DT 26004

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26004

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

At one stage, when writing this review, I suspected that there was another Clued Up cock-up in the 20d clue, and I even went so far as to go out and buy the paper, only to find that the clue there is identical. Apart from that it’s a fairly straightforward puzzle, though with two words which were new to me.
As usual the answers are hidden inside the curly brackets – select the white space to reveal them. Please take the time to vote for the enjoyment factor by clicking on one of the stars at the bottom.

Across Clues

8a  Going round in the morning, criminal pinches one (7)
{AMBIENT} – a synonym for surrounding or going round is produced from AM (morning) followed by BENT (criminal) around (pinches) I (one). ‘Going round’ is a nice piece of misdirection, inviting you to put AM in the middle of the answer.

10a  Very old worker drinking nice bubbly (7)
{ANCIENT} – put ANT (worker) round (drinking) an anagram (bubbly) of NICE to get a word meaning very old.

11a  Fight and cut domineering woman (6-3)
{BATTLE-AXE} – a charade of BATTLE (fight) and AXE (cut) produces this stereotypical domineering woman.

12a  Colonel’s uninspiring after lead of brigadier (5)
{BLIMP} – put LIMP (uninspiring) after B (lead, i.e. first character, of Brigadier) to get David Low’s famous cartoon colonel, who satirised the reactionary British establishment pre-war.

13a  Item of wear girl’s beginning to be very fond of (5)
{GLOVE} – put together G (beginning of Girl) and LOVE (to be very fond of) to get this item of apparel.

14a  Something of a thug, or, I’ll add, an ape (7)
{GORILLA} – this large ape is hidden in (something of) thuG OR I’LL Add.

17a  Amicably drop unresolved argument? Regret idea, as ego affected (5,2,8 )
{AGREE TO DISAGREE} – an anagram (affected) of REGRET IDEA AS EGO gives us a phrase meaning to cease to argue because neither party will compromise. A more common version of this phrase is “agree to differ”.

19a  Ancient Greek city, in North, I suspect, by Cape (7)
{CORINTH} – this prominent city state in ancient Greece (from which we get the adjective Corinthian, meaning maintaining the highest standards of amateur sportsmanship) is constructed from C (Cape) followed by an anagram (suspect) of NORTH I.

21a  Bike was blue (5)
{MOPED} – double definition – a pedal cycle with a motor, and was listless and depressed (was blue).

24a  I’m entering illuminated border (5)
{LIMIT} – put IM inside LIT (illuminated) to get a border.

26a  Speaks about a son and daughter making a musical (5,4)
{SALAD DAYS} – the title of this 1950s musical is formed by putting SAYS (speaks) around A LAD (a son) and D(aughter).

27a  Various aquatic birds by far edge of lake (7)
{DIVERSE} – a synonym for various is constructed from DIVERS (aquatic birds) followed by E (far edge, i.e. last letter, of lakE).

28a  Old card game shown in book in front of Oscar (7)
{PRIMERO} – this old card game, which is a new one on me, is formed from PRIMER (an elementary textbook) and O (Oscar, stands for O in the phonetic alphabet).

Down Clues

1d  An assortment taken from cloth pouch (6)
{RAGBAG} – a charade of RAG (cloth) and BAG (pouch, catch) gives us a term meaning a miscellaneous collection of things (assortment).

2d  A racket, commotion echoing in slaughterhouse (8 )
{ABATTOIR} – start with A BAT (a racket) and add RIOT (commotion) which has to be reversed (echoing) to get a slaughterhouse.

3d  Old song, one rejecting love, by Danielle, possibly (6,4)
{NELLIE DEAN} – this sentimental ballad was written over a century ago and its name comes from oNE (with love, i.e. O, being rejected) followed by an anagram (possibly) of DANIELLE.

4d  Another identical cooking range at home (4,5)
{SAME AGAIN} – a charade of SAME (identical), AGA (cooking range) and IN (at home) generates this request for another. I used to know a pub landlady, who, whenever she was asked for “the same again”, would say “you can’t have the same again, because you’ve drunk it, but you can have similar”.

5d  Blackleg locked in pickets’ cabin (4)
{SCAB} – a synonym for blackleg (strike-breaker) is hidden (locked) in picket’S CABin.

6d  Servant shuffling in, lame (6)
{MENIAL} – an anagram (shuffling) of IN LAME produces a servant.

