DT 26995 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26995

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26995

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Those who found last week’s Giovanni on the tough side will probably be happy that this week’s is less challenging. Let us know how you found it.

Across Clues

1a  A victory with two characters finally released from court (6)
{ATRIUM} – the central court in an old Roman house comes from A followed by a victory with the last two letters dropped (released).

5a  Gong given to performer who tried to bring reform? (8)
{CHARTIST} – this is someone belonging to the 19th century reform movement which called for universal suffrage for men (women had to wait somewhat longer). Start with the abbreviation for an award (gong) given largely for achievements in the arts, sciences or politics and add a creative performer.

9a  Party activity shows such racialism unfortunately (7,6)
{MUSICAL CHAIRS} – an anagram (unfortunately) of SUCH RACIALISM.

10a  Sort of footballer put off when goal goes in? (8)
{DEFENDER} – this is not a diving diva but someone trying to prevent the opposition scoring. A verb meaning to put off or postpone has an aim or goal inserted. The surface is very smooth and it’s a semi all-in-one, where you can read the whole clue as the definition.

11a  Name given to complete crackpot (6)
{NUTTER} – N(ame) is followed by an adjective meaning complete or absolute.

12a  The first character to preach (the result of a burning desire?) (6)
{PARSON} – this is an all-in-one clue where the definition is the whole clue. The first letter of P(reach) is followed by the crime that may result from someone having a burning desire.

14a  Model secretary holding everyone else up? (8)
{TEMPLATE} – a non-permanent secretary is followed by an adjective meaning not keeping to time.

16a  In the course of fights thrash Greeks (8)
{SPARTANS} – these were hardy old Greeks. A verb meaning to beat or thrash as a punishment goes inside (in the course of) practice fights.

19a  Wood that gets walked in a lot in summer? (6)
{SANDAL} – double definition, the first being a fragrant type of wood and the second something that hasn’t been used much this last summer.

21a  Idiot journalist blabbered (6)
{PRATED} – a slang term for an idiot is followed by the usual abbreviation for a senior journalist.

23a  How brief announcement may be given on screen suddenly (2,1,5)
{IN A FLASH} – double definition.

25a  One Irish chap jigging around — last character in that unfortunate mental state (13)
{SCHIZOPHRENIA} – an anagram (jigging) of ONE IRISH CHAP goes round the last character of the alphabet.

26a  Name of nurse in Italian city (8)
{FLORENCE} – double definition, though the first was born in and got her name from the second.

27a  Violent street with wicked leader bumped off (6)
{STRONG} – an adjective meaning violent or intense (applied to an emotion, for example) comes from the abbreviation of street followed by a synonym for wicked or bad without its initial W (leader bumped off).

Down Clues

2d  What’s used for painting sacred building, with pounds spent on artist (7)
{TEMPERA} – this is a material, typically involving the mixing of egg yolk, which was used for painting in the Middle Ages until it was largely superseded by oils. A place of worship loses (indicated by spent) its L (pounds) and what’s left precedes (on, in a down clue) the abbreviation for Royal Academician (artist).

3d  Spring edition (5)
{ISSUE} – double definition.

4d  Country club joined by academic, international ace (9)
{MACEDONIA} – to form the name of a Balkan country string together an ornamental club used as a symbol of authority, a university lecturer (one which Giovanni very often works into his puzzles!), I(nternational) and A(ce).

5d  Criminal pair one found in sect (7)
{CULPRIT} – the abbreviation for pair and I (one) are contained in a, usually unorthodox, sect.

6d  Like layer that’s very pale (5)
{ASHEN} – a charade of an adverb meaning like and a layer of eggs.

7d  Half of them on trail collapsing in demanding race (9)
{TRIATHLON} – an anagram (collapsing) of TH(em) ON TRAIL.

8d  Dubious American Pastor in dissenting body (7)
{SUSPECT} – one of the abbreviations for American followed by P(astor) go inside a group that dissents from the mainstream (and which appears in the 5d clue).

13d  One extending a provision for injured players (9)
{STRETCHER} – double definition.

15d  Savage acts bringing terrible scare to large number (9)
{MASSACRES} – an anagram (terrible) of SCARE is suffixed to a large number.

17d  Soldier only briefly gets overhead protection (7)
{PARASOL} – the abbreviation for an airborne soldier is followed by an adjective meaning only or unique without its final letter (briefly).

18d  Block a series of steps with two pianos? That looks dotty! (7)
{STIPPLE} – a process of painting or drawing using lots of small dots comes from a series of steps (enabling you to climb over a hedge, perhaps) containing (block … with) two abbreviations meaning piano or soft.

20d  Drunk sat in a part of the wine cellar — to kick his habit? (7)
{ABSTAIN} – an anagram (drunk) of SAT goes inside something found in a wine cellar (1,3).

