DT 26144

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26144

Hints and tips by Gazza

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

We have another entertaining challenge from Giovanni – what more can I say? Fridays and Sundays are definitely my favourite days for the Telegraph Cryptic puzzles. Let us know what you thought, and by all means criticise it if you don’t like it, but please don’t just say something like “it’s dreadful” – give your reasons and examples, so that we can get a debate going.
For new readers, the answer to each clue is hidden between the curly brackets under the clue (so that you can’t see it by accident). If you want to reveal it, drag your cursor through the white space between the brackets.

Across Clues

1a  Boy in the Navy brought into PM’s staff (9)
{PERSONNEL} – the definition is staff. Put SON (boy) inside R(oyal) N(avy) and then put it all into Sir Robert PEEL (nineteenth century prime minister, from whom bobbies get their nickname).

6a  Despondency at hospital — there’s expression of dissatisfaction (5)
{HUMPH} – if you get the HUMP you’re moody or despondent. Add H(ospital) to produce an expression of dissatisfaction, and an opportunity to play a clip of the wonderful Humphrey Lyttelton as chairman of the long-running radio show “I’m sorry I haven’t a clue”.

9a  Enjoyment’s returning (apt to pass away) (5,2)
{SNUFF IT} – we want an irreverent expression meaning to die (pass away) – reverse (returning) FUN’S (enjoyment’s) and add FIT (apt).

10a  Number perform song at uni, getting nervous (7,2)
{TENSING UP} – a charade of TEN (number), SING (perform song) and UP (at uni).

11a  A new parent, male out to be seen as an alternative (7)
{ANOTHER} – a new parent might be A N(ew) (m)OTHER – take out the M (male out) and squeeze it all up to get an alternative.

12a  Have great desire to manage a marathon? (4,3)
{LONG RUN} – the definition is marathon – put together LONG (have great desire) and a verb meaning to manage.

13a  Indicate site for being redeveloped — it spells an end to trees etc. (15)
{DESERTIFICATION} – an anagram (being redeveloped) of INDICATE SITE FOR.

18a  Rustic worker by the vegetables (7)
{PEASANT} – a worker, in crosswordland, is very often either an ant or a bee. In this case we want to put the former after (by) some green vegetables.

20a  Supporting ill-mannered person? Hold back! (7)
{FORBEAR} – the definition is hold back! Start with FOR (supporting) and add the animal which serves as a metaphor for an ill-mannered person.

22a  Peter’s lad out getting drunk (9)
{PLASTERED} – an informal word for drunk or inebriated is an anagram (out) of PETER’S LAD.

23a  Vague old bishop’s needing parish priest in tow (7)
{OBSCURE} – start with O(ld) and B(ishop’)S and afterwards (in tow) put CURÉ (parish priest, from the French) to get a synonym for vague.

24a  Bird English composer recalled (5)
{GREBE} – to get this diving waterbird we need to reverse (recalled) E(nglish) and Alban BERG (Austrian composer).

25a  Great Dane fouled up place with outdoor cafe (3,6)
{TEA GARDEN} – an anagram (fouled up) of GREAT DANE. I love the anagram indicator!

Down Clues

1d  Like some letters offering job with salary? (4-4)
{POST-PAID} – the sort of letters which you don’t have to buy a stamp for are constructed from a position or job and PAID (with salary). I can remember the days, alas no more, when every communication from a Government department would include an OHMS envelope for a postage-free reply.

2d  Meetings with old chums? Being sloshed ruins one (8 )
{REUNIONS} – an anagram (sloshed) of RUINS ONE.

3d  That’s a bit unfriendly of Ray perhaps (6)
{OFFISH} – the definition is a bit unfriendly. Put together OF and what a ray (the sort that you can eat) is.

4d  Chat, getting into train at terminus (6)
{NATTER} – hidden in the clue is an informal word meaning chat.

