DT 25973

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 25973

The Yawning After the Night Before

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment **

Dateline: Hebden Bridge :  Monday : 00:45

After a very pleasant birthday Sunday, I arrived home just after midnight full of bonhomie (sadly not alcohol)  and at one with the world.  So I logged on to Clued Up and, armed with a cup of coffee and Tracy Chapman on my speakers, set about the new challenge from our Monday Maestro.

Some minutes later I am waiting for Clued Up to decide whether I have completed the puzzle, although I am fairly certain I have it correct.  Has my good humour survived?  Let’s take a  stroll round Across Street and Down Lane and see.

I have vented my spleen about the Telegraph Grids recently, so I shall say little about today’s abomination.  There’s the usual smattering of cryptic definitions, and the usual odd one that stetches a point.   I am sure I have seen the exact same clue at 5 down in a puzzle recently, so that is where I start.

Across

1a Annual pop festival? (7,3)
{FATHER’S DAY}  Cryptic definition to start today. Nothing to do with Tango or Irn Bru.  It’s yer dad!

9a A love for colour (4)
{ANIL} A + NIL = love (zero in tennis).

10a Fancy coping with bare adults dancing around? (10)
{BALUSTRADE}  My favourite definition today.  Coping here is as in “coping stones”.
An anagram (dancing around) of BARE ADULTS.

11a Defeat looks far from good in the record (6)
{LOSING} Defeat is the definition here, with record = LOG and “looks far from good” as SIN inside.  Is that OK as a definition for SIN?  I would welcome your thoughts.

12a Saucepan’s ready for cooking snipe (3-4)
{POT-SHOT}  Usually “cooking” is an anagram indicator in cryptic clues, but not here.   The clue breaks down as a word sum.  POT’S (saucepan’s) + HOT (ready for cooking) = POT SHOT (snipe).  I looked at this clue for a while as I wasn’t convinced that “snipe” could be used as a pot shot as defined in Chambers.  However, under “snipe” is does give as a definition “a verbal shot or attack”.  However it is not as in a sniper with a gun.

15a Bloomer might be a big one (7)
{BEGONIA}  Anagram (might be) of “a big one”.  Another clue I have seen several times before.

16a Tough serviceman allowed in free (5)
{RIGID}   GI = (US) serviceman  inside RID = free.

17a Regret raising old currency (4)
{EURO}  There is an etiquette about showing reversed words in clues, with some reversal indicators being shown as usable in any clue (e.g. revolutionary, around) and some (e.g. raised, lifted up etc) only in down clues.  This clue breaks that etiquette.  RUE (reversed) + O.

18a Vehicle in MI accident (4)
{MINI} I posted my dislike of four and five letter anagrams last week and today we have two.  Here’s an anagram of IN M1.

19a Needlewoman eliminates waste (5)
{SEWER}  Double definition.  A needlewoman is a SEWER i.e. one who sews.  A SEWER is designed to eliminate waste products.

21a An irritated doyen describing his state of mind (7)
{ANNOYED}  AN + an anagram (irritated) of DOYEN with the whole clue defining the word required.

22a Glance shows a number in fault (7)
{DEFLECT}  L = a number inside DEFECT (fault).  My esteemed blogging colleagues have voiced their irritation about using surplus articles just for surface reading of a clue, and we have one here.  If it didn’t have the “a”, it wouldn’t read as sensibly.  It isn’t incorrect to say it, of course, but I’m not keen.

24a Players ordered off (6)
{EXEUNT}  I wonder how many of you wonderful solvers got this clue right.  The grid is not helpful as you have E – E – – T.  This is a cryptic definition.  “Players” here refers not to sportsmen or people taking part in a game, but actors. So you are looking for a stage instruction.  Shakespeare’s A Winter’s Tale (I think!) contained the famous line “Exeunt pursued by a bear”!).  It’s a Latin phrase meaning “they leave”.  I’m not 100% sure whether it’s used as an order to leave the stage, but I presume so.

27a Price of a suit? (5,5)
{LEGAL COSTS}  A cryptic definition.  What is costs you to pursue a lawsuit.

28a It’s made to measure (4)
{RULE}  Another cryptic definition.  Made = designed.

29a It may put one off Russian fish (3,7)
{RED HERRING} “It may put one off” is the definition.  RED = Russian HERRING = fish

Down

2d Off on a course (4)
{AWAY} Here the “a” is an integral part of the clue. OFF = definition.  The clue says “On A, put a synonym of the word course, which is WAY.

3d Is under the spell of nymphs (6)
{HOURIS}  Another awkward word where you have to cope with double unchecked letters , as in 24a.  However here you have some wordplay but it’s a little contrived.  IS goes after a word for “the spell”, which is HOUR.  Houris are Muslim nymphs, along with its other brassier definition.

