DT 26177

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26177

Hints and tips by Gazza

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

I found it quite tricky to get in to this Ray T puzzle, which I thought was a bit more difficult than his normal fare. Let us know whether you agree or not, via a comment.
As always, new readers will find the answer to each clue hidden between the curly brackets under it. Drag your cursor through the white space between the brackets if you want to reveal the answer.

Across Clues

1a  Spin doctor Premier’s dispatched (12)
{MISREPRESENT} – a verb meaning to be less than totally honest when presenting a news story (spin) is an anagram (doctor) of PREMIER’S followed by a synonym for dispatched. The surface reading requires the ‘s to be treated as ‘has’ rather than ‘is’.

9a  ‘Relate’ gets adult forward in anguish (9)
{APPERTAIN} – start with A(dult) and add a synonym for forward or cheeky which is inside PAIN (anguish) to get a verb meaning relate to or concern. The quotes around Relate are to indicate that it is the Marriage Guidance and Counselling Service which you are supposed to think about in the surface reading.

10a  Stroke from club holding end of putter (5)
{DRIVE} – this club is a slightly disreputable one where you might go for a late-night drink. Put the last letter (end) of putteR inside it to get a golf shot (stroke) off the tee.

11a  Wet planet before humanity ends (6)
{MARSHY} – place the red planet in front of the outer letters (ends) of HumanitY.

12a  Bird watching around lake (8 )
{STARLING} – the bird is formed from a present participle meaning watching intently which has L(ake) inside.

13a  Beats English in defeats (6)
{ROUTES} – beats here is used in the sense of the directions taken by an old-time bobby ‘pounding the beat’. Put E(nglish) inside overwhelming defeats.

15a  Sudden stock issue? (8 )
{STAMPEDE} – cryptic definition of a panic-stricken rush by a herd of animals (stock). I suppose that if the herd were rushing out of a corral, say, it could be termed an issue, but issue seems a bit tenuous.

18a  Referee taking time’s deliberate (8 )
{MEDITATE} – a verb meaning to arbitrate (referee) has T(ime) inserted to form another verb, this time meaning to consider carefully and at length.

19a  Open a French Sancerre’s first and finest (6)
{UNSTOP} – string together UN (French indefinite article), the initial letter (first) of S(ancerre) and a synonym for finest or highest to make a verb meaning to remove the plug or cork from a container (open).

21a  Book about passion’s boring (8 )
{TIRESOME} – put a word for a long book around IRE’S (passion’s).

23a  Solitary, heartless internment on island (6)
{HERMIT} – place the outer letters (heartless) of InternmenT after (on) the name of a small, car-free island, situated between Guernsey and Sark, to get someone who lives alone (a solitary).

26a  Turandot Puccini initially penned in old age (5)
{OPERA} – put the first letter (initially) of Puccini between (penned in) O(ld) and a period of history (age). I think that Turandot could have been qualified with a “perhaps” or similar to indicate that it is just an example of the answer.

27a  Demand one jerk doesn’t end in government (9)
{STIPULATE} – a verb meaning to lay down conditions or demand is formed by putting I PUL(L) (one jerk which doesn’t end) inside a synonym for government.

28a  Gain respect (12)
{APPRECIATION} – double definition.

Down Clues

1d  Army man in action for Asian country (7)
{MYANMAR} – an anagram (in action) of ARMY MAN gives us the name of the Asian country which most of us still tend to call Burma.

2d  Cool drink, half of beer (5)
{SUPER} – an adjective meaning excellent or stylish (cool) is manufactured from a verb (used mainly in Northern England) meaning to drink, followed by the latter half of beER.

3d  Operating theatre is most filthy (9)
{EARTHIEST} – an anagram (operating?) of THEATRE IS can mean most filthy (both literally and in the sense of near-the-knuckle when applied to humour).

4d  Genuine old coin (4)
{REAL} – double definition, one being an old coin in Spanish-speaking countries.

5d  Reason to accept court’s goodness (8 )
{SANCTITY} – include (to accept) CT (court) in a word meaning reason or soundness of mind.