5d  Left road’ll go to one Welsh town (8 )
{LLANELLI} – this town is south-west Wales is the home of the Scarlets rugby team (who beat London Irish in an exciting Heineken Cup game last weekend!). String together L(eft), LANE (road), ‘LL and I (one).

6d  Henry, Bill and I stop in front of a Spanish farm (8 )
{HACIENDA} – start with H (henry – not the forename, but the unit of inductance) and add AC (bill, account), I, END (stop) and A, and you have a Spanish ranch or farm.

7d  Criminal fool, European man disappearing (6)
{MUGGER} – fool is a MUG – add GER(man) (European with the man disappearing).

8d  Fall out, apparently, when there’s female around (6)
{HAPPEN} – the definition is fall out, in the sense of turn out. Put HEN (a woman) around APP(arently).

14d  Meet liar being devious about computer processing system (8 )
{REAL-TIME} – a computer system in which data is processed as soon as it is available (rather than being stored for later processing) is an anagram (being devious) of MEET LIAR.

15d  Extra money? Resent it being squandered (8 )
{INTEREST} – an anagram (being squandered) of RESENT IT.

16d  One church sure to be freezing cold (8 )
{ICEBOUND} – an adjective meaning covered, or surrounded, by ice is a charade of I (one), CE (Church of England) and a synonym for sure (as in “you’re sure to pass your driving test next time!”). Nice clue, but I think that the answer means a bit more than freezing cold – it describes a ship, for example, that is so blocked in by ice that it cannot get through to open water.

17d  Number coming to river, then crossing river, in Scotland? (8 )
{NORTHERN} – start with NO (number), and add R(iver) and THEN with another R(iver) inside (crossing).

18d  Very hot music-making (6)
{PIPING} – double definition.

19d  Indian father is in pain (6)
{APACHE} – this American Indian is formed by putting PA (father) inside a word meaning pain.

20d  Iron Lady? One’s soft on top (6)
{FEDORA} – a soft felt hat is constructed from the chemical symbol for iron followed by DORA.

21d  Country game is on the up in South Africa (6)
{RUSSIA} – game is RU (rugby union) – add IS reversed (on the up) inside S(outh) A(frica) to get this enormous country which crosses eleven time zones.
The clues which I liked today included 1a, 18a, 2d and 16d, but my favourite is 9a. Let us know what you think with a comment!


  1. gnomethang
    Posted January 22, 2010 at 10:50 am | Permalink

    More great stuff from Giovanni. Like you I frowned a tad on 16d – I guess it it marginal.
    6d and 13a were my favourites – I kept trying to work forest into the anagram first (e.g. Deforestation or somesuch)

  2. Yoshik
    Posted January 22, 2010 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    As always a good crossword from Giovanni

    I do however think that 14d is hyphenated thus is 4,4 not 8, but I stand to be corrected.

    • gazza
      Posted January 22, 2010 at 11:39 am | Permalink

      I thought the same. I’ve always seen it as real-time. But Chambers has it with no hyphen.

      • Libellule
        Posted January 22, 2010 at 11:43 am | Permalink

        I have seen both, so am not overly bothered one way or another :-)

      • Posted January 22, 2010 at 11:53 am | Permalink

        I remember Susie Dent on Countdown saying that if a word is used often enough the hyphen may be dropped. When I first started in IT on-line was hyphenated and I think e-mail was as well.

        • Yoshik
          Posted January 22, 2010 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

          I think we should blame the Americans for the lack of hyphens!

    • gnomethang
      Posted January 22, 2010 at 11:41 am | Permalink

      Stock answer #3:
      Chambers gives it all one word!

  3. Vince
    Posted January 22, 2010 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    What a difference a day made! Really enjoyed this.

    13a. Like gnomethang, I was thinking along the lines of deforestation. I had to look up the word when the penny dropped. I must try to find a way of dropping this into the conversation at my next dinner-party!

