DT 100012 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 100012

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 100,012

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

Good morning and Happy Christmas from South Staffs.

A nice, gentle puzzle today, so even if you’re full of Christmas lunch, it shouldn’t detain you too long.

In the hints below, the definitions are underlined. The answers are hidden under the ANSWER buttons, so don’t click if you don’t want to see them.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.

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Across

1a           Shy pharmacist upset about patient’s first greeting (5,9)
HAPPY CHRISTMAS – Anagram (upset) of SHY PHARMACIST wrapped round the first letter of Patient.

9a           Way in, we hear, for candidates (8)
ENTRANTS – These candidates for an examination or competition sound like (we hear) another word for ‘way in’.

10a         Maudlin, oddly missing European Union: goodbye! (5)
ADIEU – The even-numbered letters (oddly missing) of mAuDlIn followed by the initials of the European Union.

12a         Polish part of Mediterranean (4)
EDIT – This word for polishing a piece of writing is hidden in the clue.

13a         Man’s cheeky application? (10)
AFTERSHAVE – Cryptic definition of something a man may splash on his cheeks (but not if he’s bearded).

15a         Skin of cucumber safe to eat, easy to swallow (8)
CREDIBLE – The outside letters (skin) of CucumbeR, followed by a word for ‘safe to eat’.

16a         Greeting from Egyptian striker leaving hotel before lunch (6)
SALAAM – Start with an Egyptian international footballer who plays for Liverpool, remove the letter represented by Hotel in the NATO alphabet, then add the Latin abbreviation for ‘morning’ or ‘before lunch’.

18a         Tell, perhaps, that woman to follow damaged car (6)
ARCHER – Anagram (damaged) of CAR followed by a pronoun for ‘that woman’, giving us someone of whom William Tell is an example.

20a         Present month? (8)
DECEMBER – Something which is literally true, or the month for giving presents – a bit of a giveaway in a Christmas crossword.

23a         Commission standing when Democrat replaces Republican (10)
DEPUTATION – Start with a word for someone’s standing in the eyes of the world, then replace the initial Republican with Democrat.

24a         Reportedly cry for booze (4)
WINE – An alcoholic drink which sounds a bit like a sad cry.

26a Produce small piece on board (5)
SPAWN Small followed by a chess piece.

27a         Most of family regularly turn tail in court (8)
TRIBUNAL – Another word for a clan or extended family, minus its last letter (most of), followed by alternate letters (regularly) of tUrN tAiL.

28a         Sign here? It’s no exaggeration (14)
UNDERSTATEMENT – Split the answer (5,9) and you have the place where your signature might go on a document.

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Down

2d           Thoughtful writers I have cut down (7)
PENSIVE – Things you write with, followed by the short version (cut down) of ‘I have’.

3d           Measure garden? (4)
YARD – Double definition: an Imperial measure of length; or what our American cousins call their back garden.

4d           One can only carry two of these? (8)
HANDFULS – Cryptic definition of amounts which, by definition, one person can only carry two of.

5d           Home raised animals together (2,4)
IN STEP – Another word for ‘at home’ followed by the reverse (raised) of some domestic animals.

6d           Lads aren’t playing after temperature changed (10)
TRANSLATED – An abbreviation for Temperature followed by an anagram (playing) of LADS AREN’T.

7d           Pantomime character rewarded by Rolling Stone? (3,4)
ALI BABA – Cryptic definition of the pantomime character who learns the magic words which get him into the cave where a large number of malefactors have hidden their loot.

8d           Unexpectedly mark up trees in shop (11)
SUPERMARKET – Anagram (unexpectedly) of MARK UP TREES.

11d         Posh car is carrying worker with electronic goods for sale (11)
MERCHANDISE – The abbreviated brand name of some upmarket cars and IS (from the clue), placed either side of a factory worker, then Electronic is added to the end of the result.

14d         Amateur unusually entitled to bring in volunteers (10)
DILETTANTE – Anagram (unusually) of ENTITLED, wrapped round the initials of the old name for the Army Reserve.

