DT 26033 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26033

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26033

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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

The usuall gentle start to the week, ideal for those who are cryptic novices but still enjoyable for the more experienced solvers.

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.

1a In action, press cited for contempt (10)
{DISRESPECT} – an anagram (in action) of PRESS CITED gives a word meaning contempt – I can’t make my mind up about “in action” as an anagram indicator

9a Deputy in the grip of depravity (4)
{VICE} – a double definition, or is it a triple definition?

10a Shares exist in false teeth (10)
{DEBENTURES} – these shares issued by a company for money borrowed on the company’s property come from BE (exist) inside another name for false teeth

11a Are all his shots singles through cover? (6)
{SNIPER} – a cryptic definition of this sharpshooter which has nothing to do with cricket!

12a Letter that is spelt badly (7)
{EPISTLE} – a letter, like one of those written by St Paul, which is an anagram (badly) of IE (that is) and SPELT – excellent surface reading which is typical of this setter

15a They have no choice, poor chaps (7)
{BEGGARS} – a very clever double definition that plays on the saying “beggars can’t be choosers”

16a Falls behind, having gained nothing in old capital (5)
{LAGOS} – LAGS (falls behind) is put around O (having gained nothing) to get the former capital of Nigeria (Abuja is the new one)

17a Craft lacking a prow? (4)
{RAFT} – remove the initial letter (lacking a prow) from (C)RAFT to get an all-in-one definition of a primitive type of craft

18a Withdrawal of 101 meeting points (4)
{FOCI} – reverse (withdrawal) OF and add CI (101 in Roman numerals o get these central points – being pedantic I don’t think that a noun like withdrawal works as a reversal indicator, although I appreciate that withdraw would not suit the surface reading

19a It’s most desirable to enclose a wild animal (5)
{BEAST} – the most desirable is the BEST which is then placed around A to get a wild animal

21a They have titles within their grasp (7)
{HOLDERS} – a double definition that doesn’t look like one

22a The reason he left crime (7)
{TREASON} – simple but effective – T(HE) REASON

24a A prayer of three short words (6)
{ORISON} – one of those prayers that you either know or you don’t – but you do now! – OR + IS + ON – I would have said three little words, but then I’m not the setter

27a Return a faulty purchase, but apologise (4,2,4)
{TAKE IT BACK} – another double definition …

28a Harbour a spy (4)
{MOLE} – … and yet another! – the harbour is one protected by a massive breakwater, causeway or masonry pier

29a Certainly using every available method (2,3,5)
{BY ALL MEANS} – three in a row makes for a hat trick!


2d It gets me upset in the newspaper (4)
{ITEM} – take IT and add ME reversed (upset) and you have an article in a newspaper

3d Rushes round to see primate (6)
{RHESUS} – an anagram (round) of RUSHES leads to a a macaque, a monkey of the Indian Subcontinent

4d Take exam on flourishing poet (7)
{SITWELL} – a charade of SIT (take exam) on (because it is a down clue) WELL (flourishing) to give Dame Edith, a member of a famous literary family

5d Time to introduce final character in book (4)
{EZRA} – the time to do this is an ERA; insert Z (final character) and you have a book in the Old Testament

6d Papers — the first editions (7)
{TISSUES} – these papers come from T(he) (The first) and ISSUES (editions) – once again, I love the surface reading

7d Light and delicate piano had us quite excited (10)
{DIAPHANOUS} – a word meaning light and delicate that is an anagram (quite excited) of PIANO HAD US

8d It causes rough weather and loss of trade (10)
{DEPRESSION} – its double definition time again

12d Creatures that ruin the marrows? (10)
{EARTHWORMS} – these creatures, despite being an anagram (ruin) of THE MARROWS, are usually beneficial to the garden

13d One is certain to be this (10)
{INFALLIBLE} – this cryptic definition just about works, but it’s possible to be certain and fallible!

14d Hail trapped between two points of roof projection (5)
{EAVES} – AVE (hail, as in “Ave Caesar, morituri te salutant”) is inside (trapped between) E(ast) and S(outh) (two points) for a roof projection

15d Increase in shouts of disapproval at the end of the act (5)
{BOOST} – this sudden increase is derived from BOOS (shouts of disapproval) and T (end of the acT)

19d One never knows what it may hold for the present (4-3)
{BRAN-TUB} – a cryptic definition of a tub of bran from which small presents are drawn at parties – this is unhyphenated in Chambers !

20d Minor, four, appearing in a court case (7)
{TRIVIAL} – a synonym for minor is built from IV (four in Roman numerals) inside TRIAL (court case)

23d A Saudi, say, takes the French to be cultivated (6)
{ARABLE} – a simple charade of ARAB (a Saudi, say) and LE (the French) gives a word meaning (fit) to be cultivated

25d This large bird reared smaller ones (4)
{SKUA} –  this large predatory gull-like bird comes from AUKS (smaller birds) reversed (reared)

26d Revered figure in holding company (4)
{ICON} – a figure that is IN around (holding) CO(mpany)

I particularly like 12a nd 12d, in this good solid puzzle.

24 comments on “DT 26033

  1. I found this one nice and easy, apart from 5d which threw me for a while. Some nice anagrams, especially 7d.

    1. Me also, couldn’t get out of my head that the last letter in a book is d (The En (d) ) and therefore couldn’t do much with ERAD!
      Only other one that I didn’t like was 18a as FOCI didn’t mean anything to me. I will know next time.