22d  A number practise a form of Buddhism (5)
{DOZEN} – a verb to practise or carry out is followed by a form of Buddhism.

24d  Ship is tarry, not good (5)
{LINER} – in the surface tarry is an adjective but for the wordplay it’s a verb. Remove the G from it (not good).

I liked 9a and 17d but my clue of the day is 10a. How about you?

Today’s Quickie Pun: {ROAD} + {EASIER} = {RHODESIA}

64 comments on “DT 26995

  1. I quite enjoyed this one today. No particular favourites, but an all-round pleasant puzzle.
    Thanks to Giovanni, and to Gazza.

    The toughie today took me about as long as this one to complete, although I am still trying to explain one of my answers.
    No doubt all will be revealed later.

              1. 7d in the Toughie was my last in today- I always thought he was known with an “ie” on the end of his name, not “es”.

                In any case, the construct is a bit peculiar.

                I’m waiting for the Toughie review with baited breath…. I can’t justify 12a either.

                1. “baited breath”?

                  I’m amazed that not one of the wordsmiths here has picked you up on that yet :-)

                  1. Still, as Geoffrey Taylor humorously (and consciously) captured it in verse in his poem Cruel Clever Cat:

                    Sally, having swallowed cheese,
                    Directs down holes the scented breeze,
                    Enticing thus with baited breath
                    Nice mice to an untimely death

                    You have to smile at that.

  2. Found it difficult to get started but it got easier as I went along, ***/*** for me. Thanks to setter and to Gazza for the review.

  3. Glad you gave this three stars as I found it a bit of a struggle, saved by the anagrams which led onto the rest of the puzzle.

    Enjoyed it though.

    Thanks Gazza for the review, needed for some parsing.

    Thanks to Giovanni for a challenging puzzle.

  4. Oh gulp! Thank you gazza, I needed lots of help today – I can’t seem to be constant, I finished yesterday’s and couldn’t get very far with today’s at all. I seem to gulp more than I gain !

      1. I call that “day-itis”
        I used to have it about Sunday but managed to convince myself that Sunday was no different from most of the rest of the week.
        So far, I remain convinced. :)

        1. Definitely a very bad case of “day-itis”! I could never do Sunday puzzles before I found this blog. Now I know that I can if I ‘perservate’ for long enough. Knowing that there are lots of clever people around to pick up the pieces also helps. I still find them different to the rest of the week but can’t quite define why.

  5. Brilliant crossword today, so many excellent clues it would be invidious to pick out any single one. I do so enjoy Fridays offering and it has the advantage for me that it didn’t need any knowledge of languages ancient and modern except English.
    Many thx to Giovanni and to Gazza although I had completed before his excellent clues came up.

  6. Very enjoyable – I am not going to comment on difficulty level as apparently I cause grown men to weep copiously when I do. Thanks to the two Gs

    I found today’s toughie more difficult that some others seem to have done. Probably due to starting it some three hours later than usual with Mr CS whistling annoyingly in the background.

  7. I thought this was a good puzzle – not as difficult as last week but I thought it was heading in that direction when I first looked at it. I got very few answers on the first read through of all the clues.
    The top right corner took me the longest apart from a couple in the bottom right. I couldn’t think of anything in the wine cellar except a rack (and, in the case of ours, spiders and cobwebs!) but got there in the end. I also ran into trouble with the 25a anagram. I didn’t have a Z because I thought it was a T – last character in thaT – so for ages I tried to make it start with ‘patho’ or end in ‘pathic’. Oh dear!!
    I liked most of these clues but specially 11, 14 and 21a and 6, 7 and 15d.
    With thanks to Giovanni and Gazza.
    Lovely sunny day – need to cut grass.

    1. I did the same on 25a Kath, I was using a ‘t’ instead of a ‘z’, nice and sunny here too but we just had a very heavy shower, so I’d get cutting if I were you, the sun’s out again now

      1. If it’s any consolation i did the same with25a; only clicked when i got 22d, and then i was in two minds!
        Thought today’s was the best of the week and scored it***/****, quite a lot of ‘classical’ input today ie Greek, Roman and ltalian influence in the answers or clues.Vert enjoyable , thanks Giovanni.

    2. funnily enough 25a was my third one so I guess people have different things on their mind.Icould look at 27a forever and not get it.

