DT 26073

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26073

Hints and tips by Gazza

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

Friday’s puzzles seem to divide the solving community into two polarised camps, and I suspect that today’s will be no exception. I enjoyed it, although I have a couple of queries. I’ve given it four * for difficulty largely because those completing it on Clued Up seemed to take longer than usual.
Leave us a comment with your views. We’re especially keen to hear from our many readers who have not yet left a comment – now is the time to introduce yourselves – we’re a friendly lot and we don’t bite!
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As usual the answers are hidden inside the curly brackets under the clue. They are hidden so that you don’t see them accidentally, but if you want to see one, just highlight the white space inside the brackets.

Across Clues

1a  Scowl when sailor enters that party (6)
{LABOUR} – to scowl is to LOUR – put AB (able seaman, sailor) inside.

5a  Fair cut taken by graduate (8 )
{BALANCED} – cut is LANCED, which follows (taken by) BA (Bachelor of Arts, graduate).

9a  Supremo who may have words for his PA? (8 )
{DICTATOR} – double definition.

10a  Swallow seen in SW county mostly and old city (6)
{DEVOUR} – put together most of God’s own county, DEVO(n), and the usual old biblical city of UR.

11a  Abort use possibly? One might well do that (8 )
{SABOTEUR} – an anagram (possibly) of ABORT USE produces someone who deliberately destroys or damages something.

12a  Social occasions about to be restricted by Europeans (6)
{DANCES} – the Europeans are DANES – put C (circa, about) inside (restricted by).

13a  Worker and English girl taken aback — they can sense things (8 )
{ANTENNAE} – worker is ANT – add E(nglish) and ANNE (girl) both of which have to reversed (taken aback).

15a  Alarm a beautiful woman on the phone (4)
{BELL} – on the phone indicates that what we want is a sound-alike or homophone of BELLE (a beautiful woman) to get a means of sounding an alarm.

17a  Spread with endless wallop (4)
{SPAN} – wallop here is not beer but SPAN(K) – remove the final letter (endless).

19a  Lovely party limited by a half-hearted host with no manners (8 )
{ADORABLE} – party is DO – around this (limited by) put A RAB(b)LE, that is a host (lot) of badly-behaved people with only half of the Bs at the heart of the word.

20a  Good folk are not vulgar in the middle of lesson (6)
{SAINTS} – a common (vulgar) way of saying “are not” is AIN’T – put this between the middle letters of leSSon.

21a  A lie Scot put out about the community (8 )
{SOCIETAL} – an adjective meaning relating to the community is formed from an anagram (put out) of A LIE SCOT.

22a  A maths unit that’s little short of brilliant (6)
{RADIAN} – brilliant is RADIAN(t) – drop the final letter (little short) to get “the derived SI unit of plane angle” (Chambers does expand on this definition, but if, like me, you don’t understand what this is already, you’re unlikely to be any the wiser if I repeat it all!).

23a  Money coming in from grannies working (8 )
{EARNINGS} – an anagram (working) of GRANNIES produces take-home pay.

24a  Performance with story that must be listened to? Run away (4,4)
{TURN TAIL} – put together TURN (performance, act) and a sound-alike (must be listened to) of TALE to get a phrase meaning run away rather than face an opponent.

25a  Female author speaks about Buckingham Palace hostess (6)
{SAYERS} – the creator of Lord Peter Wimsey is constructed from SAYS (speaks) around ER (Her Majesty).

Down Clues

2d  Friendly Lib Dem’s question of self-doubt? (8 )
{AMICABLE} – what the deputy leader of the Lib Dems might ask if he had doubts about his own surname.

3d  Not required — too plain, to put it horribly (8 )
{OPTIONAL} – an anagram (to put it horribly) of TOO PLAIN gives us an adjective meaning not mandatory.

4d  Withdrew to be given therapy again? (9)
{RETREATED} – double definition, the first similar to 24a.

5d  Philosopher errs, last blunder being awful (8,7)
{BERTRAND RUSSELL} – the name of this 20th century philosopher is an anagram (being awful) of ERRS LAST BLUNDER.

6d  Film gallery to the south of a church (7)
{ACETATE} – a piece of transparent film is made by putting TATE (gallery) after (to the south of, in a down clue) A CE (church of England).

7d  Quickly providing meat for two? (4-4)
{CHOP-CHOP} – an interjection meaning hurry up!, which is a pidgin English term derived from Cantonese, is one thick slice of meat after another.

