DT 26959 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26959

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26959

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

This is a fairly standard Friday Giovanni with a number of entertaining clues (and one excellent one). Let us know how you fared with it.
To reveal an answer just highlight the space between the curly brackets under the clue.

Across Clues

1a   Bridge? It could be pontoon (4,4)
{CARD GAME} – bridge and pontoon are two examples of this.

5a  Top spot for the traditional writer? (6)
{GARRET} – cryptic definition of the cold, dismal top-floor room where a penniless author traditionally worked on his masterpiece.

9a  Killed, as one may be in a dodgem car! (6,3)
{BUMPED OFF} – double definition, the first an informal term for murdered.

11a  A lot will go after it‘s gone down (5)
{GAVEL} – cryptic definition of what is banged down to signal the end of bidding.

12a  New recruits in army only half eager (6)
{INTAKE} – a charade of IN (from the clue), the abbreviation for our part-time army and the first half of an adjective meaning eager.

13a  Barrier behind which is a river with two ducks and a wild beast (8)
{WALLAROO} – a solid barrier is followed by A, R(iver) and two letters that look like ducks in cricket.

15a  A neat criminal working — a Brazilian maybe (5,8)
{LATIN AMERICAN} – an anagram (working) of A NEAT CRIMINAL.

18a  Somehow offend clients, being certain of one’s own abilities (4-9)
{SELF-CONFIDENT} – an anagram (somehow) of OFFEND CLIENTS.

22a  Splendid act I completed, partially educational (8)
{DIDACTIC} – a hidden word, indicated by partially.

23a  Astronaut will make Mars finally, given speed, right? (6)
{SPACER} – a sci-fi term for a human who has emigrated to live in colonies on other planets (a word coined, I think, by Isaac Asimov) is built from (Mar)S, a synonym for speed and R(ight).

26a  Yellow particle that may be seen in the night sky (5)
{ORION} – a charade of the heraldic yellow tincture and an electrically-charged particle.

27a   Chemical in excess supply taken to a pit (9)
{GLUTAMINE} – this chemical is an amino acid found in most proteins. Start with a word for an excessive supply of something and add A and a pit or colliery.

28a  Editor gets stuck into recent information about European country (6)
{SWEDEN} – insert (gets stuck into) the abbreviation for editor inside the reversal (about) of information concerning recent events.

29a  One god joining the cricket side that has lots of gods (8)
{PANTHEON} – the Greek god traditionally portrayed with horns is followed by THE (from the clue) and one of the sides of the wicket in cricket.

Down Clues

1d  Leap from horse-drawn carriage, falling short (8)
{CABRIOLE} – remove the final T (falling short) from an old carriage (we use its first three letters today to mean a vehicle for hire) to make a type of leap in ballet.

2d  Give up area of responsibility (5)
{REMIT} – double definition.

3d  The woman’s relations will first want good bit of food (7)
{GHERKIN} – a possessive adjective (the woman’s) is followed by a synonym of family or relations then all that is preceded (first) by G(ood).

4d  Catastrophe coming up brings low spirits (4)
{MOOD} – the type of catastrophe often predicted by Private Frazer is reversed (coming up, in a down clue).

6d  What nice gal could be? (7)
{ANGELIC} – a semi-all-in-one coming from an anagram (could be) of NICE GAL.

7d  About to join new church, always needing to join in respectful worship (9)
{REVERENCE} – string together a preposition meaning about or concerning, N(ew) and one of the abbreviations for church. Then insert (needing to join in) a synonym for always.

8d  Grease rope to keep everything secure (6)
{TALLOW} – the sort of grease used in the manufacture of candles and soap comes from the type of rope that a prudent motorist might carry around in his boot containing (to keep … secure) a synonym for everything.

10d  Outrageous tirade beneath the national symbol? (8)
{FLAGRANT} – a tirade or verbal onslaught follows (beneath, in a down clue) what’s flown as a national symbol.

14d  Maiden being dressed in coarse cloth as an abusive punishment? (8)
{SMACKING} – the abbreviation for a maiden over in cricket goes inside (being dressed in) a coarse cloth. The question mark presumably indicates that this means of punishment is not universally regarded as abusive.

16d  Experimental spin in cricket match leading to attacking shot? (4,5)
{TEST DRIVE} – an international cricket match is followed by (leading to) an attacking shot (through the covers, perhaps). Superb clue!

17d  Fish starts to swim terrifically with impulse to get on (8)
{STURGEON} – the starting letters of Swim Terrifically are followed by an impulse and ON.

19d  A GB dog no longer needs this excess freedom (7)
{LICENCE} – double definition.

20d  Over time I am needing scheme to be put in place (7)
{IMPLANT} – the contracted form of ‘I am’ and a scheme precede (over, in a down clue) T(ime).

21d  Notice university lecturer’s supplementary items (3-3)
{ADD-ONS} – an abbreviated notice is followed by a university lecturer and the ‘S.

