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DT 26156

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26156

Hints and tips by Gazza

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

We have another fine puzzle from Giovanni, with his usual impeccable clueing (well, with the exception of 20d). My initial instinct was to give it three stars for difficulty, but it does contain a couple of constructs which may be new to some solvers and Clued Up is currently showing it with five stars, so I’ve compromised with four. Let me know, via a comment, whether you agree or not!
For new readers, the answers are hidden in the white space between the brackets under the clue. Drag your cursor from left to right between the brackets to reveal.

Across Clues

7a  Plays theatrically as cast maybe (4,3)
{ACTS OUT} – this is a type of clue called a reverse anagram, which we don’t often see in the daily Cryptic. The definition is plays theatrically and the answer can be read as an instruction to make an anagram (with indicator OUT) which will lead to the word CAST.

8a  Type of creature destroyed by lindane (7)
{ANNELID} – lindane is a powerful insecticide, now restricted in use. An anagram (destroyed by) of this produces a type of red-blooded, long-bodied worm.

10a  Game advice naughtily given to illegal dumpers? (3,3,3)
{TIP AND RUN} – double definition, the game being an informal sort of cricket in which you have to run if you hit the ball.

11a  Intestinal condition with release of some bile usually (5)
{ILEUS} – this condition involves an obstruction in the intestine and it’s hidden (some) in the clue.

12a  Willing to study, having the yen (5)
{READY} – the definition is willing, and you need to combine a verb meaning to study (especially a subject at university) and Y(en).

13a  Three possibly dazed when taken in by stranger (3,6)
{ODD NUMBER} – an adjective meaning dazed or stupefied is put inside (taken in) a comparative meaning stranger, i.e. more strange or more unusual. The result describes three, as well as five, seven, nine, etc.

15a  Bound to be seen in appropriate old cinema? (7)
{FLEAPIT} – put a synonym for bound or jump inside an adjective meaning appropriate or suitable and you have a derogatory term for a run-down old cinema.

17a  Authenticate name held by two companies (7)
{CONFIRM} – insert N(ame) between (held by) an abbreviation for company and another word for a company.

18a  Those pups being crooked start a business (3,2,4)
{SET UP SHOP} – a phrase meaning to start a business is an anagram (being crooked) of THOSE PUPS.

20a  Nominal message on present for former London mayor? (5)
{TOKEN} – the definition is nominal or symbolic, but if you were wrapping a present for Mr Livingstone, this (2,3) is what you might write on the label.

21a  Fretful, like a dog without lead (5)
{ITCHY} – start with an adjective meaning like a female dog and drop the first letter (without lead). You should end up with an adjective meaning fretful.

23a  Bird to relax, having eaten various bits of bread (9)
{REDBREAST} – another name for a robin is formed by putting an anagram (various bits) of BREAD inside a synonym for to relax.

24a  Old prison to deny woman wanting entry (7)
{NEWGATE} – the name of this old London prison is constructed by inserting (wanting entry) W(oman) inside a verb meaning to deny or nullify.

25a  Blonde to have boss being dragged along behind (3-4)
{TOW-HEAD} – the definition is blonde or fair-headed (it’s a term that’s new to me). Boss is HEAD, and the clue tempts you (with “behind”) to think that the other part should follow, but in fact the other word (a verb meaning to drag along behind, as a breakdown truck might) has to precede the HEAD.

Down Clues

1d  Pater’s new woman? Pater spent freely! (4-6)
{STEP-PARENT} – an anagram (freely) of PATER SPENT.

2d  Rural area lacking river in Shropshire? (6)
{COUNTY} – the question mark is very significant here, indicating that Shropshire is just an example of the answer. Remove R(iver) from a term meaning rural area (the opposite of town).

3d  Set off having big cheese to sell (5,3)
{START OUT} – a phrasal verb meaning to set off or get going is formed from a charade of a word for big cheese, most important person, top-of-the-bill performer and a verb meaning to offer for sale in a direct and persistent way.

4d  Spin bowler had briefly to be cautioned by umpire? (6)
{WARNED} – we want the surname of probably the best spin-bowler ever (non-cricket fans just follow this link) followed by the letter D (had briefly, as in he’d for “he had”).

5d  Opponent with weapon trapping a West Indian (8 )
{ANTIGUAN} – the name of an inhabitant of a Caribbean island (West Indian) is formed from ANTI (opponent) followed by a firearm (weapon) with A inside (trapping).

6d  Escape with payment, having pocketed pounds (4)
{FLEE} – the letter standing for pounds sterling (from the latin libra) is put inside (having pocketed) a payment for professional services to get a verb meaning to escape.