8d  Verdict that’s right for Conservative brings jeers (8 )
{DERISION} – a noun meaning ridicule (jeers) is formed by starting with DECISION (verdict) and substituting R(ight) for C(onservative).

14d  Fish bar so fancied up with lace (9)
{ALBACORES} – an anagram (fancied up?) of BAR SO and LACE produces large tuna fish. I’ve never heard of the term fancied up, but I presume that it means prettied up (like a fancy cake?).

15d  Bit of ship to buckle on trips at sea (8 )
{BOWSPRIT} – to buckle is to BOW – follow this with an anagram (at sea) of TRIPS to get a strong spar extending forward at the sharp end of a ship. It took me a long time to find a picture of one of these, but I was successful eventually, though unfortunately someone got in the way when the picture was being taken.

16d  Our solid change, just one old coin (5-3)
{LOUIS-D’OR} – an anagram (change) of OUR SOLID produces an old French coin. I’m confused by the “just one” or “just one old” – it’s almost as if the setter wants us to remove one of the Os from the anagram fodder, but that wouldn’t work. Could it be that “just one” is present to differentiate the “single Louis” from another coin, the double Louis? – has anyone any better ideas?

17d  Bleakness always bearing down on one in hovel (8 )
{SEVERITY} – a word meaning bleakness or austerity is manufactured by placing EVER (always) which precedes (bearing down on) I (one) inside STY (hovel).

18d  Sort of composer, a m-man working in the countryside? (8 )
{ARRANGER} – someone working in the countryside is A RANGER (a forest or park officer). The m-man device in the clue means that we have to double the first R in the answer.

19d  Draw a short time, having got paper (7)
{ATTRACT} – string together A, T(ime) and TRACT (paper).

I liked 9a and 17a today, but my favourite clue is 2d – how about you? Leave us a comment with your thoughts, and please don’t forget to cast a vote for how much you enjoyed the puzzle by clicking on one of the stars below.


  1. gnomethang
    Posted October 30, 2009 at 11:26 am | Permalink | Reply

    Very enjoyable with enough difficulty to keep one engaged.
    I liked 5d – clever anagram and surface reading.
    Favourite had to be 16d.
    Still sonfused as to which bit of the ship is referenced in 15d picture but I don’t really
    Thanks gazza

    • gnomethang
      Posted October 30, 2009 at 11:57 am | Permalink | Reply

      Just a thought gazza:
      When searching for the relevant nautical woodwork did you search for it by name or just Google “Fruity girl at front of boat”? ;-)

  2. jezza
    Posted October 30, 2009 at 11:44 am | Permalink | Reply

    Your favourite clue is 1d????

    • gazza
      Posted October 30, 2009 at 11:48 am | Permalink | Reply

      Thanks – now corrected (do you want a job as a proof-reader? :D )

      • jezza
        Posted October 30, 2009 at 11:51 am | Permalink | Reply

        Fortunately you didn’t leave any letters out of “proof-reader”…………!!!!

  3. gnomethang
    Posted October 30, 2009 at 12:01 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Re 16d – the thought occurred to me to but I figured that given ‘change’ indicates a number of coins the indication is being specific for a single coin and an old one at that. Possibly fairer to indicate that it is not a modern coin as the answer is not so well known.

    • gazza
      Posted October 30, 2009 at 12:08 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Good thinking, but I’m not totally convinced.

    • Vince
      Posted October 30, 2009 at 1:34 pm | Permalink | Reply

      I’m not convinced either, gnomethang, as the plural of the coin is the same as the singular. But, I haven’t got a better explanation.

      • gnomethang
        Posted October 30, 2009 at 1:57 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Vince: Um, Nope!. I have one coin in my pocket, you have two coins in your pocket, we have some coinage!. The above was only the way that I could rationalise the clue.

  4. Prolixic
    Posted October 30, 2009 at 12:18 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Giovanni at his best cannot be Beaton (pardon the pun). This was very satisfying. There was a good range of clues and delightful surface readings and some more unusual words. 2d was also my top choice for a clue but I also thought that 8d was very good.

    • gazza
      Posted October 30, 2009 at 12:30 pm | Permalink | Reply

      A word of explanation about Prolixic’s pun for those who don’t do the Toughie – In yesterday’s (set by Giovanni) the name of the famous cook was spelt incorrectly.

