DT 26180

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26180

Hints and tips by Gazza

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

As I’ve said before, Fridays and Sundays are my favourite Cryptic days. Even the inconvenience of a power cut when I was trying to key my answers into Clued Up didn’t dampen my enjoyment of this one. I know that some people find Giovanni’s puzzles difficult, but it really is worth persevering.
All comments are appreciated – the bloggers do read and take note of all the comments on their reviews, even if many do not require a specific response.
As usual the answer to each clue is concealed between the curly bracket under the clue. Just drag your cursor through the white space between the brackets to reveal it.

Across Clues

1a  Talks about Rod’s No.1 in the hit parade (6)
{CHARTS} – put a verb meaning talks informally around R (i.e. the no. 1 letter of Rod) to get what we trendy pop-pickers call the hit parade.

4a  Selfish acts making priest go mad (3,5)
{EGO TRIPS} – an anagram (mad) of PRIEST GO.

10a  Two heads meeting for a talk (4-1-4)
{TETE-A-TETE} – the enumeration is a bit of a giveaway for this intimate conversation for two.

11a  Old vessel crossing eastern sea (5)
{OCEAN} – put O(ld) and a container (vessel) that may hold beans or lager around E(astern).

12a  I want you to see nothing is being concealed by group (7)
{OCULIST} – the definition is “I want you to see” and it’s someone who specialises in treating eye disorders. Start with O (nothing, because it looks like zero) and add a group or sect with unorthodox beliefs inside which is concealed IS.

13a  Establish home, say (7)
{INSTATE} – a charade of IN (home) and a verb meaning to say.

14a  Animal caught in rain, dripping (5)
{INDRI} – hidden in the clue is a short-tailed lemur native to Madagascar. Its name actually means “there he is!” in Malagasy, a visiting naturalist mistaking this cry for the animal’s name.

15a  After endless criticism he had to get married (8 )
{ATTACHED} – put HE’D (he had) after public criticism without its last letter (endless) to make an adjective meaning having a partner or being married.

18a  Normal flag (8 )
{STANDARD} – double definition.

20a  A few special words to put at end of test (5)
{MOTTO} – put TO after your car’s annual check-up (test). Non illegitimi te carborundum, for example.

23a  Range of colours displayed by little female friend you fancy? (7)
{PALETTE} – if a nymphette is a young female nymph then what do you fancy a little female friend might be called?

25a  A steer’s breaking lose, presenting problems (7)
{TEASERS} – [I’m assuming that lose is a typo and that it should be loose. This is how it is on Clued Up – it may be different in the paper] we want an anagram (breaking loose) of A STEER’S to get posers or problems.

26a  Wind brings sharp pain — not good (5)
{TWINE} – a verb meaning to wind or coil is made by removing G(ood) from a sudden sharp pain.

27a  Introduced new dietitian (9)
{INITIATED} – a verb meaning introduced or started is an anagram (new) of DIETITIAN.

28a  Old European woman thus accompanying bloke to the west (8 )
{YUGOSLAV} – the definition is old European (old because the country has now been broken up into different states). The woman is VAL, add SO (thus) and a synonym for bloke and then reverse the whole lot (to the west, which only works with an across clue).

29a  What student losing bit in the middle becomes (6)
{LEANER} – very clever clue. Remove the central letter (losing bit in the middle) of someone who is a student and he or she is reduced around the waist.

Down Clues

1d  Church member beginning to leap in chaotic dancing (8 )
{CATHOLIC} – I initially tried to make an anagram of dancing, thinking that chaotic was the indicator, but it’s the other way round. We want an anagram (dancing) of CHAOTIC with the first letter (beginning) of L(eap) inside.

2d  A tile initially placed in well-built floor (7)
{ASTOUND} – put the first letter of T(ile) inside A and a synonym for well-built or in good condition to get a verb meaning astonish or stun (floor).

3d  Custom of deportation, getting rid of old lover (9)
{TRADITION} – start with a word meaning the legal removal of an accused person from one country to another to be tried there (deportation), then remove the initial EX (old lover) from the start of that word and you should be left with a long-established custom.

5d  Delegation is to change — explains the particulars (4,4,6)
{GOES INTO DETAIL} – an anagram (change) of DELEGATION IS TO.

6d  What craftsman will need for making chair, first to last (5)
{TOOLS} – the chair in question is a pretty basic one with no back or arms. Move its first letter to the end (first to last) to get the implements used by a craftsman to make it.