  2. As you say, a nice easy start to the week – only sticking point was 18a – but you live and learn!

  3. Nice easy start to the week, but with quite a few good clues. I, too, was unhappy about “withdrawal” in 18a. Also, learnt a new definition for “mole”, so today wasn’t wasted!

  4. Much to enjoy here (17a, 22a, 19d). But 13d didn’t quite work for me. And 10a: isn’t that definition of ‘shares’ in fact a form of debt?

    1. A debenture has no relationship to shares.

      In almost all circumstances a debenture is issued for a sum of money being invested over a given period of time.

      The debenture may be used as at say Wimbledon, where it depreciates over a number of years, but gives you a guaranteed number of games each season on Centre Court. The value of the debenture lessens but can be sold to another person for an agreed price.

      Unusually a debenture call has just been made at The Rose Bowl, (HantsCC), which gives guaranteed seats and tickets, but also carries interest, with repayment date options. This is a new concept..

      Debentures are normally issued to raise funding.

      However in terms of securing debt a bank for example may take a fixed and floating debenture over the assets of a borrower. This would only be redeemed on repayment of the debt in full.

      From this it will be seen that a debenture has a twofold purpose.

      Of course I have somewhat simplified the explanation.

      1. * Of course I do not in my second paragraph mean denture. LOL. I mean debenture. I must get my teeth around this typing process!!

      2. * Second para. should read debenture, not denture.

        Must get my teeth around this typing lark! Where’s my secretary???

      3. I have seen reference to debenture shares, which presumably are an instrument that combines the risk and the security elements, but these should probably always be referrred to by the full name.

        It looks like this clue is easier for those, like me, who are ignorant of the full facts!

        1. I got it from the exist in false teeth part and then realised it was a rather broad, financial-ish definition. I suppose my gripe is that the ‘ching’ you get with an answer hit a bum-note for me.

  5. 7d was my favourite today and I enjoyed 25d. 11a was the weakest for me although it is easy for me to make these comments as I don’t have to construct the clues every day ! Still enjoyable

  6. Hi Big Dave

    Thanks for the review. Just a couple of minor points. With 27a the word “it” is missing in the answer in curly brackets. With 25d the answer in curly brackets was given as “rhea”.

    I really enjoyed this puzzle from the maestro, Roger Squires, and I agree with your three star rating for difficulty. Although Mr Squires’ puzzles are not very difficult they are not a piece of cake either. I often find his puzzles more challenging than some of those set on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. I always make a point of solving his puzzles whenever I see them and I have also solved his Financial Times puzzle that appeared today (sadly there wasn’t one in the Guardian).

    Learned a new word today – I have never heard of a bran-tub. Also didn’t know the word “mole” could refer to a harbour.

    Again thanks for the review. This excellent website has improved my skills and speed and I hope it will be around for many years to come.

  7. I have just got back from London and did the crossword on the train – very enjoyable except for 18a – didn’t like that one. I agree with Yoshik about debentures not working as a clue other than the second half wording which meant that was all it could be.

  8. Hi Dave

    Enjoyed today’s crossword and thought there were several clever clues eg 9a.
    Could you please explain 25d for me. I have a K in the answer (take it back) and therefore cannot see how Rhea can fit.
    Also I can see that 11a is sniper – someone who shoots from cover. Is there some reason for the inclusion of the word singles – is there some wordplay here that I have missed?

    1. 25d – Don’t rub it in! It was a stupid mistake which has now been corrected.

      11a – Snipers usually fire one shot at a time, but the real reason it’s there is to give the clue a cricketing flavour.

      1. 25d – Sorry – hadn’t seen either Nathan’s note or your correction when I wrote my comment and haven’t come across a skua before.
        11a – thanks for the explanation. The cricket reference was lost on me.

        One of the many things I appreciate about this blog is the explanation of how the answer fits the clue. Often I can see what the solution must be and then have to work out how the clue fits. Sometimes although my answer is obviously correct, I have absolutely no idea how it fits the clue – because there is an association/idea that I am not familiar with or my thinking has gone off in a completely different direction. It is great to have the missing links filled in. Thank you.

        1. You’re not the only one who gets the solution and then has to spend time justifying it from the clue! However, this doesn’t occur quite as often as it used to now that this blog exists and I recognise better the different types of clue.

  9. Dave,

    Don’t quite agree with your explanation of 23d. Surely “arable” means “fit to be cultivated”, not simply “cultivated”? I thought the clue only just worked.

    1. I don’t disagree – I think this was an off-day for both Rufus and myself! I have move the “to be” into the definition, which makes it a bit better.

  10. Nice and easy crossword today (well it had to be for me to finish) although 18ac became a real pain to me.

    1. Welcome to the blog Andy

      It seems lthat the reaction to clues like that varies from irritation, in my case, to rendering it near impossible. Most of the setters read those reactions and apply what they have learnt to future puzzles.

  11. I’m a little surprised that everyone though it was easy today. Generally Monday is relatively simple but today, for some reason, I struggled a bit (especially in top right corner) and actually had to have two pops at it !!!! Got there in the end though. Must be having (another) off day.

    Didn’t really like 9a, 18a, 11a (cover? – presumably means he is under cover when he takes the shots – still don’ t like it), 10a (shares = debentures? just about).

    Liked 16a (which is where I am working right now) and 24a (but agree with BD that “little” would have worked better than “short”)

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