DT 26174

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26174

Hints and tips by Gazza

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

Having to describe every clue makes you realise how beautifully crafted all Giovanni’s clues are, with every word counting and no excess fat. I don’t think that this is one of his more difficult puzzles and it gives all solvers a very fair chance of completing it.
Leave us a comment, telling us how you got on and what you liked (or didn’t like) about it.
As always the answer to each clue is hidden between the curly brackets under the clue. To reveal an answer just drag your cursor through the white space between the brackets.

Across Clues

1a  Token rebellion feasible (6)
{COUPON} – this token is a charade of a sudden seizure of power (rebellion) and ON (feasible).

5a  Commander glared and went red (8 )
{COLOURED} – the definition is went red. Put together the abbreviation for Commanding Officer and the past tense of the verb to LOUR (glare, scowl).

9a  Untidy item of furniture, tattered, left for collection (10)
{BEDRAGGLED} – the item of furniture that you spend about a third of your life on is followed by a synonym for tattered with L(eft) inside (for collection).

10a  Foolish person falling short as a friend (4)
{CHUM} – drop the last letter (falling short) from an informal word for foolish person to leave a close friend.

11a  Rex is having fish, the ultimate in delicious fried food (8 )
{RISSOLES} – string together R(ex), IS, a fish and the last letter (the ultimate) of deliciouS to get fried food. Here’s a picture of some produced by the Blessed Delia.

12a  Notice was about something in the playground (6)
{SEESAW} – start with a synonym for notice or perceive and add a reversal (about) of WAS.

13a  Dreary accommodation (4)
{FLAT} – double definition.

15a  I am the bee’s knees, a short Conservative ape (8 )
{IMITATOR} – put together I’M (I am), a short word identifying that someone is outstandingly good (the bee’s knees) and A TOR(y) (short Conservative) to get a mimic or ape.

18a  Jazz fan at front of cold concert venue missing nothing (5-3)
{CATCH-ALL} – start with a slang term for a jazz fan and add C(old) and a large auditorium (concert venue) to get an expression describing something (a clause in a contract, for example) that covers all eventualities (missing nothing).

19a  Son in bed suffering (4)
{COST} – put S(on) inside a sort of bed to get what has to be paid (normally in monetary terms, but sometimes emotionally).

21a  Containers placed around hospital? I’m so grateful! (6)
{THANKS} – put containers around H(ospital) to get a word of appreciation.

23a  Friend collecting a payment as one looking after the kids? (8 )
{PARENTAL} – place a friend around a regular payment for leased accommodation.

25a  Medal disappearing, one lost (4)
{GONG} – take the I (one lost) out of a word meaning disappearing or leaving.

26a  Get nowhere, being wet? (5,5)
{TREAD WATER} – a phrase meaning to stay in the same place or make no progress (get nowhere) would, if you were doing it, mean that you were wet (literally, not, as the surface reading would like you to think, in the Margaret Thatcher sense).

27a  Others around me in accommodation for the elderly (4,4)
{REST HOME} – an anagram (around) of OTHERS is followed by ME.

28a  English country property (6)
{ESTATE} – put together E(nglish) and a word for country.

Down Clues

2d  What gets kept in wardrobe — little daggers! (5)
{OBELI} – hidden (what gets kept) in the clue is a plural word (from the Greek) for typographical symbols (†) resembling daggers that are used in documents to indicate footnotes or, if next to a person’s name, to denote that the person is dead.

3d  Soldier needing rest, one about to become dependant on others (9)
{PARASITIC} – an adjective describing something (or someone) that lives off something else (dependant on others) is built up from an airborne soldier, rest, I (one) and C (circa, about).

4d  Worry’s little good in Scottish town that’s been upset (6)
{NIGGLE} – the required Scottish town is ELGIN. Put G(ood) (little good) inside and then reverse (upset) the lot to get a verb meaning to worry or annoy.

5d  An all-star ball (9,6)
{CELESTIAL SPHERE} – cryptic description of an imaginary globe with the observer in the centre and on which all astronomical objects are considered to lie.

6d  Address for posh female (the woman’s cool!) (8 )
{LADYSHIP} – the mode of address for a titled woman (sometimes used ironically to refer to a woman who puts on airs) is constructed from an adult female, ‘S and an informal word for fashionable (cool).

7d  Member of family has dirty article thrown away (5)
{UNCLE} – start with a word meaning dirty and remove (thrown away) the indefinite article from its end.