7d  Repeat the thing time after time (wearisome ultimately) (7)
{ITERATE} – a verb meaning to repeat is constructed from IT (the thing) and two different ways of expressing time, ending with the last letter (ultimately) of wearisomE.

8d  Entertainer, sexual libertine ditching wife (6)
{SINGER} – remove (ditching) W(ife) from someone who indulges in promiscuous sexual activity, sometimes at parties for like-minded people.

9d  Artist and beat girl going after the money in a group of countries (7,7)
{CENTRAL AMERICA} – this geographical area of the world (group of countries) is made from RA (Royal Academician, artist), LAM (beat) and a girl’s name, all of which follow (after) a sum of money (normally one-hundredth part of a country’s monetary unit).

16d  Tower in settlement north of a river (9)
{CAMPANILE} – a tower, with a bell, is constructed from a temporary settlement (often under canvas) which comes before (north of, in a down clue) A and the name of a major African river.

17d  Think about opposing team and run (8 )
{CONSIDER} – the definition is think about, and it’s a charade of opposing (against, not pro), a synonym for team and R (run, in cricket).

19d  Uttering a short story before the monarch (7)
{TALKING} – start with a synonym for story, then remove its last letter (to make it short) and finally add a male monarch to end up with another word for uttering.

21d  New Jersey city apartment — rent one not wholly visible (7)
{TRENTON} – the name of the state capital of New Jersey is hidden (not wholly visible, i.e. not seen as a single word) in the clue.

22d  A father overlooks your lack of concern (6)
{APATHY} – put A and a short word for father ahead of (overlooks, another down only construct) an old word for your to get a lack of concern. I think that it was Willie Whitelaw who accused one of his political opponents of going round the country stirring up this.

24d  Report of sorrowful manifestations in rows (5)
{TIERS} – a sound-alike (report) of tears (sorrowful manifestations).

Picking my favourite clues is difficult, because lots of them are good. I especially liked 12a, 29a, 6d and 8d, but my clue of the day is 23a. What did you think of it? Let us know in a comment.



  1. gnomethang
    Posted March 5, 2010 at 11:03 am | Permalink

    Another great Giovanni/Elgar double whammy today!.
    Thoroughly enjoyed this one with favourites being 23a, 5d and in particular 29a.
    Thanks to the two G’s, for the review and the puzzle.

  2. mary
    Posted March 5, 2010 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    Yes, a really nice ‘DOABLE’ Giovanni today, the bottom half came together quite quickly, then I almost gave up but left it for five mins and completed top l/h side, got really stuck on top r/h for a while putting in some silly answers until 6d struck me, then all fell into place, great, thank you Giovanni and thank you Gazza, fav clues 29a, 22d a few words I didn’t know such as 14a & 21d

    • gnomethang
      Posted March 5, 2010 at 11:35 am | Permalink

      Funny that! – the top half came together much faster than the bottom half. Glad you enjoyed it.

    • Barrie
      Posted March 5, 2010 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

      Mary, if you think todays Giovanni was doable then I’m sorry I will expect your resignation from the CC by return. I managed about 1/4 (the bottom left) the rest apart from 10a is from an realm uknown to me I’m afraid. Indri indeed!!

      • gnomethang
        Posted March 5, 2010 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

        Best remember the good old Indri, Barrie!. Its one of them ‘crosswordland’ words that have very little use, particularly for Europeans – a bit like the Ratel in fact!.

        • Barrie
          Posted March 5, 2010 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

          Google defines a ratel as a honey badger or a south african fighting vehicle. I will look out for both. Thanks for the heads up.

          • gnomethang
            Posted March 5, 2010 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

            We also had it recently as a synonym for ‘glutton’ since it has this reputation (the honey badger, not the fighting vehicle ;-) )

            • moonstruckminx
              Posted March 5, 2010 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

              I have only just joined today…and looking through recent posts I am noticing that females seem to start with the clues most men find difficult and vice versa…anyone else noticed? Oh and are there any female compilers?

              • gazza
                Posted March 5, 2010 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

                None of the current setters for the Telegraph Cryptic are female, but there are a small number (two I think) who regularly produce Toughie puzzles.

                • moonstruckminx
                  Posted March 5, 2010 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

                  And do you find them a challenge?

