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DT 26043

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26043

Hints and tips by Gazza

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

It’s Friday already and we have another gem from our usual Friday setter, full of immaculately constructed clues with a few chuckles thrown in. I debated whether to give this three or four stars for difficulty, and ended up with four. I’m sure we’ll get comments ranging from “easiest of the week” to “total nightmare” – please do continue to give us your views; it’s the variety of comments that makes the blog so interesting!

As usual the answers are hidden inside the curly brackets – highlight the white space if you want to reveal them.

Across Clues

7a  Opinion-influencer to crumble? (7)
{MOULDER} – double definition – a word which as a noun means someone who can shape or influence opinions, and which as a verb means to turn to dust or crumble (like John Brown’s body?).
ARVE Error: need id and provider

8a  A spender finally ends in debt (7)
{ARREARS} – string together A, R (the last letter, finally, of spendeR) and REARS (ends) to get debts which have not been paid by the due date.

10a  Conceited and obstinate, wanting new leader (9)
{BIGHEADED} – someone who is obstinate can be described as PIGHEADED – change the first letter (wanting new leader) to get a synonym for conceited.

11a  Operatic character appearing in panto — scary! (5)
{TOSCA} – this eponymous character from the opera by Puccini is hidden (appearing) in panTO SCAry.
ARVE Error: need id and provider

12a  Great river in time getting to lake (5)
{LARGE} – put R(iver) inside AGE (time) and prefix (getting to) L(ake) to get another word for great.

13a  After a drink seek battle (9)
{AGINCOURT} – a charade of A GIN (drink) and COURT (to seek) leads to the famous victory for English archers in 1415.

15a  Messenger, Eastern person who’s left something (7)
{LEGATEE} – add E(astern) to LEGATE (diplomatic messenger) to get someone who receives a bequest.

17a  Sultan having healthy food at home (7)
{SALADIN} – the name by which Sultan Ṣalāḥ ad-Dīn Yūsuf ibn Ayyūb (the twelfth century ruler who gave the crusaders so much trouble – serves them right, I say!) is known in the West is made up of SALAD (healthy food) and IN (at home).

18a  Drug — horse is given it before lunchtime? (9)
{BARBITONE} – a charade of BARB (breed of small horse), IT and ONE (traditional hour for taking lunch) produces this sedative.

20a  Expose disreputable person at end of street (5)
{STRIP} – put RIP (disreputable person) after (at end of) ST(reet) to get a verb meaning to expose.

21a  A knight set to become a messenger (5)
{ANGEL} – a charade of A, N (knight in chess notation) and GEL (a verb meaning to set) forms a messenger traditionally depicted with wings (but they don’t all look like this one!).

23a  Food eight spat out (9)
{SPAGHETTI} – this conjures up a vivid picture of a rowing crew taking exception to their prescribed diet! – the food is an anagram (out) of EIGHT SPAT.

24a  Wanted time, study having got put back (7)
{YEARNED} – start with YEAR (time) and then reverse (having got put back) DEN (study) and you end up with a verb meaning longed or wanted.

25a  Disorder could make you enraged (7)
{DERANGE} – an anagram (could make you) of ENRAGED produces a verb meaning to throw out of order.

Down Clues

1d  Bird to move over river descending on one fish (10)
{BUDGERIGAR} – put BUDGE (to move) in front of (over, in a down clue) R(iver) and ahead of (descending on, another down clue construct) I GAR (one fish, like a pike) to get a small cage bird which seems less popular these days than when I was growing up.

2d  Notice the female and male finally forming bond (6)
{ADHERE} – a verb meaning to stick together (forming bond) is made from AD (notice), HER (the female) and the last letter (finally) of (mal)E.

3d  One now down having been up successfully? (8 )
{GRADUATE} – a cryptic definition of someone who has left university (now down), having attended (been up) and gained a degree (successfully).

4d  Look — Queen going out and greeting Commonwealth PM! (6)
{GANDHI} – a slang phrase for to look is to take a GANDER – remove the ER (Queen going out) and add HI (greeting) to get the name of two prime ministers of India (mother and son), who were both assassinated.

5d  Serious fault-finding (8 )
{CRITICAL} – double definition.

6d  Girl keeps going, wasting little time (4)
{LASS} – keeps going is LASTS – drop the T (wasting little time) to leave a girl.

7d  A van that has novel elements? (6,7)
{MOBILE LIBRARY} – a cryptic definition of a vehicle that brings novels (and other types of book) to rural communities.

9d  What’s accepted, in short, by various punters (8,5)
{STARTING PRICE} – this term means the odds on a horse (or greyhound) which were on offer by bookmakers at the time a race started. The abbreviated (in short) form of this is SP and this is to be found (accepted) inside variouS Punters.

14d  See where exhibitor may hide additional goods (10)
{UNDERSTAND} – double definition, the second cryptic – a verb meaning to see or comprehend, and where stock may be kept by a stallholder.

16d  Trivial lapse almost going on to romantic affair (8 )
{TRIFLING} – a synonym for trivial is made from TRIp (lapse almost) on FLING (romantic affair).

