DT 26067

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26067

Hints and tips by Gazza

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment **

I look forward to the Friday puzzle, but I must admit to feeling a bit disappointed with this one. There’s one amusing clue at 7d, but otherwise I thought that it was fairly mundane stuff, compared to the usual Friday fare. Do you agree or do you think I’m being excessively curmudgeonly? – let me know via a comment.
As usual, if you want to see an answer you’ll find it hidden between the curly brackets – just highlight the white space to reveal it.

Across Clues

1a  A party with 100 in the French place — part of growing up (11)
{ADOLESCENCE} – the stage of life that has been described as just one big walking pimple is constructed from A, DO (party), LE (French the) and SCENE (place) with C (Roman numeral for 100) inside.

8a  Paper cleaner applied to glass (5,6)
{DAILY MIRROR} – put DAILY (char, cleaner) in front of MIRROR (glass).

11a  Finished the port duke left out (4)
{OVER} – leave the D (duke) out of the port of DOVER.

12a  Money for old rope sometimes (4)
{PESO} – the monetary unit of a number of countries is hidden in roPE SOmetimes. There doesn’t appear to be any “hidden” indicator in the clue.

13a  Newcomer in part of hospital given verbal onslaught (7)
{ENTRANT} – put together ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat Department) and RANT (verbal onslaught).

15a  Avoid time after lad has gone to bed (7)
{BOYCOTT} – put T(ime) after BOY (lad) and COT (bed) to get a verb meaning to shun, which is named after a 19th century Irish land agent and has nothing at all to do with the “greatest living Yorkshireman”.

16a  Grumble from old lady possessing nothing? (5)
{GROAN} – old lady is GRAN – put O (zero, nothing) inside.

17a  Pothole — beware! (4)
{CAVE} – double definition, the second being dated schoolboy slang for “watch out!” from the Latin.

18a  Goddess gets a flower in Oxford (4)
{ISIS} – another double definition – an Egyptian goddess of fertility is also the name given to the river Thames when it is flowing through Oxford.

19a  Cold fish, maiden, about to become trainee doctor? (5)
{MEDIC} – a name given to a medical student is formed from C (cold), IDE ( a freshwater fish related to the chub) and M(aiden) which all have to be reversed (about).

21a  Everyone wants philosopher to be a bringer of comfort (7)
{ALLAYER} – a charade of ALL (everyone) and (A. J.) AYER (20th century philosopher) produces an awkward word which would mean, if it were ever used, someone who lessens fears.

22a  Head of college left prematurely, evidently (7)
{CLEARLY} – string together C(ollege), L(eft) and EARLY (prematurely).

23a  European native not right — socially awkward type? (4)
{GEEK} – remove the R (not right) from G(R)EEK.

26a  Disturbance involving half of Scottish university (4)
{STIR} – double definition. University here is a red herring – the term used might have been burgh, castle or anything related to this strategically significant Scottish city where King James VI (later James I of England) was raised. We just want the first half of the city’s name which also means a disturbance.

27a  Zircon, say, found in American park? (11)
{YELLOWSTONE} – zircon is an example (signalled by say) of what the name of this American national park (home to the geyser Old Faithful) describes.

28a  Another imp’s devilish disliker of people (11)
{MISANTHROPE} – an anagram (devilish) of ANOTHER IMP’S produces the name given to someone who hates the whole of mankind.

Down Clues

2d  Beloved animal in the wild, we hear (4)
{DEAR} – “we hear” signals a sound-alike of DEER.

3d  ‘Having a lazy time’ — lots of love, Heather (7)
{LOLLING} – heather, in crossword-land, is very often LING – precede this with the abbreviation for Lots Of Love (or, indeed, Laugh Out Loud).

4d  Approximately what you’d get after adding up, you’d say (4)
{SOME} – another homophone (you’d say), this time of SUM (what you’d get after adding up).

