DT 26115

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26115

Hints and tips by Gazza

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

Another Friday and another treat from Giovanni – how does he manage to produce the goods time after time?

For new readers – if you actually need to see an answer they are hidden inside the curly brackets under each clue, to prevent your seeing them accidentally. Just highlight the white space inside the brackets to reveal the answer.

We love getting your comments, so please keep them coming.

Across Clues

1a  What you get when nag cracks up? (5,5)
{HORSE LAUGH} – cryptic definition of what you might hear if your equine friend was told a funny joke.

6a  Drilling apparatus adjacent to a port (4)
{RIGA} – put together a structure used for drilling, e.g. for oil, and A to get a Baltic capital and port (now apparently full of stag and hen parties from the UK each weekend).

9a  Learner suffering grew weak (10)
{LANGUISHED} – the definition is grew weak – you need to put an adjective meaning suffering after the letter displayed on a car to signify that a learner driver is at the wheel.

10a  Rod giving hints the wrong way (4)
{SPIT} – reverse (the wrong way) a synonym for hints.

12a  Recruit is silent when disciplined (6)
{ENLIST} – an anagram (disciplined) of SILENT produces a verb meaning to recruit.

13a  A bishop in carefully planned operation is taking a leading role (8 )
{STARRING} – a carefully planned operation designed to deceive is a STING – put the abbreviation for a Right Reverend (bishop) inside.

15a  Joint declaration (12)
{ARTICULATION} – double definition.

18a  Rum theatre, no exceptionally creative force (6,6)
{MOTHER NATURE} – an anagram (exceptionally) of RUM THEATRE NO provides the personification of the creative force in the world.

21a  Spirited quality shown by French dramatist’s small son (8 )
{RACINESS} – start with a 17th-century French dramatist and add S(mall) and S(on). add SS (the first S coming after the apostrophe and the second from abbreviated (small) S(on)) (Thanks to TimB for the correction).

22a  Duck egg falling out of two-wheeled vehicle (6)
{SCOTER} – take an O (egg, circular shape) out of a two-wheeled vehicle to leave a type of northern diving duck.

24a  Command William? (4)
{TELL} – double definition, with William being the forename of the Swiss archer and folk-hero.

25a  It’s steered off a minor road (4,6)
{SIDE STREET} – an anagram (off) of IT’S STEERED.

26a  Feeling bad in shop having wasted time (4)
{SORE} – remove T(ime) from a word for a shop.

27a  More than one left-winger sits uneasily when backing the party (10)
{SOCIALISTS} – put an anagram (uneasily) of SITS after (backing) an informal get-together (party) and you have left-wingers.

Down Clues

1d  Big room you once set up for astronomer (6)
{HALLEY} – start with a large room (where meetings may be held, for example) and add an old word for “you” reversed (set up) to get the name of the English astronomer after whom a comet is named.

2d  Row gets the French upset (6)
{RANKLE} – put a word meaning a row or line in front of the French definite article and you have a verb meaning to irritate or upset.

3d  Stupidly, I resent Queen being a horsewoman (12)
{EQUESTRIENNE} – an anagram (stupidly) of I RESENT QUEEN is a posh word for a horsewoman.

4d  Too casual, sometimes missing several bits (4)
{ALSO} – hidden in the clue is a word meaning too or as well as.

5d  Relations almost oily receiving slap in the face (5,5)
{GREAT AUNTS} – put most of GREAS(y) (almost oily) around (receiving) a word meaning an insult or provocation (slap in the face) and you have your grandmother’s sisters.

7d  One politician within the law — that’s understood (8 )
{IMPLICIT} – an adjective meaning understood without being explicitly stated is a charade of I (one), an elected politician and a synonym for lawful.

8d  King’s daughter eating no stew (8 )
{ANTIGONE} – an anagram (stew) of EATING NO produces the name of the daughter of an incestuous relationship between King Oedipus of Thebes and his mother. It’s the name of a play by Sophocles, and also one by the French dramatist Jean Anouilh which I remember having to wade through at school.

