DT 26012

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26012

Hints and tips by Gazza

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

I found this puzzle very enjoyable with some excellent surface readings. Please let us know what you thought of it, via a comment, and cast a vote by clicking on one of the stars at the bottom.
As usual, the answers are hidden inside the curly brackets, so that you can just reveal an answer that you need, by selecting the white space, without accidentally seeing other answers.

Across Clues

1a  Coast clear at first — cunning plan took one in (6)
{CRUISE} – a verb meaning to coast is constructed from C (first letter of Clear) and RUSE (cunning plan, as patented by Baldrick) with I included (took one in).

4a/10a  Establishments serving sponges, say, or crumbles (6,6)
{GREASY SPOONS} – an anagram (crumbles) of SPONGES SAY OR produces down-market catering establishments which serve ample, though not necessarily healthy, portions. Brilliant surface reading!

8a  Dad came back with little hunger (8 )
{APPETITE} – dad is PA – reverse this (came back) and add PETITE (little) to get a synonym for hunger.

10a See 4a

11a  Time that’s given to a poor performance? (4)
{BIRD} – double definition – an informal term for time in gaol, and a show of disapproval by an audience.

12a  Bury look for each one who gatecrashes (10)
{INTERLOPER} – a charade of INTER (bury), LO (look) and PER (for each one) generates an uninvited guest.

13a  Fine districts occupied by keepers (7,5)
{PENALTY AREAS} – a cryptic definition of the marked zones at each end of a football pitch where goalkeepers try to rule – put together PENALTY (fine) and AREAS (districts).

16a  Poet and economist now in town (6,6)
{MILTON KEYNES} – combine John MILTON (poet) and John Maynard KEYNES (economist) to get the town in Buckinghamshire where the most famous inhabitants are its concrete cows.

20a  Food for hotheads (5,5)
{BAKED BEANS} – cryptic definition of the convenience food in a tin, coming from BAKED (hot) and BEANS (heads).

21a  Where one runs hot and cold seeing opener start to hit (4)
{BATH} – this place where one runs hot and cold water is made up of BAT (opener, in cricket) and H (first letter of Hit).

22a  Fail to appear in court due to recess (6)
{CLOSET} – a recess or cupboard is manufactured by putting LOSE (fail) inside CT (court).

23a  How could gillie be qualified? (8 )
{ELIGIBLE} – a partial all-in-one clue based on an anagram (qualified) of GILLIE BE to get an adjective meaning qualified or suitable.

24a  People who have to fork out, say, pre-school (6)
{PAYERS} – an anagram (school) of SAY and PRE produces people who have to fork out.

25a  Matches about to go into time periods (6)
{AGREES} – put RE (about) into AGES (time periods) to get a verb meaning matches or corresponds.

Down Clues

1d  Manages to capture photo in the trees (8 )
{COPPICES} – start with COPES (manages) and put inside this (to capture) PIC (photo) to get dense areas of woodland (trees).

2d  Winning goal to cause a great change (2-3)
{UP-END} – a charade of UP (winning) and END (goal) produces a term meaning to alter significantly.

3d  Pick-me-up needed for downhill runners (3,4)
{SKI LIFT} – cryptic definition of a means of transport on a mountain, used to return downhill skiers whence they came.

5d  Set aside such modesty (7)
{RESERVE} – double definition – a verb meaning to book for future use (set aside), and a noun meaning a restrained manner (modesty).

6d  Morals? You worry, in a loving way (9)
{AMOROUSLY} – an anagram (worry) of MORALS YOU produces an adverb meaning in a loving way.

7d  Pull tabs for a bet (6)
{YANKEE} – start with YANK (pull) and add two tab(let)s of E (Ecstasy) to get a combination bet involving four or more horses.

9d  From available information draw conclusion to repeal tax changes (11)
{EXTRAPOLATE} – an anagram (changes) of TO REPEAL TAX makes a verb meaning to predict something based on what has been observed previously.

14d  Object not so much to regular play, in a desultory manner (9)
{AIMLESSLY} – string together AIM (object), LESS (not so much) and the even (regular) letters of pLaY to get an adverb meaning in a desultory manner or lacking purpose.

15d  How a motivational speaker kept pals working (3,5)
{PEP TALKS} – another partial all-in-one clue – the methods used by a motivational speaker are an anagram (working) of KEPT PALS.

17d  Throws half of butter into shellfish (7)
{LOBSTER} – put together LOBS (throws) and half of butTER to get a shellfish.

18d  Children (not daughter) on grass, showing affection (7)
{KISSING} – remove the D (not daughter) from KIdS then add SING (grass, inform) to get a pleasurable way of showing affection.

19d  Filly cut fast pace (6)
{GALLOP} – replace one pretentious, informal term for a girl, filly, with another one, GAL, then add LOP (cut) to get a fast pace.

21d  Travel after bishop marries one (5)
{BRIDE} – put RIDE (travel) after B(ishop) to get someone being married.

I liked 1a and 3d but my clue of the day is 4a/10a – how about you? We’d love to get a comment from you, and please don’t forget to vote below.



  1. Libellule
    Posted August 20, 2009 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    Re. 24a School as an anagram indicator?

    • Posted August 20, 2009 at 10:49 am | Permalink

      wasn’t sure myself… but when you “school someone” you correct their errant ways I suppose. Oh and boo, you pipped me to the first comment :-)

    • gazza
      Posted August 20, 2009 at 10:53 am | Permalink

      I think it’s ok – as a verb it means to train.

  2. Posted August 20, 2009 at 10:47 am | Permalink

    Woohoo! First comment? I done did this one in but 15 minutes, cleaving my personal best in twain. Sure it was easy, but it was fun! Favourite clue was 4&10a – these are establishments I frequently frequent, yet it was the last to drop as my noggin refused to allow the possibility of an anagram…despite all the pointers.

