DT 26016

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26016

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

This puzzle provides a good workout, though some will not like the large number of place names and girls’ names. As usual the answers are hidden inside the curly brackets – select the white space to reveal the answer if my hint proves inadequate!

Across Clues

1a  Inherited icon — mate devastated (4,4)
{CAME INTO} – an anagram (devastated) of ICON MATE produces a term meaning inherited.

5a  Scallywag, one providing seafood (6)
{SCAMPI} – follow SCAMP (scallywag) with I (one) to get a type of seafood.

10a  Girl, very sad in stormy Massachusetts resort (7,8 )
{MARTHAS VINEYARD} – the definition is Massachusetts resort and this is a very up-market island off the south of Cape Cod in New England, where President Obama and family are currently on vacation. It achieved notoriety in 1969 when Senator Ted Kennedy drove his car off a bridge there and drowned a girl passenger. Start with the name of a girl, MARTHA, and add an anagram (stormy) of VERY SAD IN. I expect that most people, like me, guessed the answer first and sorted out the wordplay afterwards.

11a  Cunning is the heartless entertainer (7)
{ARTISTE} – string together ART (cunning), IS and the outer letters (heartless) of ThE to form a professional entertainer.

12a  Dilapidated pub, cut off, is run poorly (2,5)
{IN RUINS} – dilapidated is not an anagram indicator here, but the definition. Start with INn (pub) without its last letter (cut off) and add an anagram (poorly) of IS RUN.

13a  Head girl originally defines a filbert (8 )
{HAZELNUT} – a slang term for head, NUT, is preceded (originally) by a girl’s name, HAZEL, to get a filbert.

15a  The fire-raiser’s game? (5)
{POKER} – a clever double definition, with the first one cryptic  – a tool for stirring up the coals in an open fire to make the flames rise is also a card game in which raising (the stakes) plays an important part.

18a  Units destroyed in African capital (5)
{TUNIS} – an anagram (destroyed) of UNITS leads us to this North African city.

20a  Clever repartee in fencing? Not with son (8 )
{WORDPLAY} – a term very familiar to us crossword enthusiasts also means witty repartee. It’s arrived at by taking SWORDPLAY (fencing) and removing (not with) the S(on).

23a  As found in vaccines radiographer brought back (7)
{ARSENIC} – the definition here is AS, which is the symbol for the chemical element which is hidden (found) reversed (brought back) in vacCINES RAdiographer.

25a  In Vermont, an American state (7)
{MONTANA} – a second American state is hidden in VerMONT AN American.

26a  A patterned cloth in torn shreds? All agree (10,5)
{TATTERSALL CHECK} – this fabric (patterned cloth) is named after the horse-blankets originally used at the famous London horse-market. Start with TATTERS (torn shreds) and add ALL and CHECK (agree).

27a  Address Poles about more suffering (6)
{SERMON} – the address traditionally delivered from a pulpit is constructed by putting the two poles around an anagram (suffering) of MORE.

28a  Exclamation of pop star dropping ring (2,6)
{BY GEORGE} – take the stage name of George Alan O’Dowd, who is currently doing time for chaining a male escort to his bedroom wall, and remove the first O (dropping ring) to get an exclamation which is a mild oath, making use of the name of the dragon-slaying English patron saint who was born in Turkey of a Palestinian mother.

Down Clues

1d  Doctor wearing outer garment, sort of jacket (6)
{COMBAT} – the abbreviation which we want for doctor this time is MB – put COAT (outer garment) around it (wearing) to get a sort of jacket.

2d  A wit badly described by brand new US novelist (4,5)
{MARK TWAIN} – put an anagram (badly) of A WIT between (described by) MARK (brand) and N(ew) to get a famous US novelist.

3d  Tina — she changed hurriedly (2,5)
{IN HASTE} – an anagram (changed) of TINA SHE produces a term for hurriedly.

4d  A test involved a small sample only (5)
{TASTE} – an anagram (involved) of A TEST gives us a small sample.

6d  Solve first of conundrums humorist raised (5,2)
{CLEAR UP} – put together C (first letter of Conundrums), (Edward) LEAR (humorist and producer of nonsense verse, as below), and UP (raised) to form a phrasal verb meaning to solve.

There was an Old Man of Nepaul,
From his horse had a terrible fall;
But, though split quite in two,
By some very strong glue,
They mended that Man of Nepaul.

7d  I am to be found in Michigan tourist centre (5)
{MIAMI} – put I AM inside the standard abbreviation for Michigan to get this tourist centre in Florida.

8d  Attempt to follow Asian river craft (8 )
{INDUSTRY} – attempt is TRY – precede this with INDUS (Asian river) to get a word for making things (craft).