  5. Marian and Joanne
    Posted October 30, 2009 at 12:58 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Really enjoyed this. As we are not working, we were able to get started early and our brains are obviously fresher! Took us ages to get 14d and 16d, but got there in the end. Didn’t know that “on the phone” meant homophone, so hesitated to fill in “bell” as answer. We learn something new every day. Thankyou!!

    • gnomethang
      Posted October 30, 2009 at 1:00 pm | Permalink | Reply

      That foxed me for a while, but having got it I realised that I have seen it used in this way once (at least) before).

    • gazza
      Posted October 30, 2009 at 1:07 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Marian and Joanne
      Other common ways of signalling a homophone are “broadcast” and “on the radio”, in fact any way in which you can hear something without seeing it written down.

      • Marian and Joanne
        Posted October 30, 2009 at 1:14 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Thanks Gazza, that’s really helpful…

  6. barbyjo
    Posted October 30, 2009 at 1:07 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Hi all. Liked this one, especially 2d! Maybe more than one of the coins in16d would make it Louis des Or!!? Don’t know, Long time since I did french A level!!

    • Posted October 30, 2009 at 1:46 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Welcome to the blog barbyjo

      • Libellule
        Posted October 30, 2009 at 2:18 pm | Permalink | Reply

        I don’t think so – the plural would I think be “des louis d’or “

  7. Big Boab
    Posted October 30, 2009 at 1:18 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Loved it! 16d was my favourite clue until I saw the picture for 15d.

  8. Harry Shipley
    Posted October 30, 2009 at 1:42 pm | Permalink | Reply

    A nice puzzle. I thought there were some interesting words and good clues. For those that are interested radians are used instead of degrees in work such as calculus, as they avoid lots of numerical constants getting into equations. 2pi radians in 360degrees.

    Harry Shipley

    • gazza
      Posted October 30, 2009 at 2:14 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Thanks for that – it explains why Chambers says a radian is “nearly 57.3 degrees”. I can now see that 2 x pi x 57.3 = about 360.
      It was all double-dutch to me before.

  9. Libellule
    Posted October 30, 2009 at 2:10 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Excellent Giovanni Friday crossword today. Re. the gold coin, I think you are probably on the right track with your comment. i.e. the answer, as a particular type of Louis (single) needs to be distinguished from a (half a Louis) demi-louis d’or or (a two-Louis coin) a double louis d’or. Anyway lets see what Giovanni says. I hope he will drop by later.

  10. Nubian
    Posted October 30, 2009 at 2:19 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Again a very enjoyable friday puzzle, liked it a lot

  11. Lea
    Posted October 30, 2009 at 2:22 pm | Permalink | Reply

    A lovely Friday puzzle – bit more difficult than lately but good. It took me ages to get 7d as my brain got stuck on fast and couldn’t get it away from that. Once I got 5a I was away.

    Simply beccause it stymied me I liked 20a – knew that ss was on the outside but didn’t think about the inside as what it was. Thanks for that one.

    Unlike Marian and Joanne – 14d was the first one I got. Strange how our brains work isn’t it? I filled in the bottom right hand fairly quickly and then had to do some thinking for the top left.

    If I get time I hope to move to the Toughie – we shall see. It is still a bit beyond my thinking but like to see the reasons after I have filled some of the clues (if I am lucky that is).

    • Libellule
      Posted October 30, 2009 at 2:26 pm | Permalink | Reply

      The Toughie today is excellent. Its not overly difficult and it has some super clues.
      You might need some 16d to unravel 10a in the Toughie.

      • Lea
        Posted October 30, 2009 at 2:28 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Thanks Libellule – will give it a go (and thanks for the hint).

  12. Tomtom
    Posted October 30, 2009 at 2:28 pm | Permalink | Reply


    Many thanks for your explanations, I am really a beginner and find some the explanations puzzling in themselves. For example 12a, why are europeans necessarily Danes? I know Danes are european, however not all europeans are Danes.

    17 a, I was Bitter i got that wrong!

    • gazza
      Posted October 30, 2009 at 2:35 pm | Permalink | Reply

      On 12a it’s just a question of seeing what fits. If you assume that “about” is C, then you want a 5-letter word for Europeans around it, so the choices are Danes, Lapps, Irish, Dutch, Turks, Finns… can’t think of any more.

      • gazza
        Posted October 30, 2009 at 2:39 pm | Permalink | Reply

        .. forgot Scots (sorry Bigboab!) and Welsh.