  8. Morning gazza, I found this quite tough today, especially to get into, I thought 2d belonged in a toughie, and 7d is not given as a race anywhere I can find? being much too clever (or stupid as the case may be) I put ‘anism’ in at 22d until I realised it didn’t fit with 26a, as for 12a, once again, I just don’t get these clues to me the definition is missing, and why would a parson be a first character to preach anyway, yes I know that indicates the ‘p’ but… no this clue just doesn’t work for me!
    Two clues I liked 10a (took me a while to see why it was this) and 19a, thanks for hints Gazza, just off to have a read

    1. In the SOED it gives:

      An athletic or sporting contest in which competitors engage in three different events; especially a race comprising three events performed consecutively, usu. swimming, cycling, and long-distance running

  9. Thoroughly enjoyed this, looked a bit daunting at first and, even, second sight but once brain engaged a suitable gear, proceeded at a respectable pace to a successful conclusion.
    Many thanks Giovanni and Gazza

  10. I didn’t enjoy this at all today- too many answers which seemed a bit not quite right.
    And I always thought the “Idiot” in 21a was extremely rude, and not to be used in polite company.

    The Toughie on the other hand is really entertaining…..

  11. Many thanks to Giovanni for a super puzzle which I thoroughly enjoyed and many thanks to Gazza for a very entertaing review.

  12. I agree with *** and ***. No problems 1a and 2d last in. Many thanks to all. By the way if I ever get injured I wouldn’t mind seeing Gazza’s idea of a stretcher to help me get back on my feet!

  13. I am so pleased you gave this 3 stars. I got there in the end without the hints but felt pretty stretched. The great news is I’m pretty confident I wouldn’t have got anywhere near it even a few months ago so I must be getting better!

    Thank you to both.

  14. Finally finished after many sessions ! Thanks to Giovanni & Gazza. Better late than never

  15. I thought this was a great puzzle although I needed help with 1a ,5a & 20d .So pleased you gave it *** Gazza.
    I thought 21a would have double “T” although I couldn’t see that it could be anything else. Favourite clue was 22d but also liked 9a. Thanks to the 2 G’s. :smile:

  16. Interesting one to-day – thought at first I hadn’t got a hope of finishing as so many of the clues seemed just gobbledegook. Then I sat down again later, with perhaps a tad more concentration, and pennies began to drop! Needed my “aids” but did finish without hints, though read them to be sure, to be sure! Thank you Gazza. And thank you Giovanni. I think ***/**** for me.

  17. Thanks to the two G’s. Complete nightmare today, and found this as difficult as a Toughie, so 5*/2* for me. Needed 7 hints and had to look up 3 of those. I always struggle with Giovanni. Lovely Autumn day today in Central London.

  18. Loved it. The high quality, elegant puzzle we have come to expect on a Friday. There was one word that we were looking to put in when one of us said, “No, Giovanni is better than that”, and sure enough, a bit more thought produced the smoother, more clever, correct answer. Agree with the star ratings. Thanks Giovanni and Gazza.

      1. Can’t even remember what the clue was that prompted the exchange. The recognition of the setter’s skill is what I remember,
        Yes the change in your clocks will mean we will be even later getting access to the puzzles. No doubt we will cope though.
        PS. Did you note the couple of Toughie clues that we thought you might enjoy? Cheers

    1. PS Glad that you’re still managing to cope with the dodgy timing – hope that you continue to do so when OUR clocks go back in a couple of weeks. That’s when the clock in my car will be telling me the right time for the first time since we went forward in March! Just CAN’T do it!! :roll:

  19. I was one who found last weeks Giovanni thoroughly unentertaining, in fact I swore not to bother with Giovanni Xwords again. Must admit I succumbed today and surprisingly breezed through it with little problems. Last in was 1a which had me stumped for a while, apart from that no problems. Can’t explain the vast difference in my performance from last week, so thanx to Compiler and Gazza for his review. **/*** rating for me.

  20. Excellent, whatever else from Giovanni. But I did wonder about ‘else’ in 14ac [Model secretary holding everyone else up? — TEMPLATE] since the clue seems to work perfectly well without this word and I wonder why it is there.

    1. Hi Wil
      If you’re late you are holding up all the others (everyone else). ‘Everyone’ on it’s own would include the person who is late, who isn’t being held up.

  21. Thought this was splendid stuff. Thanks to the Don.

    Didn’t take too long to solve and we did it over an al fresco lunch in the street before the rain started – it’s peeing down now (again!). Favourite 12a – but I like &lits.

    Been playing bridge since lunch so that’s why I’m late on parade (lost €6 :sad:).

    Thanks also to Gazza for the blog.

  22. There must be something wonky with my crossword chromosomes (verbosomes? lexisomes?)
    Having found last week’s ‘difficult’ puzzle surprisingly soluble, I couldn’t get more than a few answers in today’s allegedly easier one, although I then enjoyed gradually teasing the remaining clues out using the hints – and the usual Friday spate of religious refs provided a welcome chuckle. Many thanks to Giovanni and Gazza.

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