DT 26100

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26100

Hints and tips by Gazza

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

I’ll be very interested to hear your views on this puzzle. While I was solving it I had the impression that it was quite difficult, but later, writing the review, I can’t really see why I thought that.

All comments are welcome, especially from those readers who have yet to introduce themselves.

The answers are hidden between the curly brackets, to prevent your seeing them unless you want to. To reveal them just highlight the white space between the brackets.

Across Clues

1a  Revolutionary workers with poster by tree appear striking (3,1,4)
{CUT A DASH} – the definition is “appear striking” – start with a reversal (revolutionary) of TUC (Trades Union Congress, workers) and follow this with AD (poster) and ASH (tree).

5a  Boost man reportedly (6)
{FILLIP} – a synonym for a boost sounds like (reportedly) a man’s name, for example the Queen’s consort.

8a  A vacant look shown by boxer? It’s not acid (6)
{ALKALI} – start with A and add the outside letters (vacant, i.e. with nothing inside) of LooK and (Muhammad) ALI.

9a  College owns site for developing discipline (8 )
{CHASTISE} – a verb meaning to discipline is made from C(ollege), HAS (owns) and an anagram (developing) of SITE.

10a  Spot at Scottish island removing a feature that’s obsessive? (8 )
{FIXATION} – if you’re in an awkward position you’re in a spot or a FIX – add AT and ION(a) (Scottish island without A) to get a feature or characteristic that’s obsessive.

11a  Holding figure by river (6)
{TENURE} – put together TEN (figure) and URE (river).

12a  Hear about game barring outsiders? There’s deception (8 )
{TRICKERY} – hear, in the legal sense, is TRY – put (c)RICKE(t) (game bar the outside letters) inside.

13a  Go back about top person in court, we hear (6)
{RECEDE} – string together RE (about) and CEDE (sounds like, we hear, seed – a top person on a tennis court).

15a  Something used to explain a digit? (6)
{LEGEND} – double definition, the second a cryptic reference to a toe.

18a  Satisfactory — and nothing left presumably? (3,5)
{ALL RIGHT} – if none of them are on the left then they must be ……..

20a  Order, say, embodied by superior angel (6)
{ORANGE} – the name, for example, of an Irish Protestant order is hidden (embodied) in the clue.

21a  Untainted Northern railwaymen recalled second (6-2)
{RUNNER-UP} – a charade of PURE (untainted), N(orthern) and NUR (rail union) has to be reversed (recalled).

23a  A drop is spilt before a popular scattering? (8 )
{DIASPORA} – the dispersion of people (popular scattering), especially the Jews, away from their original lands is made from an anagram (spilt) of A DROP IS followed by A.

24a  Initially embarrassing mistake to pass (6)
{ELAPSE} – string together the initial letter of Embarrassing and LAPSE (mistake).

25a  Crime time forgot? Motive needed (6)
{REASON} – take the T(ime) away from TREASON to leave a motive. “needed” is just padding.

26a  Request Eastern feast in US city (8 )
{ENTREATY} – start with E(astern) and add TREAT (feast) inside N(ew) Y(ork). I was initially a bit dubious about treat meaning feast but Chambers isn’t.

Down Clues

1d  A couple of fellows supporting church? Rubbish (5)
{CHAFF} – put A and FF (two fellows) after (supporting, in a down clue) CH(urch).

2d  A descent that’s very flaky? (9)
{AVALANCHE} – a cryptic definition of a mass of snow (hence the “flaky”) and ice hurtling down a mountainside.

3d  Foolish error following American in Spain (7)
{ASININE} – a synonym for foolish is made from SIN (error) following A(merican) and ending with IN E (the international vehicle registration code for Spain).

4d  Taxi transferring Kay reaching race (7,8 )
{HACKNEY CARRIAGE} – an anagram (transferring) of KAY REACHING RACE.

5d  Praise excessively coffee in France (7)
{FLATTER} – put LATTE (coffee) inside FR(ance).

6d  Free time leads to lots enjoying idleness? Definitely (7)
{LEISURE} – start with the initial letters (leads) of Lots Enjoying Idleness and add SURE (definitely).

7d  Quiet journalist in new influential legal decision (9)
{PRECEDENT} – the definition is influential legal decision – start with P (piano, quiet) and then put ED (editor, journalist) inside RECENT (new).

12d  Very difficult assignment from diminutive monks? The opposite! (4,5)
{TALL ORDER} – This one does not work very well for me – the opposite of diminutive monks might, at a pinch, be gigantic nuns (?). What we have here is an informal expression meaning a very difficult assignment.

