DT 26010

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26010

Brush Up on your (Word) Sums!

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

Thanks to Gazza for stepping in at short notice yesterday when I remembered that I had a hospital appointment and realised that even I was mortal and couldn’t  cram 15 hours of things to do into 45 minutes.

Quite an entertaining puzzle today and a bit of a challenge.  The clues were well-written and nicely misleading, and it took me a little longer than I would have liked.  There was nothing too taxing in there but a few clues just required a bit more thought than on a Monday.  Mostly word-sum types clue, as well.

As usual, your comments are welcomed at the end of the blog, and you can rate the puzzle by clicking on the star system with your rating,  It is a bit of fun and reflects how people are feeling at that point.  Newer posters should note that first posts take a little while to appear while they are moderated, just to prevent spammers from gumming up the works.

Across
7a      Sentimental drivel about fellow in charge (8)
{ROMANTIC} To start with today, we have a complicated word-sum.  A word meaning “fellow” is usually MAN or DON (here the former).  This  goes inside a word that means drivel (ROT) and add to it a standard abbreviation for “in charge”.  You then have the answer, a word meaning sentimental, or fanciful.

9a      Recall article in periodical (6)
{ANNUAL} A for article goes inside ANNUL

10a     Brown’s back keeping English cool (4)
{NEAT}  A shade of brown (think stockings!) and reverse this.  Insert an E for English and you’ get a word meaning “cool” or okay.

11a     Batman appears after detective’s confused (10)
{DISORDERLY} Nothing to do with Gotham City.  A Batman in the military is an ORDERLY and this follows DI’S for Detective Inspector.  Which brings us to today’s tune:

12a     Figure United’s in condition (6)
{STATUE}  U for United inside STATE (for condition) gives a figure.

14a     Tender on open river (8)
{OVERTURE}  A word-sum.  OVERT = open + URE = river  gives a word meaning tender as in “tender a resignation, etc”

15a     Criminal act by ring leader getting bird (6)
{CONDOR}  CON (criminal) +  DO (act) + R (ring leader, i.e. first letter) =  The beautiful American bird.

17a     Aim head of arrow tip (6)
{ASPIRE}  A (head of arrow) + SPIRE (tip) = A word meaning aim.  Not sure about SPIRE as “tip”.  Not indicated in Bradford’s, nor Chambers.  Chambers gives it as “something that tapers to a point”, which I think is too removed to describe as “tip”.

20a     Dead people inside, dead and sadly missed (8)

{LAMENTED}  Although it’s quite cleverly worded, would you actually say this?  MEN (people) inside LATE (dead) + D for Dead = word meaning “sadly missed”.  I’ll forgive the “and”, as it could just about be argued that you could say “and sadly missed”.

22a     Shot around goal’s in (6)
{TRENDY}  An old chestnut.  As a Football Referee Assessor (my other secret hobby!),  I see lots of goals from shots around the (penalty) area.

23a     Man with lots on his mind? (10)
{AUCTIONEER}  Another one I have seen before, probably from our Monday Maestro.  A cryptic definition for someone who swings a wooden hammer.

24a     Let rip (4)
{RENT}  Double definition.  Let as in house leasing, and rip as in tear up.

25a     From Iranians we require explanation (6)
{ANSWER}  A hidden answer (indicated by “from”)   “Iranians we require…..”

26a     Metal nuts get replaced by new (8)
{TUNGSTEN}  Quite a nice clue.  Metal is the definition.  Its chemical symbol is W (from its old name, Wolfram).  An anagram (indicated by “replaced by”) of NUTS GET with N for new added at the end.

Down
1d      Daily argument for couple? (8)
{DOMESTIC}  A Daily is another name for a cleaner or charlady/man, so you are looking for a word that has the same meaning and can also, in slang, mean a row between a husband and wife.

2d      Absorbed and immersed in speech (4)
{RAPT}  Homophone clues always fill me with dread, but this one works well.   If you are absorbed in something you are RAPT, while if you are immersed in something your are WRAPPED (up).

3d      Stuff, tasteless or dull, gets eaten initially (6)
{STODGE}  Take the first letters of the first six words and the whole clue defines it.