4d A muscle unaffected by lifting (7)
{ROTATOR} In other words, you want the word for a muscle that’s a palindrome.  Surface reading is fine,  but despite the unches you should be able to work out the fifth letter should be a T like the third, so this gives you R-T-T-R.

5d Board of trade (4)
{DEAL} Exactly the same clue as I encountered less than two weeks ago, except I can’t remember where.

6d Bore fruit but abandoned (7)
{YIELDED} YIELD is listed as a transitive verb meaning to give up, as in an apple tree yielding its fruit.  It’s also listed as intransitive meaning give up as in surrender.  Hope I got the two the right way round!  If not, I apologise, but I hope you get my drift.

7d A brave line to adopt (6,4)
{INDIAN FILE}  BRAVE =  (Red) Indian [let’s not be PC] + FILE = line.  I have looked at this clue for a while and can’t see how it works.  If it is saying that the whole thing defines it as well as the  “A brave line” being the indications for (AN) INDIAN FILE.  Perhaps someone can make better sense of this.

8d Copy-writer (10)
{PLAGIARIST} Another cryptic definition and I am now getting irritated by them, although this is not as bad as some.  A PLAGIARIST is someone who copies ideas.

12d About time Peter French found a lodging (4-1-5)
{PIED A TERRE}  Around DATE (time) place  PIERRE (Peter (IN) French) to give a form of accommodation.  I dislike contrived names and we most definitely have one here.

13d Dance with a sailor before everyone turns up (10)
{TARANTELLA}  This also appeared in another puzzle a few weeks back.  TAR (sailor) + ANTE (before) + LLA  (all reversed).

14d Put a watch on (5)
{TIMED}  Cryptic definition, need I say more?

15d One having two members in support (5)
{BIPED} And another.  Members here refers to limbs.

19d Resident judge? (7)
{SETTLER} Double definition.  A resident and one who settles an argument, as in Solomon.

20d About to be given beans? Push off (7)
{REPULSE}  Chambers gives PULSE as being a singular or plural noun for BEANS.  Every food and cookery show I have seen refers to pulses to cover the plural of bean, but Messrs Chambers say it be fine, and who am I to argue with them?

23d Left work? (6)
[LABOUR} Are Labour the party of the left?  Discuss in not less than 2000 words.

25d Agreed, but not about being old (4)
{AGED} Take RE (about) out of  AGREED leaving AGED.

26d Machine-gun nest blown up (4)
{STEN}  Another four letter anagram (blown up) of NEST.  Good surface reading though.

So another Monday puzzle draws to a close.  I would have enjoyed it more if it hadn’t been overegged with several less-than-satisfactory cryptic definitions.  I recognised that our Monday Maestro writes some of the best cryptic definitions around, but I am afraid that certainly for me he is also guilty of some right bum ones.

As usual, I’d love to hear what you think, so use the message facility.  New posters will need to know that your first post has to be approved, in order to block spammers, so there can be a slight delay before it appears.

And now another famous literary quotation…….

And so to bed.


6 Comments

  1. Will
    Posted July 6, 2009 at 1:38 pm | Permalink | Reply

    It was a curate’s egg, this one. Some very good clues (I liked the fancy coping a lot). Sin did feel a little of a stretch. Maybe ‘Regret sending back old currency’?
    Happy birthday…

  2. bigboab
    Posted July 6, 2009 at 2:03 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I quite enjoyed this, I like the easy run in to the week. I loved 1a, didn’t mind the cryptics but disliked the anagrams.

  3. mary
    Posted July 6, 2009 at 4:05 pm | Permalink | Reply

    how can you sleep after that!!!

  4. nanaglugglug
    Posted July 6, 2009 at 4:45 pm | Permalink | Reply

    We didn’t get 24a but apart from that found it a very gentle beginning to the week. Happy Birthday to you for yesterday – same as our son, litlle HotLips!!

  5. Peter
    Posted July 7, 2009 at 3:04 pm | Permalink | Reply

    What’s wrong with the grid? Every word has at least half of the letters interlocking. The first letter of most words interlocks even for the 6-lettered words where often that does not happen. 90 degree symmetry makes it pleasing to look at.

  6. tilsit
    Posted July 7, 2009 at 3:38 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Hi Peter

    As I grew up with the Grauniad Crossword who dispensed with double unchecked letters, I still dislike seeing them in a puzzle now. The Times still uses them time to time, but a large number of Telegraph grids seem to have them.

    I spoke with about half a dozen solvers at my bridge club last night (they threw a surprise party for me!) and all did not solve the HOURIS clue, and only one solved the EXEUNT clue.

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