11d  Largo certain to be played in musical event (5,7)
{ORGAN RECITAL} – an anagram (to be played) of LARGO CERTAIN produces a musical performance.

14d  Yapper keeps so very quiet! (10)
{PIANISSIMO} – hidden (keeps) in the centre of yaPPer is the abbreviation standing for the musical directive to play very quietly.

16d  One who’s retired will have free time, sure! (8 )
{EMERITUS} – an anagram (free) of TIME SURE gives the honorary title given to a distinguished professor who has retired.

17d  Disciplinarian first to stifle a person who might cause laughter (8 )
{STICKLER} – the definition is disciplinarian – start with the initial letter (first) of S(tifle) and add someone who makes you laugh (Ken Dodd, perhaps?).

19d  He leaves pagans in a foreign capital (6)
{ATHENS} – remove the initial HE (he leaves) from a synonym for pagans and you end up with the capital of Greece.

20d  Conspirator not sweet to you and me (6)
{BRUTUS} – put together a word used to describe a very dry wine (not sweet) and the pronoun meaning you and me, and you get the name of the leading conspirator in the assassination of J. Caesar.

23d  Fairy with little power and anger rising (4)
{PERI} – this fairy starts with P(ower) and this is followed by a synonym for anger reversed (rising).

The clues I enjoyed included 3d, 4d and 17d, but my favourite today is 15a. What do you think? – let us know in a comment!

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24 Comments

  1. Prolixic
    Posted December 18, 2009 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    A nice outing from Giovanni this morning. Lots of fun to solve (even with a hangover). In addition to your top clues, I would also add 14d for keeping me guessing for ages and trying to fit “so” into a breed of dog until the wordplay dawned on me.

    Many thanks for the puzzle Giovanni. Presumably this is your last DT before Christmas, so hope that you have a happy, peaceful and enjoyable time over the festive season.

    • Posted December 18, 2009 at 11:30 am | Permalink

      We believe there might be a Xmas Day Toughie on CluedUp (Elgar?), but probably no DT puzzle. If there is a Toughie, we will try to blog it as soon as possible, but don’t be surprised if it’s not there at the usual time!

      • Prolixic
        Posted December 18, 2009 at 11:37 am | Permalink

        I think in previous years there have been standard cryptics on Clued Up for Christmas Day. If Elgar is giving us a Christmas Day special Toughie, it will take more than three wise men to get to the bottom of it!

  2. gnomethang
    Posted December 18, 2009 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    How Tickled I was!. Another tattifilarious outing from Giovanni.
    I couldnt see the reason for 14d until it slapped me in the face!.

    Thanks for the review!.
    17d was me fave!.

  3. barbyjo
    Posted December 18, 2009 at 11:45 am | Permalink

    A really good puzzle today! Especially needed today as I was reading the clues through tears at 9.30 as Sir Terry said his goodbye to us. My two favourite things in the morning……. The crossword and El Tel…………all that’s good about this country!!

  4. alan
    Posted December 18, 2009 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    Enjoyed it very much, made me feel good to have finished it. 15a was the best, and took me some time to connect

  5. Franny
    Posted December 18, 2009 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    I enjoyed this though did find it quite difficult and needed more help than I like. Got completely stuck on the bottom left hand corner and couldn’t finish without your hints, which I always appreciate and enjoy reading. Still, it was good fun, and I’ll just have to learn to read the clues more carefully. 14d was best for me, also 15a and 3d. :-)

  6. barbyjo
    Posted December 18, 2009 at 11:51 am | Permalink

    Sorry ….All that’s GREAT!!
    Happy Christmas x

  7. LB
    Posted December 18, 2009 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    Ditto re 14d, being a dog lover was also trying to identify one of our canine friends.Thanks for the explanation as I got the answer but couldn`t figure out why.Most ejoyable.

