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DT 26135

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26135

Hints and tips by Gazza

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

We have a good work-out today (or perhaps it’s just that my brain is getting sluggish in the Arctic winter that we’re having!). As I write I see that Clued Up is showing five stars for difficulty for this one – I wouldn’t go that far, but I think that it is a bit trickier than we’re used to on a Tuesday.
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For new readers, the answer for each clue is hidden between the curly brackets beneath the relevant clue – just drag your cursor through the white space between the brackets if you want to see it.

Across Clues

2a  District with cup in Italy? I’m excited (12)
{MUNICIPALITY} – we start with an anagram (excited) of CUP IN ITALY I’M.

8a  Discharge from jail available (4)
{LAVA} – the type of discharge that appears from an active volcano is hidden in the clue.

9a  Rule with policy found amid publicity for jet? (8 )
{AIRLINER} – put R(ule) and LINE (policy) inside (amid) AIR (exposure or publicity) and you get a type of passenger vehicle of which a jet is an example.

10a  Plotting putsch? It is fraud (6-2)
{STITCH-UP} – what’s definite about this clue is that it involves an anagram and that the anagram fodder is PUTSCH IT. What’s not quite so clear is which of the remaining two words is the definition and which the anagram indicator. I eventually decided that fraud is the definition, with plotting being the indicator, but I could be wrong.

11a  Last object in front of flower (6)
{ENDURE} – put a synonym for object or goal in front of a Yorkshire river to get a verb meaning to last a long time.

12a  Answer Ron’s formulated showing bigoted quality? (10)
{NARROWNESS} – an anagram (formulated) of ANSWER RON’S produces a noun meaning a restricted outlook or bigotry.

13a  Player without book gets help (6)
{ASSIST} – start with a musician who plays a double bass or a bass guitar and remove the initial B (book).

16a  Dictator purging liberal in shame (5)
{STAIN} – take the name of the Soviet dictator who was referred to, ironically, as Uncle Joe, and remove the L (liberal) to leave a verb meaning to bring shame or disgrace to someone’s reputation.

17a  Clash having released daughter’s dog (6)
{COLLIE} – start with a verb meaning to clash (or crash into) and remove the D(aughter) to leave the collective name for several breeds of herding dog.

18a  Thought scribbling a note timid (10)
{MEDITATION} – an anagram (scribbling) of A NOTE TIMID leads to a word meaning deep thought or contemplation. I’ve never come across scribbling as an anagram indicator and I can’t see how it can be made to mean re-arranging, though Chambers does have a second meaning of scribble as “to comb roughly”.

21a  Specialist on different strains? (6)
{PHYSIO} – cryptic definition of a medical practitioner (these days often associated with a professional sports team) who treats injuries by massage and physical exercise.

23a  Service still not good (8 )
{EVENSONG} – a church service (one normally held later in the day) is made from a phrase meaning nevertheless or still, followed by N(ot) (presumably as used in cricket, for example, where NO is Not Out) and G(ood).

24a  One serving pilot around US island (8 )
{FUSILIER} – put a synonym for aircraft pilot round US I(sland) to get a serving soldier in some British regiments.

25a  On the move right away for wine (4)
{ASTI} – on the move, or up and about, is ASTIR – take off the R(ight) to get the Italian sparkling wine which is more popular in crosswords than in off-licences.

26a  Tender foreign money around second shop (12)
{DELICATESSEN} – string together a synonym for tender or fragile and SEN (foreign money, a coin in Japan and other Asian countries) and put S(econd) inside to get the type of shop which sells cooked meats and cheeses.

Down Clues

1d  Seductive woman losing power repeated formula (6)
{MANTRA} – an informal term for a seductive woman is a MANTRAP (discuss!) – remove the P(ower) to get a word or phrase which is repeated over and over again to aid meditation.

2d  Mate furls rigging — like an expert? (9)
{MASTERFUL} – an anagram (rigging) of MATE FURLS.

3d  Relation from Tyneside with relieved expression (6)
{NEPHEW} – think (in terms of the compass) of the part of England where Tyneside lies. Now add an expression of relief, and you should end up with your brother’s, or sister’s, son.

4d  Precise authority familiar to Bible buff? (7,3,5)
{CHAPTER AND VERSE} – a phrase meaning a word-for-word recital of the sources of one’s information contains two divisions of the Bible often quoted by religious types.

5d  Normal names aroused cheer in Rome? (8 )
{PARMESAN} – cheer can mean fare or food, and “in Rome” just means Italian, so what we want is some Italian food and it’s made from PAR (normal, average) followed by an anagram (aroused) of NAMES.

