DT 26079 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26079

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26079

Hints and tips by Gazza

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

Giovanni is on form today and has given us an excellent puzzle with many entertaining clues. For those who normally have problems on a Friday, it is worth persevering with – there are a number of easier clues, such as 18a, 7d and 22d which should give you toeholds to get into it.
As usual the answers are inside the curly brackets for those who need them – just highlight the space inside the brackets.
We are, as always, reliant on your comments to keep the blog lively and entertaining – so please don’t disappoint.

Across Clues

1a  Sweet bishop facing total ruin (12)
{BUTTERSCOTCH} – string together B(ishop), UTTER (total) and SCOTCH (quash, ruin).

9a  Female performance conveying reality (4)
{FACT} – start with F(emale) and add ACT (performance).

10a  Meeting bridge opponents at the table (9)
{ENCOUNTER} – there are eight possible permutations of two letters which will give you opponents at the bridge table, so you have to work out which combination makes a meeting when suffixed by COUNTER (table).

12a  Fashionable codes for members of extended family (2-4)
{IN-LAWS} – fashionable is IN and codes are LAWS.

13a  What upsets me in a pot? Nasty-smelling chemical (8 )
{PTOMAINE} – an anagram (upsets) of ME IN A POT produces one of various amines (such as putrescine or cadaverine) formed by the action of putrefactive bacteria. The term ptomaine poisoning is no longer in scientific use, but it’s still a nicely-worded clue.

15a  Gangster embraced by European — e.g. Ned Kelly (10)
{AUSTRALIAN} – put AL (Capone, gangster) inside AUSTRIAN to get the nationality of Ned Kelly, the outlaw and folk-hero most famous for wearing a suit of home-made armour. He was played by Mick Jagger, in a spectacular piece of miscasting, in a 1970 film.

16a  Midge attracted to a chemical (4)
{UREA} – this one raises a smile. Midge is not an annoying small insect but the Scottish musician who, together with Bob Geldof, organised the Live Aid concert in 1985.
ARVE Error: need id and provider

18a  Quiet set having fun? (4)
{PLAY} – put together P (piano, quiet) and LAY (set).

20a  In which some serve aboard ship (4,6)
{DECK TENNIS} – an amusing cryptic definition of a game played on-board.

23a  How tea may be secured (2,3,3)
{IN THE BAG} – double definition.

24a  Some brigand hired to get national leader (6)
{GANDHI} – hidden (some) in the clue is the name of a national leader. There are several possibilities for the national leader but the one most people will think of is this one.

26a  Witness can be more bad-tempered if trapped (9)
{TESTIFIER} – more bad-tempered is TESTIER – put IF inside (trapped).

27a  Rich drunkard in America? (4)
{LUSH} – double definition. Break up the clue to make a) rich, and b) drunkard in America.

28a  Purification process that could be organised by Ionian Sea Ltd? (12)
{DESALINATION} – an anagram (organised) of IONIAN SEA LTD.

Down Clues

2d  Inconvenient to old part of the hospital (8 )
{UNTOWARD} – an old word meaning “to” is UNTO – add WARD (part of hospital).

3d  Scottish island dismissing one elder? (4)
{TREE} – remove I (dismissing one) from T(I)REE, an island in the Inner Hebrides.

4d  Such may produce racket with cars (10)
{RACETRACKS} – a partial all-in-one clue – form an anagram (may produce) of RACKET and CARS.

5d  Friendly little child and parent heading off (6)
{CHUMMY} – put together CH(ild) and (M)UMMY to get a synonym for friendly.

6d  Row about a loveless kid becoming grubbier (7)
{TATTIER} – put TIER (row) around A T(o)T (kid from which the O (zero, love) has been removed).

7d  Hampshire son trained in skilled riding (12)
{HORSEMANSHIP} – an anagram (trained) of HAMPSHIRE SON.

8d  US lawyer’s nabbing everyone in American city (6)
{DALLAS} – US lawyer’s is DA’S – inside (nabbing) put ALL (everyone).

11d  ‘Do it!’ I snapped, terribly frustrated? (12)
{DISAPPOINTED} – an anagram (terribly) of DO IT I SNAPPED.

14d  Isolation of a country admitting deception (10)
{ALIENATION} – put LIE (deception) inside A NATION.

