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DT 26076

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26076

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

A bit of a mixed bag today – some nice clues and a few that I didn’t like. If your bête noire is “double unches” then you’ll hate the grid.
As usual the answers are hidden (to prevent your seeing them by accident) inside the curly brackets – highlight the white space inside the brackets to reveal all.
Your comments, as always, are vital to keeping the blog lively and stimulating – so let’s have them in profusion, please!

Across Clues

1a  Page with top news story creating appeal (5)
{PLEAD} – start with P(age) and add the first item on the TV news.

4a  American investigator among experts getting patronage (8 )
{AUSPICES} – put US and PI (Private Investigator)  inside ACES (experts).

8a  Corresponding work put beside river location (8 )
{OPPOSITE} – string together OP (work), the river PO and SITE (location) to get an adjective meaning facing or corresponding.

9a  Deceitful form of act few do (3-5)
{TWO-FACED} – an anagram (form) of ACT FEW DO produces a description of someone who says contradictory things to different people.

11a  Club linked to a good English period of old (4,3)
{IRON AGE} – start with a golf club (the sort you use to hit the ball, not the place where you play) and add A, G(ood) and E(nglish).

13a  Made clean? Is instead corrupted (9)
{SANITISED} – an anagram (corrupted) of IS INSTEAD.

15a  One OBE in a column misplaced? Very rarely (4,2,1,4,4)
{ONCE IN A BLUE MOON} – an anagram (misplaced) of ONE OBE IN A COLUMN produces a phrase meaning a rare event. Because the lunar cycle is slightly shorter than most calendar months, occasionally there are two full moons in one calendar month, and the second of these is known as a blue moon – so a blue moon actually occurs approximately once every 30 months.

18a  Distract team with piece of music (9)
{SIDETRACK} – a charade of SIDE (team) and TRACK (piece of music).

21a  Rubbish close to house and trees (7)
{EYEWASH} – an informal term for nonsense or rubbish is formed from the last letter (close) of housE followed by the names of two trees.

22a  Couple allowed ornamental chain (8 )
{BRACELET} – a charade of BRACE (couple) and LET (allowed).

24a  A collision in trailer of vital pump supplier? (8 )
{ARTERIAL} – Start with A and add an anagram (collision in?) of TRAILER. I don’t like this clue at all for two reasons – firstly the anagram indicator, and secondly the surface reading implies that an artery supplies blood to the heart whereas it conveys it away.

25a  Retired doctor acquiring a bunch for surgery target of hostility? (5-3)
{PUNCH-BAG} – put GP (doctor) in reverse (retired) around an anagram (for surgery) of A BUNCH to get a description of someone who is the target of outbursts of violence.

26a  Flexible split heralded in part (5)
{LITHE} – an adjective meaning flexible is hidden (in part) in the clue.

Down Clues

1d  Favourable support? It is given before signs of debt (10)
{PROPITIOUS} – put PROP (support) and IT before IOUS (signs of debt) to get a synonym for favourable.

2d  Energy lifted lively choir becoming elated (8 )
{EUPHORIC} – string together E(nergy), UP (lifted) and an anagram (lively) of CHOIR.

3d  Benjamin, maybe, is with artist in food store (8 )
{DISRAELI} – the “maybe” here indicates that the answer is just one of the many people who have the forename Benjamin. Put IS and RA (Royal Academician, artist) inside DELI.

4d  Encourage a double, say (4)
{ABET} – a double is an example of a type of BET – precede this with A.

5d  Gain guide to future, we hear (6)
{PROFIT} – a guide to the future is a PROPHET – what we want is a homophone (we hear) of this, meaning gain.

6d  Heap largely associated with American plant (6)
{CROCUS} – another word for a dilapidated car (heap) is an old CROC(k) – drop the last letter (mostly) and add (associated with) US (American) to get a plant.

7d  Drivers prefer to avoid this sign initially by child (4)
{SKID} – what some drivers prefer to avoid is S (initial letter of Sign) beside KID.

10d  Superior, perhaps, after sack possibly gets surplus of liquid? (4,4)
{WINE LAKE} – we used to hear lots about these surplus stocks in the EU, along with butter mountains. Both words in the answer are clued by examples – so the first (sack) is a dry, white variety of this alcoholic liquid, and the second (Superior) is a large expanse of water (one of the five great ones in North America). The surface reading doesn’t make any sense.