7d  Trying perhaps to look chic somehow or other? (5,1,7)
{AFTER A FASHION} – double definition. Split the clue into two between chic and somehow. The first definition conjures up a picture of someone in pursuit of the latest trendy garment.

9d  Candid mister, I fancy, was biased (13)
{DISCRIMINATED} – an anagram (fancy) of CANDID MISTER I.

14d  Person who’s good with Latin, philosopher who may erect barriers (10)
{BRICKLAYER} – the definition is someone who may erect barriers or walls. Start with a dated description of a helpful, supportive and reliable person (person who’s good), and follow this with L(atin) and the surname of the philosopher A. J. AYER.

16d  The sort of blubber you expect with an immature person (5,3)
{PUPPY FAT} – cryptic description of a term often used as an excuse for a child being overweight.

17d  Avarice shown by head of company, and folly — not a good man (8 )
{CUPIDITY} – a synonym for avarice or greed is made from the first letter (head) of C(ompany) and STUPIDITY (folly) with the abbreviation for saint (good man) removed.

19d  This person in firm gets hurt (6)
{HARMED} – this person indicates the writer, so you want ME inside another word for firm or solid.

20d  Royal command said to be confused (6)
{THROWN} – we have here an example of metonymy (a figure of speech in which a thing or concept is called not by its own name, but by the name of something intimately associated with it, for example “Downing Street announced tonight…”). So here the royal command is called the seat upon which the monarch sits on formal occasions, that word also sounding like (said to be) an adjective meaning confused or disconcerted. Unfortunately (and this is a bugbear of mine) the clue is worded such that you cannot tell which is the definition and which is part of the wordplay, so you cannot safely write in the answer until you have the checking letter from 25a.

22d  The habit of a monk to be cold and solemn person? (4)
{COWL} – we want the garment (habit) which makes a monk into a hoodie. Start with C(old) and add the bird which personifies a solemn person.

The clues I liked included 10a, 15a, 21a and 5d, but my clue of the day is 7d. What do you think? – leave us a comment!

69 comments on “DT 26156

  1. Flummoxed by 25a and strangely by 2d as well. Second time in a row that I have failed to finish on Friday. Tut-Tut!
    As usual, can’t really be pecked (geddit?).
    14d was clue of the day for me.
    Thanks gazza and Giovanni!

  2. Fun, firm and fair – a fitting Friday finale. Favourite clue for me was 16d. Many thanks to Giovanni and to Gazza for the notes.

  3. I thought this was a very good puzzle. My only minor grumble is the same as yours, Gazza – 20d.

    4d. I’m not a cricket fan and usually grumble about the amount of references to the game, but I don’t think you need to be a fan to have got this. As you say the cricketer is famous. i actually liked the clue.

    10a. Another favourite clue, mainly because I haven’t heard rhe expression for so long, and it brought back memories.

    Too many other good clues to list them all.

  4. Didn’t do too well again, but was pleased to get 11a, a condition I’ve never heard of but google has,and 7d fell into place as soon as I had the ‘s’ for 18a in place. I cheated on 8a and 9d with an anagram solver and guessed several correctly without knowing why.

    Never heard of a reverse anagram, so only got ‘acts’ on 7a. I’m confused by 4d, as I’m sure I’ve read somewhere that the definition (which is cautioned, isn’t it?) is always at the beginning or end of a clue and never in the middle. I found ‘itchy’ as a synonym for ‘fretful’, 21a, in an online thesaurus and it was obvious, but where does the ‘y’ come from in the clue?

    1. Newbie
      4d. I think that the definition is “cautioned by umpire”.
      21a. “like a dog” is bitchy.

    2. 21a says ‘like a dog’ which refers to an adjective ending in the letter ‘y’. Otherwise the word ‘like’ might have been omitted, leaving ‘a dog’ to which the answer would be without a ‘y’. Then it could get terribly confusing as it would then need to be ‘a female dog”….????

    3. Thanks for putting my right on these. Tricky things, these clues; I live and learn but will obviously be a long-term member of the CC!

        1. Nicely put, Mary! Your various comments are very helpful and appreciated. I’m sure we will all get along with each other rather well.

  5. 3.5 stars about right for difficulty. Nudging towards the level I’d like to see on Saturdays, but I expect tomorrow will be another 10 minute stroll. Thanks for the synopsis, Gazza.

    1. a ten minute stroll for you Digby will be a ten mile hike for me :) still as long as i get there!