17d  Naughty ogler is hanging around a harem (8 )
{SERAGLIO} – put an anagram (naughty) of OGLER IS round A to get a synonym for harem, the women’s quarters in a Muslim palace. You have to smile at the surface reading.
ARVE Error: need id and provider

19d  Demonstrates outside Lord’s and Edgbaston, say? (7)
{ATTESTS} – double definition, the second cryptic – a verb meaning gives proof (demonstrates) is, cryptically, where you might be if you attended test matches (yes, it’s cricket again!).

21d  Girl’s entering into union with a preference for no clothes! (6)
{NUDISM} – put DI’S inside the abbreviation  for the National Union of Mineworkers. So, how many of you, like me, thought initially that we were dealing with teachers rather than miners, and were scolded by Clued Up for getting it wrong?

22d  Refusal to be crooked in deal (6)
{DENIAL} – an anagram (crooked) of IN DEAL.

25d  Be anxious in search when important lady has gone missing (4)
{FRET} – to search is to FERRET – remove Her Majesty to leave a verb meaning to be anxious. We had pretty much the reverse of this clue in the Toughie just two days ago: Investigator to worry about the Queen (6).

The clues which amused me today included 13a, 16a, 20a and 25d, but my favourite is 17d. How about you? – leave us a comment, and please remember to vote for the puzzle by clicking on one of the stars below.

44 comments on “DT 26079

  1. Corking puzzle – but hands up all those who managed to get 13a without some help from the internet or leafing through numerous dictionaries! I agree with you about 17d as being the best clue. In addition to the others mentioned, I liked 4d and 7d. I did not fall into the trap on 21d as preference indicated (to me at least) the abstract nudism rather than the concrete nudist though I did toy with nudist before rejecting it.

    Many thanks to Giovanni for another enjoyable Friday train journey and thanks for the blog Gazza. Off now to contemplate the joys of an Elgar Toughie on the journey home!

  2. A nice fun puzzle from Giovanni to end the week, a couple of trip hazards that MADD me think.

    Must agree with gazza on 17d – for the fun surface Reading and one of my favourite words.

  3. What a lovely end to the week – thought this was a super puzzle.

    Prolixic – my brain must work strangely – figured that out years ago – got 13a as one of the first ones. Worked it backwards from xxxxxxxx poisoning as knew that it was caused by chemicals.

    I agree with 17d but my favourite was actually 1a – liked the wordplay on it.

  4. 13a called me weird put what helped me get this clue without reference books was remembering the late great Leonard Rossitter doing a tv movie in which he played the part of ‘Joseph Pujol’ whos stage name was ‘Le Petomane’ a French artiste who was reveered for his skills in the art of flatulance and was known in some circles as a ‘fartiste’

    Great crossword today, but funny how they seemed to have got easier as the week went on.

    1. I remember The Leonard Rossitter film well – fortunately it’s on YouTube:


      … unfortunately embedding is disabled, so you have to watch it on YouTube.

      1. Just remembered another actor with the same stage name, Mel Brooks was Governor Lepedomane in ‘Blazzing Saddles’

  5. Apparently Midge Ure got his first name when he joined a band in Scotland and (rather surprisingly!) there was another Jim already in the band. It was suggested that he reverse his name to Mij, and it stuck with him.

  6. Who remembers the Alan Sherman song -Hallo Mudder, Hallo Father. One verse says … “you remember Leonard Skinner, he got ptomaine poison last night after dinner’… ?

  7. Excellent puzzle today, really enjoyed it but I must admit I did have to help from this super blog with the upper right hand corner. Would never have made the connection with Midge Ure in a month of Sundays!! Small point, does Tattier means grubbier? Favourite clue with doubt, 20a, very clever. Well done Giovanni!

      1. I know but I don’t think I am getting better, I thinks it’s just that Giovanni has taken pity on me!

  8. Can’t actually believe it, I was up quite late last night and just after midnight decided to print the puzzle off ‘Clued up’ ready for the morning, after doing so a clue cught my eye and off I went and was tucked up in bed by 12.45 puzzle completed, I still cant quite believe it, maybe my brain works better that time of night, of course i still had help from my Chambers but even so, i am quite proud, watch out – I know what pride comes before! However, to spoil it a little ,on reading your blog Gazza, I have to admit to having nudity and not nudism :(
    well done Friday setter for giving us lesser mortals some hope :)

      1. Thank You Gazza, Yes I meant nudist – see above comment, but couldn’t nudist be correct too??

        1. As Prolixic has pointed out above the definition of “preference for no clothes” means that we need an abstract noun, so nudist doesn’t really fit. It didn’t stop me getting it wrong too, though!
          You ought to have a go at the Toughie – it’s very entertaining!