4d      Hard and close shaven (8)
{HAIRLESS}  H for hard  (as in pencils) + AIRLESS (close as in the weather) = What something looks like when it is shaven.

5d      Lace drink following time in still (10)
[INTERTWINE}  T (time) inside INERT (still) + WINE (drink).  One of my favourite clues, with an excellent surface reading.

6d      Man on smack? (6)
{SAILOR}  Nothing to do with drugs, but a wry cryptic definition of someone who works on a fishing smack!

8d      Star actor’s recast… (6)
{CASTOR}  An anagram of ACTOR’S gives you one of the Heavenly Twins.  The three dots at the end of the clue indicate it is to “run on” with the next one.  However, I was advised by a Great Crossword Setter (not from these parts) that these sorts of clues should always make sense when read together, and this doesn’t quite.  Good try though.

13d     … Hollywood’s new lot isn’t altered (10)
{TINSELTOWN}  Anagram (altered) of NEW LOT ISN’T gives an alternative name for the suburb of LA.

16d     Stood our ground in the open (8)
{OUTDOORS}  Another nice surface reading.  An anagram  (indicated by ground) of STOOD OUR.

18d     Point on needle exposing risk (8)
{ENDANGER}  END (Point, tip) + ANGER (needle) =  a word meaning  “exposing risk” .  Not a bad clue.

19d     Plug hole’s entrance (6)
{ADVENT}  AD (plug, advert) + VENT (hole) =  A word for “entrance”.  This seems a bit weak on a couple of fronts to me.  To describe a VENT as a hole is a bit loose, as is ADVENT for  ENTRANCE.  Mrs Bradford doesn’t show it in her wonderful dictionary.

21d     Manual manipulation needed for old girl (6)
{ALUMNA}  An anagram (shown by manipulation) of MANUAL give a word meaning an old girl of a school.  A word more often used in the plural, but still valid nonetheless.

22d     Bully thankfully ends by crying (6)
{TYRANT}  TY (ends of ThankfullY) + RANT  (crying, use of the noun here) =  a word for a bully or dictator.

24d     Right remains heedless (4)
{RASH}  R (right) + ASH (remains) = heedless.

Overall a good challenge from today’s Tuesday Tormentor called T.  One of those puzzles that took a little while to get into,  but then things started to flow well.  Thanks again to Gazza and apologies for being a bit late.  I now have to hurtle off to watch a football referee, so will be late posting any comments.  See you Thursday!

20 Comments

  1. bigboab
    Posted August 18, 2009 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

    I thought this was much harder than the toughie today, I liked 5d but on the whole I felt a bit enenamoured with the thing, I can’t put my finger on why.

  2. Barrie
    Posted August 18, 2009 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

    Really disliked todays puzzle. Far too convoluted and with some very wishy-washy definitions. 19d is expecially poor. Also can someone please explain how you get Trendy from 22a?

    • Libellule
      Posted August 18, 2009 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

      The definition is IN
      TRY (shot) around END (goal)

    • Paul
      Posted August 18, 2009 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

      A shot (as in an attempt at something, as in ‘have a shot at that’) is a TRY. Put that around a goal (as in an objective, as in ‘end in itself’) which is END.

      You get TRENDY, which is ‘in’, as in ‘in fashion’ – as opposed to ‘out’ as in ‘out of style’.

  3. Greenhorn
    Posted August 18, 2009 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

    The lunchtime team got very few out and called up a reinforcement of a Guardian solver who usually gets that out in 30 mins. He was bamboozled by the north east. Four star for me.

  4. Barrie
    Posted August 18, 2009 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

    Thanks chaps for the explanation of TRENDY. I think that just about sums up todays effort. UGH!

  5. Libellule
    Posted August 18, 2009 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

    Tilsit, re. 19d
    “To describe a VENT as a hole is a bit loose”, well according to Chambers I get a number of definitions that could be associated with “hole”
    an opening, aperture
    an airhole
    a touch hole for firing a cannon, etc
    just for example….
    And then when you associate advent with a coming or arrival. This clue works perfectly OK. Or maybe thats me being pedantic :-)

  6. newtocryptic
    Posted August 18, 2009 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

    Absolutely hated it. Even having read the hints I found some clues total incomprehensable

  7. pianydd
    Posted August 18, 2009 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

    Thanks Libellule for your excellent interpretation of 19d; much wailing and gnashing of teeth over it until now. Overall, somewhat unimpressed with today’s puzzle.

