DT 26019

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26019

Hints and tips by Gazza

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

This is my first Friday review and what a pleasure it is to do. Each clue is well crafted with some excellent surface readings. Some may quibble at the presence of five place names but each is very well known.
As usual the answers are hidden inside the curly brackets – just select the white space to reveal them. Also, please take the time to express how much you were entertained by the puzzle by clicking on one of the five stars at the bottom of the review. As always we’d be delighted to get a comment from you.

Across Clues

9a  American city given honour — what a surprise! (5)
{OMAHA} – a city in Nebraska is constructed from OM (Order of Merit, honour) and AHA (what a surprise!).

10a  Ben and Carol excited by a foreign city (9)
{BARCELONA} – an anagram (excited) of BEN and CAROL is followed by A to form this very trendy Spanish city. Two clues down and we’ve already had two place names – some solvers will be becoming apoplectic!

11a  This person is indifferent and is trapped (2-3-2)
{SO-AND-SO} – indifferent is SO-SO – put inside (is trapped) AND to get a person whose name you can’t remember.

12a  Terribly sure? No — inside is very jittery (7)
{NERVOUS} – an anagram (terribly) of SURE NO has V(ery) put inside to produce an adjective meaning jittery.

13a  Laughable commander? Then take the mickey, not half! (5)
{COMIC} – start off with CO (commanding officer, commander) and add half of MICkey to get an adjective meaning humorous or laughable.

14a  Rebel troubled about fever brought by bug (9)
{BELEAGUER} – an anagram (troubled) of REBEL is put around AGUE (fever) to make a verb meaning to pester or bug.

16a  Fresh pulp romances written about — one of our features (9,6)
{NEWSPAPER COLUMN} –  Start with NEW (fresh) then add an anagram (written about) of PULP ROMANCES to get a feature in your daily reading material. Those doing the puzzle on Clued Up will have realised that the final word of the clue “features” is missing there – leaving out the odd word is a cunning way of making the puzzle a bit harder!!

19a  Conclusion sees trendy criminal about to be jailed (9)
{INFERENCE} – a trendy criminal is an IN FENCE – put inside (to be jailed) RE (about) to get a deduction or conclusion.

21a  Almost completely enclose old people (5)
{INCAS} – an alternative spelling of encase (completely enclose) is INCASE – drop the final letter (almost completely) to leave the South American Indians who built an empire prior to the Spanish conquest.

23a  Humorous writer, awkward blighter, hard to shake off (7)
{GILBERT} – an anagram (awkward) of BLIGhTER with the H (hard) dropped gives us the surname of the lyricist who collaborated with Sir Arthur Sullivan to produce fourteen comic operas. “Awkward blighter” appears to be an apt description since, according to a contemporary, he “was quick-tempered, often unreasonable, and he could not bear to be thwarted”.

25a  Annoyance comes with endless dull work after tea (7)
{CHAGRIN} – dull work is GRINd – take off the last letter (endless) and precede it with CHA (informal word for tea) to make a synonym for annoyance.

27a  Unimportant happenings given no individual broadcasts (3-6)
{NON-EVENTS} – “broadcasts” often signals a homophone or an anagram but this time it means “gives expression to” or VENTS – precede it with NONE (no individual) to produce unimportant happenings.

28a  German city has only 50% of the things definitely needed (5)
{ESSEN} – the things definitely needed are the ESSENTIALS – the first half of this is the name of an industrial city in the Ruhr Valley. This clue actually works on two levels because Essen in German means food, thus providing 50% of food and drink, the essentials of life.

Down Clues

1d  Grumbles, having lost heart in place of battle (4)
{MONS} – grumbles is MOANS – remove the middle letter (lost heart) to be left with a town in Belgium which was the scene of the first major battle in WWI.

2d  Bloke upset having eaten friend’s jelly (6)
{NAPALM} – bloke is MAN – reverse this (upset) and put PAL (friend) inside (having eaten) to get a highly-inflammable petroleum jelly used in various twentieth-century wars, and most notably by US forces in Vietnam. Its use against civilian targets was banned by a United Nations convention in 1980.

3d  Capability, perhaps shown by naughty lap dancers (10)
{LANDSCAPER} – Lancelot “Capability” Brown (1716 – 1783) was the most famous garden designer in English history who laid out the gardens for many of the great houses of England. To get a job description for him make an anagram (naughty) of LAP DANCERS. I love the surface reading.