  8. Nubian
    Posted December 18, 2009 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    This was quality today, especially 16d and 21a. I sometimes wonder where my brain is storing all this stuff when I thought the only french dramatist I know is Moliere, then my brain said there is Racine and Balzac and…… is it the snow ?
    I am glad I am 58 years old, I would have hated to go to school today as my mam would never have given me a note.

  9. deecdee
    Posted December 18, 2009 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

    Thank you Gazza. very very enjoyable. Yapper held me in suspense for ages.

  10. Lea
    Posted December 18, 2009 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

    I do enjoy Fridays – thank you for an excellent puzzle Giovanni and thank you for the review Gazza.

    Took 1 minute longer on Clued Up than I should have so didn’t earn my bonus points this week. For some reason it took me a while to get 2d and kicked myself when I did.

    My favourites were 16d and 6a – for once a four letter word that I liked!!!

  11. Roger
    Posted December 18, 2009 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

    Too tough for us to finish over lunch, but a really good puzzle.,hard but fair.

  12. Vince
    Posted December 18, 2009 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

    Had a late start on the crossword, today, due to the snow and a meeting. My first read through told me it was going to be difficult, and I thought I might not finish it. But, once I had time to sit and concentrate on it, I didn’t find it too bad, and finished fairly quickly.

    14d stumped me until the end. (Did I just use a cricket term??) I finally got the answer from the definition and the checked letters, but couldn’t fit it with the rest of the clue. I thought this and 18a were the best clues.

  13. NathanJ
    Posted December 18, 2009 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

    Very good puzzle. Every time I do a Giovanni puzzle I often say to myself “gee, this guy is good”. I find his puzzles thoroughly engrossing and enjoyable even when I don’t finish them.

    Gazza, thanks for your explanation of 14d – I had written in the correct answer but could not understand the wordplay until I read your explanation.

    If this is Giovanni’s last regular cryptic for 2009 then I wish him a great Christmas and New Year and I look forward to tackling his puzzles in 2010!

  14. TimB
    Posted December 18, 2009 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

    Surely, for 21 across, the answer is (philosopher’s name), implied apostrophe “s,” then “s” for small son?

    • gazza
      Posted December 18, 2009 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

      Hi Tim – welcome to the blog.
      I’d agree that the apostrophe S would be used if the clue did not contain “small”, but I can’t see how a single S can stand for both “small” and “son”.

    • gazza
      Posted December 18, 2009 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

      Tim
      Having put brain into gear, I now think you’re correct – with the second S coming from abbreviated S(on).

      • TimB
        Posted December 18, 2009 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

        That’s how I saw it.

        I’ve been visiting the site for 3-4 weeks now, on and off, depending on when I have time to do the crossword. Keep up the good work!

  15. Giovanni
    Posted December 18, 2009 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for all that. Christmas Greetings reciprocated — and Happy Puzzling in 2010!

  16. Greenhorn
    Posted December 18, 2009 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

    Too hard for me -got about half way through then came to a grinding halt and no matter how many times I revisted it, could not get any further. If I had sat here until Xmas I wouldn’t have got scoter, racine , athens , brutus , articulation ( thought it might be proclamation but couldn’t see why) , pianissimo or peri.
    Well done to those who finished -but do you never get totally and utterly stuck?

    • Franny
      Posted December 18, 2009 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

      Yes, and that’s where the Crossword Solver site is such a help. Especially for comparative novices such as myself. Keep trying — you learn such a lot :-)

  17. Chris
    Posted December 19, 2009 at 12:31 am | Permalink

    Another late night and there are people out there!
    Brilliant friday outing thanks to Giovanni but would join in the doubts about 14 down.
    I llked 16down and 8down even tho’ they are both anagrams.
    I guess you guys are now starting on the Saturday one…..

  18. Derek
    Posted December 20, 2009 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

    Another late posting – we are completely snowed up on this last day of autumn!
    VG puzzle from Giovanni again.
    My favourites are12a, 21a & 20d.
    I notice that Rishi says snow is causing computer trouble – not half!! – my PC refuses to log on and is working at a snail’s pace with this weather.