6d  Found in prison, a dire low point (5)
{NADIR} – a word meaning low point is hidden (found) in the clue.

7d  Raising hat, single man’s meticulous (8 )
{DILIGENT} – reverse a slang term for a hat (mostly used these days for a crash helmet) and add I (one, single) and a synonym for man.

8d  Skimpy and paltry, about a grand (6)
{MEAGRE} – put A G(rand) inside an adjective meaning paltry or trivial.

14d  Torpedo neared US submarine (8 )
{UNDERSEA} – an anagram (torpedo) of NEARED US gives us an adjective meaning submarine. Very smooth surface reading.

16d  A dish served reheated could mean his revenge! (9)
{MONTEZUMA} – cryptic description of what is also known in Mexico as the Gringo Gallop and the Aztec Two-step, and what may be called elsewhere in the world Ghandi’s Revenge, Gyppy Tummy, Delhi Belly, the Rangoon Runs or Tokyo Trots. The answer is the anglicised name of the Aztec ruler defeated by the Spanish, who nowadays takes his revenge on tourists to his country by confining them to small rooms for extended periods.

17d  Spray emits aroma diffused, but not Mum (8 )
{ATOMISER} – remove MA (not mum) from EMITS AROMA and form an anagram (diffused) of what’s left to get an instrument for discharging liquid in a fine spray. Mum is a trade name for an antiperspirant deodorant spray, hence the capital letter in the clue.

18d  Amphetamine overdose on purpose (6)
{METHOD} – start with a short name for an illicit drug which is a methyl derivative of amphetamine and follow this (on) with OD (overdose) to get an orderly procedure (purpose).

20d  Spiel over new model (7)
{PATTERN} – the definition is model or template. Put a synonym for spiel before (over, in a down clue) N(ew).

22d  Monkey’s small enclosure (5)
{SCAMP} – the definition is monkey, in the sense of a mischievous child. Combine S(mall) and the sort of enclosure where prisoners of war might be kept.

24d  City getting one wound up (5)
{MIAMI} – this American city is formed from I (one) and a verb meaning to wound or injure all reversed (up, in a down clue).

25d  In field, is crop circle found? (4)
{DISC} – a circle is hidden (found) in the clue.

The clues I enjoyed today included 18a, 17d and 24d, but my clue of the day is 14d. How about you? Leave us a comment!


  1. BigBoab
    Posted March 2, 2010 at 11:16 am | Permalink | Reply

    i enjoyed this very much, not too difficult but tricky in places, I liked 20d best.

  2. Robert Page
    Posted March 2, 2010 at 11:16 am | Permalink | Reply

    Wow-this indeed was a tricky one today–hats off to you BD I would never have finished it without your very helpful clues :-)

    • Posted March 2, 2010 at 11:32 am | Permalink | Reply

      Gazza wrote this one, Robert, although I did solve it myself!

  3. mary
    Posted March 2, 2010 at 11:22 am | Permalink | Reply

    Thanks for the blog Gazza, definitely not one for me today, could never have finished without your help, I completed just over half without , I would never have got 1d or 16d some things you just need to know, good luck everyone, especially CC members, off out to enjoy the sunshine while it lasts :) also had ‘storking’ for 12a!!

    • Chablisdiamond
      Posted March 2, 2010 at 12:56 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Wow Mary! Half is good. I gave up and went to Sainburys… Just got back and put the blog on to see if others found it as hard as I, it’s tricky as I have to scroll down the answers with my eyes closed so that I don’t do any cheating…..yet!!!! I think you are in danger of graduating from the CCs and then what would we do without our leader?

      • gazza
        Posted March 2, 2010 at 1:00 pm | Permalink | Reply

        If you click on “comments” for the relevant blog on the home page, it takes you into the review starting at the comments (so you don’t have to do the “eyes closed” bit)!

        • Chablisdiamond
          Posted March 2, 2010 at 1:31 pm | Permalink | Reply

          Thanks Gazza. I am lazy and keep the blog always on my computer just pressing the refresh button from one day to the next!!!!

