DT 26099

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26099

Hints and tips by Rishi

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

A satisfying puzzle from our Monday Maestro. Just one clue, 29ac, may perhaps hold you up if you haven’t come across the ploy before.

To see the answers hidden within the curly brackets, select the white space.

1a Note a lenient punishment in school? (4,1,3,5)
{JUST A FEW LINES} – double definition – Note / lenient punishment in school: – in India we use the formal word ‘imposition’

10a Major, for example, put in charge in advance (7)
{OFFICER} – container/contained – IC (in charge) in OFFER (advance), for a word of which ‘Major’ is an example

11a Changes in it are due to inactivity (7)
{INERTIA} – anagram of IN IT ARE, ‘change’ being the anagram indicator and ‘inactivity’, definition

12a Implement the returning of stolen goods (4)
{TOOL} – reversal of LOOT gives ‘implement’

13a Car to handle well going round a bend (5)
{COUPE} – container/contained – COPE (to handle well) around U (bend). Definition: car

14a A prima donna eager for retirement (4)
{DIVA} – reversal of AVID (eager) gives ‘prima donna’

17a Give one the right name? (7)
{ENTITLE} – cryptic definition

18a She puts on other people’s clothes (7)
{DRESSER} – cryptic definition

19a She eats her salad (7)
{THERESA} – anag of EATS HER gives a female name, ‘salad’ being the unusual anagram indicator

22a Deal in cars (7)
{TRAFFIC} – this word means “to deal in goods” – I have problem with the second definition, for this on road does not consist merely of cars but so many other types of vehicles, not forgetting pedestrians, especially in developing countries

24a Not yet decided to start (4)
{OPEN} – double definition – ‘Not yet decided’ ( as in ‘The contest is still open’) / ‘to start’

25a Make a move to be out of bed (5)
{ASTIR} – charade – Putting together A (a) and a word that means ‘move’ gives us the answer which means ‘out of bed’

26a At short notice, came back with information (4)
{DATA}- Reversal of AT (at) and AD (short notice or advertisement) gives us the word which means ‘information’

29a What it means to a barman (7)
{ITALIAN} – cryptic definition – It is short for Italian. When bartenders receive orders for “It”, they serve Italian vermouth, as in “Gin and It” . I was able to solve this as I had come across this twice before in crosswords.

This is it!

30a Direction given in arms (7)
{BEARING} – Cryptic and double definition – this word means ‘direction’ and it also means carrying in the arms

31a Cash and credit are differently represented (13)
{CHARACTERISED} – anagram of CASH and CREDIT ARE for word meaning ‘represented’, ‘differently’ being the anagram indicator. If one were juggling with ‘cash and credit’, one would not get the solution.


2d Frank on horseback going over battle zone (7)
{UPFRONT} – charade – UP (on horseback) plus FRONT (battle zone). If a person is this, he is bold and frank

3d Robin’s favourite schoolboy food? (4)
{TUCK} – double definition – one of the meanings is box of food children at boarding school eat. I remember that this is also the name of a character in Robin Hood tales.

4d It comes from a conifer, naturally (3-4)
{FIR-CONE} – an anagram of CONIFER gives a word for part of a conifer!

5d Beaten by a whisker (7)
{WHIPPED} – cryptic definition from the world of cookery

6d It takes little space in the newspaper (4)
{ITEM} – charade of IT (it) and EM (little space, actually a printing measurement) for small article in a newspaper

7d Competitors making records (7)
{ENTRIES} – double definition – Competitors / records – I thought that more properly, competitors are entrants, but Chambers records the meaning ‘list of competitors’ for ‘entry’.

8d Keep the matter dark? Not at all! (4,7,2)
{DON’T MENTION IT} – double definition – When you [the answer], you don’t bring the matter to light, you don’t make it public. And when someone thanks you, you might say [the answer], meaning they are welcome.

9d An attack that’s mounted (7,6)
{CAVALRY CHARGE} – cryptic definition alluding to attack by soldiers who are up on horses. One could also have merely mounted – or organised or initiated – an attack

Mounted attack

15d It’s expensive and going up all the time (5)
{STEEP} – double definition – ‘expensive’/ ‘[sloping] up’

16d Food on which Kathleen’s first infant is raised (5)
{KEBAB} – charade of K (Kathleen’s first) plus reversal of BABE (infant)

20d England’s first two trees? Nonsense! (7)
{EYEWASH} – charade of E (England’s first), YEW, ASH (tree after tree) – The surface reading of the clue is rather unattractive

21d Poison scare in new development (7)
{ARSENIC} – anagram (new development) of SCARE IN gives a poison.