8d  Teachers in red coats moving around university (9)
{EDUCATORS} – an anagram (moving) of RED COATS goes around U(niversity) to make teachers.

14d  Smooth ale is horrible, disgusting (9)
{LOATHSOME} – an anagram (is horrible) of SMOOTH ALE produces an adjective meaning disgusting.

16d  Desperate man overwhelmed by a smell rising up (9)
{ASCENDANT} – the desperate hero from the Dandy is appearing more and more often. This time he is surrounded (overwhelmed) by a smell to get an adjective meaning rising up. The presence of “rising up”, especially in a down clue, is a nice bit of deception, making you think that there is some sort of reversal. Here is a statue of the comic character, erected in 2001 in Dundee, the home of publishers DC Thomson.

17d  Voice of gangster in loud quarrel (8 )
{FALSETTO} – an artificially high male singing voice is constructed by putting the forename of Mr Capone (gangster) between (in) F(orte) (loud) and a quarrel (3-2).

20d  Frank the composer, born on hilltop (6)
{BRIDGE} – put together B(orn) and a long, narrow hilltop to get an English composer.

22d  Man on board losing his head when the stars appear (5)
{NIGHT} – the man on board is a chess piece. Remove the first letter (losing his head) to leave the time of day when stars are visible.

24d  Rep’s time with heritage organisation (5)
{AGENT} – string together a time and the abbreviation for the National Trust (heritage organisation).

The clues which I particularly liked were 9a, 11a, 18a and 26a, but my favourite is 17d. What about you? – leave us a comment with your views.



  1. Prolixic
    Posted February 26, 2010 at 10:47 am | Permalink

    Another treat from Giovanni, to whom many thanks. Favourite clues today for me were 6d and 14d.

  2. mary
    Posted February 26, 2010 at 10:52 am | Permalink

    wen I looked at this at first I felt like giving up only being able to do 27a & 22d! after a cup of hot water, i sat down again and got stuck in, I ended up with three that I couldn’t get 1a, 2d & 24d, I had to google 20d, once again a crossword worth the effort from Giovanni but i think that CC members will like myself find it is quite an effort but a sense of satisfaction at the end :)

    • Geoff
      Posted February 26, 2010 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

      Same here, Mary, except that I only had 27a! With a huge amount of help, finally I solved only 15 today, not too good. Failed on the two musical ones, 17/20d, even though I play some of FB’s music! Still not seeing the significance of, eg., ‘a’ in 16d, not realising it forms part of the answer. Same with 23a, I knew RENT was in there, but couldn’t come with 4-letter word for ‘friend’ beginning with ‘p’!

  3. Jezza
    Posted February 26, 2010 at 11:01 am | Permalink

    Another masterpiece from Giovanni. The last three I entered took me as long as the rest of the puzzle to complete..
    1a, 9a, 4d..
    Favourite clue 17d, also liked 15a, 27a,14d.

    • Werm
      Posted February 26, 2010 at 11:24 am | Permalink

      Snap ! Stuck on the same 3, put the paper down , went back an hour later all fell into place. Great puzzle today imho. fav clue has to be 11a as my good old mum uses it as a swear word !

  4. Will
    Posted February 26, 2010 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    Thoroughly enjoyable crossword today. 1a,4d and 18a proved the most difficult at first.

  5. Vince
    Posted February 26, 2010 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    Like Mary, I found it difficult getting started. But, I think I always have that problem with Giovanni’s puzzles. I think I’m not going to enjoy them, but, by the time I’ve finished, I realise just how good they are.

    Took a long time to get 1a & 2d.

    Too many good clues to choose a favourite. If pushed, I would probably say 17d.

  6. Mike (Touchwood)
    Posted February 26, 2010 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    An excellent offering today, thoroughly enjoyable.

    Glad to find I wasn’t the only one to struggle with 1a. It is so obvious once solved but for some reason hard to see

  7. Mike (Touchwood)
    Posted February 26, 2010 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    Meant to say in last post – what is the toughie all about today? I’m progressing, but not sure how!!

    • gazza
      Posted February 26, 2010 at 11:30 am | Permalink

      Libellule has found a message in the depths of Clued Up from the Puzzles Editor which says:

      A quick message about this Friday’s Toughie 310. Anyone who does the puzzle in The Daily Telegraph will see that it is set out as a
      poem. Unfortunately we are unable to set it out that way on CluedUp, so I have inserted an oblique/slash between the “lines” of the poem.
      The puzzle (or poem) is by Myops”

    • Harry Shipley
      Posted February 26, 2010 at 11:30 am | Permalink

      The clues are in verse (!), and there are some difficult words.