          • mary
            Posted March 2, 2010 at 3:04 pm | Permalink | Reply

            no graduation Chablis until a whole puzzle is completed without any help, from books, blogs or machines ….. sometime never then? :)

    • Barrie
      Posted March 2, 2010 at 3:56 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Mary, like you I would have more chance of knitting fog than finishing this horror! Managed just 6 clues!

      • Chablisdiamond
        Posted March 2, 2010 at 5:22 pm | Permalink | Reply

        I’ve never heard of ‘knitting fog’, what a fabulous phrase, made me LOL. Just about to sit down and have another go….

        • mary
          Posted March 2, 2010 at 10:34 pm | Permalink | Reply

          …at knitting fog???

      • Peter
        Posted March 2, 2010 at 5:33 pm | Permalink | Reply

        I got 6 clues too.

        So better than yesterday but still disappointing.

      • mary
        Posted March 2, 2010 at 10:35 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Knitting Fog Barrie….love it :)

  4. Jezza
    Posted March 2, 2010 at 11:22 am | Permalink | Reply

    Had 3 visits at this today. Very tough, but immensely enjoyable; my satisfaction grew as I worked through the puzzle. Impeccable clues, and I am sure many will struggle with some of them. Thanks Gazza, and Ray T.

  5. Prolixic
    Posted March 2, 2010 at 11:23 am | Permalink | Reply

    Gazza, I agree that Ray T’s puzzles are getting trickier and this fully deserves its **** rating. His puzzles are becoming the most difficult of the week, which adds to their enjoyment for me but others may have different views!

    In the paper, 9a had ‘Relate’ in italics. I suspect that Clued Up cannot handle italics in the clues which is why the on-line version differs from the printed version here.

    Clue of the day for me was 16d.

    • mary
      Posted March 2, 2010 at 11:25 am | Permalink | Reply

      Hi Prolixic, my print out from ‘clued up’ had 9a, ‘Relate’ in italics :)

      • gazza
        Posted March 2, 2010 at 1:04 pm | Permalink | Reply

        How did you achieve that? My printout has ‘relate’ in single quotes but not italics.

        • mary
          Posted March 2, 2010 at 3:06 pm | Permalink | Reply

          Exactly Gazza, now you see why I will always be in the CC club, i was just looking at what Prolixic had written and not really reading it … dunce cap!

  6. Vince
    Posted March 2, 2010 at 11:40 am | Permalink | Reply

    Most difficult puzzle I’ve done for a long time. Took twice as long to complete. I thought there were quite a number of iffy clues.

    10a. A club isn’t necessarily a dive. It needs anadjective, such as “seedy” to give it that distinction.

    13a. It took quite a leap to get from “beats” to “routes”. Got the answer from the rest of the clue.

    I thought that 3d & 14d were the best clues.

  7. Posted March 2, 2010 at 11:51 am | Permalink | Reply

    Pleased its not only me thought this a tough one..
    A good example of how not to think you’re getting ahead of the field after yesterdays gallop.
    Came down to earth with a thump today.
    Managed 6 clues then ground to a halt.
    How does ‘not Mum’ relate to MA in 17d ?
    And 27a still baffles me, Pull with a missing L ?
    22d, Would never have thought of Camp as an enclosure.
    11a favourite clue
    Back to the drawing board

  8. Nubian
    Posted March 2, 2010 at 11:58 am | Permalink | Reply

    Definately in the toughie mould today but very enjoyable non the less
    16d was a bit off for me, I was trying to fot cannelloni panchetta and all sorts of different dishes, the link to Delhi belly was a bit tenuous

  9. Geoff
    Posted March 2, 2010 at 12:06 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Way beyond me again – not making much progress with these!

    • mary
      Posted March 2, 2010 at 3:07 pm | Permalink | Reply

      tough one today Geoff, no need to despair :)

      • Geoff
        Posted March 2, 2010 at 4:35 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Walking by the river in the sunshine this afternoon, it occurred to me I need to ask myself ‘or’ to try and get onto a different thought/idea. I read ‘wound’ in 24d as a verb instead of a noun; I read and think too many things in one way only.

