DT 26941 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26941

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26941

Hints and tips by Gazza

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

Most of this one went in fairly easily for me but I was held up in the NW corner for a while (I kept thinking of Ben and Charles for 1a), so I’ve given it 4* for difficulty. Let us know whether you had similar problems or whether you thought it was a piece of cake.
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Across Clues

1a  Go round with Kingsley in haze as one distinctly single-minded? (10)
{MISOGAMIST} – reverse (round) GO, add the surname of Kingsley the novelist then put all that inside a synonym for haze to get someone who is not at all keen on the state of matrimony. I do like ‘single-minded’.

6a  Fish not happy — caught to be eaten (4)
{SCAD} – an adjective meaning the opposite of happy has C (caught, in cricket) inserted to make a mackerel-like fish with a row of large spiky scales along each side.

9a  Computer work? Some of the French start to kill time before it (7)
{DESKTOP} – this is a type of computer. The abbreviation for an artistic work is preceded (before it) by the French word for ‘some of the’, the starting letter of K(ill) and T(ime).

10a  English newspaper has stories about socialists maybe (7)
{LEFTIES} – E(nglish) and the abbreviation of a pink daily newspaper are inserted in untrue stories.

12a  Request from diner resulting in a pudding in perfect condition (5-3,5)
{APPLE-PIE ORDER} – what could be a request for a pudding in a restaurant is a phrase meaning in perfect condition.

14a  Sequence by that old American writer (6)
{RUNYON} – a charade of a sequence and an old word for that produces the surname of an American short-story writer.

15a  Disappointing architectural city? Call back (8)
{BATHETIC} – an adjective meaning disappointing or anticlimactic comes from a city in Somerset which is famous for its architecture followed by the reversal (back) of a verb to call or name.

17a  Ecstasy after bird is seen in spring month? Nonsense! (8)
{MALARKEY} – the definition here is nonsense or meaningless talk. Add E(cstasy) to a proverbially early-rising bird then put all that inside (seen in) a spring month.

19a  Mark drinks audibly (6)
{BRUISE} – a temporary mark on the skin sounds like (audibly) drinks (possibly of beer or tea).

22a  Period associated with madness? Ages and ages (4,3,2,4)
{TIME OUT OF MIND} – this is a phrase meaning ages and ages or the distant past beyond human memory. Cryptically it could be a period of madness.

24a  Distinguished artist starts to envisage new things (7)
{EMINENT} – the surname of a modern female artist is followed by the starting letters of three consecutive words in the clue to make a synonym of distinguished.

25a  Plumbing problem? Have a word with the servant (7)
{SEEPAGE} – a verb to have a word or audience with someone is followed by a young male servant.

26a  Pudding — last item for dinners in the past (4)
{SAGO} – the last letter (item) of (dinner)S is followed by an adverb meaning in the past.

27a  Christian favouring only one of Bible’s two parts? Not me! (10)
{PROTESTANT} – a Christian who rejects the authority of the papacy comes from a prefix meaning favouring followed by one of the two parts of the Bible (the old or the new) from which ME has been removed.

Down Clues

1d  Report of girl being unnatural (4)
{MADE} – an adjective meaning unnatural or manufactured sounds like (report of) a young girl.

2d  Support American army when environment is evil (7)
{SUSTAIN} – one of the abbreviations for American (the country, not the continent) and our part-time army go inside (when environment is) a synonym of evil to make a verb meaning to support or underpin.

3d  Sinus-clearing drops will irritate you (3,2,4,4)
{GET UP YOUR NOSE} – what sinus-clearing drops will do (if your aim is good) is also an informal phrase meaning to irritate or annoy you.

4d  Very enthusiastic about university course being planned (6)
{MAPPED} – an adjective meaning very enthusiastic or passionate contains (about) the abbreviation for a university course covering philosophy, politics and economics. The result is a past participle meaning planned or plotted on a chart.

5d  English composer having a very bad upset featured in tabloid (8)
{SULLIVAN} – this is an English composer of light operas. String together A, V(ery) and a synonym for bad, then reverse (upset) what you’ve got so far and insert it in the name of a Murdoch-owned tabloid.

7d  Indian brought into court, one who fought in Burma (7)
{CHINDIT} – the language used predominantly in Northern India (which could, I suppose, be called Indian) is inserted (brought) into the abbreviation for court to make a member of Brigadier Wingate’s commando force who operated behind Japanese lines in Burma during WWII.

8d  Addict with rest disturbed becomes confused (10)
{DISTRACTED} – we get three-quarters of the way through the puzzle before reaching our first anagram (disturbed) of ADDICT and REST.