                  • gazza
                    Posted March 5, 2010 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

                    You can decide for yourself. Select their pseudonym in the Categories box in the right-hand panel to bring up the blogs of their puzzles. The pseudonyms of the two female setters are Warbler and Excalibur.

                  • Posted March 5, 2010 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

                    And congratulations on becoming the 100th entry in the site’s Guestbook.

      • mary
        Posted March 5, 2010 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

        Sorry Barrie, cannot do, will not be resigning from CC until i can complete a puzzle without help frome books or machines , a long way off from that, you’ll just have to put up with me I’m afraid :)

        • Barrie
          Posted March 5, 2010 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

          Well I’m really impressed you managed to finish todays, not been the best week for me as I failed to complete a single one :-( Even yesterdays which was supposedly a 2* I failed miserably.
          Perhaps I should stick to golf although I’m not all that good at that either! :-)

          • mary
            Posted March 5, 2010 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

            it’s just a glitch after having time off, don’t forget you finished 2 or 3 Giovannis in a row recently

  3. Vince
    Posted March 5, 2010 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    Although very enjoyable, I didn’t find this difficult, at all.

    I thought there wwere lots of good clues, e.g. 23a, 6d, 7d & 8d, but best ,I thought, was 29a.

    I was surprised at two clues not being up to the standard of the rest, as they were too easy. These are 10a (hardly a cryptic clue) and 3d.

    By the way, Dave, did you get excited to see “the lovely Carol” on “Question Time” last night?

  4. Nubian
    Posted March 5, 2010 at 11:48 am | Permalink

    Good quality puzzle today with lots of testing clues,very enjoyable
    6d was the weakest clue I thought

  5. Prolixic
    Posted March 5, 2010 at 11:49 am | Permalink

    Another enjoyable Giovanni puzzle. I agree with comments above that it was a gentler outing today – but none the worse for that. Favourite clues were 29a and 2d. Many thanks to Giovanni for entertaining us and thank you for the notes Gazza.

  6. the_chairman
    Posted March 5, 2010 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    Yes, the sort of elegantly-clued crossword I most like from the DT. Glad you enjoyed this one too, Mary.
    I shall have to catch up with the lovely Carol later via the iPlayer………..

  7. Jezza
    Posted March 5, 2010 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    Thanks to Giovanni for another fine puzzle, and less taxing than the last few Fridays. This one, and tuesday’s puzzle from RayT are my two favourites of the week.

  8. Geoff
    Posted March 5, 2010 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    It’s Friday and it’s Giovanni, so I knew I wasn’t going to do well! But I did get 17 in the end, which I think could be an improvement over the three months or so that I’ve been here. (BD, is there a simple way to review my previous comments?)

    Thanks for the ever-helpful review Gazza. Learned a few things today, eg. the hidden indicator in 21d and use of overlooks in 22d – and that constructs such as in 28a are still way beyond me! Should have asked myself the ‘or’ question in 26a, ‘wind’ meant only the blowy stuff for me.

    • mary
      Posted March 5, 2010 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

      It is a Giovanni after all Geoff, really well done :)

    • Posted March 5, 2010 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

      I’m sorry but I know of no way you can do that. I can, from the blog dashboard, so if you have a specific question I will try to answer it.

      • Geoff
        Posted March 5, 2010 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

        Not to worry BD. It would be interesting to look back at previous Friday puzzles and see how many answers I had managed, say, two months ago – fewer, I suspect. Seems you need some sort of indexed comments database – or I could make a note in my diary, which might be simpler!

  9. Posted March 5, 2010 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

    Just discovered this site..so good to have someone to share a puzzle with. particulary liked 23 across!

    • gazza
      Posted March 5, 2010 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

      Hi Moonstruckminx – welcome to the blog. Now that you’ve found us I hope that you’ll be a regular visitor!

  10. Lea
    Posted March 5, 2010 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

    What a pleasure Friday puzzles are. I agree with you Gazza for clue of the day – 23a was very clever. By far the best puzzle of the week.

  11. barbyjo
    Posted March 5, 2010 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

    i agree. Today’s puzzle was challenging in a most enjoyable way. Favourite clue hard to choose, but 23a & 9d were great clues. Thanks Giovanni

  12. Patsyann
    Posted March 5, 2010 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

    Thought I was going to complete a Friday crossword for the first time, until I had only one left to do- 21d. How annoying to find it was as simple as a hidden word! Unfortunately geography is not a strong point with me, and I was woefully ignorant that Trenton was a city in New Jersey. A very enjoyable challenge – thanks Giovanni and Gazza.