    8d. I wasn’t happy about “fall out” as the definition. It just about worked.

    Lots of good clues. 9a probably the best for me.

    • Mike (Touchwood)
      Posted January 22, 2010 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

      “I must try to find a way of dropping this into the conversation at my next dinner-party!”

      After the main course perhaps?

      • Posted January 22, 2010 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

        Particularly if the dessert is Black Forest Gateau

        • Vince
          Posted January 22, 2010 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

          It must be Friday, with all this wit!!

          • Yoshik
            Posted January 22, 2010 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

            Does dinner-party demand a hyphen?

            • Vince
              Posted January 22, 2010 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

              I’ve just checked with Chambers, and app. it doesn’t! Strangely dinner-dance does.

              Furthermore, we have dinner hour, but dinner-time. Who decides these things??

  4. Nubian
    Posted January 22, 2010 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    Thoroughly thoroughly enjoyable.
    After getting 17d I had to sit for a while and give my brain a rest, it felt tied in knots, I was trying to fit the number nineteen in for ages and then the river Dee so when I got the answer it was a bit disappointing and just squeezed through the door of acceptability.
    8d I thought was a bit of a stretch too.

    • Craig
      Posted January 22, 2010 at 9:14 pm | Permalink

      I’m with you on this one Nubian – thought it was nineteen for a while. Guessed Northern in the end – just seemed rather contrived. Loved 19d, 20d and 21 down though! After a hard week I’m now off to get 22a rather than 12a!

  5. Posted January 22, 2010 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    Kept me entertained while waiting for the dentist – solved sans pen, so the long anag across the middle was the last answer in. Hyphenation: see blogs passim – classic case here, as between them my copies of the 3 usual dictionaries have real-time as (4,4), (4-4) and (8).

    At 8D, those who don’t like app. = apparently should complain to the DT xwd ed who app. allows any abbreviation in Chambers, though I’m sure he would reject a puzzle using obscure words from Chambers.

  6. Newbie
    Posted January 22, 2010 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

    I actually managed 8 answers today, before looking in the blog – although I did need an on-line (or is it online?) aid for 13a. 10a was amusing, when I saw it explained. I knew 24a having established the first and last letters, but didn’t see any connection with the (slightly obscure?) composer until seeing the hint.

    Can I say I find the hints and tips much more thought-provoking when the answers are inside rather than outside the brackets?

    • gazza
      Posted January 22, 2010 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

      Are you saying that I’m putting too much of the answers in the hints? This has been suggested in the past, and a month or so ago I did try writing a review with hardly any bits of the answers in the hints, but there was no overwhelming endorsement of this in the feedback.
      It is sometimes very difficult to explain the wordplay fully without giving at least some of the answer and, also, you can end up repeating the clue in slightly different words. If you take 10a for example – if I’d written “Put together the base number in the decimal system, then a word meaning to perform a song, then a word for at university” would it have been better? On 24a would “reverse the name of an Austrian composer (1885-1935)” been better than giving his name?.

      • Lea
        Posted January 22, 2010 at 2:15 pm | Permalink


        I have just read the blog – not your hints as yet as haven’t started the puzzle – and would say that if you had put 10a as in your reply to Newbie – I would have said “what is he talking about” – went to look at your hint to see how you had put it and find it much better.

        I for one like the way you write your hints – but I am only one out of many.

        Keep up the good work. Most often I just go to confirm my interpretation is valid. Thank you for your reviews.

      • Newbie
        Posted January 22, 2010 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

        Yes, I am saying that.

        I am, perhaps, the most recent (and possibly most clueless) member of the CC and finding this site within the last few weeks has shed new light on how to begin to unravel cryptic clues. I appreciate the difficulties you refer to, but, for me, it’s very helpful to have a pointer that might help me think outside the box my mind is stuck in due to a word in the clue – eg yesterday, where I became stuck on the work ‘beaten’ in 12d meaning ‘bettered’ rather than ‘struck’.