11d  Older fashions being recycled shows a reckless lack of wisdom (13)
{FOOLHARDINESS} – a reckless or rash attitude comes from an anagram (being recycled) of OLDER FASHIONS.

13d  Bringer of fire could make me ‘super-hot’ (10)
{PROMETHEUS} – this is a bit like buses, you don’t see an anagram for ages then three come along all at once. The Greek god who stole fire back and returned it to earth after Zeus had hidden it away is an anagram (could make) of ME SUPER-HOT.

16d  List goes up after match — one plans for the next generation maybe (8)
{TESTATOR} – this person hopes that his legacy will benefit his descendants (or possibly not, and everything will go to a cats’ home). Reverse (goes up, in a down clue) a list or schedule of who’s doing what after an international sporting match.

18d  I am beginning to plough into heather, making progress with difficulty (7)
{LIMPING} – the definition here is making progress with difficulty, possibly due to a leg injury. Insert the contracted form of ‘I am’ and the beginning letter of P(lough) into a common word for heather (common in cryptic crosswords, anyway).

20d  American state with fashionable princess sadly departed (7)
{INDIANA} – combine an adjective meaning fashionable and the name of the princess who is no longer with us to make a Mid-West US state.

21d  Not involved with filming? There’s some compensation (6)
{OFFSET} – cryptically, as (3,3) this could mean not currently involved in filming. It actually means a compensatory or balancing factor.

23d  Money in the post, as you might say? (4)
{CENT} – a small amount of money sounds like (as you might say) consigned to the post.

The clues I liked best were 1a and 10a. Let us know what you enjoyed.

Today’s Quickie Pun: {MISSED} + {RUSTED} = {MISTRUSTED}

89 comments on “DT 26941

  1. This one gave us a good workout. Definitely **** for us. Favourite clue was1a. Had misogynist in for a while which gave problems with 4d. Lots of fun. Thanks Giovanni and Gazza.

  2. Nice puzzle today from the Don – glad to see a 4* rating for difficulty! Failed in the NW corner! It had to be “Misogynist” or “Monogamist”! But, No!

    (So far I’ve solved 3 clues from the Elgar Toughie – a Personal Best – must be an easy one!)

  3. Thanks to Gazza for the explanations, I’d never heard of 1a but it couldn’t have been anything else from the wordplay. 26a reminded me of that old Christmas cracker gem, “How do you start a pudding race?”. Favourites were 1a (I always enjoy working out a word I don’t know from the wordplay and then checking in the dictionary – assuming I have worked it out correctly) and 27a.

  4. Excellent puzzle, got held up like everyone else in the NW but perservation came good.
    As always with the Master, all the clues are there, just got to unpick them. Nice to see a Crossword without any weird words. Best clue for me def 14a.
    Many thx to Gazza for the explanation of 1d and to Giovanni for the good workout over breakfast.

  5. 19a was the one I spent most time on. Thanks to Giovanni for the enjoyable puzzle, and to Gazza for the review.

  6. This puzzle caused me much dithering. Half went in fairly easily then swimming in treacle. NW corner last to sort out. Last in1 and 4d. Fav 14a. Thanks to setter and Gazza.

  7. Back from my holiday. I also thought of Ben and Charles before finding the right man for 1a, but it was one of my favourite clues. Great fun to work out. I didn’t know about the fish at 6a so couldn’t find 7d either. But I enjoyed this puzzle very much, so thanks to G&G. :-)

  8. I enjoyed this too but thought it was Giovanni with his “How devious shall I be today” hat on!
    I was in the “misogynist” club for a while which screwed up 4d. I’ve never heard of the expression in 22a but it couldn’t have been much else. I was very slow to get 9, 10 … actually was pretty slow with all the across clues – downs were a bit quicker and easier.
    I liked 1a (eventually) 10, 14 (although I hadn’t heard of him) and 27a and 3 and 18d.
    With thanks to Giovanni and Gazza.
    Having a rather gruesome day – had just looked up Prometheus and read that as a punishment for stealing the fire he was tied to a rock and vultures chewed his liver! :sad: Back into kitchen to carry on with crossword – there was a blackbird eating the rowan-berries on our patio and a buzzard swooped down and carried it away! :sad: I’m seriously off birds!

    1. Blimey where do you live, sounds a bit dangerous to me? We have problems with the blackbirds eating the blueberries but netting usually works there being a distinct shortage of buzzards in Buckinghamshire :-)

      1. I think there is a whole BBC Nature Programme to be made just in Kath’s back garden what with the muntjac and the buzzards etc. We have two sets of ‘townies’ camping in our garden at the moment and every morning we get ‘complaints’ about being woken by woodpeckers, pheasants, crows and pigeons. We don’t notice the birds any more and just sleep through :)

        1. You’ve certainly picked the right week to have your campers. Let me know when the occasion is about to happen next year – maybe we’ll plan a barbecue!!