22d Metal cover protecting the sewer (7)
{THIMBLE} – cryptic definition, ‘sewer’ here being a person who sews rather than a conduit for carrying off drainage water

Protection for a sewer

23d Slight scrap in the queue (7)
{FRAGILE} – container/contained – RAG (scrap) in FILE (queue)

27d Support one throughout (4)
{PIER} – container/contained – I (one) with PER (meaning through or by means of) outside of it

28d They were wise, putting the scholar above the soldier (4)
{MAGI} – Adding together MA (scholar, Master of Arts) and GI (soldier, short for general issue) gives us a word which means ‘wise men’ . The singular for this word is magus.

The last fills for me were in the bottom right corner. Not that any of these clues are really difficult: just that the synapses in the brain did not occur quickly enough. What was your experience? Do you interpret any of the clues differently? Please put down a comment.


  1. gazza
    Posted November 30, 2009 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    In 30a I took the second definition to be a heraldic reference to a coat of arms.

    • Posted November 30, 2009 at 11:31 am | Permalink


      I appended the second definition as Rishi was unsure – even now I can’t make up my mind between the two alternatives.

      • Rishi
        Posted November 30, 2009 at 11:59 am | Permalink

        30a is not quite a satisfactory clue. I did look up Chambers which for ‘bearing’ has “a heraldic device or coat of arms”. Yet I was groping for the second definition in this double definition clue.

        The reason is that “given in arms” does not lead inexorably to BEARING.

        Is “arms” sufficient for “coat of arms”?

        Is “given” quite apt?

        • gazza
          Posted November 30, 2009 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

          I think that “arms” works for “coat of arms”. Chambers has:
          arm: (in plural) heraldic insignia, coat of arms.

          • Rishi
            Posted November 30, 2009 at 12:14 pm | Permalink


            The maestro must have done his homework!

            It is we solvers who have to delve deeper into the dictionaries!

            • Tilsit
              Posted November 30, 2009 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

              Doesn’t it just mean carrying arms as in the military expression “to bear arms”.

              Took me ages to get in tune with this today, not because of the quality of the puzzle; it’s perfectly fine.

              Think I have seen the Thimble clue recently in another DT puzzle

              I didn’t particularly like the clue for Dresser. Why “she”?.

              • Posted November 30, 2009 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

                Only Rufus can tell us what was intended – but it is good that all roads lead to the same answer, we have had other “ambiguities” that have led to different answers.

              • Posted November 30, 2009 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

                This WordPress bug that highlighted all replies to an author’s own comment was fixed but has now returned!

              • Rishi
                Posted November 30, 2009 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

                I agree that a “dresser” is not necessarily a woman.

                And a dresser may not necessarily assist an actor!

                There is a simple way of wearing the dhoti and an elaborate one.

                While men belonging to certain communities, temple priests and the more orthodox among other communities always wear the dhoti in the elaborate manner, Hindu householders when performing religious ceremonies are expected to wear the dhoti thus.

                But they are unpractised in the mode and so the priests who come to perform the ceremonies assist the men, usually young, and dress them!

                And as they do so, the priests may give the young a dressing down for not following the customs!

  2. Yoshik
    Posted November 30, 2009 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    Good start to the week with some good clues inc. 8d

    22a is a very poor clue however.

    3d gives rise to a favourite Spoonerism amongst the young public school boys thanks to Friar Tuck.

  3. gnomethang
    Posted November 30, 2009 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    I had the answer for 29a as I could only find one word that fits – thanks for the explanation!
    Enjoyed the rest.

    • Posted November 30, 2009 at 11:49 am | Permalink

      I used to work in a pub back in the early sixties and drinks like Gin and It and Gin and French were quite common – we used to know by the colour of the label which Vermouth was which, “It” was in a green bottle.

      • gnomethang
        Posted November 30, 2009 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

        I used to keep a cellar at a Student pub – didn’t get to mix too many of those!

        • Posted November 30, 2009 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

          I think drinks like “Between the Sheets” have taken over – maybe Gin & It masquerades under a fancy name now!

          • Libellule
            Posted November 30, 2009 at 1:10 pm | Permalink


  4. Nubian
    Posted November 30, 2009 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    This was a great puzzle but i think better suited to a Wednesday or Thursday as I like to get off to an easy start on Mondays.
    29a had me worried as well as I got the answer but was unsure why.
    31a seemed to be an excuse for an anagram
    1a and 13a my top clues.

  5. Simon Cummings
    Posted November 30, 2009 at 11:26 am | Permalink

    All okay apart from 29a, you live and learn!

  6. Vince
    Posted November 30, 2009 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    I agree with Yoshik that it was a good start to the week. Also, 8d being the best clue.

    Like Rishi, I also thought that “salad” was a bit dubious as an anagram indicator. All I could think of was that a salad may be “tossed”. That would be an anagram indicator.