  8. Little Dave
    Posted August 18, 2009 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

    Either my brain is not working today or this was rather devilish. Something in between I guess. I need a glass of wine to lubricate the grey matter.

    • Libellule
      Posted August 18, 2009 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

      Dave,
      I suspect Ray T. (assuming it is he) had some fun and games today, OK this is not an easy puzzle, but it isn’t “hard” either. It was better than the Toughie in terms of construct and use of words. Overall I thought it was a good puzzle..
      For me this was a 4*because I had to work at it :-)
      In terms of what I thought – well I am with Tilsit…
      “Quite an entertaining puzzle today and a bit of a challenge. The clues were well-written and nicely misleading, and it took me a little longer than I would have liked. There was nothing too taxing in there but a few clues just required a bit more thought than on a Monday”
      pretty much sums it up.

  9. Fallingstarr
    Posted August 18, 2009 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

    I completed this in a record breaking time of 5m 35s which isn’t really a great achievement considering the cryptic questions on my grid were Quick Crossword clues. Upon completion I started the Quick crossword – and guess what – the same clues so I completed that in 1m 52s!

    Am I the only person to have had a ScrewedUp experience?

    • Posted August 19, 2009 at 1:26 am | Permalink

      Fallingstarr

      This does happen from time to time, and the worst thing you can do is to start on the wrong puzzle. If you see an incorrect puzzle (sometimes it’s a sudoku!) quit and reselect.

  10. NathanJ
    Posted August 19, 2009 at 12:33 am | Permalink

    I eventually finished this puzzle over 3 different sittings – after sitting one 9 were unsolved, after sitting two 6 were unsolved and then in the third sitting I finished it thanks to my trusty Chambers dictionary. It goes to show that the people who write those cryptic crossword “How to Do” are right – it does help to leave the puzzle and then come back to it with a fresh mind – you see things that you didn’t previously.

    Tilsit – thanks for a really good review. I particularly liked your explanation of why batman = orderly. Although I got the right answer for this clue I did not understand the word play until I read your explanation. Thanks.

    I initially didn’t like this puzzle but after I finished it I felt I had achieved something and I could see what a clever puzzle this was. Well done to the compiler (was it Ray Terrell?).

  11. NathanJ
    Posted August 19, 2009 at 12:43 am | Permalink

    Big Dave

    Apologies – I have just read your reply to one of my previous postings in the comments section where you confirmed it was Ray Terrell. Sorry about that.

    I must say I like the fact that Ray Terrell almost always has one-word answers. I don’t like puzzles that have many multi-word answers. I admire Mr Terrell for not giving in to the multi-word answer tendencies that some other compilers seem to have.

    • Posted August 19, 2009 at 1:24 am | Permalink

      Nathan

      Just to clarify, as I made the same mistake myself when he first told me, it is his quick crossword that always has the single word answers. For the cryptic it is nearly always true.

      • RayT
        Posted August 19, 2009 at 8:22 am | Permalink

        Big Dave,

        The Quicks have single word answers and clues and the Cryptics, with the occasional exception, do have single word answers.

    • RayT
      Posted August 19, 2009 at 8:17 am | Permalink

      Nathan,

      Thanks for your comments and thanks to Tilsit for his fine analysis.

  12. mary
    Posted August 19, 2009 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    hello all, i know this is the wrong place to talk about todays 26011 but i just haaaad to write in cos i finished in just under 35 mins, which for me is fantaaaastic! i know for all u hardened crossword solvers, todays is going to be just too easy but for us beginners, thank you, thank you, setter, when i started doing the cryptic back in May, i know i couldn’t have done half of this, today i haven’t had to refer to the blog but did have help from my chambers dictionary, however without doubt this site has prove invaluable in getting me to be able to do this today….thank you all

    • Posted August 19, 2009 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

      Well done Mary

      Normally I censor solving times in case they deter newer solvers, but I’ll make an exception in your case!