      2. Just wrote a reply, pressed “post comment” and it all disappeared, so if this happens twice it’s NOT my fault and I’m NOT going mad!
        Believe it or not we live about two and a half miles from the centre of Oxford but we’re very much on the edge of it and are surrounded by farm land and woods. There are lots of buzzards and red kites (and the ****** muntjac), not helped by having some very lovely but slightly “alternative” neighbours who put food out for them.

  9. Thank you setter and Gazza for your review.

    Managed to finish eventually, but was completely thrown by 3d. I was convinced that with “you” in the clue “your” would not be in the answer and therefore put ” ones”

    Thus holding up the LH side for quite a while.

    Found this very difficult compared with yesterday’s.

    But enjoyed it – once finished !

    1. I did exactly the same for 3d. I did think that it was part of convention to use “ones” rather than “your”. Perhaps things are changing, maybe there was no convention anyway ? Having said that, the clue works better with “your” in it though IMHO.

      1. The one’s/your dilemma is never cut and dried and I always try to delay the decision until I have one of the checking letters.

    2. I’ve been caught out by the ones/your thingy that I never put it in until I’m sure which it is.

  10. Thanks to Giovanni & Gazza for the review & hints. Agree this was 4* difficulty, I’ve been struggling lately with Giovannis, and today was no exception. Couldn’t do the NW corner either. Needed to look up 7 answers, couldn’t even get them from Gazza’s excellent hints, of which I used 3. There was a lot I’d never heard of, 1,6,15a & the abbreviation in 4d. So there’s a lot to try to remember for future reference. I did still enjoy it, despite being totally flummoxed :-) Favourite was 27a, which I actually solved, a great clue. Joined CAMRA at GBBF, so must get a false beard & glasses to complete the uniform :-)

      1. I suspect that it’s something something beer festival – possibly Great British but am guessing.

        1. Yes, that’s right Kath, I’ve just spent Tuesday evening and Thursday noon till 8pm enjoying beers from around the country and abroad in a very civilised atmosphere at Olympia. Saturday is the last day, shall be going to the local tonight as GBBF gets packed to the rafters on a Friday.

      2. GBBF -Great British Beer Festival. CAMRA is Campaign for Real Ale. I was one of the first 500 members. That dates me!

        Re1a until I looked at the blog I just assumed I’d always spelled misogynist wrong!

        1. Hi albatross, I was offered life membership in the 70″s for about £70, but never took it up. Today it’s £414, so would take 16 years to break even, wish I’d have stumped up the money back then :-)

    1. Less than two weeks until the Peterborough Beer Fest, make your way here, second biggest next to Olympia, but with better live music and set on a riverside location. I’m pulling pints in the evenings and in daytime elbow deep in dishes and plates washing up after the volunteerrs who get fed and watered. Sorry BD if done an advertising hijack on your blog, just trying to promote real ale.

  11. Great fun. Once again I found this 4 star easier than those set earlier in the week.
    Many thanks to setter and to Gazza for the hints.

  12. Very enjoyable puzzle from The Don!

    Back in NL after 5 weeks of glorious Mediterranean sunshine down in The Var.

    Very warm and sunny here in NL.

    Greetings to everyone.

    1. Hi Derek, it’s warm in London, but quite muggy though. Still, that’s better than rain !

    2. Glad that you’ve had a good holiday. Very warm and sunny (mainly) in Oxford too. Off to France in ten days – last time I spoke to brother-in-law over there he said the weather was absolute rubbish so hope that it’s cheered up a bit now.

  13. Hard, but not so hard as yesterday. Thanks for the hints to help me sort out NW! 1a and 5a are new words to me.

  14. I found this about average for a Giovanni, being held up the longest by 1a and the devilish 19a. Thanks to both the Gs .

  15. So relieved to see the **** difficulty from Gazza & to see that others also found it tricky. Had mysoginist for 1a and of course if I had bothered to look at it properly I would have realised it was wrong!! Thanks to G & G.

  16. Brilliant crossword, some very clever constructions.
    Who reads poor old Damon these days?
    Good early morning struggle.
    Many thanks Giovanni and Gazza.

    1. “Who reads poor old Damon these days?”
      I do! or rather: I am frequently reading Mr Runyon, particularly when he is making his wise observations, which is more than somewhat… :-)

  17. Did not like this one at all, really 3d is a common phrase and the same for 22a. I accept that this was a generally well structured crossword but a bit to tenuous for the back page.