12d  Bill boards flight in exciting adventure (8 )
{ESCAPADE} – bill is an AD – put this inside (boards) ESCAPE (flight).

14d  Cook hailed buns and cheese (6,4)
{DANISH BLUE} – an anagram (cook) of HAILED BUNS leads to a type of cheese.

16d  Heavenly number with origins in early American lovesongs (8 )
{ETHEREAL} – when you see “number” in a clue you should always consider that it may mean, as here, “something that numbs”, i.e. an anaesthetic or ETHER. Add the first letters (origins) of Early American Lovesongs.

17d  Player controlling stops? (8 )
{ORGANIST} – a weakish cryptic definition.

19d  Continue tediously intimidating woman (6)
{DRAGON} – double definition – the first a phrasal verb (4,2) meaning to continue at unnecessary length, the second a non-PC term for an intimidating woman.

20d  Fish around river and ditch (6)
{TRENCH} – put TENCH (fish) around R(iver).

22d  Bit of bread sauce showing slight irregularity (4)
{BLIP} – start with the first letter (bit) of Bread and add a synonym for cheek or sauce.

23d  Hide starter with grim flavour (4)
{TANG} – to hide, i.e. to give someone a hiding, is TAN – add the first letter (starter) of Grim. I don’t understand at all how “starter with” can mean “the first letter of”.

The clues I liked included 4a, 12d and 22d, but my clue of the day is 21a. What do you think? – leave us a comment, and please remember to record your opinion of the puzzle by clicking on one of the stars below.

38 comments on “DT 26076

  1. I liked todays much more than yesterdays, the difference to me, is that today I find it easier to see what the setter is looking for and that is half the battle, from there if I don’t know the word I have to have help with my Chambers crossword dictionary or little electronic friend which some people tell me is cheating, i don’t think so, because once i have the answer and can work it backwards, it helps me for the future puzzles, why is it that some setters are so much easier to understand, i don’t think it’s necessarily that the puzzle itself is easier or more difficult as the case may be???

      1. Thank you Mary for your much appreciated support yesterday. And for the record I LIKED TODAYS!!

  2. Finished it fairly quickly to-day, but 10d is a rubbish clue with nonsensical surface reading.

    1. Agree with you on 10d, Some clues are so out in left field that they could mean anything and when the explanation is given it still means nothing !
      As in 23d, if tan is hiding why not say ‘hiding starter’
      22d, I assumed when they say bit it means some of the letters not the first which is usually ‘starter’ or some other lead word. Sometimes I think they make it up as they go along and you can tell as the surface reading suffers.
      1d should it not end with ness ?

      1. nubian
        23d “tan” is being used as a verb, so it has to be “hide” to match it.
        1d. favourable is an adjective, so you need “propitious” to match it.

  3. I agree with mary…sometimes i just geddit!
    Are there certain setters on certain days with individual traits? Although it’s taken me a couple of years to get to be able to finish it on most days, I’ve never looked for a pattern of setters.
    Doing the cryptic, starting as early as the paper is available, is my first pleasure of the day! today i even had time to start the Toughie!! Hasten to add I didn’t complete it! Is there another paper whose cryptic is akin to the DT for those days i fancy a double dose of crossword heaven whilst listening to Radio 2! (God, when did I become so set in my ways??)

    1. barbyjo
      Generally the same setter appears every Monday (Rufus), Thursday (Jay), Friday (Giovanni) and Saturday (Cephas). All these have left comments on the blog.
      As far as I know other papers do not have a schedule to the same extent, but if you like Rufus on Mondays you can normally find another puzzle, of a similar standard, from him in the Guardian (free on-line), and often on Fridays the Guardian has a puzzle by Giovanni (under one of his other pseudonyms Pasquale).

  4. I agree about 24a. Why not say A collision with trailer?? Being a biologist I also take exception to the mistake about arteries as opposed to veins! perhaps it should be ‘vital pump drainer!

  5. Gazza,

    Haven’t we got to accept just about anything as anagram indicators, these days? You comment on “in collision” in 24a, but what about “for surgery” in 25a? I agree, also, that 24a is a badly worded clue, due to “supplier”.