6d  Haunt associated with duke and landowner (5)
{LAIRD} – another word for the den (haunt) of a wild animal is followed by D(uke) to get the owner of an estate in Scotland.

7d  Greek is in middle of area to speculate (8 )
{THEORISE} – a common Greek male forename is followed by IS inside the middle two letters of aREa to get a verb meaning to speculate.

Theo Kojak

14d  Army team’s trained in southern Norway, one internationally respected? (9)
{STATESMAN} – put the abbreviation for the Territorial Army followed by an anagram (trained) of TEAM’S inside S(outhern) N(orway) to get a political figure who is experienced on the world stage.

15d  Fashionable banker touring hotel, place to develop skills? (8 )
{HOTHOUSE} – something that is currently fashionable is HOT and the river (banker) that we want is the OUSE. Put H (for which the word hotel is used in the phonetic alphabet) between the two to get a place where intensive training is given.

16d  Spraying of limes on a pudding (8 )
{SEMOLINA} – an anagram (spraying) of LIMES ON A produces a pudding.

19d  Essay and article on spies? (6)
{THESIS} – put the definite article on top of SIS (spies – well it’s a change from CIA, but it has merited a question mark) to get an essay or dissertation.

20d  Decorative old service appearing with tea prepared (6)
{ORNATE} – start with O(ld) and the abbreviation for the Royal Navy (service) and follow up with an anagram (prepared) of TEA to get a synonym for decorative.

22d  Genre brought up in terrific style (3-2)
{SCI-FI} – a genre of literature popularised by writers such as Isaac Asimov and Arthur C Clarke is reversed (brought up) in the clue.

I liked 23a, 24a and 4d today, but my favourite was 3d. How about you? – leave us a comment with your views!

53 comments on “DT 26135

  1. Definitely not just you, gazza, this certainly merits 4-stars. I found this to be a real brain stretcher but a thoroughly excellent puzzle.
    Favourite for me was 24a.

    For what its worth, I completed the Toughie faster than this one. I would suggest that for anyone wanting to start tackling the Toughie that today would be a good day to have a crack!.

    Thanks for the review!

    1. I too completed the Toughie in half the time I did this one. Great crossword though; enjoyed it as much as the friday offering from Giovanni…

  2. Agreed that this was a real brain bender but highly enjoyable. Favourite clues today were 5d and 22d. Is it only me or were there too many subtract a letter from the definition to get the answer clues today?

    I too found the Toughie miles easier. By way of contrast, I spent the whole of the journey to Waterloo getting to grips with the daily cryptic. I began the Toughie queuing for the Drain and had finished it by the time i got off the travellator at Bank!

    1. Having now done the Toughie, I have to agree with all the comments that it’s easier than this one.

  3. I found this difficult, but enjoyable.

    5d. I don’t think I’ve ever seen “cheer” as “food”.

    10a. The anagram indicator must be “plotting”. If that was the definition, the answer would have to be “stitching-up”, wouldn’t it?

    18a. As there seems to be no rule about this, I assume that anything that looks as though it might be an anagram indicator, probably is!!

  4. Might be because the office is air conditioned but I found this reasonably straightforward although 5 full and 2 half anagrams is probably pushing it a bit.Last two to finish were 15d and 21a.
    Favourites were 21a and 24a

  5. I loved today’s puzzle. I struggled but got a huge sense of satisfaction when I put the last answer in ( 21a).

    Great balance between difficulty and likelihood of finishing it for me.

  6. Liked this puzzle – had to extend my lunch break to wrestle with it. Not convinced by 9a (publicity or publicise) and 23a but I liked 1d when I eventually got it. Chher for food in 5d was new to me but my favourite was 24a

  7. Very enjoyable crossword and like most of the earlier comments I thought it harder than the toughie, however I really enjoyed both offerings.

    1. Welcome to the blog cable24

      Gazza and I discussed this beforehand – the problem with your analysis is that while NG is an accepted abbreviation for “no good”, the clue says “not good” (at least the one published on CluedUp does).

  8. Managed to get them all except ‘physio’ – which was a bit unfair (nothing to say it’s an abbrevn.).

    1. Slim Jim

      The English language is ever changing and Chambers has physio as an informal word for a physiotherapist, rather than as an abbreviation.

  9. I enjoyed that. got my bonus marks in clued up so feeling quite good. Got stuck for a bit on 21a – I had adagio because I didn’t read the first part of the clue!! Had to change it when I got 22d. There were some lovely clues but I particularly liked 1d and 4d.