  18. If you haven’t started don’t bother; check out 6A and 14A to get a feel for this esoteric trash.

    1. Hi MJC,
      I see that your mood hasn’t improved since your previous comment last August. Perhaps you’d do better sticking to the Sun?

      1. Hi Gazza. Havent looked at this one yet but, in view of your comment I will do so now! Starting with 6a and 14a!

        See ya later!

      2. Only looked at the two clues but what’s wrong with 6a?, Seems pretty OK to me. 14a is a tad obscure perhaps but, fortuitously for me, I came across the guy in another puzzle not so long ago :smile: Wordplay is quite clear. (Why anyone would want to kill themselves by burning alive defeats me – not heard of a jump off the 6th floor?).

      3. MJC Constructive criticism I think is welcome by most setters, can you explain why you didn’t like those clues? Cheers Andy

          1. It makes me so mad Pommers, I couldn’t even begin to set a crossword, but love solving and this site, Have no time for muppets

    2. I don’t know who you were when you last commented but today’s comments are, to me anyway, totally unfair. I thought that this was quite tricky but totally possible. I have to confess that it took me a long time but “trash” and “esoteric” – ABSOLUTELY NOT.
      I know that using capitals is like shouting – that is why I’ve used them!

      1. Well said Kath! The blog doesn’t really need comments like that – gratuitous slagging off, presumably beacuse he/she couldn’t solve it. I’ve no problem with complaints about a puzzle if you didn’t like it but you should give your reasons.

        1. Thanks “Lydia” – wasn’t sure if I’d overstepped the mark there but comments like that make me SO cross – can be a bit of a Rottweiler when things (or people) I care about are attacked, especially without a decent reason! :smile:

          1. You remind me of pommette – she who shall only be disobeyed with great circumspection! :lol:

        2. Unreasonable criticism is one of the reasons that I was so cross with “Bloody Woman” a few months ago – oh dear – now I know that my memory is going – I think that I’ve got her name wrong – the second bit is right and I’m pretty sure that her first name began with a “B” …….. ! :grin:

  19. Too hard to be interesting for me. How many people have heard of 6 or 14a? To defend the clues by saying that the answers could be worked out if you looked at the rest of the hints is not satisfactory: I guessed both 6 and 14 but could not be sure my solutions were right because I’d never heard of the answer. If you’re doing the crossword on the train with no access to a library or the net, then you’re just left hoping you’ve got the right answer but not knowing for sure.
    Anyway, don’t really care much now because I’ve stopped buying the paper and not because of the crosswords but because of the Olympics coverage. Today’s front page, yet again, was typical – just a cheap, lazy, boring, insulting-to-the-intelligence way to fill the entire front page of a newspaper. Why should any sane person pay £1.20 for a picture we all saw (moving) on tele last night?
    I download the crossword now for free, something I’ve never done before. I’ll leave the Telegraph to work out how that works out financially for them, as for me, I’m better off by £1.20 times five weekly (I only got the paper on weekdays for my commute).
    But thanks for the blog, needed loads of help.

    1. Hi Andrew, grumpy or otherwise.
      Why is a hard puzzle not interesting? Surely the reverse is true, if you really like crosswords.
      See my comment on today’s Toughie – “Too clever by far for me! There again, I’m not a very good solver and Elgar is a very good setter, so it’s a bit of a mis-match from square one – bit like me taking on Ben Ainslie in a dinghy race” – doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy the challenge and therefore think it’s a bad crossword.

      1. Hi Lydia, I don’t mind a difficult clue, so long as the answer is a word that the typical Telegraph reader might have come across, and not one that you need to Google to be sure that it exists.
        But much as I didn’t enjoy most of this, I ended up in a pub with a friend (someone much better at cryptics than me) doing today’s Guardian, until giving up. I’ve just checked the answers and one of the many we couldn’t get was MATTEOTTI. Would you call that hard and therefore interesting? I’d just call it a reason not to bother with Guardian crosswords.

        1. Agree about today’s Grauniad. Clocked the theme and packed it in! Hate themed crosswords anyway. As far as I’m concerned TS Eliot is merely an anagram of TOILETS!
          Pommette has a phrase – ” Intellectual Masturbation”, by which she means being clever for the sake of showing that you’re clever. It applies to both Elgar and Araucaria IMHO.
          Doesn’t apply to today’s DT though – that was tough but fair, unlike the Toughie, for which I refer to pommette!.