      1. Hi Mary – I’ve enjoyed your CC banter, having started off from a similar base. Believe you me, it’s just like learning a new language – as more phrases become familair, so it’s easier to understand and translate. I’ve been sending in every Saturday puzzle (well, 50 a year on average) for more decades that I care to remember. If I ever win the pen, I’ll have spent much more on stamps than it’s value, but it’s the sense of achievment that matters. You’ll see – soon you’ll be doing it too. It’s a drug. Just don’t win the pen before I do!!

  6. A great puzzle today with 25a really causing a problem

    Strangely, having been a Hants CC member for many years at Northlands Road and now the magnificent Rose Bowl, I struggled on 4d!

    What marvelous challenges we have been offered this week.

  7. I would go further with 20d to suggest that it deliberately leads you to believe ‘throne’ is the answer. Thats my excuse for not getting the never heard of 25a anyway.

  8. Most enjoyable. Favourites pretty much as others have said, but I did enjoy 5d – one of the later ones got as I was looking for “opponent” as definition formed by a “weapon” around the crossword standby of “WI” for West Indian – anyone else misdirected on this route? Not too happy with A*** as “opponent”, would not the surface reading have been as good with “opposing”?

  9. I found this really tough today but stuck at it and with lots of help i was left with 4d, but put in warned as it could be nothing else, famous he may be but cricket i dont do! also left with 5d, thanks for answer Gaza, 7a, i think it may be the first time i’ve come accross a reverse anagram? i think that is worthy of the toughie, hard work for me today and i’m not too sure if i enjoyed it, sometimes they are tough and i can say when i finish ‘that was worth the effort’ not sure today, must be in a funny mood :) I don’t think Barrie will attempt this but if he does good luck Barrie and fellow CC just do as many as you can :)

    1. This CC member did quite well – unusually for a Friday. Was left with 14d – mainly because I decided it should end in gates for barriers and 4d – as another with no interest in cricket (or football or rugby – all swear words in my house) I was trying to include ref (briefly cautioned by umpire). Sometimes I can be on the right track but way off course!

      1. Well done Fi, looks like the CC have not done too badly today :) cricket i know very little about, but i did used to play ‘tip it and run’ with my brothers, now football I love supporting the one and only Liverpool, and Rugby can’t help but know about that being from West Wales, come on Wales tomorrow!! I was going along with ref too, the setters have a knack of leading us up the right track but on the wrong course or should that be on the right course up the wrong track??? :)

        1. As long as it’s not on the wrong track AND the wrong course Mary – there’s many a hurdle for us CC members and I frequently fall at the first. Can’t believe I’m making a sporting reference, although I have been known to watch the show jumping – not that you get many crossword clues referring to that!

          1. Of course i hadn’t thought of going wrong course and wrong track Fi, don’t know why though, I often do! ‘onwards and upwards’ as they say, (who did say that anyway?) at the next hurdle :)

        2. Now football is one I know nothing about (and don’t have any interest in) so it shows how different clues work for different people.

          Mary – I didn’t comment earlier in the week as have been a bit busy – but hope you are feeling better and that your visit to the hospital left you reassured about what was happening to you.

          1. thanks Lea, still having various tests, but feeling a bit more positive (sometimes,I think !!! ) :)

        3. OMG Mary, I thought we were friends! Liverpool! Only one team in the premiership and thats the Red Army. Go United….

  10. Sorry I am in state of shock! Not only did I start a Giovanni but I have finished it (with a little help it must be said).
    Thank you sir for taking pity on the CC today. Particulary loved 15a as it brings back memories of an old cinema where you lieterally did get bitten by fleas – gone now I’m pleased to say! Loved the cricketing references, now you are talking my language. Not sure that I totally agree with the blog about 4d. Derek Underwood in his prime was awesome!

    1. Hip, Hip hooray, well done Barrie, I realy didn’t think you were even going to try it today, see what you can do, i didn’t actually think it was any easier than the last few Fridays, if anything a little harder, so really well done, perhaps now you will have a little more faith in your abilities ::0

    2. [Picking up self from floor] – fantastic Barrie – two medals surely well deserved; one for persistence in the face of overwhelming odds given your previous experiences this year with Giovanni’s puzzles and the second for completing what was a challenging puzzle.

      1. I agree with you Prolixic – very well done Barrie. It’s all about the right clues for the right brain.

        1. Agree with you–enjoyed this v much and only needed a couple of helps (4d, 13a) so my brain was obviously in tune with Giovanni. Normally, I find him challenging!