        • mary
          Posted March 2, 2010 at 10:36 pm | Permalink | Reply

          sometimes I read them everyway I think is possible and there is still another way :)

  10. Franny
    Posted March 2, 2010 at 12:20 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I really had no joy from this one, and must conclude that Ray T and I are just not on the same wave length. I managed to put in only eight correct answers and made things even more difficult for myself by putting ‘Turin’ for 24d — something to do with winding plus one. Thanks, Gazza, for your helpful explanations. I agreed with your comments, especially for 26a. All part of the learning process I suppose. :-(

    • gazza
      Posted March 2, 2010 at 12:31 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Ray T does use a lot of abstract words in his answers, which can make the puzzles difficult, but they are worth persevering with. If you want a slightly easier one (IMHO) try today’s Toughie!

      • Barrie
        Posted March 2, 2010 at 4:01 pm | Permalink | Reply

        This is what winds me up every time, why make the main puzzle more difficult than the Toughie. it makes no sense at all! I’m sure Ray T is very clever but there is little point if most people are completely foxed!

        • Peter
          Posted March 2, 2010 at 5:34 pm | Permalink | Reply

          I wholly agree

          • Greenhorn
            Posted March 2, 2010 at 10:05 pm | Permalink | Reply

            I concur -I’m sure Ray T is a wonderful person but his crosswords are to hard for the normal cryptic. The crosword editor should ask him to make them more accessable.

  11. Hannah
    Posted March 2, 2010 at 12:34 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I just looked at it and knew it was going to be tough.
    Id and 19a were difficult.
    I liked 3d the best
    Thank you for your assisitance!

  12. Hannah
    Posted March 2, 2010 at 12:39 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I was just wondering if there has aver been a clue that was impossible to solve?

  13. David Howes
    Posted March 2, 2010 at 1:39 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Another tough day for me. Got there in the end but got stuck on 16d, 9a and 15a. The the penny dropped!

  14. gnomethang
    Posted March 2, 2010 at 1:47 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Another great puzzle today. Failed to finish on the train journey in but finished off on the way to lunch.
    14d favourite for me for the surface reading as gazza pointed out.
    Thanks to gazza and RayT!

    • Vince
      Posted March 2, 2010 at 1:59 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Or perhaps the below-the-surface reading???

      • gnomethang
        Posted March 2, 2010 at 2:20 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Ay thang you!

  15. Lizwhiz1
    Posted March 2, 2010 at 2:28 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Struggled all the way with this. Managed about 8 on my own and then had to get your help! have finished it, but not sure I enjoyed the struggle :(

  16. Domus
    Posted March 2, 2010 at 3:22 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I always complete this DT crossword, but not today! Once I had sneaked a look at 1a, 1d and 18d I was OK but huge thanks to Gazza (and this website generally).

  17. Helen
    Posted March 2, 2010 at 4:24 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Hi – really struggled with this. Only put about 7 in myself before resorting to your help and even then I had to look between the brackets on three :-( Told you I was in the CC Mary!
    My favourite clues were 18a, 17d and 24d (with help). My clue of the day was 28a.
    It’s my last one for about a week as I have chemo tomorrow (penultimate session – yay!) and am laid low for 7 to 10 days and even the DT crossword can’t lift my spirits. Wish me well and I’ll be back as soon as I can.

  18. Derek
    Posted March 2, 2010 at 5:22 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Enjoyed this one very much. The top half was easier for me than the bottom half but kept grinding on ’til it was done.
    Best clues for me were 13a, 23a, 14d, 16d & 17d.

    Many thanks Gazza for Maria Callas – I last saw Turandot in the Sydney Opera House many years ago.

    Proloxic, Mary et al. My copy of the DT which is printed in Brussels had “relate” in italics 9a.

    Good work Ray T!