5d  Rely on a run being in the first part of the programme? (5,2)
{EARLY ON} – an anagram (run) of RELY ON A.

6d  Enclosure in supermarket store? (4)
{COOP} – double definition, the second the name of a supermarket chain which you would normally see containing a hyphen.

7d  Extra on the bill — cafe’s foremost swindle? (5,6)
{COVER CHARGE} – start with C (foremost letter of Café) and add OVERCHARGE (swindle) and you have an extra amount added to your bill in some restaurants before you’ve even ordered. It sounds like the setter has a heartfelt grievance here!

8d  End having a depression in hot desert (5,6)
{DEATH VALLEY} – a charade of DEATH (end) and VALLEY (depression) leads to the driest and hottest location in North America.

9d  Protest from mean rotters going berserk (11)
{REMONSTRATE} – a verb meaning to protest is formed from an anagram (going berserk) of MEAN ROTTERS.

10d  People predicting hot years getting excited in cry for help (11)
{SOOTHSAYERS} – put an anagram (getting excited) of HOT YEARS inside SOS (cry for help) to get people who are supposed to be able to see the future.

14d  Judge someone making an effort to improve (5)
{TRIER} – double definition.

15d  Is put into taxi for return journey — simple! (5)
{BASIC} – put IS inside CAB and then reverse the lot (return journey) – simples, as the meerkat might say!

19d  Your crossword setter not exciting? A bit of a brain! (7)
{MEDULLA} – combine ME (setter), DULL (not exciting) and A to get the part of the brain that tapers off into the spinal cord.

20d  Group of fifty imprisoned by US general (7)
{CLUSTER} – put L (Roman numeral for fifty) inside General George CUSTER, one of a number of historical figures who achieved fame by being a failure, like Guy Fawkes and Eddie “the eagle” Edwards, to get a synonym for group.

24d  Take picture to show this piece of headgear (4)
{KEPI} – this military cap is hidden (to show) in taKE PIcture.

25d  Second rebel gets hit (4)
{SWAT} – put together S(econd) and WAT Tyler, who led the rebellion against a poll tax imposed by an oppressive regime (sound familiar?).

26d  Upturned vessels fracture (4)
{SNAP} – reverse (upturned) PANS (vessels).

My favourite clue today is 7d – how about you? Let us know your views via a comment, and please don’t forget to grade the puzzle by clicking on one of the stars below.

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50 Comments

  1. gnomethang
    Posted October 23, 2009 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    Gotta agree gazza. Not much to write home about, unlike recent Friday fare.

    • Libellule
      Posted October 23, 2009 at 11:21 am | Permalink

      Ditto

  2. Yoshik
    Posted October 23, 2009 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    Not as taxing as the normal Friday fare but still one that will encourage those trying to grasp the nuances of being a cruciverbalist.

    Those of us who frequent restaurants probably by and large hate 7d. I prefer freedom of choice.

  3. Nubian
    Posted October 23, 2009 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    I have just finished it and can’t remember doing it. I must have slept through it
    very poor for Friday, I should be tearing my hair out by now.
    I think I will go and make some of Big Dave’s CTM to wake me up
    Thanks for the hints Gazza

  4. Prolixic
    Posted October 23, 2009 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    I agree that it was not as exciting as previous weeks – perhaps Giovanni (if indeed it was he) took 19d too literally. There were some nice clues in there though. My favourites were 7d and, by a short whisker, 3d.

  5. bigmacsub
    Posted October 23, 2009 at 11:45 am | Permalink

    Is it really Friday already? I agree with 19d; He duller!

  6. Lea
    Posted October 23, 2009 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    Well guys – I enjoyed doing it over my Friday morning coffee after going to the gym. I think the Clueless Club will enjoy it.

    I must agree though that it wasn’t a tough one today but relaxing. I liked 8d – as my clue of the day. 7d was good as well but agree with Yoshik – hate paying it.