17d         Moan and lie about after last of Xmas pudding (8)
SEMOLINA – The last letter of XmaS followed by an anagram (about) of MOAN and LIE.

19d         Person hoping for major promotion?
CAPTAIN – Cryptic definition of an army officer whose next promotion would be to the rank of major.

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21d         Military unit told to carry kit (7)
BRIGADE – An archaic word for ‘told’ or ‘ordered’, wrapped wround some kit or equipment.

22d         Rank sculptures (not English) (6)
STATUS – Remove the English from some pieces of work produced by a sculptor.

25d         Preserve antidote (4)
CURE – Double definition, the first being to preserve meat.

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31 comments on “DT 100012
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  1. Solved after Christmas breakfast – my favourites were 7d and 19d

    Thanks to Deep Threat and whoever set this seasonal offering.

    The Christmas Day Toughie is at the easier end of the spectrum whereas the Elgar Double will take some time!!

      1. Robert – as BD says in his Christmas message, the Elgar Double Toughie is ‘cunningly hidden as Giant General Knowledge No 100,012’ on the puzzle web site.

    1. Thick or what, 7d was a bung in for me. I couldn’t see what Keith Richards had to do with anything! I’ve now tumbled and I love it!

  2. A truly enjoyable Christmas puzzle with a great 1a. Like Crypticsue, my favourites were 7 and 19d.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Deep Threat for the hints.

  3. A gentle stroll through – as opposed to a Senf gallop – with the bottom half requiring a little more thought than the top. **/** I rather liked the Mo Salah clue at 16a and if I’ve heard of him then everybody must have! 13a made me smile but no real favourite today. Happy Christmas to one and all.

  4. You couldn’t publish the grid could you? So that those of us who rely on the dead tree version can have a go? Ta.

    If not a Happy, then perhaps a Merry Christmas to all.

  5. Sorry, Greta: this Carolinian had never heard of the Liverpudlian; I thought the Egyptian striker might be an asp–well, he strikes Cleo in the last act! But I soon righted myself, chuckled a bit, and got on with it. I thought this was a kind, gentle paean to the art of crosswording, and I enjoyed myself. 7d wins the Gold, with 13 and 28a fleshing out the podium. Thanks and a Happy Christmas to DT and today’s setter, as well as everyone else. ** / ****

    Very cold Christmas Day in Charleston, after a springlike Eve: 74F yesterday, 34F now.

    1. Sorry, Robert. You’re quite right, you probably wouldn’t have heard of Mo Salah unless you happen to be a closet Liverpool FC fan. I do the like the notion of an asp as a striker!

  6. A very Happy Christmas to all.
    A little disappointing that the theme suggested by 1a was not developed.
    Apart from a momentary pause on the 16a Egyptian striker, this was gentle enough that the steed could be rested and left in the stable – 1.5*/3.5*.
    No standout favourites but I did like 28a.
    Thanks to the setter and DT.

  7. Just right to solve after a race up an empty M6 whilst the in-laws babble away with Saint Sharon. Thanks to the setter and to Deep Threat for giving up his time today. I’ve just started The Toughie which seems to have mated with a Sodoffku. Seasons greetings again to one and all.

  8. Just popping in to say Feliz Navidad! I have six answers to find but I’m saving them for later when festivities have wound down a bit and I may find some moments for myself.

    Thanks to everyone – compilers, hinters, and all contributors, for all the joy they bring each day.

    Terence D. and Little Lola (who is – guess what – snoozing on the sofa). x

  9. Lovely crossword with a nice kick off at 1a. Nothing too taxing & particularly liked 11d plus 23& 28a but COTD is probably between CS’s picks at 7&19d. 2 Toughies to tackle after a good walk on a lovely sunny day (the calm before the storm).
    Thanks to the setter & DT for the review.

  10. A terrific puzzle set at just the right level for Christmas Day. 7d is my COTD by a mile. Quite brilliant. Seasons Greetings to all.

    Thanks DT and whomsoever set this fine crossword.