    11a. “Inertia” comes up so many times in crosswords for inactivity. Technically this is incorrect. “Inertia” is the resistance of a body to change its state of motion. Therefore, if it’s inactive, the tendency is for it to remain inactive. But, if it’s moving (in a straight line) the tendency is for it to continue doing so.

    • Rishi
      Posted November 30, 2009 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

      I said ‘salad’ was unusual as an anagram indicator.

      You will be surprised to know that it is found in a list of anagram indicators that I just looked up in Chambers Crossword Dictionary.

      While writing clues I have used ‘masala’ as an anagram indicator. Masala, as you might know, is an Indian word that means ‘a mixture of ground spices used in cookery’.

      I am rather a libertarian in using anagram indicators.

      • Vince
        Posted November 30, 2009 at 1:45 pm | Permalink


        I would never have seen “masala” as an angram indicator! I’ll tuck that away for future reference.

        By “libertarian” do you mean that you think anything is acceptable?

        • Rishi
          Posted December 1, 2009 at 3:45 am | Permalink

          No, I wouldn’t say anything is acceptable but a certain relaxation and thinking outside of the so-called anagram indicators lists might be, well, in order.

          Here is the clue that I wrote once:

          Shop at “Masala” for salt (6)

  7. Terry
    Posted November 30, 2009 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    A rare success for me. Finished before noon with no ‘hints’ required and very few references to my electronic helper. My sort of puzzle.

  8. LB
    Posted November 30, 2009 at 11:39 am | Permalink

    Took a long time to get 8d.
    31a is an anagram
    Enjoyed 1a

  9. nanaglugglug
    Posted November 30, 2009 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

    Only quibble we have is 2d is usually hyphenated? Learnt something with 29a! Enjoyed this puzzle though, gentle start to the week.

  10. mary
    Posted November 30, 2009 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

    I also took a long time to get 8d it was the last but one clue i solved the last one then being 24a, got stuck on the top l/h corner for a while as i wasn’t sure of the first word, got 29a as it couldn’t be anything else but i didn’t know the ‘it’ stood for italian, liked 16d and 14a, not sure if its a good one for us CC members, will wait to see the comments :) thanks Rishi, only needed your help on one today

  11. Prolixic
    Posted November 30, 2009 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    What a nice start to the week. With 29a, I was left with a choice of Italian or Iranian. It was then that the penny dropped and the “it” in the clue jumped out.

    Many thanks to Rufus for entertaining us today.

  12. Lea
    Posted November 30, 2009 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

    Well back at it after a break yesterday as I was away for the weekend.

    I don’t agree with most of the comments – thought it a bit flat for our Monday maestro and only found I enjoyed two clues – 14a and 22a. The rest were not difficult but I didn’t find them enjoyable. As for 8d – thought that was a dreadful clue (and answer) and I didn’t like 1a. That’s probably why I found it flat as that sets the tone for me. I did smile at 3d as remember having to fork over tuck money for my son and had never come across the term before.

    My brain obviously is different – I got 29a straightaway as I knew it from my youth – didn’t stick with it though as went off gin.

  13. Bob
    Posted November 30, 2009 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

    All too difficult for me Im afraid. I havent been able to finish the crossword for at least a week. Perhaps there should be an easier version. Or I shall just give up.

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

      Welcome to the blog Bob

      Don’t give up – practice is everything. I started very slowly today so I guessed it was going to be a bit tricky.

    • mary
      Posted November 30, 2009 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

      Dont give up Bob, I have been doing these since May now and have had loads of encouragement and help off everyone on this blog, i am getting better at it ( i hope) but still get days when i feel like you, i use lots of help most days i.e. chambers crossword dictionary and electronc thesaurus, days i get there and days i don’t!! there are a lot of us ‘clueless club’ members out there, so keep at it, most of all don’t give up :)

      • mary
        Posted November 30, 2009 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

        particularly don’t be discouraged by the solvers who are streets ahead of us, as someone said it is not a competition, it is a personal thing :)

      • Lea
        Posted November 30, 2009 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

        Mary – I have just read the comments from you late last night on the ST one – well done on giving out information.

        Bob – it should indicate that there are times when a puzzle clicks with those of us that are new and other times it doesn’t. Everyone has different skill sets and different knowledge. A bit of advice that Dave, Libellule and Gazza have given is to look at the hints and find out why the answer is what it is. The more you do it that way the better you become at recognising what the setter is looking for.

        I have been at it a bit longer than Mary – but just finished my postgrad studies so have had time to work on it. Don’t give up.