    • Toby
      Posted October 23, 2009 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

      A touch condescending perhaps?

  7. Giovanni
    Posted October 23, 2009 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    As I said before, if I don’t get the humdrum verdict some of the time I’ll be disappointed. Remember that I am trying to cope for a wide spectrum of abilities. However, I’ve done quite well with the stars on Clued Up today, so there! If you want a slightly tougher challenge from me today, go to Pasquale in The Guardian.

    • gazza
      Posted October 23, 2009 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

      Giovanni
      Thanks for confirming that it was one of yours – I did wonder. I’ll take your advice and try the Guardian.

    • Yoshik
      Posted October 23, 2009 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

      I for one entirely sympathise with your comments. We were all beginners once. Wisdom is developed over time, but to do so one must be nurtured. No complaints from me.

      • Lea
        Posted October 23, 2009 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

        I agree Yoshik. As a relative newcomer it is always a pleasure to have good clues combined with straightforward and sensible cryptics. Thank you Giovanni

    • Lea
      Posted October 23, 2009 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

      I had a choice – try the Toughie (and the comments of how difficult it was put me off) or try your Guardian puzzle.

      So I went to the site and did it – thank you. It was an excellent xword and I really enjoyed it. Had to “cheat” on 16d as had never heard of the word.

      Big Dave – probably not what you want to hear on this site but thought I would acknowledge Giovanni’s comment.

      Lea

      • gazza
        Posted October 23, 2009 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

        Lea
        I agree that the Pasquale puzzle is excellent – if I didn’t know better I’d think that he and Giovanni (at least as far as today goes) were completely different people.
        Don’t be put off by comments about how difficult the Toughie is today – I reckon it’s of only average difficulty for a Toughie and it is really entertaining with some excellent clues – give it a go!

        • Lea
          Posted October 23, 2009 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

          Well I started it and now am going out for a while so will do more when I get home. I try to do as much as I can before I look at the hints. I am improving but find some setters easier than others. Not so much the puzzles are easier just I seem to be on a wave length.

          Thanks for the encouragement.

      • Posted October 23, 2009 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

        On the contrary – I often go there if the Telegraph puzzles have been too easy (no, that’s not every day!)

        I heard a tweet that Enigmatist (Elgar) could well be in the Guardian next Tuesday (27th).

        • Lea
          Posted October 23, 2009 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

          Not that I have discovered the site I will visit it more frequently. I have found that Elgar and Giovanni seem to suit my brain waves so will go for it on Tuesday. Thanks

    • Kram
      Posted October 23, 2009 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

      Sadly us OAP’s can’t affort to buy two top class papers daily!.

      • Posted October 23, 2009 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

        Same here Kram and I’m just a mere stripling. However, if you want to keep in trim with top class crozzers at no cost the Financial Times and The Independent provide their crosswords online for free.

        The FT is a PDF file which means you’ll need to print it.
        The Indie is interactive only.

      • gazza
        Posted October 23, 2009 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

        Kram
        You can get the Guardian puzzles (do them on-line or print them out) for free here.

  8. Ali P
    Posted October 23, 2009 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

    As a member of the Clueless club and having read all your comments, I am now quite excited about attempting this on the train to Wales this afternoon. Much more excited than I am about climbing Snowdon in the rain!

    • mary
      Posted October 23, 2009 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

      Snowdon is beautiful and if the weather is the same as here in West Wales today it is beautiful….Mary another member of the Clueless club :)

      • Ali P
        Posted October 23, 2009 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

        Thanks Mary. I am looking forward to Snowdon really, it’s just that the forecast is a bit soggy!

  9. Big Boab
    Posted October 23, 2009 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

    I was a bit disappointed, however there were some clues which I enjoyed e.g. 3d,7d and 8a, I didn’t like 21a.