24d  Poetic country that’s cold and green (5)
{CLIME} – a literary or poetic term for a country or region (referring to its prevailing weather pattern) comes from C(old) followed by a yellowish-green colour.

25d  Twelve people endlessly stuck on a Scottish island (4)
{JURA} – a panel usually consisting of twelve people loses its final letter (endlessly) and is followed by (stuck on, in a down clue) A.

I like 15a and 14d but the stand-out clue for me is 16d. Let us know your favourites.

Today’s Quickie Pun: {MAINE} + {ROWED} = {MAIN ROAD}

57 comments on “DT 26959

  1. I think your 24d is wrong??? I got Chile. Poetic being the homophone indicator and chilly being both cold and green??

    1. I’m afraid you’re wrong. You might just stretch ‘poetic’ to indicate a homophone but it would have to be next to cold and green, not separated by the definition.

        1. Re’ Chile’-i thought that this may be the answer as it is a country and poetic meant ‘sounds like’ c for cold and’ hile’ sounding like(poetic) hilly(usually green-there is a green hill far away etc!
          or am i making things too difficult?
          Apart from this i gave it **/***, and enjoyed it.
          If you read this Kath there are now 4 small jet black kittens!

          1. PS Just wait until they’re all mobile – they’re SO naughty – nothing’s safe!! My husband always puts his jacket on the back of one of the kitchen chairs when he gets home from work – one evening I suggested that he should probably put it somewhere else for a while as I thought he’d be cross if it got wrecked. He agreed, picked up jacket and about three of the kittens fell out of the sleeves!!

  2. Another excellent Friday puzzle with lots of great clues. Particularly liked 13a. Knew the beast but had always assumed it was a name coined by A A Milne. Nice to know that it really exists. Thanks Giovanni and Gazza.

    1. I like the A A Milne theory for the beast but most dictionaries suggest that it is from an aboriginal word walaru.

  3. Pretty straight forward and quite enjoyable. Agree with 16d but I also smiled at 3d. Thanks to all.
    PS. I prefer your hybrid style of blogging and under lining. It’s neat, easy to see and understand.

  4. I enjoyed this and agree with the 3* for difficulty, if only because of 5 and 29a and the last word of 16d which, between them, took me longer than the rest of the crossword.
    I liked 11, 15 and 18a and 4, 6, 14 and 19d. The picture for 15a made me laugh! :grin:
    With thanks to Giovanni and Gazza.

  5. On reflection I’m sure your right! Think i over thought the clue there and it was simpler then I made it! “Chile” just seemed to work for me!

  6. A lovely puzzle which took a while to sort out, I fell into the Chile trap even though I was troubled by the lack of green reference, your correct answer makes sense :).

    A neat Brazilian lead me down an interesting cul de sac until I got some checking letters and spotted indicator. Wallaroo was a new one for me.

    Thanks for hints and tips.

    Thanks to Giovanni for another firm but fair entertainment.

  7. Finished, but have 24d wrong – see Kunal’s comment above.

    Held up for ages with 27a because I fell into the clever little trap at 25d. I had ( I ) from 12 endlessly ( on ) ( a ) giving Iona. Finally came to accept that it must be wrong ! and got to the end albeit with the error at 24d !

    Thank you Giovanni – I was going well until the 11th hour ! and thank you Gazza for pointing out the error of my ways at 24d – another little trap for beginners like me ??

    1. I also fell into he Iona trap. Finally extricated myself when I worked out/realised that excess supply in 27a was glut.

  8. Morning Gazza, lucky enough to do this in the sunshine today but clouds keep spoiling it now, that’s life I guess :-) I found 3/4 of this fairly easy and straight forward for Giovanni but got held up on a few in the bottom right hand corner fav clue today 9a made me smile, much preferred this to yesterdays puzzle, thanks for hints gazza though I didn’t have to use them today

  9. Super puzzle today, agree with the ratings although I did find the top left the trickiest and still think 24d is Chile. Best clues for me were 11a and 16d. Never heard of a 14a so something new learnt today. Many thx to Giovanni and to Gazza for explaining 1d.

    1. We have explained before that all answers given on this blog (apart from the occasional typo) have been verified online by Telegraph Puzzles, as you will find out tomorrow when the answers are published in the newspaper.

  10. I really enjoyed this one. I ltook a while to get 5a because I was looking at the clue as being more cryptic than it was. 24d was not a problem for me, but 1d was. Thank you to Giovanni and Gazza.

  11. I thought this was a good Friday puzzle, and better than the last two days, I agree with the ***/***. I finished all but two – 5a and 8d – before lights out last night. Even Mitt Romney could not provide the inspiration for them, and I needed Gazza’s help this morning – thanks. I was also uncertain on two clues – 2d and 29a – but Gazza confirmed that my thinking was correct. No problems with 24d other than, with 25d, it was on a separate sheet.