14d  View a Merc that’s crashed — it keeps the police busy? (5,4)
{CRIME WAVE} – an anagram (crashed) of VIEW A MERC.

16d  Fine start to afternoon going round a Spanish city (7)
{GRANADA} – fine is GRAND – add the first letter of Afternoon and put another A inside to get a Spanish city.

17d  Lose strength having drunk odd wine (3,4)
{DIE DOWN} – there’s a nice bit of misdirection here – odd is neither an anagram indicator nor telling us to take just the uneven letters of something, it’s part of the anagram fodder. We want an anagram (drunk) of ODD WINE.

19d  Easygoing Helen I enticed? Not entirely (7)
{LENIENT} – a synonym for easygoing is hidden (not entirely) in the clue.

22d  Pasty extremely tasty? Goodness! (5)
{PIETY} – put together PIE (pasty) and the outside letters (extremely) of TastY.
The clues I liked today included 12a and 6d but my favourite was 8a. Let us know what you think!


60 Comments

  1. Nubian
    Posted December 1, 2009 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    I got the same impression Gazza, although I thought it was hard all the way through. The clues were very clever.

  2. Prolixic
    Posted December 1, 2009 at 11:03 am | Permalink

    I too thought that this was trickier than some of the crosswords that we have had. I think that this because there were some more complex clues to resolve, like 1a where you have both a reversal and a charade , 10a or 12a where you have a container and a curtailment . All the clues were fair but did need careful reading as the wordplay did not immediately jump out on some of them. This one took me longer than usual but was fun to solve.

    There were a good range of clues in terms of clue types and ease of solving. My favourites were 7d, 12a, 15a and 8a.

    On the basis that Ray T does alternate Tuesdays, do we have Shamus to thank for today’s puzzle?

    • gazza
      Posted December 1, 2009 at 11:06 am | Permalink

      Prolixic
      I don’t know who the setter is, but Shamus is probably a good guess!

  3. gnomethang
    Posted December 1, 2009 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    I thoroughly enjoyed this today – found it reasonably tricky but everything came in eventually (3d last which I liked).
    Favourites were 10a, 23a and 7d.

  4. LB
    Posted December 1, 2009 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    Absolutely agree with all so far.To use a sporting vernacular I found it definitely a game of 2 halves , East of Hackney I solved reasonably quickly but West I found tricky.
    Favourites were 10a and 11a.

  5. Vince
    Posted December 1, 2009 at 11:49 am | Permalink

    So far, it’s unanimous – a very enjoyable puzzle. I thought it was testing, without being too difficult.

    Originally, I didn’t like 12a. I got the answer very quickly from the definition, but couldn’t fit it with the rest of the clue. Eventually, I thought that it was very clever and the best clue of the crossword.

  6. Claire
    Posted December 1, 2009 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

    At home with v nasty cough today :-( so able to settle down with hot drink & crossword early for a change:-) Very enjoyable! though in the end I had to resort to Gazza’s clues for the last 4 (10,11,12 & 24a) – thanks! 12a very clever once I realised why it was what it was. Also liked 8a,15a and 21a. In fact I thought most of the crosses were better than the downs today.

  7. mary
    Posted December 1, 2009 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    I found the bottom left hand corner very hard, worthy of a Toughie in my opinion, well done Claire. 23a, never heard of, 12a, another obscure ‘cricket’ clue, the last one I got was 20a because I had inadvertently spelt Granada as Grenada!! In terms of like & dislike I would say 50/50 – I think a difficult one for cc members but worth the struggle, completed without the blog Gazza, but still had lots of help from my usual sources, I wonder if I will ever be able to do one without – sigh. :)

    • mary
      Posted December 1, 2009 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

      sorry for all the spelling typing errors in that post!!

      • Posted December 1, 2009 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

        Sorted !!

        • mary
          Posted December 1, 2009 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

          thanks Dave :)

    • gazza
      Posted December 1, 2009 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

      mary
      I don’t think that you can complain about 12a being obscure – it’s just got part of the name of cricket in it.

      • mary
        Posted December 1, 2009 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

        but Gazza anything remotely connected to cricket is obscure to me :)

        • gazza
          Posted December 1, 2009 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

          mary
          Would you still have disliked the clue if it had said “insect without bounds” rather than “game barring outsiders”? :D

          • mary
            Posted December 1, 2009 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

            you know me so well :)

          • Posted December 1, 2009 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

            I think Gazza’s clue would have been better.

            • mary
              Posted December 1, 2009 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

              me too, less cricket the better :)

    • Claire
      Posted December 1, 2009 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

      Very much hoping to get some helpful ‘sources’ for Christmas! Keep at it Barrie – this was a tough one I think and if I hadn’t been confined to my bed I’m sure I’d have given up sooner!