  10. Posted October 23, 2009 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

    One of the reasons I’m a great fan of the Don is that he has the ability to offer various levels of difficulty – unlike one-trick-pony yours truly – almost on a whim. Some will have found this almost absurdly easy, but newer solvers will have gained huge satisfaction from a finishable puzzle.
    Pity about the missing hidden indicator at 12a. I suspect this may have been a repro error rather than one committed by the setter and missed by the editor.

  11. Vince
    Posted October 23, 2009 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

    For those of us who work for a living, it was nice to have something to ease us into the weekend.

    12a. I agree about the lack of “hidden” indicator. It took me along time before the penny dropped.

    19d. I thought this was a badly worded clue. Medulla is not specific to the brain – it is the inner portion of any organ, hair or tissue. The clue could have suggested that the brain is an example.

    15a. Gazza, isn’t your reference to the “greatest living Yorkshireman” an oxymoron???

    • gazza
      Posted October 23, 2009 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

      Vince
      15a. I’m not too sure about the oxy- bit, but as for the rest….

      • Vince
        Posted October 23, 2009 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

        Well, he is an ex-cricketer …!

        • Posted October 23, 2009 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

          I always thought an oxymoron was someone who believes those acne removal products work.

  12. Franny
    Posted October 23, 2009 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    Thank you, Yoshik, for your comments. As one of the Clueless, puzzles like these make me feel nurtured, and will, I hope, develop my wisdom.

    The American West was well in evidence this time, with its National Parks, its deserts and its Indian-fighting generals — but my favourite clue was 3d. Thanks, Giovanni, this was not humdrum for me. :-)

  13. Greenhorn
    Posted October 23, 2009 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    First ever solved without aids or looking on here. A big boost even if wasn’t hard for the pros.

  14. Posted October 23, 2009 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

    I would hardly descibe this puzzle as humdrum. Without Gazza’s help I would not have understood 21a (I’ve never heard of this philosopher) nor would I have understood the answer to 25d (I’ve haven’t heard of Wat Tyler). Also 28a across is a new word for me, recognised the anagram and worked it from there. Enjoyed the crossword a great deal, and was stretching enough for a mere mortal such as myself!

    • gazza
      Posted October 23, 2009 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

      Hi Alan – welcome to the blog.
      Sorry for the delay in getting your first post moderated – any further comments you make should appear straight away.

  15. Jaybee
    Posted October 23, 2009 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    Encouraging, now that I have been visiting this site for a week, to find that I could do more than half the crossword without help.

    Sorry if some of you were not challenged but it’s a real boost for those of us who struggle.

    Favourite clue – 1a, 7d was good too

    • gazza
      Posted October 23, 2009 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

      Jaybee
      My little gripe was not that it was too easy. On the contrary, on days when there is a Toughie for those who want something harder, I think that the standard crossword should be relatively easy. I didn’t enjoy it all that much because there were very few clues where, having got the answer, I thought “Wow, that was a good clue”.

    • Nubian
      Posted October 23, 2009 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

      This has been a ‘mea culpa’ week for me. I realise now how smug I have sometimes sounded, especially today. I vow never to be so passe about easy again.We are all achieving the level we are at with a view of the summit, some are still at base camp and indeed should be encouraged. Some like Big Dave and Gazza are at the peak shouting instructions and guiding our way up. We are all on the same mountain so I am going to enjoy the view and keep climbing with occassional words of support for others stuck on a crag or glacier.
      I’ve gone all preachy now so I’ll shut up.

      • Posted October 23, 2009 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

        Nubian

        Sometimes Gazza and I are sitting in the comfort of a cafe at the foot of this mountain, shouting the directions through a megaphone!

  16. newtocryptic
    Posted October 23, 2009 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

    I think some comments are a bit harsh. This was a gentle workout with a few nice clues particularly 1a and 8a which set the puzzle up nicely, only clue I have issue with is 19d which as Vince says was a bit badly worded

  17. mary
    Posted October 23, 2009 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

    Unfortunately I will miss out on the ‘fun’ today – I failed to get a newspaper! I will just have to look at the blog and see how many I can work out….without cheating of course

    • Posted October 23, 2009 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

      The puzzle is on its way to you!