    1. Vince
      I don’t mind “for surgery” as much – at least it conveys the sense that the anagram fodder is being operated on or reconstructed.

  6. The was enjoyable but lacked sparkle (or for Nubian’s benefit ‘Je ne sais quoi’!). I agree with all of the comments on 10d – it stuck out like a sore thumb. I wonder whether it was a late change to an original clue that was deemed unsuitable and that did not have time to be polished or improved? My favourite clue was 2d but I also liked 1d and 14d.

  7. Good puzzle today on the whole although I agree with all the comments above esp re the arterial. I thought 25a across was just pants! My favourite today, undoubtably 5d, very clever.

    1. well done Barry and yesterday someone commented that they would hold their breath for one that you’d you like :) ( see yesterday comments ) well now everyone can exhale!!

    1. will have a look but not sure – my brother used to do the gaurdian but could never get to grips with the Saturday setter, i can’t remember his name, I think he died about a year ago? thanks Tilsit

    1. I’m probably being more than usually dim and missing something obvious, but isn’t that the correct cluing for the answer!

  8. Sorry to be a party pooper but I found todays crossword just to hard. Too obscure and I needed more hints to finish it than I like to confess, Therefore no sense of achievement.
    I liked 2d and 14d, disliked 4a which I am still not sure I understand even after BD’s explanation.

    1. I think its all in the weird way we have to train our minds to think Terry and just when we think Ah I know what that means, it turns out that they are asking for something completely different using almost the same words/expressions/indicators sometimes I wonder if I am really enjoying it :)

      1. Oops, I never knew ‘auspices’ meant anything other than omens or portents. Now I know it also can mean ‘patronage’ the penny has dropped. I think I am a little out of my league with the DT Cryptic but I shall struggle on!

        1. I am aware of auspices (from auspex) and ‘haruspices’ from my latin. Both are fortunetellers in ancient Rome. The former followed the flight of birds to tell you your future and the latter (lit. Gut Inspectors) used to look at the vital organs of slaufghtered animals to tell you your future.
          The former is also a word for patronage based on ‘ Future Prospects’

  9. Finished the whole crossword except for 10d – lived in Canada for 30 odd years and have never even heard of “butter mountains”. I got the lake bit (superior being over there!) and after reading your hints Gazza I finally did get the first word – had forgotten that “sack” was the dry white stuff I drink! Thanx

  10. Trees, no street. Look Out!. (4)

    Having been hit on the bonce by my playing partner with a golf ball (from 30 yards vertically!), I picked myself up, missed the birdie but then got rained off the course.

    After that wallop I endured some more wallop in a local pub and knocked this puzzle on the head in a reasonable time.

    I liked 4a – close behind 21a.
    I kind of agree on 24a except that the Pulmonary Artery is a supplier of blood so might be described as a “vital pump supplier”. Tenuous I know but my head hurts!



  11. Gazza,

    I think the compiler is right to say arteries are a vital pump supplier, the heart requires oxygenated blood itself to continue working, and this will be supplied via arteries. In this context the compiler is spot on.

    I thought todays crossword was fairly difficult, and certainly merited three stars, as did yesterdays but BD rated it as two. I would not have got 6d, 4a or 25a without your help. How you connected heap to crock in 6a is beyond me! I can see it now, but I would have never thought of it myself

    1. Alan

      Perhaps I ought to drop the BD from BD Rating – it’s a long time since I rated any puzzles except those I have blogged myself. Notwithstanding that, I would have tossed up between 2 and 3 stars myself. I didn’t find it particularly difficult and a lot of the discussion seems to have been around the soundness of some of the clues rather than the difficulty in finding the answer. For example, to query an anagram indicator you need first to know that there is an anagram!

  12. Got to this quite late today and although it was not difficult I didn’t really enjoy it that much. The bottom left corner took me the longest as I had put in tart for 23d and couldn’t get 25a to work until it clicked and I changed the ending.

    The only clue I liked was 15a.

    Will do the toughie tomorrow – after I have checked whether it is worth doing!!!!

  13. Big Dave,

    The reason I thought you had rated 26075 was because it showed you as posting it. I’m confused now. Who/how is the difficulty rated on each crossword?

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