    May try the Toughie after all the comments above.

  10. Like others, finished the tougie but got stuck on this. I enjoyed it but still can’t get my head round some of the answers.

      1. I thought that Bellringer was referring to some answers which he couldn’t understand in this puzzle.

  11. Many thanks to Nubian and Mary for their advice on Saturday. No papers AGAIN today in Jersey (apparently the truck delivering them to the airport had a flat tyre) so have just signed up to Cluedup. Though judging by your comments Gazza, maybe I’ll try the toughie first!

  12. Thanks to Gazza for the blog and others for comments. Just to clear up a couple of things: 18a I think “scribbling” is acceptable as an anagram indicator as it can be a transitive verb meaning to write carelessly (setters do try to take care about what words they use as anagram indicators despite what some may think!) 23a NG should of course be no good rather than not good – apologies for the inadvertent extra “t” (which was no good!)

    This was my 50th Telegraph cryptic puzzle so thanks for the encouraging feedback having reached this personal milestone.

    1. Thanks for clearing that up, Shamus, and for the puzzle, and congratulations on reaching your half-century!

    2. Thanks for a belter today, Shamus, and well done on the 50!.
      looking forward to the century conversion.

    3. Happy 50th, Shamus and thanks for a great crossword today! We managed it without assistance even if it did take ages.Likes 26a

  13. Out of my league -I got about half way through but even if you had sat me here all night I wouldn’t have got anymore.
    I’ll try the toughie later.

  14. Good fun, quite a number where I could get the answer from one half of the clue and crossing letters and then had to scratch my head to work out the derivation from the other half e.g. 9 across, 7 and 15 down. Great stuff.

  15. just thought i’d say thanks for posting hints for today’s cryptic. i thought it tougher than usual and without your help would have been stumped on 9a, 1d, 5d (cheer = food?), 14d and 15d.

    i found this site a couple of days ago and (judging by my effort today) in the nick of time. please keep up the good work.

    1. Hi scat3660 – welcome to the blog.
      I’m sorry for the delay in getting your comment posted – it’s because all first posts have to be moderated to weed out spam. Any comments you make in future should appear straight away.
      Now that you’ve found us, I hope that you’ll be a regular visitor (and commenter)!

  16. It’s strange but i actually enjoyed this puzzle today, i found a lot of the clues easy to work out and managed about 3/4 of it with the usual help from chambers and electronic friend, i then finished the other bottom left corner on the phone with my brother who was actually struggling too, amazing how much quicker the answers come to you when reasoning it out between two people :) thanks Gazza

    1. Mary, the bottom left was also my sticking point even though I enjoy the ‘genre’ novel.
      Your recent comments and the fact that you actually enjoyed this difficult puzzle says a great deal about your progress!
      Have a tickle at the Toughie!

  17. Found it harder than the Toughie. The bottom half was more taxing and I sweated over bottom left especially – mainly because I convinced myself for a time that 24a must refer to Rhode Island. Guessed 26a. 14d southern Norway seemed lame so perhaps I missed something. I was distracted throughout solving by A.Campbell so didn’t give it my best shot possibly, but enjoyed it and felt chuffed to get complete it.

  18. Yes, doing this one with a friend would really have been help. I didn’t like it. Managed to solve a bit more than half and then got thoroughly stuck, and looking eventually at your explanations there are a number of answers I would never have found. Few, if any “Oh yes, of course!” moments. I mucked myself up in the top corner by putting ‘free’ for 8a and couldn’t do the bottom left corner at all. More clueless than usual, I’m afraid :-(

  19. Strangely whizzed through this then hit the buffers and struggled with the last 6 or so. A very good puzzle in my book.

  20. Excellent puzzle. It took me quite a while but I got there in the end.

    Congratulations to Shamus on reaching 50 puzzles for the Telegraph. Here’s to many more Telegraph puzzles. Well done!

    I haven’t tried the Toughie yet but the comments above make me think that I should give it a go.

  21. I had a spot of trouble with the SW corner of this puzzle – not with 26a however.
    I was using the Po as my lead for the flower and got pothouse – ale house! but then it clicked. Ouse in my county!!
    Re 10a, which I got readily, I could find no reference to “stitch -up” as a fraud in any of my Chambers books but did indeed in Cassell Dictionary of Slang!

  22. As above really, if it hadn’t been for the anagrams I would have been really stuck…..but enjoyable none-the-less.

  23. Fairly new to this crossword and learning all the time but think that 1d is the worst clue I’ve seen yet!

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