          1. Nice to think that everyone solving today’s puzzle has been toying with nudism though!

            On a different vein, I have not looked in detail at the Toughie but on a quick glance through some clues fell into place more quickly than Elgar’s Wednesday offering. Is it more challenging or about the same level of difficulty?

              1. I would mainly agree – I didn’t think it was four stars but perhaps a jot more difficult than this weeks Elgar DT.

              2. Having spent an enjoyable journey on this one, I would tend to agree – about the same as Wednesday’s but with a few more unusual words thrown in the mix.

  9. Just got back from the pub here in Canberra, Australia – totally blotto (or smashed as they say in OZ) – just as well I had Gazza’s tips or I would have had no chance!

    Mind you I am still sober enough to know this puzzle is a beauty from Giovanni – although some people complain about him, I always enjoy his puzzles. Seems I am on his wavelength – even when I’m drunk!

  10. A blinder of a Friday crossword.

    Something for everybody and just what the doctor ordered after a busy week of The Baltics. No it is not a disease.

    Now to try the toughie for the first time this week.

    Having been speaking Russian all week long my English vocabulary needs stimulating.

    Mary – I told you life as a cruciverbalist gets better and better. Like any “sport” the more you play the better you get. Confidence is vital.

    1. thank you Yoshik, i also was going to try thr Toughie until I saw the 4 * rating for difficulty, i think it will be one of the more difficult toughies this week (not that I have done any of the others :) )

  11. Whew! I have finally sobered up!

    Now I can make some sensible remarks!

    The thing I really like about Giovanni is that at first glance his puzzles appear quite difficult. However as you progress through his puzzles things start to gradually fall into place. He provides enough straightforward clues to get the solver started and then the intersecting letters make it possible to solve the harder clues. He really is brilliant!

    I solved this whole puzzle on my own (while drunk) except for 1a. Even though this was a simple word sum I needed the hint from this blog to solve it. But after that I solved everything without this blog or Chambers. Maybe I should get drunk more often!

    I hope Giovanni / Don Manley drops by today and reads everybody’s positive comments. I am sure he will be delighted that everybody today loves this puzzle. Thanks Giovanni – look forward to your next puzzle (I will be sober all of next week as my parents are visiting!).

    Gazza I would also like to extend my thanks to you for an excellent blog. I have read your blogs for some time now and I am always impressed by the very high standards you maintain. I always find your comments helpful and informative. I believe my improvement as a solver is thanks to you and the other bloggers on this excellent website.

  12. Yes, a really lovely puzzle to end the week. Thank you, Giovanni!

    Being away from a printer, I’ve been obliged to do the last few puzzles on screen on Clued Up, which is a real test of concentration, but today’s I managed to finish in time, without your help but with maximum use of the letter hints, especially with 16a and 3d. I started with 15a, which reminded me of my mother saying “Who’s robbing this coach, me or …?”

    Got 13a quite quickly but didn’t know it was a chemical, thought it was something like a bacteria — and yes, I remember Alan Sherman, Tilly.

  13. As everyone else seems to have done, I enjoyed this. Just one little point:

    19d. If you’re attending test matches, wouldn’t you be “inside” not “outside” those grounds?

      1. In that case, I would be at the ground, but not attending the test match. I attended a meeting this morning, but not until I entered the conference room where it was taking place. While I was in the corridor, outside, I was not at the meeting. Still, I enjoyed the crossword, and I got the right answer. I just found the clue not as satisfying as, say, 17d.

  14. Needed a little help today with 13a and 20a. For 20a my mind was on serve as in a culinary sense so I was thinking of messes and galleys which obviously didn’t fit! I should have recognised serve as in tennis but I’m sure many would agree that it’s sometimes difficult to get your mind on a different tack!

  15. I got ‘nudist’ too. Surely there must be a union NUT. If not there should be. (National Union of Teachers? ) 13a and 16a had me beat. 20a was enjoyable. Altogether a very good crossword and very good comments. Many thanks

    1. There is an NU Teachers and an NU Miners but per Prolixic’s comments the answer probably ought to be nudism. I considered them both and came to a similar conclusion with the NUM but if it were a prize crossy I would hope that the possible confusion would be picked up and dealt with.

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