        • mary
          Posted November 30, 2009 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

          thanks lea

          • Barrie
            Posted November 30, 2009 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

            I know how you feel, some days I feel just the same!! Todays was a bit of a curates egg I thought. The top was nice with some excellent clues and the bottom contained some really frightful ones such as 23d and 29a – both really horrible!! Wasn’t keen on 30a either. It will come if you persevere but there will always be puzzles that stump you which is where this excellent blog comes in. Don’t let the ‘experts’ bully you!

            • Posted November 30, 2009 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

              Also bear in mind that English is not Rishi’s first language, and he can do these puzzles!

              A lot of clues are solved by having already seen something similar before which is why we always say that the more you do the easier they become. The importance of understanding the wordplay cannot be overstated. A lot of “Saturday Solvers” guess at the answers with no idea of why they fit – a glance at AnswerBank at the weekend will demonstrate what I mean.

              • Bob
                Posted November 30, 2009 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

                All very encouraging. I look at the answers and 98% of those I don’t know become immediately clear. Unfortunately answers like 6d “item” are obviously correct, but because I’ve never heard of “em” can’t fathom out the reason from the clue. Using obscure words which you can’t look up strikes me as a bit silly, Similarly 19a “salad”. I have no problem with 22a (traffic) however. By the way I only look at this site infrequently as I find it useful for days like this but on the whole prefer to do my own thing. Perhaps thats why I have difficulty. Memo to self buy some crossword solving books. My old pocket oxford is getting a bit ragged.

                • Posted November 30, 2009 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

                  I think you will find both em and en in most dictionaries. They are the width of a lower case m and n respectively in the font being used. They are also used in the code behind this and nearly every other website on the Internet.

                  • Bob
                    Posted November 30, 2009 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

                    Well there we are; archaic 19c words using inches as a unit of measurement. I still don,t like it. Too much Pica mix

  14. Pixie
    Posted November 30, 2009 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

    29a was the sticking point for me. I’d worked out that it was probably Italian as not much else fitted and that ‘it’ was short for Italian, but I hadn’t made the bartender connection. I was going along with the domain name abbreviation theory.

    So thanks for the help.

  15. Michael
    Posted November 30, 2009 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

    I liked 22d. I did not like 23d or 19a and 11a is a travesty – changes in it are surely due to activity?

    • Michael
      Posted November 30, 2009 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

      Ignore the cricism of 11a – I only just spotted the anagram lol

      • Posted November 30, 2009 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

        As with many of Rufus’s clues, you have to read them very carefully !!

  16. Bondini
    Posted November 30, 2009 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

    An enjoyable start to the week I thought. Also struggled to get 8d but when I finally did it sort of unlocked the rest.

    Knew that Gin and It was Vermouth so reluctantly concluded the answer. Not sure 27d works. Favourite clue was 22a though agree with Rishi it could have been vehicles instead.

    • Posted November 30, 2009 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

      If you see the comments by Rishi and Vince at #6 above, throughout meaning through out(side) is an example of a construct that would be unacceptable to Ximenean purists, so is mildly Libertarian in concept. The danger in rejecting anything that is not strictly Ximenean is that some of the fun disappears from the clues. Incidentally one of the most famous clues ever – Gegs (9,4) – is non-Ximenean.

      • Bondini
        Posted November 30, 2009 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

        I haven’t seen the Gegs clue but I’m pleased to say I have managed to solve it. I didn’t want to have to ask.

        I can happily accept that sort of lateral thinking as that is cryptic, I just thought 27d a little loose. Even when I had the answer I felt a little unsatisfied.

        • Bondini
          Posted November 30, 2009 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

          I’ve just checked the latin meaning for “per” and it says “thoroughly or through” so perhaps I should just concede defeat.

          Thanks for your response.

  17. sarumite
    Posted November 30, 2009 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

    Another decent start to the week, although I didn’t find it quite as fulfilling as the past two Monday puzzzles for some reason, probably too many late nights!!
    Although I had the answer to 27d, I was a bit dubious about the complete wordplay, so thanks Rishi for your explanation.
    Favourite clue 4d ~ so simple yet so fitting. Also liked 20d and 22d.

    • sarumite
      Posted November 30, 2009 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

      For 27a read 27d above .. it really must be the late nights! :smile:

  18. phisheep
    Posted November 30, 2009 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

    8d stumped me, and left me without enough help for a few of the others.

    Loved 5d though. and I am old enough to remember what It is.

    A nice start to the week.

  19. NathanJ
    Posted November 30, 2009 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

    An enjoyable though challenging start to the week.

    29a was the last one to go in. I guessed the answer but had no idea why. Thanks to Rishi for explaining this one.

    I agree with Nubian that this was a good puzzle but maybe should appear later in the week. Having said that, I still quite enjoyed it.