  11. Left 16a for all the checkers to be in place once I’d realised that I couldn’t fit in an asp – which seemed a far more logical Egyptian striker to me than some footballer!
    17d made me laugh, I think many of us would be moaning if faced with that to end a Christmas lunch…….
    Christmas crackers awarded to 15,24&28a plus 7d.

    Thanks to our setter – a very 1a to you – and many thanks to DT for making time to bring us a review today.

  12. Took a little break from Elgar as I am stuck with only a handful to get.
    Firefly didn’t put much of a fight either.
    The only difference with this one is that I didn’t need to have lists, dictionaries and Google to assist me in solving it.
    Very straightforward indeed and I agree with the ratings.
    Thanks to the setter and to DT for the review.

  13. A gentle stroll completed before the celebrations got going. My only real difficulty was parsing 27 a
    My reasoning was NUB = most of turned to give BUN inserted into the court event but DT has come up with a much better reasoning Thanks to DT and even Deeper Threat hope you have a good Christmas.
    I did like 10a – so topical that it must be a coincidence coming so soon after the conclusion of our much-extended 10a to Europe.
    We are now at the slightly squiffy groaning on the sofa stage and the toughie and Elgar are a little too tricky for my current state of torpor.
    Thanks for a year of blogs and best wishes for the new year

  14. This was a welcome Christmas present this morning. Not quite finished but with all the vegetables to prepare, I will save for later. Really enjoying so far. Wanted to wish you all a lovely day despite the circumstances, and before you all have your Christmas nap 😴. We successfully joined a FaceTime gathering with both daughters and their families last night to watch everyone opening their stockings. Later this morning we will be doing again, for the opening of the presents under the tree. I must say it was good fun and made us feel we weren’t missing out on the festivities, but kept us both safe. Thanks to setter for providing this puzzle and to Deep Threat for giving up his time on this special day to help us all. I already needed the hint for 16a, never would have got that on my own.

  15. Stumped by 13ac! Don’t know why, perhaps it’s because I don’t use it. But a very pleasant crossword. I particularly liked 28ac … perhaps because I thought of the Brexit deal. Liked 12ac.

    Thanks to all. Have as Merry a Christmas as you can.

    Just enjoying a wee dram of Talisker Skye … I love the label that quotes “made by the sea”.🥃🥃🥃

  16. Nice review by DT of what I considered a gentle but beautifully crafted puzzle – perfect for Christmas Day morning. The clues I most enjoyed were 1a (and a very 1a to everyone!), 15a and 23a – not everyone’s picks perhaps but they made me smile :-)

  17. A perfect offering for Christmas Day, thank you setter, you’re a star! The only thing I needed to check was the spelling of 14d.
    No doubt about my fave, 7d takes the honours, with knobs on. Maybe because I was taken in by the red herring, hook, line and sinker.
    Thanks to our setter for the fun, to DT for his time out of a special day, and to everyone in this group have a very happy Christmas.

  18. Glad most enjoyed this; I purposefully made the puzzle quite gentle, so hopefully those who like the normal more challenging Friday puzzles weren’t disappointed (that’s me outing myself as today’s compiler).

    Happy Christmas to all from me and everyone else at the Telegraph; hopefully everyone had a nice day, despite the circumstances.

    1. Spot on puzzle for Christmas morning, CL, although some of us could have done without that footballer!
      Hope you’ve had the chance to enjoy the day with your family and thank you for popping in to deliver Christmas greetings from everyone at Telegraph Towers. We’ve certainly appreciated having the puzzles to take our minds off the events of this most extraordinary year.

    2. Thank you, Chris, you’re a star! We lesser brains are so grateful for that delightful bit of fun for our Christmas entertainment. I know I speak for quite a few. A lot of our brainiacs have also enjoyed it, so it’s been pretty good all round.

  19. Nice puzzle done in 1.5* time with a ranking of *****
    Taken most of the day hitting it in bits and pieces throughout the day with cooking and presents etc etc interrupting puzzle solving
    COTD is 1a

    Thanks to setter and DT
    1a to all

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