17d  Officials set out areas for voters (8 )
{STEWARDS} – officials (at a sporting event, say) are constructed from an anagram (out) of SET followed by WARDS (divisions of a city or borough that are represented by elected councillors).

19d  Cricketer’s leg (6)
{ONSIDE} – once again anyone with no knowledge of cricket is at a serious disadvantage with this cryptic definition! This is an alternative term for the leg side of the wicket (i.e. the side of the pitch where the batsman’s legs are situated when he is facing the bowling – this will be different for a right-hander and a left-hander).

20d  A lot of sand has upset Arab endlessly (6)
{SAHARA} – the name of this enormous desert is formed from a reversal (upset) of HAS followed by most (endlessly) of ARAb.

22d  Idol keeps a hound (4)
{GOAD} – an idol is a GOD – insert (keeps) A to get a verb meaning to hound or provoke.

The clues which entertained me included 23a, 3d and 7d, but my clue of the day is 10a. Please let us know your opinion, and don’t forget to register your vote by clicking on one of the stars below.

24 comments on “DT 26043

  1. Thoroughly enjoyed todays. 7d was a smiler as was 13a and 4d
    15a 18a were the stinkers that took me while
    Thanks for the comments Gazza, I always enjoy reading them

  2. I, also, thoroughly enjoyed this. Today was another day not wasted, as I learnt two new definitions; “barb” and “rip”.

    Many good clues, so difficult to decide on one clue of the day. Joint winners – just – are 7d and 9d.

    1. I’m back – good pouzzle for end of the week. Liked it a lot and I agree with Vince – my joint winners are 7d and 9d.

      Really enjoyed your definition of 9d Gazza as I had the answer but not the knowledge of SP.

        1. Sounds like a more interesting mis-spent youth than mine. I spent my late teens in the north of Canada and horse racing was not something that was available – only since I came over here in the 70’s have I exxpanded my education.

  3. Gazza,
    Seems that you like reviewing Fridays cryptic then? For me 23a has to be the clue of the day. I can only admire it for the surface reading and its simplicity and elegance.

    1. Libellule
      Your assumption is correct! A Cryptic from Giovanni followed by a Toughie from Elgar makes for a very good day!

      1. After 3 and a half hours the toughie is putting up one hell of a fight, I’m still only half way through. I will remember Elgar and his enigmatic variations!

        1. If you’re feeling particularly masochistic there’s another puzzle from Elgar, in his Enigmatist guise, in the Guardian today!

  4. A real treat for today and definitely worth its four star rating. My favourites were 3d and 14d. Had it not been for a 20 minute wait for the train this morning, I would have met my Waterloo in completing it.

    As a slight diversion, is there some inner circle of esoteric knowledge to which the enlightened are admiitted in which they learn the identity of the setters for the cryptic crossword? I often see the name of the setter mentioned. As the paper does not identify our tormentors, I often wonder how do people know?

    1. Prolixic
      There’s no inner circle – there’s published information that normally the Monday puzzle is by Rufus, the Thursday one by Jay and Friday’s by Giovanni, though of course there’s no guarantee that will not change.
      You can get information about setters in section 8.1 here.

    2. Such information as we know has been communicated to us by the setters themselves. Tuesdays ans Wednesdays we have to rely on identifying the styles of the setters or by them visiting the blog.

      Ray Terrell, who often visits as Ray T, advises us to check that day’s Quick Crossword. If all of the clues and answers are single words then it is almost certainly one of his (most days the quick and cryptic puzzles are by the same setter). I will try and point out his next contribution so that you can see for yourself.

      We know that this Tuesday’s puzzle was from Shamus as he left a comment to that effect.

      Giovanni, today’s setter, and Rufus are also frequent visitors.

      1. Many thanks.

        IT are just upgrading our laptops with extra memory. The guy from IT opened the box with the new memory card with the logo “SO-DIMM memory”. I suspect that I will feel this way tacking the Toughie on the way home.

  5. “TOTAL NIGHTMARE”. Not a good day for me.7a and 18a were horrible. 19d threw me off as i had inside. Thank Goodness for Gazza. Hope Saturday’s is a gentle one.

  6. Oh! I found my limits. Most days any I need help with solving from here are met with a “I should have got that if I tried harder” but today there were several clues I would never have worked out. I’ve never finished a Friday one yet. I hope the compiler doesn’t soften up though – it’s for me to up my standards, not for him to lower his. And I promise I will announce on here – probably in capitals – when I finally crack a Friday cryptic . . .

      1. It’s now 8 and a half hours since I started the toughie BD, I had to go for a long walk to clear the brain.
        Thank you enourmously for the hints on the T223, I fear I am nearing the stage when I will have to raise the white flag

  7. I would never have got 7a or 1d, so thanks very much for the John Brown video and the picture of the Budgie!

  8. Another depressing Friday! I think I’m going to stop taking the DT on Friday, the Sports section is rubbish that day as well.

  9. Would you believe it so many goodies all at once, and I’ve been out most of the day on appointments.
    in addition to DT26043, The Week 665 and the October Saga also arrived today. Have managed to finish Saga (always a challenge), but not yet looked at the others :wink:

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