DT 26046

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26046

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

Regular solvers will doubtless recognise the style of today’s setter – all single-word answers, a good variety of clue types and few proper nouns. It was a good workout with some smiles along the way.

As usual the answers are hidden inside the curly brackets, so that you do not see them by accident; if you do want to see one, just highlight the white space inside the brackets.

All comments are welcome, whether from regular contributors or first timers.

Across Clues

1a  Scrap from ring leader in bar (7)
{EXCERPT} – put R (first letter, leader, of Ring) inside EXCEPT (bar) to get a fragment or scrap.

5a  Hanging produces wheeze around death (7)
{PENDANT} – an adjective meaning hanging is produced by putting PANT (wheeze) around END (death).

9a  Back issue by Sunday paper (5)
{TIMES} – issue is EMIT – reverse (back) this and add S(unday) to get a daily newspaper.

10a  Quiet occupant of the White House? (9)
{PRESIDENT} – a cryptic definition of the U.S. commander-in-chief  – put together P (piano, quiet in musical terminology) and RESIDENT (occupant).

11a  Join force for venture (10)
{ENTERPRISE} – a charade of ENTER (join) and PRISE (force).

12a  Quarry with hard core (4)
{PITH} – a quarry is a PIT – add H (hard, as used to classify a pencil) to get the innermost part or core.

14a  Record terribly neat solo, getting down! (12)
{DISCONSOLATE} – start with DISC (record) and add an anagram (terribly) of NEAT SOLO and you end up with an adjective meaning very sad or down.

18a  Must I require pet’s correction? (12)
{PREREQUISITE} – the definition is must (as in “it’s a must”) – generate an anagram (correction) of I REQUIRE PET’S.

21a  Deception by new right (4)
{LIEN} – a right (over a property, for example) is constructed by putting together LIE (deception) and N(ew).

22a  Fine piano had us transported (10)
{DIAPHANOUS} – an anagram (transported) of PIANO HAD US leads to an adjective meaning transparent, light or fine.

25a  Bare or nude, and dancing (9)
{UNADORNED} – an anagram (dancing) of OR NUDE AND produces a synonym for bare.

26a  First bars of wrought iron retaining temperature (5)
{INTRO} – the opening passage (first bars) of a piece of music is generated by an anagram (wrought) of IRON with T(emperature) inside (retaining).

27a  Waiter’s ‘eavy casserole starter (7)
{STEWARD} – because the initial H is dropped from Heavy we have to do the same with its equivalent, Hard, to leave ARD – precede this with STEW (casserole) to get someone who looks after the passengers on a ship or plane (waiter).

28a  Next remedy is catching radical (7)
{EXTREME} – a word meaning far-reaching (radical) is hidden (catching) in nEXT REMEdy.

Down Clues

1d  Joins up with English to get respect (6)
{ESTEEM} – a synonym for respect is formed from MEETS (joins) and E(nglish) which have to be reversed (up, in a down clue).

2d  They arrive followed by empty tails? (6)
{COMETS} – a neat attempt at an all-in-one clue – start with COME (arrive) and follow this with the outer letters (empty) of TailS.

3d  After sleep, showered, getting sober (10)
{RESTRAINED} – a charade of REST (sleep) and RAINED (showered) produces a synonym for sober.

4d  He recorded hit by Queen (5)
{TAPER} – put together TAP (hit) and ER (the Queen) to get a cryptic definition of someone who used to (note the past tense) record music.

5d  Boors grabbing hot birds (9)
{PHEASANTS} – put PEASANTS (boors) around H(ot).

6d  Brad and Angelina initially in love… (4)
{NAIL} – love (score in tennis) is NIL – put the initial letter of Angelina inside to get a small metal spike of which brad is an example.

7d  …Brad Pitt is one man I care about (8 )
{AMERICAN} – an anagram (about) of MAN I CARE produces the nationality enjoyed by Brad Pitt (and about 300 million others).

8d  More irritable row, cut inside (8 )
{TETCHIER} – a comparative meaning more irritable is manufactured from TIER (row) with ETCH (cut) inside.

13d  Bond embracing girl? Say it isn’t so! (10)
{CONTRADICT} – put CONTRACT (bond) around (embracing) DI (name of a girl) to get a verb meaning to assert the opposite of what has been said (say it isn’t so).

15d  Advised education reform (9)
{CAUTIONED} – a verb meaning advised (in the way a police officer may advise you of your legal rights) is produced from an anagram (reform) of EDUCATION.

16d  Goes like the clappers! (8 )
{APPLAUDS} – an amusing cryptic definition of what an enthusiastic member of an audience does to show his appreciation.