  3. Posted August 20, 2009 at 11:26 am | Permalink

    21d – I would have thought that this should read “Travel after bishop married one” with the bride being the married one. I haven’t seen what is printed in the paper yet.

    • gazza
      Posted August 20, 2009 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

      Yes – that would make sense. Perhaps someone with the paper could let us know if the clue there is different?

      • mary
        Posted August 20, 2009 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

        the clue in the paper is the same

  4. Phil
    Posted August 20, 2009 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the analysis and great to see some Blackadder on the BD site. Really enjoyed today – a good variety of clues. Now come on England….

  5. Michael
    Posted August 20, 2009 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

    21d is “marries” in the paper.

    Not sure about “now” in 16a. Sounds like the compiler has a common misapprehension about this.

    • gazza
      Posted August 20, 2009 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

      Thanks for the info.
      On 16a, I took “now” to mean “currently”, i.e. the two indivuals of the past currently form the name of a town.

      • Michael
        Posted August 20, 2009 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

        Yes, but some people think the town is named after the two individuals, when in fact the town’s name is much older than that. The clue does not need the word “now” IMHO.

        • Posted August 20, 2009 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

          I agree with Gazza, that the setter is trying to cover the fact that Milton (1608 – 1674) and Keynes (1883 – 1946) could never have met. Whether or not he needed to is debatable.

          It would be great if he (Jay) could enlighten us himself!

          • Michael
            Posted August 20, 2009 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

            Good point!

  6. newtocryptic
    Posted August 20, 2009 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

    Totally agree withGazza – **** enjoyable with a few clues that needed a bit of work. Perfect over lunch level of difficulty (ie about an hour)

  7. mary
    Posted August 20, 2009 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

    they say pride comes before a fall, was so proud to complete yesterday in my fastest time ever… a little under 35 mins….. today i struggle and had to have your help on 4 clues in top left hand corner……never mind back to the drawing board….sigh… :)

    • gazza
      Posted August 20, 2009 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

      You must expect a few minor hiccups from time to time. As long as you’re completing more each week without help, and you take the time to understand the wordplay on the clues you need help on, you’ll soon be completing most of them.
      Anyway, if you could complete them every day without help, you wouldn’t need us any more, and we’d miss out on our little chats!

      • mary
        Posted August 20, 2009 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

        quite right Gazza…..that is part of the whole thing! thanks once again for the encouragement

  8. Jay
    Posted August 20, 2009 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

    Many thanks for all yr comments – they are much appreciated. Delighted to read that most seem to have enjoyed this effort. A couple of points

    16 a I was aware that the the town was not named after them, but Michael is right insofar as the clue works without the “now”
    21 d …bishop marries one. Well, it was deliberate, and bishops do perform marriage ceremonies. I think either version works, and using “married” may have made it trickier with the possible reading of m for married

    • gazza
      Posted August 20, 2009 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

      Thanks for clearing those up.

  9. Hazel
    Posted August 20, 2009 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

    Guessed kissing. Agree with Mary, top left hand had me foxed but NTB.

  10. Barrie
    Posted August 20, 2009 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

    Hard work and since when did baked mean hot? Or beans a hothead? And just for the record this is the UK not the US so could we avoid americanisms such as closet.
    I thought it was a bit sloppy.

    • gazza
      Posted August 20, 2009 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

      20a. bake (intransitive verb) means to be very hot, (as in “I’m baking”); bean is an informal term for head (not a hothead).
      22a. closet means a recess (especially in N America)
      (all courtesy of Chambers)

  11. bigboab
    Posted August 20, 2009 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

    Nice and enjoyable, not too hard and not too easy, good fun!

  12. Paul
    Posted August 20, 2009 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

    Nearly got there – except I led myself up a wrong path with 11a. Using T for time, IE for that’s and D for a poor performance left me with TIED, which does fit but seemed strangely without a definition.

    Had to come here to find BIRD, Drat.

  13. john middleton
    Posted August 20, 2009 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

    for baked beans I put in ginger bread, threw me for some time

    • Julian Hancock
      Posted August 20, 2009 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

      Not surprised Ginger Bread held you up – it must been messy getting 11 letters into 10 squares!

      • Posted August 20, 2009 at 11:54 pm | Permalink

        Welcome to the blog Julian

        Perhaps John might like to explain!

        • john middleton
          Posted August 22, 2009 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

          I I had put in in bread and realised that ginger bread didn’t fit, I had put in
          GIGER never realised I’d missed the n,
          It’s happened before,another daft thing I’ve done is put the answer in the wrong squares
          Terrible thing old age
          and I’ve been lucky winning prizes, How ? you may well ask

          • Posted August 22, 2009 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

            I’m glad you explained that!

  14. Ali P
    Posted August 25, 2009 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    Late comment but……”BIRD” really irritated me. Americans “flip someone the bird” but is this really an audience showing its disapproval? Or am I missing something, as usual?!

    • gazza
      Posted August 25, 2009 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

      I don’t think that to give someone the bird is American. It means to hiss, i.e. behave like a goose, and is theatrical slang. P G Wodehouse used it in 1928 “Would a Rudge audience have given me the bird a few years ago?”.

      • Ali P
        Posted August 26, 2009 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

        Well one learns something every day I guess! Thak you.

  15. Posted August 27, 2009 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

    We have to wait for our paper over here (France) so this one is late. I liked 12A (Interloper) and especially (as a scientist) 9D (Extrapolate).
    If you don’t like Americanisms then stay away from the General Knowledge crosswords!

    • gazza
      Posted August 27, 2009 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

      Hi Bernard and welcome to the blog.