        Your hints for Tuesday’s puzzle gave much less away and I managed to complete quite a few more before looking inside the brackets.

      • Posted January 25, 2010 at 10:51 pm | Permalink

        Gazza, yes, that would be better than giving the answer away. People who are looking at the site not having completed the crossword would presumably like at first to be given hints as to which is the definition, and the type of clue it is. If you want the actual answers, they are there the next morning.

  7. Chris
    Posted January 22, 2010 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

    A great puzzle thanks to Giovanni.
    Gazza doesn’t want us to say “it’s dreadful” without reasons or examples but this one is just great…..no reason …just liked the whole thing!….sorry Gazza.

  8. Lea
    Posted January 22, 2010 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

    I agree with Chris – this was a super puzzle – completed it in nice time and easily earned my bonus points on clued up. I particularly ;liked 19d and 21d but there were several others that were good as well – 6a made me smile (warped sense of humour).

    Thanks Giovanni for an excellent puzzle and thanks Gazza for the hints.

  9. Slim Jim
    Posted January 22, 2010 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

    We finished this one OK. Also got confused with ‘deforestation’ and ‘nineteen’ (as well chosen wrong answers!). The whole was a bit of a slog, and lacking in humour. Not at all our cup of tea.

  10. Prolixic
    Posted January 22, 2010 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

    Great stuff from Giovanni today which brighted a wet commute. Favourite was 9a.

    • mary
      Posted January 22, 2010 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

      Prolixic have u seen the judging on Anax’s site? you and I got joint 3rd place, not bad for our first efforts??? I think the fact I even was capable of entering at all was down to this site, thank you Dave — well done :)

      • gazza
        Posted January 22, 2010 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

        Congratulations, Mary.

        • mary
          Posted January 22, 2010 at 11:27 pm | Permalink

          thanks Gazza, unbelievable amid all those great entries, whoop whoop :)

      • Prolixic
        Posted January 22, 2010 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

        Yes- I saw the results. Well done on a great entry.

      • phisheep
        Posted January 22, 2010 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

        Oh. my goodness – it looks like I won the thing by accident.

        Much thanks to Anax and Mary for sending me there, but it appears my punishment will be to set and judge this weeks.

        The usual bribes will be welcome, but I cannot (of course) guarantee results.

        • Posted January 22, 2010 at 10:56 pm | Permalink

          By accident? Being able to spot the relationship between “HMS Victory” and “a race against time” is a stroke of utter genius. A thoroughly deserved win with a remarkable clue.

        • mary
          Posted January 22, 2010 at 11:22 pm | Permalink

          well done phisheep, Big Daves pupils done good! I must say on the note of having to judge next weeks I would be useless :)

          • phisheep
            Posted January 22, 2010 at 11:27 pm | Permalink

            Me too, Mary. But I suspect it is one of those things when one rises to the challenge … or, um, doesn’t (gulp)

            • mary
              Posted January 23, 2010 at 12:05 am | Permalink

              good luck :)

  11. Pixie
    Posted January 22, 2010 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

    An enjoyable puzzle. I’d of preferred an indication that it was the french word for priest in 23ac as it was the first time I’d come across that word. Thanks as always for keeping up the work on this site.

  12. mary
    Posted January 22, 2010 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

    started late again today, loved the clue at 5d, this is a town i know realy well, two of my sons and some of my grandchildren live there ,it is 18 miles away from where i live, bit difficult if you dont know the welsh town names though, it can also be spelt Llanelly. needed some help in top r/h corner have not had a great week this week in so far as completing goes but have enjoyed most days, thanks once again Gazza :)

    • Chablisdiamond
      Posted January 23, 2010 at 10:24 am | Permalink

      That’s where I got stuck too!! I think we must have similar minds (poor you!). I even thought of hump but not humph. How stupid is that. Just about to have a shower and then start Saturday’s. I love Saturdays….