  8. Barrie
    Posted December 1, 2009 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

    Dear God, this isn’t a crossword, it’s an Oxbridge entrance exam. Unbelievably difficult. Can’t get a single clue.

    • mary
      Posted December 1, 2009 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

      :) Yes you can Barrie, i thought that at first, just leave it for a while and then go back to it, i had to do that several times!!

      • Barrie
        Posted December 1, 2009 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

        Been back now over lunch and got 3 but the rest are too obscure for me. Don’t like puzzles that take huge amounts of time. Thought it was just me but everyone at work who does the DT crossword also thinks this is a stinker!! Come on DT, what about some crosswords for mortal men?

        • mary
          Posted December 1, 2009 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

          and women??? :)

          • Claire
            Posted December 1, 2009 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

            But isn’t it great when, all of a sudden, the light goes on! :-)

            • mary
              Posted December 1, 2009 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

              think I need a brighter bulb!! :) get well soon Claire

  9. deecdee
    Posted December 1, 2009 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

    Gazza totally agree with your summary. My first read through yielded only two entries. Howerver this was a thoughly enjpyable challenge. Thanks for a very good blog.

  10. Will
    Posted December 1, 2009 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

    Very enjoyable crossword today. Had some difficulty with 3d and 12a. Favourite clue 26a. Pleased to find that I was not the only one who found it testing!

  11. Yoshik
    Posted December 1, 2009 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

    Good standard of crossword for all today.

    Yes I too had to take a good few minutes to get kick started, (wife sorted that so sore behind), but once in the mode, must say a good crossword.

    No obscure words, but nonetheless clues which needed to be broken down.

    Again a very good start to the week with this and yesterday’s. Let look at the Toughie now. Maybe that will bring me down to earth.

    • Prolixix
      Posted December 1, 2009 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

      Very reasonable Toughie today – about on a par with some of the more complex clues in today’s Daily Cryptic.

      • Yoshik
        Posted December 1, 2009 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

        Prolixix

        On your recommendation I will attack the Toughie.

      • gnomethang
        Posted December 1, 2009 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

        Failed on 28a with the Toughie – I will pick it up again at Lunch.
        I thought it was a fir bit harder than Today’s DT with the exception of a handful of pretty straightforward clues.
        Will wait for the Toughie post to continue.

        • Libellule
          Posted December 1, 2009 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

          28a Is a small town in Cornwall. More annoyingly the clue/wordplay is awful too. Since Dave is doing the Toughie review today, I will leave him to start the commentary on this one.

          • gnomethang
            Posted December 1, 2009 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

            Yup – Thought I was on the right lines – trying to get LOSTI(T) and TORMEN(T) with I in and all sorts – I am quite prepared to admit defeat but am glad of your description of the wordplay!

            • Prolixic
              Posted December 1, 2009 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

              For the first part of the answer, think more along the line of having lost your wit(s). Add on one in endless torment (hiel(l)) to get a small town in Cornwall. The clue falls down for me because the phase for going mad has the word “your” in that you have to remove for the answer. That said, I have probably misunderstood the first part of the answer and have arrived at the right solution by the wrong means.

              • Posted December 1, 2009 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

                I don’t need to bother finishing the blog today !!!

                • Prolixic
                  Posted December 1, 2009 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

                  Oh, go on…!

              • Libellule
                Posted December 1, 2009 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

                Yep!
                LOST WIT(s) H I EL(l)

  12. LB
    Posted December 1, 2009 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

    Mary
    Ditto with Grenada/Granada so 20a was my last also.More annoying in that I`ve been !

  13. Bondini
    Posted December 1, 2009 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

    What a great puzzle. Words in common usage (except 23a), well concealed, requiring application and yet you instantly knew when you had the right answer. Very enjoyable.

  14. Shamus
    Posted December 1, 2009 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Gazza for the blog and for all the comments. Sorry Barrie found it hard – it wasn’t designed to be! Hope he manages to work his way through it eventually without it becoming a slog.

  15. Dottle
    Posted December 1, 2009 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

    Very decent challenge with some marvellous misdirections, especially, as Gazza says, the “drunk odd wine” at 17d which had me up a blind alley for a while trying to fit odd letters of wine into something. Favourite clue 13 across.

  16. Touchwood
    Posted December 1, 2009 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

    Funny how perceptions vary, isn’t it? I had less trouble with this than I usually have, and would have classed it as relatively easy, but I was quite pleased with myself for a couple of answers reached without too much trouble – 12a, 9a, 23a particularly. I don’t class myself as a particularly strong solver – I’m too lazy – so I suppose I was just on a roll today.