      • mary
        Posted October 23, 2009 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

        Wow….thank you sooooooo much Dave really appreciated :)

  18. Jane
    Posted October 23, 2009 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

    Yes relatively easy today but I still enjoyed it. Have got a bit behind this week, still haven’t completed Wednesday’s, which from all the comments is rather challenging and haven’t got round to starting yesterday’s! So, a pleasant evening ahead (I hope) helped along with a glass of wine!

  19. mary
    Posted October 23, 2009 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

    Many thanks to Dave for helping me out today, it really would have been a shame to miss this one because as a member of ‘the clueless club’ I found i could complete it in a good time for me but needed help with 17a, 21a, 3d, all of which I had never heard of, thank you Dave for taking the time….very much appreciated :)

  20. Edi
    Posted October 23, 2009 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

    I feel all of us from ‘the clueless club’ owe a big thankyou to Giovanni. A wonderfully created xwrd which has everything we need to continue to enjoy solving :smile:

    • Toby
      Posted October 23, 2009 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

      Totally agree Edi as a fellow member of the clueless club I would like to thank Giovanni – I normally struggle with his and moan they are too difficult – thankyou for listening Giovanni!

      Surely this puzzle should be aimed at the likes of us who finish it now and again with the toughie aimed at you pros out there. I liked the “straightforward” nature of these clues in that even with the ones that I took some time to work out, I could at least see how the clue worked. Shame that 15a could not have had some mention to that greatest living Yorkshireman – just to wind up the cricket haters out there!

  21. Little Dave
    Posted October 23, 2009 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

    I had about spare 20 minutes before going for a haircut and got it done save 15a, 21a and 5d. 15a is particularly nice in my view and overall a decent crossword, enjoyable but not as mentally taxing as a normal Friday. Enjoyable is the key word – isn’t this why we do them after all?

    • Toby
      Posted October 23, 2009 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

      Spooky! I did it while waiting for a haircut too!!

  22. Mr B
    Posted October 23, 2009 at 11:15 pm | Permalink

    Wat and Ayer threw me.

    Otherwise, a lot of fun for a young(ish) cruciverbalist like me!

    I’m quite interested to ask anyone out there who might know the answer to this – are there any statistics that show the various age groups who engage in crossword puzzle? I mean, I’m in my twenties and I don’t know that a single person of my age who does a cryptic every day – apart from me :(

    I see a lot of people on my train in their forties and fifties that do them – and I wonder, is this a pasttime that will die out with an increasingly disinterested British public?

    I know that seems like an overly serious question but I genuinely keen to know why I feel quite ‘on my own’

    • Posted October 23, 2009 at 11:39 pm | Permalink

      If it’s any consolation, Mr B, by my late teens I was a daily cryptic solver. At the time, Roger Squires supplied my local paper – Manchester Evening News – and the quality of his puzzles was the same back then; entertaining, concise, accurate and accessible. Those puzzles made me want to be a setter, but I also became a keener solver and by my early 20s I was tackling the Guardian most days.
      It’s worth remembering, though, that choices of pastime were fewer – or, should I say, prior to the internet not so easy to get involved in, so it’s likely that until the mid 1980s there were far many more young solvers than there are now. However, the cryptic definitely isn’t dying out. Because of blogs like this one, FifteenSquared, Times for The Times etc, newer solvers have far more access to friendly advice from fellow enthusiasts, and participants of these blogs are growing all the time.
      I feel that the Internet – originally a potential threat in terms of offering other distractions – has come full circle and is helping to boost the number of crossword fans.

  23. Will
    Posted October 24, 2009 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    I enjoyed it as an end to a hard week. Perhaps there were few cues that fizzed but then even Frasier has workmanlike episodes. It was also perfect for teaching my daughter.