      Harry Shipley

      • Posted February 26, 2010 at 11:45 am | Permalink

        I have just purchased the paper, and will put a scan of the clues up with the blog a bit later.

    • Jezza
      Posted February 26, 2010 at 11:53 am | Permalink

      Just taken a quick look at it… and thought better of it. I’m giving my head a rest today!!!

  8. GreatDane
    Posted February 26, 2010 at 11:26 am | Permalink

    I am trying to learn how solve Telegraph cryptic crosswords by working through them each day with the help of Big Dave’s Crossword Blog. So far I find Gazza the best at explaining the clues…. the help is there, but I still have to think for myself. If there is too much help, I might just as well copy the answers down. A great sense of achievement when you look at a clue that a week ago would have meant nothing, and now not only understand the clue but know the answer!

    • Posted February 26, 2010 at 11:46 am | Permalink

      Welcome to the blog GreatDane

      We find Gazza is best at solving hem as well!

    • gazza
      Posted February 26, 2010 at 11:49 am | Permalink

      Great Dane
      With comments like that you’ll always be welcome here!

  9. Lea
    Posted February 26, 2010 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    A good Fridiay puzzle – thanks Gazza for the review. I agree – Giovanni doesn’t waste words.

    My favourite clue was 26a. Took my brain awhile to get it but really liked it when I did. Can’t say I liked 18a – possibly because the jazz fan reference was new to me. Only gfot it from the cross letters – thanks for the explanation.

  10. Barrie
    Posted February 26, 2010 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    Definitely a Giovanni special, very difficult. Full of odd clues ie 18a a cat as a jazz fan?, 20 Bridge not a well known composer at least to me or any of the people I have asked, and as for 2d OH COME ON!!!
    Admittedly there were some easier clues to get you going such as 28a and 14d but on the whole very tough.

    • the_chairman
      Posted February 26, 2010 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

      Cat as jazz fan is a crossword classic. I think it also featured in yesterday’s Toughie – certainly somewhere this week. As indeed 2d is another occasional favourite.

      • Barrie
        Posted February 26, 2010 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

        These may indeed be, as you say, crossword favourites but how are those of us not in the know supposed to glean this info?

      • Lea
        Posted February 26, 2010 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

        Thanks for that info – will store it in my brain and won’t comment next time I see it.

        • mary
          Posted February 26, 2010 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

          Hiah Lea is that you on COW? it’s good fun you get addicted to it :) I am pepsib on that site

          • Lea
            Posted February 26, 2010 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

            Yes that was me – pretty poor clue but brain was only partially working. I will look out for you now that I know what your user name is. I can imagine it does get addictive. Gazza told me to try – so I did.

            • mary
              Posted February 26, 2010 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

              thought it was a really good try too, there are some geniuses on there but they are all really helpful and friendly as people are here – have fun :)

              • Posted February 26, 2010 at 5:45 pm | Permalink


                You are beginning to sound like Beatrice35 – Gazza & Libellule will know who I mean!

                • mary
                  Posted February 26, 2010 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

                  Please tell – is that good or bad???

                  • gazza
                    Posted February 26, 2010 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

                    I think that BD was being facetious. Beatrice35, in every post, would list a whole load of people all of whom were “geniuses”. But, you’re nothing like her, because she’d just guess at answers, with no clue as to why.

                    • mary
                      Posted February 26, 2010 at 10:26 pm | Permalink

                      thank you Gazza, thanks too for (risking sounding like B35) a briliant analyses on COW

          • Sarah
            Posted February 26, 2010 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

            Hi Mary
            Can you remind me what COW is and where I find it? Havnt blogged much this week as mainly “doing” puzzles when finally home from work and using the hints quite early on due to small window before I fall asleep. Still a good exercise I hope as there is much to be learnt. Will hopefully apply the grey matter more now the weekend is nearly here.

            • mary
              Posted February 26, 2010 at 9:53 pm | Permalink

              It is a site run by Anax, every week the winner of the previous week selects a word or phrase and you have to invent clues for it :) there is a link on this blog on r/h side just after comments

  11. the_chairman
    Posted February 26, 2010 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    As you say, Gazza, beautifully crafted. With a little bonus of learning something new today – I’ve just read 20d’s Wikipedia entry. Now to attempt to find out what’s going on in the Toughie Dept… just read Phil McNeill’s message in my Inbox.