  13. BigBoab
    Posted March 5, 2010 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

    Straightforward but enjoyable crossword from the Maestro today, great review as ever Gazza.

  14. Werm
    Posted March 5, 2010 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

    Thoroughly enjoyable, fair and challenging. Fav clue 28a

  15. Nora
    Posted March 5, 2010 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

    I got 28a (Yugoslav) but couldn’t work out why. What a convoluted clue!

    • gazza
      Posted March 5, 2010 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

      Hi Nora – welcome to the blog.

  16. Derek
    Posted March 5, 2010 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

    Another Giovanni treat!
    I got the bottom half done first then the NE corner and was a bit stuck on the NW corner apart from 10a and 3d but pressed on regardless (as we used to say in WW2 days) and finally cleared it up.
    I liked 6d, 8d & 16d. Incidentally was the photo of Firenze? 25a 29a.

    Shall be off for a few days so TTFN!

    • gazza
      Posted March 5, 2010 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

      16d. Right country, wrong city – it’s Venice.

  17. Derek
    Posted March 5, 2010 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

    Thanks Gazza – of course Piazza San Marco! There is a lift in that campanile but not in the one in Florence. I was in both cities a couple of years ago with my son and at my age was glad for the lift to get to the lookout level . In Florence it was hard work climbing the stairs but worth it eventually.
    Have visited Italy many, many times.

  18. Little Dave
    Posted March 5, 2010 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

    Best one of thw week yet again – a fine challenge and I loved 28a and 2d. 11a was answered wrongly which affected my NE. “Oculist” is a great word and an “Indri” is a new one on me. 3.5* and congratulations to the setter. Roll on tomorrow’s which I will tackle when watching my son in his wind band. England win again. A good day.

  19. Nikki
    Posted March 5, 2010 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

    I’m a long time reader but haven’t posted before…
    I just wanted to say that I got so much pleasure from this crossword! I initially thought it was impossible but I made myself stick with it today and i’ve just finished it! Normally I just give up if I feel I won’t be able to do it. I’m immensely proud of myself!

    • gazza
      Posted March 5, 2010 at 10:21 pm | Permalink

      Hi Nikki – welcome to the blog. Now that you’ve introduced yourself, I hope that you’ll comment regularly.
      Congratulations on finishing the puzzle – I’m sure that it’ll be the first of many!

  20. Griff
    Posted March 5, 2010 at 10:39 pm | Permalink

    thoroughly entertaining fare today. Was stuck on16d and 12a for ages…..but the power of the Guiness powered in!
    Favourite clue was 29a. Real giggle at that.
    Overall, a really enjoyable romp.

  21. the_chairman
    Posted March 6, 2010 at 12:40 am | Permalink

    the_chairman, finding that his avatar on here appears to be the most ‘Mr Angry’ face , whereas he considers himself at most ‘Mr Grumpy’ with Victor Meldrew undertones, and thinks that Moonstruckminx is Carol Vorderman’s secret lunge for BD (or a hairy-arsed bloke in cyber-disguise) has had to modify…..pls wait……

    • Posted March 6, 2010 at 12:45 am | Permalink

      Excellent – third one today to join WordPress – I ought to get commission!

  22. freethecaistorone
    Posted March 6, 2010 at 12:49 am | Permalink

    And has had to change his user name too….

    • Posted March 6, 2010 at 1:10 am | Permalink

      All you needed to do was to set the nickname in My Account / Edit Profile and then set “Display name publicly as:” to your chosen name!

      • Posted March 6, 2010 at 2:16 am | Permalink

        Never mind BD – this whole experience has possibly led me into the ..er.. Blogosphere – and despite an also-ran result on DIYCOW – I’m going to try and do a blog about trying to do a blog merely because of a dodgy-looking avatar on your site. The deed is now done, the chairman is kaputski – all to swap angry-face for R. Wagner. Free The Caistor One will, I hope, become the beacon of freedom, justice and truth………

  23. freethecaistorone
    Posted March 6, 2010 at 1:05 am | Permalink

    BD – formerly the_chairman, which was merely my user name on ScrewedUp (still is) – now seems to have disappeared by the mere expedient of wishing to modify the dreadful angry-face avatar on your most excellent blog. This is a test message to see if I’m still my fave German music-writing geezer (‘e’s dead now).