DT 26945 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26945

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26945

Hints and tips by scchua

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ** :

Today we welcome Scchua to the blog.  He has been posting excellent reviews on fifteensquared for a while and I thought it was about time that he joined us here.  Pommers, Pommette and I met Scchua at the Sloggers & Betters meeting in Derby last year, while he was visiting the UK.  You can see a picture of of him, with regular commenter Andy and today’s setter Jay, on the blog’s facebook page.  BD

This is my debut on Big Dave’s, so hello to all, and I look forward to being part of the community. I’m still learning to use the software, so there could be some problems with layout. More important, I hope I’ve got the right balance between giving too much or too little away. So please let me have your comments. Regarding comments – because I’m in a very different time zone, I may not be able to respond until the next day. If there are any gaps in the blog, I’m sure there will be others happy to fill in, and thanks to them.

This was a kindly puzzle for a first blog. I put it at between 1 and 2 for difficulty – lots of containment clues, and after a while one can get used to the style. It was fairly enjoyable, between a 2 and 3, I feel, so thanks to the setter. I know that these ratings are very subjective, so mine may be very different from yours.

Definitions are underlined in the clues.

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.

Across :

1a Pinched permit offering handy protection (8)
GAUNTLET} — {GAUNT}(pinched,an appearance after being subject to deprivation, say) + {LET}(to permit,allow).

9a Difficult task, with no hotel for the most loyal supporters (4,4)
HARD CORE} — {HARD}(difficult, like some crosswords) + {“chore”} minus(with no) “h”(represented by “hotel” in the phonetic alphabet)

10a Exploit energy retained by adipose tissue (4)
FEAT} — E(abbrev. for energy in science, as in the famous E=mc2) contained in(retained by) {FAT}(adipose tissue, whose riddance is the objective of dieting – temporarily?)

11a A German gets organised, employing a theatrical supervisor (5,7)
STAGE MANAGER}Anagram of(organised) A GERMAN GETS containing(employing) A.

13a Lady‘s innumerable liaisons initially dismissed (8)
COUNTESS} — {“countless}(innumerable,lots) minus(dismissed) “l”(first letter,initially of “liaisons“).
Answer: Of the royal kind.

15a Stop in case of efficiency and fairness (6)
EQUITY} — {QUIT}(stop,give up) contained in(in) EY(first and last letters encasing,case of efficiency“).

16a Seasoning for the girl’s starter of broccoli (4)
HERB} — HER(possessive pronoun for the girl) + B(initial letter,starter of broccoli).

17a Reject, with time for new jet (5)
SPURT} — {“spurn”}(to reject, unwelcome advances, say) with “t”(abbrev. for time) replacing “n”(abbrev. for new).

18a Late-developing duck (4)
{TEAL}Anagram of(developing) LATE.

20a Adjust time mariner gets executed (6)
{TAILOR} — T(abbrev. for time) + {“sailor”}(a mariner, as in Hello …) minus its initial letter,head(gets executed).

21a Separate credits planned before end of June (8)
{DISCRETE}Anagram of(planned) CREDITS placed before(before) E(last letter,end of June).

23a Bad feeling gift wrapping new clock? (12)
{PRESENTIMENT} — {PRESENT}(a gift from one to another) containing(wrapping) [N(abbrev. for new) + {TIME}(to clock, eg. if you’re a coach of a sprinter)].

Answer: A feeling that something bad is just around the corner.

26a One’s twice a goddess! (4)
ISIS} — [I(Roman numeral for one) + ‘S] and again(twice).

27a Go with European academic, excited (6,2)
{TURNED ON} — {TURN}(one’s go when playing a game for 2 or more persons) plus(with) [E(abbrev. for European) + {DON}(an academic in a higer educational institution)]. Some of those lecturers can be pretty hot?  :-)

28a Student accommodated by alien gets cramp (8)
STRANGLE} — L(abbrev. for learner,student) contained in(accommodated by) {STRANGE}(alien,different from what one is used to).
Answer: To restrict,cramp.


2d Story of a code ten violation (8)
ANECDOTE}Anagram of(violation) A CODE TEN.

3d Runs off after teachers on beach to get the basic facts (4,3,5)
NUTS AND BOLTS} — {BOLTS}(runs off, especially if one is guilty) placed below(after, in a down clue) [{NUT}(abbrev. for the UK group of teachers) placed over(on, in a down clue) {SAND}(word representing the beach)].

4d Company on the rise in recent find (6)
{LOCATE}Reversal of(on the rise, in a down clue) CO(abbrev. for company) contained in(in) {LATE}(recent,describing eg. a news flash)

Defn: As a verb.

5d You and supporter of course may hold hands at first (4)
{THEE} — {TEE}(a wooden/plastic supporter used on the golf course) containing(may hold) H(initial letter,at first of “hands“). Nice surface.

