and plenty of perservation!
    Never heard of the university, though something rings a bell from University Challenge
    I remembered that the ‘s in 2d can mean ‘has’ as well as ‘is’ :-)
    Not sure about 7a and 14a, are they clever or not, I couldn’t see for ages what ‘day’ had to do with anything in 7a are these all in one type clues? where is the definition?
    one clue I liked was 22d

    1. With you with regards to difficulty rating. Took ages to get going but a good puzzle nevertheless. I had heard of the Uni but 5d was new to me, not good at religeous clues. How’s the rain, it’s dreadful in Bucks.

      1. I thought it was like the curate’s egg, tricky in parts. I couldn’t get 7A or 17/24A without BDs help.
        And yes, it’s raining in the Chilterns as well. Will it never stop.
        Thanks to BD and Giovanni

  5. Back to the lousy weather but lit up by nice puzzle. Favourite was 7 [you must be joking] and also liked 11 12 and 17/24. On to the Toughie which I hope is a bit harder than yesterday.

  6. No puzzle on my iPad :-(. Dave would you mind sending to me too?

    BTW am I the only iPad user annoyed by the paper now having to be in the newsstand folder rather than on the desktop as before? It now needs twice as many touches to move between the paper and the dictionary or safari than it used to. They have managed to take a broadly good customer experience and make it a worse one. I’m thinking I might cancel my subscription.

    1. I fully agree and it now often takes two or three goes to get the blog to appear. Not a step forward IMHO.

      1. And more annoyingly I have used the feedback form twice now about it and they haven’t even bothered to reply so far

    2. Do you double click the iPad button to switch between open apps? Far quicker than going via the home screen wth single clicks.

    3. Yes, the change has not been entirely successful.
      Main difference seems to be that the paper is preloaded, which saves some hassle.
      When I double click to see open apps I have a Telegraph Logo which allows me to flick between Chambers and puzzle freely.
      While we are on the subject why don’t the Telegraph publish the toughie and gk. puzzles in the app.

      1. And the killer sudoku… Those and the TV listings are the only things I miss from the paper.

    4. I too was more than miffed this morning to find no Cryptic on my iPad. Anyway, I’ve replaced it, and the glazier is coming later. ;-)

      I too am mighty annoyed that the upgrade has moved the paper to the Newsstand … a useless folder that, by some trickery, I’d managed to move to a separate “Not Wanted On Voyage” folder, alongside other unused ‘features’. Hutber’s Law, anyone? If the addition of the weekend supplements had included the puzzle pages, I might have been slightly mollified.

      The lack of response to complaints about missing content on the iPad and duplication (e.g. of the Matt cartoon on Monday and Tuesday this week) is, sadly, typical. Perhaps they’ve sent me to Coventry.

      It is surely not beyond the wit of the Telegraph to update the edition as soon as an issue is identified … or do they use the same programmers as a certain bank? Otherwise, an apology by means of a banner would not come amiss.

      I refused on principle to buy a paper version this morning, so occupied my journey time by enriching my knowledge of my new Sony A77 camera – courtesy of Gary Frieman’s excellent eBook.

      1. Phil McNeill the Telegraph puzzles editor says

        …. I know the puzzles failed to load on iPad this morning. I hope it has been sorted out by now, though unfortunately once you load your edition for the day I don’t think one can reload.

        Perhaps when he returns from being away he can pass on your other complaints to the relevant people at DT Towers.

        1. Thanks Sue. As Atilla suggests you would think it shouldn’t be too challenging to be able to refresh the edition when errors and omissions occur.

      2. I just deleted the app and reinstalled it but still no cryptic in today’s paper. The app is very frustrating when every update means you lose all downloaded issues so you have to reload them (I complain to them every time). Strangely enough completed crosswords reappear…

        I have also complained about the move to newsstand. And although it implies that latest issues are downloaded automatically this hasn’t occurred yet.

        Very frustrating.

      3. No comment/apology this morning on the iPad Cryptic page. Common courtesy seems to have died in what was once an august publication. O tempora o mores! Cicero, where are you in our hour of need?

  7. I have to admit i struggled today with the wordplay in7a and 17a,also never heard of 5d- took after my mother who went to church twice,once to be christened second to be buried! ***/** for me.

  8. Not really to do withe cryptic today but on the Quick someone needs to tell the setter that Wolves are Lupine not Canine.

  9. I started this one first thing just to warm up the grey matter and gave up with three left to put in as I though I had better tackle the Toughie. I wrote the missing in as soon as I returned to the back page so it probably wouldn’t have taken me long to finish if I hadn’t had something pressing to do.

    Thanks to Giovanni for an enjoyable puzzle and to BD for the explanations.

    1. I’ve just put the TV on to see what’s happening at Wimbledon – can’t believe it – it’s sunny there!! It started raining in Oxford at about 9.30 this morning and hasn’t stopped since – at one stage it was like a monsoon – we’ve had over 3/4″ today, so far, and still raining.

    2. Blimey – are you there Mary? What a match!! Hope you survived – I did, but only just!!

      1. Hi Kath, yes for a moment I thought it was going to be a five setter, not good for the blood pressure :-)

  10. A bit of help for I pad solvers – when in the crossword you can use the ‘four finger drag ‘ from the bottom of the page to easily open other applications like dictionary or blog. This does not however help when the cryptic is not included!!

  11. Good and enjoyable challenge.
    How long did it take me to twigl 17a?
    Far too long!
    Overall, would consider it a *** for difficulty.
    Many thanks Giovanni and BD for the review.

  12. Just before 6pm for about 20 minutes, I had a strange glitch when linking to this Big Dave 26911 page – I just got a pageful of random characters. All the other website pages were fine (including today’s Toughie solutions).
    Anyway, I really enjoyed this one – 20a especially – but then most people enjoy 20a :-)

  13. No dramas today as I had a paper copy. No dramas in the puzzle either – the usual concise crossword form Giovanni which I enjoyed. Thanks to him and to BD.

  14. I am an I pad sufferer and decided to take a break today. I will have to go to the paper shop if there is no puzzle in the morning I pad edition! I agree with all the other posts above re Newsstand issue. I had the DT as one of my four main icons and now can’t. Grumble over!

  15. Thanks for all the feedback. For a while yesterday this website geve me a load of meaningless symbols rather than your highly intelligible comments — what is that all about? Am glad someone recognised that wolves are generally canine even if specfically lupine! For a stiffer challenge from me maybe try today’s Times.

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