9d  Nursing home’s senior nurse left (8 )
{SINISTER} – a senior nurse is a SISTER – put inside this (nursing) IN (home) to make a word, from Latin, meaning on the left side.

14d  A bulletin was sent out about Charlie (8 )
{NEWSCAST} – a synonym for bulletin is produced from an anagram (out) of WAS SENT around C (Charlie, which could be either the letter C in the phonetic alphabet or a slang term for cocaine, depending on what the setter was thinking of!).

16d  Animal in a lake – boar, possibly (5,4)
{KOALA BEAR} – this cuddly animal is constructed from an anagram (possibly) of A LAKE BOAR.

17d  Fictitious place in book about redistribution of tin (8 )
{ATLANTIS} – book is ATLAS – inside this put an anagram (redistribution) of TIN to get this fictitious and legendary island.

19d  Romans wandering around centre of new Italian resort (3,4)
{SAN REMO} – an anagram (wandering) of ROMANS around the centre letter of nEw gives us this resort on the Italian Riviera.

21d  Find fault with a revolutionary’s grand manner (7)
{PANACHE} – a charade of PAN (find fault with), A and CHE (Guevara, revolutionary) generates a word meaning swagger or grand manner.

22d  Cause resentment in joint after start of rehearsal (6)
{RANKLE} – a verb meaning to cause resentment is formed by putting ANKLE (joint) after the first letter of Rehearsal.

24d  Musical instrument, one carried by celebrity (5)
{SITAR} – a celebrity is a STAR – put I (one) inside to get a musical instrument.

25d  Girl’s tropical fish (5)
{MOLLY} – double definition – the name of a girl (a Dublin fishmonger for example), and a tropical fish.

I liked 15a and 28a today, but my favourite clue was 9d. What do you think? – leave us a comment, and please don’t forget to give your opinion of the puzzle by clicking on one of the stars below.


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

    Posted just as I needed help – thanks. Was stuck on 28 a – and when I read your hint I thought – okay – makes sense.
    Liked 23a the best.

    • Jezza
      Posted August 25, 2009 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

      I had the same problem as you, Lea; 28a was my nemesis. I was convinced the first letter was M…. and then the penny dropped!

  2. Vince
    Posted August 25, 2009 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    Yes, I did guess the answer to 10a, then work it out. I also got the answer to 23a from the second part of the clue, before I could work out the definition. Overall, I thought it was a fairly easy crossword, with some good clues. Like you, I liked 28a and 9d, but I also liked 20a and 21d.

  3. Nubian
    Posted August 25, 2009 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    I thought 9d was the best clue I have seen in a long time,nothing in it gave you a clue to the ‘weird’ answer and working it out you either understood or did’nt, depending on your knowledge of Latin. How can it be classed as a dead language if it is allowed in crosswords ?

    • gazza
      Posted August 25, 2009 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

      You don’t need to know Latin to know this word (although admittedly it helps!) – it means on the left side in heraldry.

    • nanaglugglug
      Posted August 25, 2009 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

      Agree with you – I knew I knew the word but hadn’t realised it was of Latin origin – that takes me back!!

  4. Kram
    Posted August 25, 2009 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

    Back to the people and place names, but luckily none of them too obscure. Loved the way you explained 28a Gazza, made me reach for my Shads,down memory lane for 17d!

  5. Will
    Posted August 25, 2009 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

    One or two gems – 9d – but the clues seemed a little samey (lots of anagrams).

  6. bigboab
    Posted August 25, 2009 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

    Too many anagrams and an unremarkable crossword.

  7. Barrie
    Posted August 25, 2009 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

    Excellent puzzple today, perhaps a little heavy on the anagrams but great fun nevertheless. 28a was super!

  8. mary
    Posted August 25, 2009 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

    agree liked 15a and 28a but admit to not finishing this today and needing your help a lot :(

  9. Lizwhiz
    Posted August 25, 2009 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

    Relatively easy due to the huge number of anagrams. :(

    • gazza
      Posted August 25, 2009 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

      12 out of the 30 clues (40%) involve an anagram. I agree that this is too many but is it huge in comparison to the average for this type of puzzle?

      • Will
        Posted August 26, 2009 at 7:27 am | Permalink

        Because the number of anagrams was noticeably more than the average it seemed out of balance. Perhaps it is slightly affected by the order in which the clues are done but overall it is not far off every other one.
        For me, anagrams are usually a pleasing but mecanical puzzle but they lack the zing of other types of clue. They very rarely feature in people’s favourite of the day.

  10. newtocryptic
    Posted August 26, 2009 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    Very enjoyable with 28a my favourite clue