  19. Collywobbles
    Posted March 2, 2010 at 6:25 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Quite difficult today but I was able to finish with a little of your help. 9a and 23a were a bit abstruse

  20. Ray T
    Posted March 2, 2010 at 6:45 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Setter calling,

    Thanks to Gazza for the comprehensive explanations, and to all who contributed comments. Sorry if some puzzles are a bit tricky for some, but I do try to make the clues scrupulously fair!

    Ray T

  21. Jim
    Posted March 2, 2010 at 8:04 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Anybody else notice 16d in the paper has “cold” rather than “reheated” as above? Which makes it read nicer (as an allusion to “revenge is a dish best served cold”), just not quite so accurate in terms of food hygeine!

    • Posted March 2, 2010 at 8:07 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Welcome to the blog Jim

    • gnomethang
      Posted March 2, 2010 at 8:15 pm | Permalink | Reply

      I failed to notice that Jim.
      ‘reheated’ might have given me a better run today (but hopefully not too many!)
      I know that RayT has said hi today but maybe he could elucidate. BD, was reaheated on Clued Up?

    • gazza
      Posted March 2, 2010 at 8:17 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Thanks for bringing that to light. My first reaction is that “cold” detracts from the clue, since “reheated” (as on Clued Up) gives the flavour of food poisoning.

    • Ray T
      Posted March 2, 2010 at 8:51 pm | Permalink | Reply

      The original clue was the one which is in the paper, but after a discussion with our editor I changed it to the one which appears before you, so take your pick!

      Ray T

      • Helen
        Posted March 2, 2010 at 9:01 pm | Permalink | Reply

        What do you mean by clued up? What am I missing out on?

        • Posted March 2, 2010 at 9:08 pm | Permalink | Reply

          Just click “CluedUp” in the sidebar – It’s the Telegraph’s online subscription-only site.

        • mary
          Posted March 2, 2010 at 10:45 pm | Permalink | Reply

          If you only want to do the crossword Helen and don’t read the paper, you can join clued up for about £30 or thereabouts for a year, each day you can print the crossword off (as I do ) or do online, you can also get the toughie and sudokus too, saves over £300 a year!! I think it’s great :)

          • mary
            Posted March 2, 2010 at 10:46 pm | Permalink | Reply

            ps you can print the next days off any time after midnight, so if you are having sleepless nights you can get a head start on most people by doing your crossword :)

      • gnomethang
        Posted March 2, 2010 at 10:22 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Thanks for the reply, RayT. I think the reheated version improves somewhat, if only for the humour.I figured the answer and intent but was frowning a bit on the ‘cold’ side of things.

      • Prolixic
        Posted March 2, 2010 at 11:40 pm | Permalink | Reply

        As I eat a lot of cold cuts from Sunday roasts, etc, cold worked perfectly well for me. Happily, the answer had not reared its head yet!

  22. NathanJ
    Posted March 2, 2010 at 10:02 pm | Permalink | Reply

    This was a challenging puzzle but after a tough slog I managed to finish it without help. Although it was hard work, I really enjoyed it and had a sense of achievement when I completed it.

    As always, a brilliant puzzle from Ray T – one of the best compilers around – tough, yet enjoyable and fair.

  23. Griff
    Posted March 2, 2010 at 11:45 pm | Permalink | Reply

    oh crumbs. Crashing back to earth after this. Reckon i had nailled about 10 before i started to reall struggle
    Am on 3rd Guiness and i am convinced its sloowing my brain. Or perhaps i just cant tag it today :-(

  24. fortis
    Posted March 4, 2010 at 10:59 am | Permalink | Reply

    montezuma does not make sense, where does cold come in you have replaced cold with reheated, i didn’t think this puzzle was very clever, the cryptics seem to be getting mundane, the toughies are more enjoyable

    • Posted March 4, 2010 at 11:46 am | Permalink | Reply

      Welcome to the blog fortis

    • gazza
      Posted March 4, 2010 at 12:03 pm | Permalink | Reply

      It was “reheated” on Clued Up, but “cold” in the paper – see comment #21 above (especially the response from Ray T, the setter of the puzzle),

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