    Having said that, I had 20a wrong – totally missed the hidden ORANGE (even after seeing it as a “fit” with the checking letters) I had ORACLE; and gave up on 24a and 26a (I said I was lazy!)

    I find the whole issue of relative difficulty fascinating – ELAPSE and ENTREATY aren’t difficult words, but I just didn’t find them – despite having deduced the “route” to them from the clue properly. Yet I found DIASPORA and TRICKERY with no problem – the brain’s a funny and unpredicatable machine, isn’t it?

    • gnomethang
      Posted December 1, 2009 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

      //the brain’s a funny and unpredicatable machine, isn’t it?//

      Nah!, You’re just weird ;) !

      • Touchwood
        Posted December 1, 2009 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

        I do appreciate a generous compliment :-)

  17. gus
    Posted December 1, 2009 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

    Hard but fair I thought. Some nice “easy singles” to get off the mark always welcome – 8a,18a, 21a, 4d, 14d, and some “googlies” to really dig out – 10a, 5a, 12d.

    Chuckle factor winner today: 25a

    Good fun!

  18. Bob
    Posted December 1, 2009 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

    Well thats interesting. I found yesterdays difficult and todays not exactly hard. Very logical clues. Clearly it depends on the setter, the amount of time you have and the mood your in. So no Mr grumpy drawers today

  19. Terry
    Posted December 1, 2009 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

    Much too difficult for me today. However I could kick myself for not getting 4d……….

  20. randombloke
    Posted December 1, 2009 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

    A very enjoyable crossword, not having a Chambers Crossword dictionary (xmas pressie hint Eileen [the better half]) I had to resort to crosswordpuzzlehelp for 23a I had the letters just didn’t know the word. 24 a eluded me. I liked 8a, 4d and 5a though I spelt it wrongly at first which foxed me for 5d which i thought was an anagram as Praise contains all the letters of Paris. All became clear when I spelled it filip not Philip and became my clue of the day. Also had trechery for 12 a for a long while thinking it was hear (try) the game was archery minus ary . Ho hum

  21. Edi
    Posted December 1, 2009 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

    Yesterdays and Todays very difficult. but also very enjoyable. 5a was a new word for me. Well written Shamus.. Thankyou :smile:

  22. Little Dave
    Posted December 1, 2009 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

    Tough today – not tuned demonstrated by me staring into space on the commute home pen poised but not being used.

  23. Slim Jim
    Posted December 1, 2009 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

    We got the lot – but it was tricky – maybe a **** puzzle here?

    • gazza
      Posted December 1, 2009 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

      Slim Jim
      When I solved it I definitely thought that it was 4* in difficulty, but later, when I was writing the review, I thought that it was less difficult than I’d originally thought, so changed to 3*. I’ll have to stick to first impressions in future!

      • Adrian
        Posted December 1, 2009 at 11:35 pm | Permalink

        The only difficult questions in life are those to which one does not have the answers.

    • Posted December 1, 2009 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

      I agree with Gazza’s assessment , for me it was at the lower end of *** difficulty. These ratings are only meant as a guide and for the average solver could easily be +/- one star. The idea of the star ratings is to give a difficulty rating relative to your own ability. The winner of the Times Crossword Championship solved three puzzles that we would have given a ****/***** rating in a total of less than half an hour – if I had solved a puzzle in less than 10 minutes it would have rated just one star!

  24. James
    Posted December 1, 2009 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

    I found it quite tough but enjoyable. A quick question, is ‘fellow’ always “f” or are there some other possibilities?

    • gazza
      Posted December 1, 2009 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

      James
      If you want an abbreviation for fellow, then Chambers Dictionary of Crossword Abbreviations gives these possibilities:
      BRO, F, M

  25. NathanJ
    Posted December 1, 2009 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

    Excellent crossword today. It took me a while to complete but I had a feeling of satisfaction when I got there. A very enjoyable solve.

    I really like Tuesdays – Ray T and Shamus are the new dynamic duo! Keep these great Tuesday puzzles coming.

  26. Adrian
    Posted December 1, 2009 at 10:45 pm | Permalink

    Avalanche- flakey?

    • Libellule
      Posted December 2, 2009 at 8:50 am | Permalink

      Flakes of snow?

      • Adrian
        Posted December 2, 2009 at 11:47 am | Permalink

        Poor clue.

  27. Derek
    Posted December 2, 2009 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    I got off to a quick start with the NW corner – 4d very easy! but ran into slowdown in the SW corner. After getting 12d it went rapidly. No problems elsewhere.
    I liked 1a, 8a, 24a and 5d .