6d Weaponry for a mother trapped in lease (8)
: A + [{MAM}(an informal word for mother) contained in(trapped in) {RENT}(to lease,hire)

7d Air like this no good (4)
SONG} — {SO}(like this, as in “do it like this”) + NG(abbrev. for “no good“).

8d Unravel during trade payment (8)
{DEFRAYAL} — {FRAY}(of cloth, to unravel) contained in(during) {DEAL}(a trade,exchange).

Answer: To furnish or provide money for costs/expenses.

12d Corruption of European in indecent allowance (12)
{ADULTERATION} — E(abbrev. for European) contained in(in) [{ADULT}(indecent, as in describing some movies, pictures, magazines, etc.) + {RATION}(an allowance,one’s share)].

Answer: The act of debasement,corruption, by adding inferior material, eg. water to your whisky/whiskey.  :-)

14d Plumb reliable (5)
{SOUND} — Double defn: 1st: To do from a ship with a plumb line; and 2nd: Robust,reliable.

16d Popular sights in radioactive areas (8)
HOT SPOTS} — Double defn: 2nd: Areas where radioactivity is high.

17d Calm, accepting a date’s love song (8)
{SERENADE} — {SERENE}(calm,undisturbed) containing(accepting) [A + D(abbrev. for date,the 24-hour period – not that a couple couldn’t have a date that lasts that long :-) )]. Nice surface.

19d Couple of errors in a complex trial of major routes (8)
{ARTERIAL} — ER(the first two,couple of letters in “errors“) contained in(in) [A + anagram of(complex) TRIAL].

Answer: Descriptive of major routes, eg. roads.

22d Run through bit of knitting taken in by seamstress (6)
{SKEWER} — K(first letter,bit of knitting“) contained in(taken in by) {SEWER}(a seamstress).

24d Country bearing anger (4)
EIRE} — {E}(abbrev. for a compass point,bearing) + {IRE}(anger).

25d Establishments accommodating popular non-smoker (4)
{INNS} — {IN}(popular,in fashion) + NS(abbrev. for non-smoker/non-smoking).

My favourite clues today were 9a, 23a, and 12d. Hope you’ve enjoyed the blog.

The Quick crossword pun: {par} + {suns} + {doze} = {parson’s nose}

66 comments on “DT 26945

  1. And may I be the second – thanks for stepping up to the plate. If I may give one piece of feedback, I did find your clues quite hard to read because of the changing colours, extensive bracketing, underlining etc. Probably just a matter of personal taste but it was quite busy to my eye. The content however was excellent :-)

    2*/3* for me.



  2. Morning scchua (or whatever time of day it is where you are!) and welcome to the blog.

    I thought this was a pretty typical Jay puzzle, quite a few containments and a trademark substitution clue. I’d give it 2*/3*.
    Favourite has to be 11a after all the talk about Mr Tree yesterday!

    Thanks to Jay and also to scchua for an excellent debut review.

    P.S. I liked the idea of underlining the definition in the clue. May try it myself tomorrow.

  3. Welcome aboard sschua! We’re a motley crew but friendly nevertheless and moreover supportive of each other as we try to improve our performances with the DT puzzles.. As with Wozza I did find the layout of your reviews slightly perplexing but for a first attempt the content is excellent.

  4. Although i did not require any hints with todays puzzle i believe that the highlighting of the definition could be most helpful, as it will allow me at first glance to revisit the clue armed with that information. I look forward to your future reviews.
    Thanks to both yourself and the setter.

    1. That was my thought too – great minds? :grin:
      If the definition is underlined in the clue it leaves the wordplay completely exposed with no need to actually read the blogger’s hint, which might give away more than is required at first look You can always read the hint later if you’re still stuck.

      I’m in the chair tomorrow so I think I might give it a try – nothing to lose!

      1. Yes I can see the merits of this too, so maybe it’s just the colour and the brackets that distract me now ;-)

      2. Lets hope that i need some hints. I would like to give it a try.

        (what the b****y hell am i saying)

  5. Thanks to Jay for an enjoyable, straightforward puzzle, and to scchua for your maiden DT blog.

    I see the ‘handy protection’ appears in a different form somewhere else today.

    1. Welcome to the blog Pam

      Coming up! It’s usually added by me after the blog has been posted (Gazza doe his own).

      I haven’t had time to look at the puzzle yet,but will do so now.

  6. No problems today, quite straightforward but enjoyable for all that. I expect Ray T will challenge us all tomorrow:-)
    Welcome to scchua but can I say that I am having trouble reading your hints, probably because it’s very much not the style we are used to. Dare say it will get easier over time. But still don’t get your explanation of 13a. The answer is obvious but can’t unpick the clue.