4d  Take in sailors, having a ball (6)
{ABSORB} – a charade of ABS (able seamen, sailors) and ORB (sphere, ball) forms a verb meaning to soak up or take in.

5d  Grey, not half, a lunar ground and made of fine particles (8 )
{GRANULAR} – put together the first half of GRey and an anagram (ground) of A LUNAR to get an adjective meaning consisting of fine particles.

6d  Audibly cut the outer surface off fruit (4)
{PEAR} – the definition is fruit and the one that we want is a homophone (audibly) of PARE (cut the outer surface off).

7d  Island’s city house, no outstandingly impressive thing (8 )
{HONOLULU} – what we are seeking is the capital city of the island state of Hawaii – start with HO (house) and add NO and a slang term for an outstandingly impressive thing (and the stage name of Marie McDonald McLaughlin Lawrie).

8d  ‘Arm’s things’ is wrong — they’re ‘leg’s things’! (10)
{HAMSTRINGS} – an anagram (wrong) of ARM’S THINGS produces these tendons at the back of the knee which highly-trained professional athletes always seem to be straining, pulling or snapping, whereas they do not pose a problem for most of us mere mortals.

13d  Good in Europe perhaps dependent on chance (10)
{CONTINGENT} – put G(ood) inside one of the world’s great land masses (of which Europe is an example, signalled by perhaps) to get an adjective meaning subject to some chance event.

15d  A fellow keeping partner outside home is detested (10)
{ABOMINATED} – this clue to a word meaning detested is like a Russian matryoshka doll – the outside layer is A BOD (a fellow), then inside that we have MATE (partner) and the innermost layer is IN (home).

17d  Wife and a couple of females sitting on the heather prattling (8 )
{WAFFLING} – string together W(ife), A, FF (a couple of females) and LING (heather) to get a synonym for prattling.

18d  Repentant writer, one needing shelter (8 )
{PENITENT} – a charade of PEN (writer), I (one) and TENT (shelter) produces an adjective meaning repentant.

20d  Cold got by you and me in river — what’s the justification? (6)
{EXCUSE} – the two favourite rivers in cryptic crosswords are the Dee and the EXE – this time we want the second, and inside it put C(old) and US (you and me) to construct a word for an attempt at justification.

22d  Pet worries saint (6)
{CARESS} – a synonym for the verb to stroke or pet is manufactured from CARES (worries) and S(aint).

24d  Wish for ambassador to be lacking nothing (4)
{ENVY} – an ambassador (“an honest man sent abroad to lie for his country”, Sir Henry Wotton, 1612) is an ENVOY – take out the O (lacking nothing) to leave a verb meaning to wish for something that belongs to another.

26d  Number seen in Felixstowe! (4)
{NINE} – the number that we see there is the Roman numeral IX.

I enjoyed many of the clues, notably 11a, 23a and 28a, and my clue of the day is 3d. How about you? Please leave us a comment and don’t forget to vote.


  1. Libellule
    Posted August 28, 2009 at 10:49 am | Permalink

    Glad you enjoyed yourself. I have to agree with you clue of the day has to be 3d.

    • Posted August 28, 2009 at 10:54 am | Permalink

      For those not familiar with the “trick”, it is worth pointing out that putting Capability as the first word in the clue disguises the fact that, as a name, it requires capitalisation.

  2. Barrie
    Posted August 28, 2009 at 11:01 am | Permalink

    Amazing puzzle today . I cannot do a single clue!! I can usually start Fridays but not today.

  3. Vince
    Posted August 28, 2009 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    I enjoyed it, but having to guess at 16a was very unsatisfactory. I, like you, think there must be something missing from the clue.

    I, also, think that it’s stretching the definition a bit to get “envy” from “wish for”!

    My favourite was 3d.

    • Posted August 28, 2009 at 11:09 am | Permalink

      The paper has “features” as the final word of 16 across, which makes more sense!

      • gazza
        Posted August 28, 2009 at 11:11 am | Permalink

        Thanks, Dave.

        • Libellule
          Posted August 28, 2009 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

          Giovanni definitely has a hotline to Clued Up, The online version has been replaced and 16a reads correctly now.

          • gazza
            Posted August 28, 2009 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

            Thanks Libellule,
            As you say it’s corrected now on Clued Up if you select it from a list (and it seemed happy to let me solve it again!), but it was still incorrect when I selected it for play or print from the home page – so I’ll leave the comment in the review for the time being.