17d  Power of left constantly on decline (8 )
{LEVERAGE} – string together L(eft), EVER (constantly) and AGE (decline) to get a word meaning influence or power.

19d  It may be hit to find nerve (6)
{BOTTLE} – double definition – what someone may hit when drinking excessively, and a slang term for courage or nerve.

20d  Having debarked tree with metal base? (6)
{ASHORE} – a description of where you find yourself when you’ve debarked (or disembarked) is made up of ASH (tree) with ORE (metal) under it (base, in a down clue).

23d  Father’s shave around start of day (5)
{PADRE} – to shave is to PARE – put the start letter of Day inside to get a chaplain in the armed forces (father).

24d  Letter to the Corinthians? (4)
{IOTA} – a cryptic definition of what was to the Corinthians, and all other Greeks, the ninth letter of their alphabet, is cleverly disguised by a reference to one of the many letters of St. Paul.

The clues I particularly enjoyed today included 25a, 7d and 24d, but my clue of the day is 16d. What about you? – leave us a comment, and please take the time to record your vote by clicking on one of the stars below.


  1. Vince
    Posted September 29, 2009 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    I thought I wasn’t going to enjoy this, but once I got started, I found that I did. In the end, I thought it was excellent. There were a number of clever clues that made me smile: all the ones you mention, plus many more. Too many to select a favourite.

  2. mary
    Posted September 29, 2009 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    Morning Gazza, had to have help with 24d and 27a otherwise for me i finished it in relitively quick time, thanks once again off to repot my oleander bushes now, which i bought from the Daily Telegraph :)

  3. bigboab
    Posted September 29, 2009 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

    Good fun today, I liked 27a and 16d but I particularly enjoyed the picture for 25a.

  4. Prolixic
    Posted September 29, 2009 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

    I thought that today’s puzzle was excellent. Well crafted clues, good surface readings, humour, not too easy nor too hard – all the reasons why I like the DT cryptic crossword. My favourite was 13d but there were many others that were close contenders. The only weak spot was 24d where you needed the cross-checked letters to get the right answer (unless I am missing something well hidden). Would “Small letter to the Corithians” have worked better to distinguish the right answer from either “Beta” or “Zeta”?

    • gazza
      Posted September 29, 2009 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

      On 24d that didn’t occur to me, because I had both checking letters by the time I came to it, but you’re right.

  5. Libellule
    Posted September 29, 2009 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

    Have only just done this – I normally do the normal cryptic first thing in the morning. But today was toughie blog day, so the normal cryptic had to wait. I think we have been spoilt today – both the normal cryptic and the toughie were excellent…..

  6. Phil
    Posted September 29, 2009 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

    Storming crossword today from the one-word wonder and great review from Gazza. Happy days!

  7. RayT
    Posted September 29, 2009 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

    Many thanks to Gazza for the review, and thanks to the others for their favourable comments.

  8. Barrie
    Posted September 29, 2009 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

    Not impressed! Too obscure for my liking.

    • gazza
      Posted September 29, 2009 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

      Can you give us some examples of what you consider to be obscure?

  9. Lea
    Posted September 29, 2009 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

    I have only just got to do this and enjoyed it immensely. I found some of the long words clever – enjoyed 14a for example. Had to resort to your hint for 24d Gazza – thank you. Would never have got that except by guessing the missing letters.

  10. nanaglugglug
    Posted September 29, 2009 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

    Just right for us – thoroughly enjoyed it and not too much of a walk over.

  11. James
    Posted September 29, 2009 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

    Not a very good attempt on my behalf today, but thoroughly enjoyed the explanations posted above for the ones I missed. 24d confuses me in that it seems it could have been a number of possible answers which is a little anoying, unless I’m missing something?

    Thank you once again for the wonderful site :)

    • gazza
      Posted September 29, 2009 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

      On 24d, in isolation the answer could have been a number of Greek letters (see comment by Prolixic above), but taking into account the checking letters there’s only one possibility.

  12. Little Dave
    Posted September 29, 2009 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

    Nice crossword – enjoyed it a lot.

  13. Jane
    Posted September 29, 2009 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

    Normally have trouble with this setter’s puzzle but delighted to say I cracked it today…. very satisfying!

  14. NathanJ
    Posted September 30, 2009 at 12:38 am | Permalink

    Hi all

    I really liked this one. I actually checked the quick puzzle before doing this one and noted all the clues were one word so I knew the setter would be Ray Terrell. As usual a great puzzle by RayT. I really like his style.