    1. Hi Brian
      13a – I’ll write the hint as I would have had I been blogging today.

      13a Lady‘s innumerable liaisons initially dismissed (8)

      Definition is LADY as in a titled woman. You need a word for innumerable or very many and remove (dismissed) the L (Liaisons initially).

  7. Thank you setter – enjoyed 3d and 27a.

    Thank you Scchua for your review. I am not an expert – it was fine with me !

  8. The usual entertaining puzzle from Jay today – I seem to have found it more difficult than others. Struggled with 13a & 17a.

    Welcome, Scchua! A lot of hard work must have gone into that! Not sure if I like the new format, but maybe it will grow on me!

  9. Welcome to the blog Scchua. It is fantastically useful for improving crossword skills. My level is 2/3* although I am struggling with this one at the moment. Haven’t had to revert to your hints yet but I am sure that I will as I press on.

    PS. I’ve made my first reference and I do like your layout. It divides the different bits of the answer in an understandable way

  10. Hi Scchua, I liked your review especially underlining the definition, looking forward to more of them. Liked the puzzle thanks Jay 1a 9a 15a 3d were my favs

  11. Welcome to the blog Scchua, well done for your first blog –I have to say I found the extensive bracketing confusing as some others did, but didn’t really need the hints today. Thanks all the same and to Jay for the pleasureof this puzzle. Liked 13, 17 and 20A, 3, 5 and 14D, clever stuff!

  12. Morning and Welcome to Sschua – congrats on your first BigDave post. It is a style with which I am familiar and will no doubt help a lot of people. I found this very straightforward for a Jay puzzle – I think I only had 5 left on the first pass but as usual it was a fun solve so thanks to him as well.

  13. Welcome from me too to scchua. A lovely straightforward Jay with possibly a few too many of those take a letter away, replace it with another letter clues. Thanks to Jay and scchua too.

    The Toughie doesn’t take long either. Most fun today so far (I still have 3 to go) is today’s Guardian.

  14. A very enjoyable offering from Jay and what’s more, it’s “Quinze Aout” so no work for me today :-)

    Thanks for the review sschua but didn’t need any help today!

  15. Thak you Scchua and Jay for the hints and an enjoyable puzzle. The numerous brakets were a bit difficult to decipher on a 7″ tablet however I agree with the others about underlining the definition.
    Time to try the toughie.
    Well done for doing the blog.

  16. Welcome, Scchua, from me too – and well done for your first review.
    I thought that this was on the easier side of usual for a Wednesday. 17a and 12d were the ones that held me up for the longest but apart from those two there were no real problems. I’m not sure that I would say 16a is the same as seasoning. Very enjoyable – probably 2* for difficulty and 3 to 4* for enjoyment from me today.
    I liked 11a and 2, 3 and 14d.
    With thanks to Jay and Scchua.

    1. Schwartz, as I discovered looking at the jar whilst preparing dinner, do an italian seasoning, but agree normally salt and pepper

  17. Hi Kath

    I’ve seen 16a clued as ‘seasoning’ before so I think we just have to live with it! Too hot to look it up in the BRB, as I don’t want sweaty fingerprints all over it, but it’s no doubt in there! To me seasoning is salt and pepper and 16a is flavouring, but I’m no doubt wrong.

    1. Thanks Droopy Lydia

      I’m sure you’re right – I haven’t looked it up in the BRB – not because it’s too hot but just because I haven’t! I, too, think of 16a as flavouring.

  18. Welcome Sschua. I didn’t need the blog’s help today, but I did find the many brackets difficult to understand. But could I do better? No way!
    But I do like the idea of underlining the definition.
    Thanks to Jay

  19. Thank you for all your comments, and again to Jay for the puzzle.
    Re some of the comments, perhaps I should explain some of the “method in the madness” (or vice versa).
    I tend to err on the conservative side, and over-explain rather than under. Based on experience, one cannot tell where somebody else’s blind spot might be. This might require the indulgence of the more accomplished solvers.
    I’ve underlined the definitions, so that, as someone has mentioned, a solver can have another bite at the cherry. Similarly, I’ve whited components of the answer.
    Perhaps reflecting my scientific background, my style tends to be formulaic, rather than free-wheeling. I thought this might be a more concise way of explaining, for me at least (I must say that doesn’t mean that there isn’t room for all sorts of styles). Again this might require the indulgence of those unfamiliar with it.
    The brackets are meant to nest the various components of the clue, so that they can be separated, eg. to nest anagram fodder, or containment contents. I’ll see what can be done to reduce the number of nesting levels, at the expense of some loss of clarity. The bold italics denote instructions on how to treat the components, followed by the indicator in parentheses.
    The blue colour indicate word(s) that are the clues, or can be found in the clues, highlighted so that one immediately knows that it’s/they’re part of the clue. Other brackets denote the equivalence of what’s inside with what immediately precedes, as do commas separating words without spacing.
    I hope that you’ll now, to some extent, understand my blogging style. :-)

    1. You obviously have a mathematical background. So do I but still found it a bit hard to decipher. Maybe it’s as another poster suggested that reading from a tablet makes it harder to decipher.