      1. Hi Shrike saw you browsing on COW, have u tried it before, have a go its good fun, and everyones really helpful

  11. As usual I enjoyed trhe Giovanni puzzle – took me longest to get 24a and 19d for some reason but kicked myself when I did. My favourite clue is 7d – agree with you Gazza and 15a. Thanks for the excellent review

  12. Passing by to say thank you very much — and to agree with your criticism of THRONE/THROWN, something I try to avoid and which I denounce in Chambers Crossword Manual!
    Oh — and well done, our Barry!

  13. I have finished it without the blog, eventually. Had to go away and come back and also have a new ‘thinking pencil’. I have to say I am sick to death with cricketty things. I was thinking spin was an annagram indicator and even got ‘blower’ from that which might be an umpire but of course that didn’t fit with anything else and so we go on…. It took me ages to get the 20s (even though I thought Ken!) and also 14d.
    Well done to Barrie. What a triumph. :)

      1. Be gentle with me!!! I’m still new to this. I only thought about it for a moment…. When you get the answer it’s so blindingly obvious but sometimes I seem to struggle around in the mire for ages before the penny drops. Re 4d I suddenly decided to google spin bowlers and Warne came up so it’s easy after that. :) Will check ur link. Really enjoyed the pictures of that Nature Reserve the other day. Thanks.

            1. Bless you. So do I. Just gone off to the cattery :( as off on hols for a week :) Not sure how I’m going to manage without a daily Xword, I’m addicted now…

  14. Surprised by 20D! I can’t see the problem at 20A – lots of second defs and wordplay produce versions of the answer which would have something different in brackets. Nice use of pictures, Gazza – the chubby bricklayer seemed to be illustrating PUPPY FAT for a brief moment.

  15. Was doing so well today determined not to look up an answer but 25 across threw me never heard of it, once again thank you for your site

  16. Also never heard of 25ac but there it is in Chambers!
    Nor come across Ayer but that didn’t affect a good clue.
    4d was unfilled until looking at the blog ……blooming Australian cricketers…”he was perhaps less effective and destructive than the interbellum Australian leg-spinners Bill O’Reilly and Clarrie Grimmett”…extract from Wikepedia as per link from Gazza…..ever heard of them??
    Hasn’t it been a good week so far….sun is shining too…..

      1. Tilsit is supposed to be blogging this. At the risk of hijacking this thread, if any one is really stuck, I’m sure we can cover.

        1. At the risk of getting wrists slapped, would you mind awfully giving me a nod on 8d?
          I’m missing this plus 6,10 & 12 but I think this one is the sticker.
          Maybe reply in ‘comments’?

          1. Answer is also one of the moons of Jupiter. Colourful (think of old fashioned term now used on different context contains n add one another word for Persian sounds like mead to get the name of a cup bearer

          2. 10a might be a setting agent for Greengage jam.

            12a word sum to give a province in NI

            6d Put an unusual word for three (usually a bird) inside sum

  17. Really enjoyed this one. After a slow slow start with only about 4 answers, the dominos started to topple faster and faster. It felt really good to finish it, and I mean that in a nice way.

  18. Another great friday puzzle, it has been a most enjoyable week.
    Well done to Barrie, it is times like this you look in the mirror and allow yourself just a little bit of self gratification.

  19. Not able to start until this evening, but literally raced through in comparison to previous puzzles this week.
    Maybe it’s because I’ve actually woken up, and no longer suffering that soporific morning state of mind!?
    Favourite clues 4d (cricket / rugby related clues are always winnners with me :smile: ), 8a and 13a.
    Admit to needing blog to clarify wordplay on 14d, and Tow Head was also new to me.
    Thanks for another great puzzle Giovanni and the usual excellent review Gazza.
    Cheers (S)

  20. Excellent puzzle Giovanni! I knew tow-head was a synonym for blonde so got thrown instead of throne – nevertheless feel that clue is rather weak (20d).
    Best clues for me were : 13a, 20a & 24a. 1d, 4d, 5d, 7d, 14d &17d.

    As i finished early today, shall do the toughie tonight!

  21. Did ok today but was “thrown” by a couple of answers that I’d not come across before. Live and learn I guess! Got stuck on 3 clues even with all the checking letters in place. Oh well!

  22. No surprises for guessing my fave clue, given my screen name… 4d! Was OK until 22d and 24a, I just couldn’t get through the wordplay for it, and spent ages trying to think of old prisons.

  23. Thanks to Giovanni for yet another good puzzle. As I live in Australia and I support the Aussie cricket team my favourite had to be 4d. Warnie is a legend!

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