7d  Deduction in wages resulting from industrial action? (8 )
{STOPPAGE} – double definition – what is deducted from wages before payment, such as tax and national insurance, and industrial action involving a strike.

9d  Vehicle clipped vagrant (4)
{TRAM} – clip the final letter off TRAMp (vagrant) to leave a vehicle.

15d  Spanish footballers, very angry, clear (4,6)
{REAL MADRID} – well it’s a Spanish football club but the footballers themselves, the galacticos,  come from all over the world and not just Spain. It’s name is made from REAL MAD (very angry, in footballer-speak) followed by RID (clear).

16d  Student nun organised hop inside (9)
{SOPHISTER} – nun is SISTER – put an anagram (organised) of HOP inside to get a word for a second or third-year student at some British universities. I’d never heard of this word, although it seems similar to sophomore (a second year student at a US college).

17d  County youth held by expert gives tribute (8 )
{ACCOLADE} – put CO (county) and LAD (youth) inside ACE (expert) to get a tribute.

18d  Continual red tape, ridiculous when Ecstasy’s involved (8 )
{REPEATED} – a word meaning continual is formed from an anagram (ridiculous) of RED TAPE with E (Ecstasy tablet) included.

20d  Take away produce (6)
{REMOVE} – I spent as long on this clue as on all the others put together. I think that it’s a double definition and the answer certainly means take away, but how does it relate to produce, whether as a verb or noun? My best effort, and I still think that it’s weak, is that produce as a noun can mean agricultural products, i.e. a crop, and crop as a verb can mean take away. If you have a better, or alternative, suggestion, please let me know via a comment. I now think that produce is being used as a verb, for example in the sentence “the magician produced a rabbit from the hat”.

22d  Dictator in terminal receiving head of state (6)
{DESPOT} – a rail or bus terminal where the vehicles are kept is a DEPOT – include (receiving) the head (i.e. first letter) of State to get a dictator.

23d  Crash — female cut (4)
{FLOP} – a crash or failure (of a commercial venture, for example) is made from F(emale) followed by LOP (cut).

25d  Go for a short walk (4)
{TURN} – double definition – what each player has in rotation in a board game, for example, and a short walk that is taken.

My favourite clue today is 4d – what about you? – comments, as usual, are very welcome, and please don’t forget to vote below.


  1. mary
    Posted August 11, 2009 at 11:25 am | Permalink | Reply

    strange but i found this one much easier than the last three days, i will be interested to know how my brother has done, he hasn’t finished yet, needed your help for 3 clues otherwise i managed with my chambers dictionary, yeeeeeeees
    thanks Gazza

  2. mary
    Posted August 11, 2009 at 11:32 am | Permalink | Reply

    favourite clue 17a
    least favourite 16d & 20d
    Off to enjoy a pub lunch by a harbour in the sunshine

  3. Rollo
    Posted August 11, 2009 at 12:20 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I have thought about 20d. The best I can come up with is that a takeaway (one word, not two as here) is something containing produce that has been produced by the takeaway outlet. Produce also has a meaning ” To bring forward or out” according to Chambers.

    I am not happy with it though.

    • gazza
      Posted August 11, 2009 at 12:28 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Thanks for that. It is certainly as good as my effort, but, like you, I’m still not convinced.

  4. Posted August 11, 2009 at 12:23 pm | Permalink | Reply

    When I “solved” 20 down, I could not see the full wordplay either, but my first thought was “Gazza is doing this one” and eagerly awaited the blog!

    • gazza
      Posted August 11, 2009 at 12:38 pm | Permalink | Reply

      I’ve just found produce (verb) against remove in a thesaurus with the example “he took out his wallet and produced a twenty pound note”.
      I think that’s probably as good as we’re going to get!

  5. Lizwhiz
    Posted August 11, 2009 at 12:36 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Like everyone I do not understand 20d?? also thought 25d was weak. Favourite was definitely 4d. Bit chilly here in Canterbury today so will not be sitting in the sun! :(

    • gazza
      Posted August 11, 2009 at 12:47 pm | Permalink | Reply

      For 25d, a turn can be a short walk, and Jane Austen’s heroines would often ‘take a turn’ (go for a stroll).

  6. Kram
    Posted August 11, 2009 at 12:52 pm | Permalink | Reply

    only thing I can come up with for 20d is from OED, a born child being removed by so many steps of descent.Perhaps the compiler can put us out of our misery?