        • Big Boab
          Posted October 30, 2009 at 3:07 pm | Permalink | Reply

          Forgiven Gazza, and thanks to Harry Shipley, I couldn’t make head or tail of the Chambers def. but Harry has made it clear ( I think)

        • Libellule
          Posted October 30, 2009 at 4:19 pm | Permalink | Reply


  13. Terry
    Posted October 30, 2009 at 2:29 pm | Permalink | Reply

    A little too hard for me. I needed more ‘hints’ than usual. Re 18d is the ‘m-man’ a regular device? I have not come across it before and would appreciate an explanation. Many thanks

    • gazza
      Posted October 30, 2009 at 2:38 pm | Permalink | Reply

      It is reasonably common. It basically means that whatever “stutter” is in the clue has to be repeated in the answer. The good news is that once you’ve understood the convention, it’s pretty easy in future.

      • Franny
        Posted October 30, 2009 at 7:08 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Thanks, Gazza. I was wondering about that ‘m-man’ too, having never come across it before.

  14. Jerseyman
    Posted October 30, 2009 at 3:15 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I found this one quite accessible, apart from a new word to me ‘albacores’ for 14 down. Like Terry I didn’t know the formula for stuttering in the clue but i worked it out eventually. On the whole, fairly enjoyable!!

  15. Slim Jim
    Posted October 30, 2009 at 4:04 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I’d never heard of a ‘Louis dor’, but managed to invent the term by guesswork (confirmed via Chambers). Maybe that’s cheating?

    • Libellule
      Posted October 30, 2009 at 4:13 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Its not cheating in my book. If you followed the word play and then make an educated guess at what the answer is, and this is confirned by Chamber’s/Google or whatever then thats fine as far as I am concerned. Whether the purists agree with me or not, its how I do it when faced with a word I am not familiar with.

    • gazza
      Posted October 30, 2009 at 4:22 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Slim Jim
      Who would you be cheating? It’s not a prize puzzle, so the only person you could be cheating is yourself. If you can live with that, carry on!
      Seriously, as Libellule says, that’s the way a lot of clues are solved. The important thing is that, having confirmed that the answer exists in Chambers, you check that the wordplay supports the answer.

  16. Nubian
    Posted October 30, 2009 at 4:11 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Don’t get me started

  17. Tomtom
    Posted October 30, 2009 at 4:15 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Thanks, i won’t take you too literally next time

  18. Barrie
    Posted October 30, 2009 at 4:43 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Really enjoyed todays puzzle even though I only managed to finish 3/4 of it without the help of this excellent blog. Particulary liked 9a.

    • Posted October 30, 2009 at 4:56 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Barrie, you do realise that it is Friday today?

      • Barrie
        Posted October 30, 2009 at 5:31 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Indeed and it is a Giovanni! Nevertheless I found the clues intelligible and logical (in a manner of speaking) and even when I needed help, the answer made sense with the possible exception of the dreaded Louis D’Or but that was just ignorance on my part as I had got fixated on something or other SOU! Perhaps there is hope for me yet!

  19. Tomtom
    Posted October 30, 2009 at 5:13 pm | Permalink | Reply


  20. tuppence
    Posted October 30, 2009 at 5:42 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I really enjoyed this one after a rather slow start. Each day I try and solve as many clues on my own as I can and only come to you for help as a last resort (sorry!), and I’m getting better all the time. But dont worry – it’ll be a long time before I finish it every day by myself LOL!

    • gazza
      Posted October 30, 2009 at 6:01 pm | Permalink | Reply

      No need to be sorry – that’s what we recommend. The important thing is that don’t just look at the answers for the ones you can’t solve, but take the time to understand the wordplay for all the clues.
      If you do that you’ll be finishing the Cryptic on your own regularly in no time, and moving on to the Toughie!

  21. nanaglugglug
    Posted October 30, 2009 at 6:33 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Excellent crossword – thought 2d was brilliant!

  22. Claire
    Posted October 30, 2009 at 7:16 pm | Permalink | Reply

    2d was my favourite too but, like Barrie, I was stuck with Sou for the end of 16d for ages – never heard of Louis d’or. Got 7d very quickly, I think it was a phrase my grandad used a lot!!

  23. Posted October 30, 2009 at 11:47 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Another corker from Giovanni, who is a master of fairness and exact cluing.

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