  12. Barrie
    Posted February 26, 2010 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    Just as I was getting to grips with Giovannis puzzles, along come this one! I can see that it is well crafted, I just can’t do it!! Oh well, back to the drawing board. Hoping for something I can do tomorrow.

  13. Nubian
    Posted February 26, 2010 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

    Excellent puzzle today,very enjoyable but the toughie today is an experience out of this world.I recommend just looking at the clues, it is all quite wonderful

    • Prolixic
      Posted February 26, 2010 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

      Agreed. A thing of beauty and joy. Now just got to finish it.

    • gazza
      Posted February 26, 2010 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

      The Toughie may be a thing of joy, but I didn’t enjoy it much – it’s nearly all anagrams.

    • the_chairman
      Posted February 26, 2010 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

      A Toughie too far for me today – 5 still to do and I’ve run up the white flag. These are, btw, 10 and 24a plus 7, 18, and 22d. I await the blog with interest…..

      • Posted February 26, 2010 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

        Very nearly there! Anax is just adding a few pics.

        • Posted February 26, 2010 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

          No he’s not. Well, he tried though. At the moment I can’t do anything with the review – can’t add pics, save it or publish it; keep getting the “Page cannot be displayed” message.

          I’ll keep trying.

  14. Mike (Touchwood)
    Posted February 26, 2010 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

    8 to go with the toughie – but I really doubt I’m going to get there – and at least half of those I have got I don’t fully understand the wordplay.

    • gnomethang
      Posted February 26, 2010 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

      Not had too long to spend on it but am certainly struggling!

  15. gnomethang
    Posted February 26, 2010 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

    Lovely Puzzle – Thanks to the two Gs

  16. Mike (Touchwood)
    Posted February 26, 2010 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

    4 to go now – oh how I wish 15a had been the last one I got!! Lovely!

  17. BigBoab
    Posted February 26, 2010 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

    The maestro is back to his best! Loved 1a and 16d. Great fun.

  18. Posted February 26, 2010 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

    Definitely a Good Friday challenge. Particularly liked 16d, with its misleading reading (certain the answer was an synonym of Desperate) but also because I have a son called Dan.

  19. Chris
    Posted February 26, 2010 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

    Excellent stuff from Giovanni..
    6ac 18ac and 1ac were favourites.
    5d 20d and 19ac seemed below the standard of the rest.

  20. BJ
    Posted February 26, 2010 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

    Have been using this website for a while as an aid to finishing off Saturday’s prize crossword. I rarely do it during the week.
    I find today’s impossible whereas I’m usually not too bad at Saturday’s. Just a matter of practice I suppose…..

    • Posted February 26, 2010 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

      Welcome to the blog BJ

      Practice & persistence will get you there!

  21. Chablisdiamond
    Posted February 26, 2010 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

    Funnily enough 2d first to go in for me but not found it easy. More use of my special dictionaries than have needed for a while. Thought 15a and 16d very clever.

  22. Posted February 26, 2010 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

    Compeling crossword for me today, had to start at the bottom and work up though. 1a, 2d, 3d & 11a got me searching for your explanations.
    Oh, and 20d.. Franks not in my hit parade.
    Favourite clue was 26a Summed up my effort in the NW corner.
    Thanks once again for a brilliant blog.

  23. Helen
    Posted February 26, 2010 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

    Getting into the swing of this now. Managed way over half on my own. Got Rest Home without even realising it was an anagram – Der!. Loved 9a, 11a, 3d and 17d. Like obvious anagrams like 8d and 14d too. Thanks for your help again – will be an expert this time next year! Helen x

  24. Little Dave
    Posted February 26, 2010 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

    Busy day – barely time to look at it. Withdrawal symptons setting in already.

  25. miranda and stuart
    Posted February 26, 2010 at 10:29 pm | Permalink

    Fantastic puzzle today from Giovanni. We started in the south west corner, slowly and progressively meandering first eastwards, then up to the north-east and finally across westwards completing the rather difficult north west quarter! What a way to go!! Nearly every clue solved with the last letters as check letters only! Stuck on the composer but the blog obliged…thanks Gazza.
    As always, thank you Big Dave and all the reviewers for this blog.

  26. Derek
    Posted February 27, 2010 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

    Good stuff from Giovanni as usual!
    I liked 15a & 26a. 3d, 5d, 16d & 17d.
    Have missed a few puzzles owing to an infected foot which needed treatment.