  20. I also found it hard, needed most of the hints. But I did know 6a! Not helped by being knackerd after a long day at work. Some answers were esoteric in my opinion, however the clues are cryptic and will lead people to the answer, that’s why we do the cryptic crossword. I agree with most people that fair criticism and comments are fine, gratuitous rudeness is not. Thank you G&G, even though I could not fo the crossword today.

    1. Good grief, Captain, I thought only Murdoch charged for online access to his papers, but now I see that you have to subscribe to get the Telegraph crosswords, something I will not be doing. I’ll have to stick to plan B, which is to borrow the paper from a bloke who brings it into work. I’m not paying for it, not for puzzles like this.

      1. I don’t understand why anyone would want to solve puzzles they don’t enjoy. Is it just so that you can complain about them?

  21. Goodness me! This one certainly stirred the emotions, didn’t it? Mine too.

    I haven’t been here for very long and I wouldn’t dream of being rude to the setter or anyone else here…

    …having said that, this one was quite beyond me. I think I probably finish three-quarters of the DT puzzles that I pick up and if I spend a couple of hours doing one then that’s fine. That doesn’t make me an expert neither does it make me a novice.

    I got well and truly stuck with only about 20% solved (and I already knew that 1a wasn’t right!). I came here much earlier than I usually do and when I sampled Gazza’s comprehensive hints, I realised that I wasn’t going to be able to solve this one without Gazza doing most of the work… and that’s simply not what I want from the DT. There are other places and other papers I could go if I wanted esotericism to this degree (and I don’t).

    Ah well, perhaps I’ve just had a bad day and tomorrow’s Saturday offering will cheer me up…

    Have a good weekend all.

  22. I’ve just had a look at some of the answers because I never managed to finish the crossword last night (distracted by the womens’ 5,000m) and never finished it this morning before work, which was so frustrating! Like you, my favourite clue was 1a.

  23. A belated post, but it wasn’t 1a that was my temporary undoing, but 1d. I had MYTH. I still think it works from the clue.

    PS – another iPad rant, but does anyone else suffer periodic loss of subscription details? It’s particularly tiresome when sitting on the train and being refused access to the edition I downloaded before leaving home (WiFi only iPad). Also, yesterday and today I’m being plagued with login prompts when accessing the paper. Grrrrr!

  24. Missed blog yesterday — was watching swimmers on the Serpentine and trying (ultimately successfully!) to figure out my colleague’s Toughie. I have noted the generally appreciative comments here with gratitude, but am sorry that one blogger chose to be nasty about SCAD and RUNYON. If we stuck to very basic everyday vocabulary, we’d become very dull, I’m afraid. That doesn’t mean that one chooses very obscure words, but these two should be well within range if (as they were!) properly clued. And stick at it, Williamus, too!

    1. Yes, thanks for the encouragement! The papergirl’s staying with her parents in Devon for a few days, so I shall have to go out and fetch the DT myself. I’m sure the extra effort will be worth it.

    2. Giovanni there is nothing wrong with additional words being added to the vocabulary, if the same words used all the time it would be boring and repetitive. In Elgars today I was stumped by the Indian City, and am now horrified that I have visited it as a child and forgotten!!!! Keep up the good work. Now to attempt the Cephas en route to Glasgow replete with dogs

  25. I enjoyed this very much, or ‘more than somewhat’ as as 14a would have put it. The most stimulating struggles were with 1a, 10a, 15a, 19a, 27a, 2d, 4d and 16d. (I liked the cheekiness of 2d, putting the US abbr. together with our army, not theirs.)
    I had 1a as ‘monogamist’, but I should have realized what it really was. Although I’ve never seen it used, it’s an entirely logical and guessable word, and the clue was clear.

    Re 6a: I usually do the crossword without access to dictionary or computer, so whenever I see a ‘fish’ or ‘plant’ clue I tend to heave a sigh – there simply are so many species and dialect words for them, and many that I’ve never heard of. And I thought ‘caught to be eaten’ meant it was a longer word whose ‘c’ was to be removed to make the fish.
    But there’s a lot of fun to be gained from learning new words: the ‘aha’ moments continue even after not solving the clue. All thanks to our Helpfully Hinting Hosts, in this particular case Signor Magpie, as well as setter Don Giovanni.

  26. Thanks for mainly appreciative comments — but of course can’t please all the people all the time!

  27. PS Sorry for duplication — now made worse — i didn’t think my previous comment had registered!!

  28. Certainly the hardest puzzle I’ve ever managed without help, except checking a couple in the dictionary to see if the word actually existed! These were 1a and 15a. Was going to put in “pathetic” for the latter, but knew it didn’t fit the clue. Must admit that although I knew I had 27a correct, did not fully “get” the clue without your explanation. Am going to award myself a bronze medal for this one!

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