  7. bigboab
    Posted August 11, 2009 at 1:16 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Good crossword but I needed your help with 16d, I liked 2d and 3d. Thanks Gazza.

  8. brenda b
    Posted August 11, 2009 at 1:16 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I found this easier today. Needing your confirmation for two and help with three. Good for me!!
    Easiest 15d, hardest 28a

    • gazza
      Posted August 11, 2009 at 1:28 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Good for you. Have a go at the Toughie now!

  9. brenda b
    Posted August 11, 2009 at 1:17 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Sorry I missed off the thank you…many thanks

  10. Ann
    Posted August 11, 2009 at 2:43 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I found this quite easy except for 28a. Came on to find out your explanation for 20d. Like you I am still not convinced. Thanks. Off to Spain for a while. Back soon

  11. newtocryptic
    Posted August 11, 2009 at 5:05 pm | Permalink | Reply

    16D – SOPHISTER?? I like discovering new words but that’s a bit obscure and I only found it by Googling as it is a bit buried in the Chambers entry (admittedly a 1978 edition!). Apart from that I enjoyed the puzzle a great deal.

  12. nanaglugglug
    Posted August 11, 2009 at 5:10 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I liked simple yet perfect 21a – Hotlips favourite mode of transport and what he did all day having just given up the cigars!!

    • gazza
      Posted August 11, 2009 at 5:16 pm | Permalink | Reply

      You’ll have to give him a couple of glasses of 17d (or even 7d) from today’s Toughie to cheer him up!

      • Libellule
        Posted August 11, 2009 at 5:17 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Having tried both, I would seriously suggest 17d.

    • Libellule
      Posted August 11, 2009 at 5:16 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Does this mean that Hotlips has given up smoking completely?

      • nanaglugglug
        Posted August 11, 2009 at 5:29 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Yes, well at least for 24 hours!! He’s sucking frantically on a Nicorette Inhalator given to him by our local chemist and he’s wandering around like Terry Thomas.

        • Libellule
          Posted August 11, 2009 at 5:37 pm | Permalink | Reply

          Tell him to stick at it, I gave up a 20 a day habit (cigarettes that is not cigars) about a year ago….
          after approximately 25 years. I feel better but a bit fatter :-)

          • nanaglugglug
            Posted August 11, 2009 at 5:42 pm | Permalink | Reply

            Phew!! well done for that, I think I may end up starting again!

    • Posted August 11, 2009 at 5:22 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Especially for you and Hotlips!


      • nanaglugglug
        Posted August 11, 2009 at 5:41 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Thanks for that – enjoyed it – I think!!

  13. elcid
    Posted August 11, 2009 at 6:16 pm | Permalink | Reply

    If it had not been for Bradford’s I would never have got 16d! It didn’t help with 28a but I did get it! Thanks Dave

  14. Little Dave
    Posted August 11, 2009 at 7:23 pm | Permalink | Reply

    This was an enjoyable crossword – one of the better ones recently in my view. I liked 21a and a few others got the brain cells stretching too. After a frustrating day and having spent far too long dealing with e-mails it was good to tackle this as I escaped the urban jungle of east London.

  15. Peter
    Posted August 11, 2009 at 9:12 pm | Permalink | Reply

    It always intrigues me how we all have different brickwalls. Today mine were 23d and 28a. thanks the hints, lets one save face without looking up the answers!

  16. Jason
    Posted August 12, 2009 at 8:33 am | Permalink | Reply

    Not impressed with 3D and 26A – if I wanted a test of cultural references, I’d try a general knowledge crossword! *Incredibly* obscure. Ah well!

  17. anna gran
    Posted August 12, 2009 at 3:43 pm | Permalink | Reply

    RE: 23d – the first thing that sprang to mind for me was BANG – which is also a female hair-style.

  18. Penfold
    Posted August 13, 2009 at 10:48 am | Permalink | Reply

    “Sophister” presumably comes from “sophistry” meaning a subtle, tricky, superficially plausible argument. It is possible that the term derives from the days when schools dervied their year names from the element of Latin Grammar that predominated study during that year (Lower Grammar, Grammar, Syntax, Upper Syntax, Poetry, Rhetoric,etc). I only guessed at the answer from the way the clue played out when the other answers were filled in.

    • gazza
      Posted August 13, 2009 at 11:24 am | Permalink | Reply

      Hi Penfold and welcome to the blog.

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