  4. Ranger
    Posted August 28, 2009 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    16a The paper version reads “fresh pulp romances written about – one of our features” and I would have got it much sooner if I hadn’t assumed fresh signalled the anagram! Agree about 3d.

  5. bigboab
    Posted August 28, 2009 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

    Loved it, especially 3d and 16a.

    • newtocryptic
      Posted August 28, 2009 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

      Once again I totally agree with you! Only clue I’m not convinced by is 22d. Is S for saint a common part of crossword clues?

      • gazza
        Posted August 28, 2009 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

        I don’t think it’s that common, but it is in Chambers.

  6. Lea
    Posted August 28, 2009 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

    Enjoyable puzzle today. Had the paper version for a change so didn’t miss out on 16a. I liked 2d and 3d.
    Thanks for the reason for 20d – got the answer but didn’t know why.

  7. mrpauly
    Posted August 28, 2009 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    Although I found 8d quite an easy one it has to be my favourite simpy for finding arm’sthings out of hamstrings. It’s nice when the anagrams tie in like that.

    I didn’t get 3d. I was too stuck on looking for another meaning for capability as an adjective rather than a name (which I hadn’t heard of until today!) I now appreciate the ingenuity.

    • gazza
      Posted August 28, 2009 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

      hi mrpauly and welcome to the blog.

  8. Alasdair
    Posted August 28, 2009 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

    Excellent puzzle today, nearly managed to finish the whole thing. 17d was probably my favourite owing to its amusing surface reading.

  9. Edi
    Posted August 28, 2009 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

    Very enjoyable puzzle today. trickier than restt of the week. 22d threw me as i was used to the usual use of saint. 2d my favourite.

  10. Little Dave
    Posted August 28, 2009 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

    Pondered a lot with 21a and was unaware that “encase” and “incase” were linked. Otherwise found today’s okay – easier than yesterdays and my favourite was 4d. I anticipate that tomorrow’s puzzle will revert to usual Saturday test standard.

  11. mary
    Posted August 29, 2009 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    Good morning Dave…. have finished todays 26020 and I’m sure all you experts are going to say too easy but although i have finished it i’m not sure it is all right and don’t understand all the clues so i will wait patiently for your hints!! :) will miss u all next week when i am away

    • Posted August 29, 2009 at 11:12 am | Permalink

      I’ve been having a lazy morning, and haven’t started the puzzle yet, Mary.

      We’ll all miss you – enjoy your holiday.

      • Lea
        Posted August 29, 2009 at 11:55 am | Permalink

        Mary – enjoy your holiday.
        I too have done 26020 and found it quite good – easy to all the experts I am sure but it makes me feel good when I can do it without the hints.
        Only one I don’t understand is 25d – fish hung up, salted initially before first smoke appeared. I have the answer BUT…..
        Big Dave – could you either email me when you do it or include it in the hints please. Thanks

        • mary
          Posted August 29, 2009 at 11:57 am | Permalink

          me too ….. thanks lea

          • mary
            Posted August 29, 2009 at 11:59 am | Permalink

            i understand how i got the answer but i have never heard of the word i ended up with!!!!

            • Libellule
              Posted August 29, 2009 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

              Part of the key to solving 25d is the word “initially”
              and the defintion is fish, then you need first smoke….

              • mary
                Posted August 29, 2009 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

                5d … i can actually help here!
                take a word for fortification and remove a 3 letter word for fighting and you have a word for huge…. sorry if i’m wrong… Libellule??

                • mary
                  Posted August 29, 2009 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

                  25d is that actually a name of a fish???

                  • Lea
                    Posted August 29, 2009 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

                    I have just looked it up in Chambers – duh – yes it is “any of various kinds of dogfish when used as food”.

                    • mary
                      Posted August 29, 2009 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

                      thanks Lea

                • Libellule
                  Posted August 29, 2009 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

                  That does indeed seem to be the wordplay for 5d :-)

                  • mary
                    Posted August 29, 2009 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

                    thanks :)

  12. Edi
    Posted August 29, 2009 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

    had a flying start this morning. got confused. now stuck on 5d and 25d

    • Libellule
      Posted August 29, 2009 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

      See comments above.

  13. john W
    Posted August 29, 2009 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

    26dn – it had to be NINE or NONE. I thought NINE because seeN IN fElix… (which would have been pretty poor!)
    Anyway, the IX for NINE is a nice one.