  12. I really must take exception to 3D – the clue clearly implies that the answer will be something EDIBLE!

  13. Some nice clues….tricky at times and needed a little electronic help. I also had Chile but can see that clime is the right answer

    clime [klaɪm]
    (Earth Sciences / Physical Geography) Poetic a region or its climate
    [from Late Latin clima; see climate]

  14. Has anyone seen or heard anything from Pommers today? Just heard on the news that there are some pretty massive fires in Southern Spain – around Malaga, I think – and that lots of residents and tourists are being evacuated.

    1. Hi Kath

      Been out all day. The fires on the Costa del Sol sound pretty bad but they’re a long way from here (not sure of the distance but Malaga is about a 6 hour drive away). Been a few small fires on the farmland around here but nothing serious. Apparantly last Winter in Spain was the dryest for 70 years!

      I think Don Pedro, who sometimes posts on here, lives in or near Malaga.

      Anyway, many thanks for your concern.

      1. Glad to hear that you’re OK. Geography, among other things, never was one of my strong points! :smile:

        1. Thanks again Kath, we’re fine.. Spain’s a pretty big country! Just looked on a map and I reckon it’s about 500km to Malaga

          BTW, it rained stair-rods for about an hour last night so things might be a bit better now.

  15. Enjoyed this one, helped by solving over a coffee and brandy in the town square!
    Agree with Gazza’s favourites, especially the brilliant 16d :grin:

    Many thanks to the two G’s.

  16. Re. Chile, try this for an explanation…
    Poetic (sounds like) a country (definition) Cold (chilly) and Green (chilli – you can get green ones)
    It still doesn’t work, but its closer to being viable. :-)

      1. That was my reasoning – or at least with the help of Mrs SW for the green chilli, Good try I thought – but obviously wrong !

  17. Enjoyed this puzzle and thought it quite entertaining. Didn’t know the writer connection at 5a – so have learned something today. I also put in CHILE and said to myself at the time it must be right but I just can’t understand the wordplay. Thanks to Gazza I can now see the correct answer and why. 3d was my favourite – just found it amusing!. Thanks to the setter and Gazza for the blog.

  18. I enjoyed this one; solved early this morning before a day by the pool and the pool bar. These holidays don’t half go quick… last day tomorrow, then back to reality (blighty). The temperature is dropping in Marrakech. It is still early 40s, but a good few degrees lower than last week.
    Thanks to Giovanni, and to Gazza for the review.

  19. Whart a good puzzle. 16d was excellent. Many thanks to the 2 G’s, and to Big Dave

  20. Only a 2* difficulty for me – unusual for a Friday. I even knew Giovanni’s obscure words today. Really only blogged so my wife can see my avatar. Sorry.

      1. Hi Jan – welcome to the blog.
        You’ll have to leave a comment of your own now – you never know, you may get an even prettier avatar than Ian’s !

        1. Thanks Gazza. Jan says, “Hi and thanks for the honour of belonging without blogging”. The avatar may not be pretty but it is rather true to life, I’m afraid.

  21. All went smoothly except 5a and 8d both of which were idiotically stared at for ages until the pennies dropped. Could be heard in China.
    Thanks very much Giovanni and Gazza.

  22. I solved this what seems like a very long time ago now before setting off for an enjoyable day at the Paralympics. Definitely 3* difficulty and more fun than an average Giovanni too. Thanks to both the Gs.

      1. We had tickets for the athletics in the morning, so various track races, including wheelchair, discus, long jump, hammer throwing and club throwing. Good seats apart from the fact that we were in the shade and got quite cold. Then afer lunch we went and watched ladies wheelchair basket ball, had a walk round the park and looked at more basketball on the big screen. Finished up watching goalball – were I a betting person, I would put money on the Chinese ladies winning the gold medal – they seem unbeatable. Very well aid out park, everything flowed well and great organisation.

  23. hanging head in shame as last to parse was 28a, i missed the reversal, d’oh and triple d’oh. Agree 16d fab, but really don’t understand Chile, poetic how? Ireland Erin yes, had to be clime. Thanks to the Gs. 3* and 4* for me

  24. Brilliant. Quick solve (although what with working and watching Parade’s End I am a day late.) loved 5a which shows again we are all different. Did think there may be an obscure barrier called a kang but soon saw the light. 24d pretty obvious. Chile had nothing going for it apart from being a country. not confused by the islands as twelve people to me means a jury. Great fun. Thanks G and G. Much enjoyed the comments particularly Big Dave’s grumpy response to the daft ones

  25. Thanks to the two G’s for a very enjoyable puzzle & review. I needed a few hints to finish was stuck in the SE corner, last in was 1d, and needed the hint for that. I think clime is the best answer, as it’s the correct one! Couldn’t parse 19d until I read the hint, favourite was 22a, well hidden !

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