  13. Mattparry7
    Posted January 22, 2010 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

    Help! 13a all I can find is destratification which doesn’t fit!

    • gazza
      Posted January 22, 2010 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

      Hi Matt – welcome to the blog.
      If you need to see the answer put your cursor inside the curly brackets under the clue, press down on the left button and drag your cursor to the right-hand bracket.

      • Mattparry7
        Posted January 22, 2010 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

        Thanks for the welcome! Alas, I only have my iPhone available to me at present. I’m guessing I must be pretty close!

        • mary
          Posted January 22, 2010 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

          Hi Matt the word is an anagram of ‘indicate site for’ – the second half is correct it is the first half that is wrong?

        • gnomethang
          Posted January 22, 2010 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

          Matt, hold to select the text in the brackets, use the copy function then paste into you notes.

          Works for me!
          Also get the chambers dictionary app!!

  14. Mattparry7
    Posted January 22, 2010 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

    Done and done. thanks for your help. I used to go loopy over the clues I couldn’t get doing the telegraph crossword. So glad I’ve found this blog, it is firmly in my favourites!

    • mary
      Posted January 22, 2010 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

      It is a brilliant site Matt and everyone is really friendly and helpful, before I found it I was useless now hopefully not quite so bad :)

  15. Barrie
    Posted January 22, 2010 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

    Another Giovanni special, so tough and complicated that I don’t even bother my head with Fridays puzzle now, it just gets me annoyed. Loved the clip from I’m Sorry, how we all miss Humph! What a great character.

    • mary
      Posted January 22, 2010 at 11:25 pm | Permalink

      see Giovannis comment Barrie, don’t give up – you will beat it :)

      • Peter
        Posted January 23, 2010 at 7:34 am | Permalink

        I managed to answer one of these unaided.

        And got it wrong.

        THATCH for 20d Iron Lady? One’s soft on top (6) – Lets hope I fare better today.

        • mary
          Posted January 23, 2010 at 10:02 am | Permalink

          good luck Peter, keep at it,

  16. JohnBUK
    Posted January 22, 2010 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

    Found this very satisfactory, agree with gnomethang about 13a; indeed started putting “deforestation” in until I realised it wasn’t going to work!! Luckily in pencil.

  17. Giovanni
    Posted January 22, 2010 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

    Well, thanks again, everyone. I appreciate the criticism about ICE-BOUND, but had decided that a more precise definition would have made the clue a bit unwieldy. Looking forward to the conversion of Barrie, of course! Keep at it, lad!

  18. Derek
    Posted January 23, 2010 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

    This was not a difficult puzzle Giovanni! I did it in record time this afternoon – I was busy last night with one that BD emailed to me – hence the delay in commenting.
    My favourites were 5d & 6d. I had no trouble with 16d but considered 17d rather weak!!
    OK Bonnie Scotland is northern but so is one of the lines on the London Underground – earlier Morden – Edgware.
    Nevertheles enjoyable – as always!

  19. shrike1313
    Posted January 23, 2010 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

    Very much enjoyed this one – got about half way through without assistance, which is good for me. I realise this is a bit late, but I really don’t get the link between “happen” and the definition “fall out”, even with the explanation.

    • gazza
      Posted January 23, 2010 at 8:30 pm | Permalink

      Fall out can mean turn out or happen e.g. “Matters did not fall out as I had hoped”.

  20. Posted January 25, 2010 at 10:51 pm | Permalink

    Well, as usual we enjoy having until Sunday to solve Friday. Got this one out despite the usual red herrings,one of which I caused myself by being too clever by half on 17d. I thought that “Number coming to river, then crossing river, in Scotland?” could be ABER (Welsh for ‘river’) + DEE (Also a river) +N (for ‘number’), making that well known place in Scotland – ABERDEEN.

    It even fitted with 23 and 25 across, but was obviously the problem when we couldn’t solve the others across.