      The underlining is a really good addition and hopefully some other bloggers may adopt too. As for the rest I do find it a bit of a hindrance but I’m sure i will get used to it with time when I need it and anyway, as you are graciously giving your time and effort to do it then I certainly won’t be complaining.

      Thanks for your contribution.


    2. I agree with lots of others that, at first glance, it all looks a bit scary. I think it’s not at all because of the content but more because it’s so different from what we’re used to. We’re all such creatures of habit! :smile: Thanks again.

    3. Hi scchua. Welcome!

      Re your “scientific background”.

      This may say a great deal more about me than you, but I have to ask; does it include programming and/or formal languages?

      1. Hi steve_the_beard, I don’t have an IT programming background (as many cryptic enthusiasts/bloggers seem to have), and I’m not sure if the user-programming that I’ve done at work and at home qualifies. It goes back to the days of Fortran 4, and dBase. Currently am using vba and a bit of SQL for “home”-work. It’s fun, and by no means am I an expert :-)

  20. Thanks and welcome to scchua on his first blog. Fortunately I did not need his assistance today, no doubt I will get used to the change in presentation style. Thanks also to the setter.

  21. welcome! I agree with others in that your layout is difficult to use ! I use my Samsung Tablet and Mozilla Firefox for the blog and the app does not permit revealing what’s between the brackets!

  22. Hi Scchua, welcome from me too and thanks for the hints, although I only needed a prod on 13a, until the penny dropped. I have read all the hints and thought they were helpful, particularly underlining the definition; might make it too easy though. Part of the art is identifying it. A maiden century – or very high score – I would have thought. Thanks also to Jay for a good puzzle.

  23. Thanks for your help with this one. I too found the hints difficult to read but on a couple which I still couldn’t get, the word in brackets (i.e. the answer) would not highlight so I was unable to complete the crossword.

  24. Just reading Mary’s facebook page, it would appear that in addition to her gold medal for the most tests carried out in one go, they are letting her home albeit with lots of medication. Hopefully we should hear from her soon.

      1. I think I will let Mary explain – it is all a bit cryptic – perhaps she has been practising her clue writing skills while confined to bed :)

    1. Thanks for keeping us up with the latest, crypticsue. I’m glad to hear that she’s escaping and will be back “here” soon. Pity about all the medication. I’m sure she’ll be SO pleased to be out of hospital and home again.

  25. Finished. I found, with this crossword, that I could resolve the clues whilst not necessarily fully understanding the meaning and, therefore, the style of the hints became very useful

  26. Welcome Scchua and thanks Jay, enjoyed the puzzle and liked the underlining of the definition in the hints.

  27. Hi John (welcome to the blog)and Vanessa, if you haven’t done so, perhaps you could try the suggestions in Big Dave’s FAQs on how to highlight what’s between the curly brackets for (some) mobile devices. If they don’t work, then I can only make the (rather feeble, I’m afraid) suggestion (and also for those who find the curly brackets distracting) to take the curly brackets in my explanations as {a word meaning} or {a word}. Thus, read 9a as:
    {a word meaning}(difficult, like some crosswords) + {a word} minus(with no) “h”(represented by “hotel” in the phonetic alphabet).

  28. Thanks to Jay & to scchua for the review & hints. Hi scchua, I enjoyed your style, although I managed it ok today, great idea underlining the definitions. Other bloggers use blue for their favourite clues. Nice puzzle, very entertaining. Started with 1a, finished with 13a. Favourites were 23a & 27a. Nice evening now in Central London. Now for the Toughie.

  29. Hi Scchua, great to meet you again, as a visitor to 225 mainly for private eye (thanks Jane / Jetdoc) am used to various blogging styles. Well done you, as mentioned in an earlier post, could I do it, NO!!

  30. Only recently discovered Big Dave’s blog. Quite liked today’s brackets! Fave clues today 8d and 13a.

  31. Managed it without hints (bar 17 ac and 14 d) but not my scene – different wavelength altogether! Suppose I’m a stick-in-the mud but certainly don’t look forward to more of the same!

  32. Hin Scchua and welcome to the blog, however I do find your hints rather confusing and difficult to understand, I use a blackberry most of the time to access the blog and it all looks rather jumbled and confusing and had to do a lot of “persevating” today as Mary would say.

  33. Late on here as family visiting, but thanks to Scchua for the very clear explanations which are most helpful. A good X-word too, thanks for setter.

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