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DT 26192

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26192

Hints and tips by Gazza

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

Normal service is resumed today with another thoroughly entertaining puzzle from Giovanni. I believe, though, that there is a mistake in 12a (I’ll have oeuf on the old visage if I’m wrong about this!). Let us know what you thought of the puzzle, what you liked and disliked, what you found tricky or straightforward.
(I know that regular readers will get sick of seeing this bit, but please remember that new readers are joining us all the time) The answer to each clue is masked out between the curly brackets underneath it – just drag your cursor through the white space between the brackets to reveal it.

Across Clues

1a  A verger no longer working as a servant of the Queen (8,7)
{GOVERNOR GENERAL} – an anagram (working) of A VERGER NO LONGER gives the title of the Queen’s representative in those Commonwealth countries where she is head of state.

9a  Spot decapitated snake by country house (7)
{SPLODGE} – this spot or stain is made by a type of snake (the one that did for Cleopatra) without its initial letter (decapitated) followed by a house in the country (the type which may be used by hunters, for example).

10a  Gunfighter gets to carry something to muffle sound (7)
{EARPLUG} – we want the surname of the famed lawman of the Wild West who participated in the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral – follow this with a verb meaning to carry something heavy and you should end up with a bit of soft material , which you need two of to keep out unwanted sounds (as produced by a snoring partner for example).

11a  Prohibition is international, an order with little right in it (9)
{INTERDICT} – a noun meaning a prohibition is constructed from the abbreviation for international followed by a word for an order or decree with R (little right) inside it.

12a  Thus mademoiselle is given a French flower (5)
{SOMME} – I think that there’s a mistake in this clue. Even though there is a movement in France (as elsewhere) to remove the distinction between married and unmarried women, there are still two distinct words and Mme (which is what is needed here) is the abbreviation for Madame and not Mademoiselle (for which the correct abbreviation is Mlle). Precede this with SO (thus) for the name of a French river.

13a  Ruler’s office, for example, in which gin is kept (7)
{SATRAPY} – for example is SAY – inside this put the name of something used to snare wild animals (gin, which is now illegal) to get the office of the governor of an old Persian province.

15a  Mocks some Parisian across the course of journey (7)
{DERIDES} – a verb meaning mocks is constructed from DES (some in French, Parisian) around (across the course of) a word for journey.

17a  Joke about female being educated prig? (7)
{PURITAN} – the female being educated is the title character in the comedy about a Liverpudlian hairdresser taking an Open University course. Around her name put a type of joke to get a censorious prig.

19a  Man doubled up having taken a plant for fodder (7)
{ALFALFA} – an abbreviated man’s name (think of the bigoted character played by Warren Mitchell in “Till Death us do Part”) appears twice (doubled up) and is followed by (having taken) A to get a plant grown for fodder.

21a  Old region offers bracing air, loosely speaking (5)
{OZONE} – what the British informally and incorrectly (loosely speaking) call bracing air blowing in from the sea is actually a toxic gas with a pungent odour. It’s a charade of O(ld) and a synonym for region.

23a  Son about to get covered in mud, little creature who is wicked? (9)
{MISCREANT} – put S(on) and C (circa, about) inside a synonym for mud and follow up with a little creature (an insect normally referred to as a worker in crosswords) to get an adjective meaning wicked or unlawful.

25a  Borders that may come down close to bridges? (7)
{FRINGES} – a cryptic definition. Forget about the bridges that cross rivers and think about those on people’s noses, and then the types of hairstyle (borders) which may come down almost as far as them.

26a  Contorted expression of unhappy star (7)
{GRIMACE} – a charade of an adjective meaning unhappy or gloomy and someone who excels (star) provide a contorted expression.

27a  Bottom golfer jousts with relations, one of little stature (15)
{RUMPELSTILTSKIN} – the name of a small character (one of little stature) from a Grimm fairytale is constructed by putting together a word for bottom or backside, the surname of Ernie the South African golfer, a verb meaning jousts and, finally, a word for relations which is often paired with kith.

Down Clues

1d  Travel to Sweden, getting drinks and chats (7)
{GOSSIPS} – the definition is chats and we get it from a charade of a synonym for travel, the vehicle registration code for Sweden and a verb meaning drinks small amounts at a time.

2d  Servant giving farewell ahead of time (5)
{VALET} – put an exclamation (from the latin) meaning farewell in front (ahead) of T(ime) to get a Jeeves-like servant.

3d  Bird in reeds brat disturbed (9)
{REDBREAST} – an anagram (disturbed) of REEDS BRAT.

4d  Love to be given rest, ending with ugly fatness (7)
{OBESITY} – a word meaning fatness is put together starting with O (love, as in tennis) and finishing with (ugl)Y.

5d  Unnamed environmentalist, old rocker given welcome (7)
{GREETED} – a verb meaning welcomed (given welcome) starts with GREE(n) (environmentalist with no N(ame)) and this is followed by a shortened form of an old rock-and-roll fan who dressed in drainpipe trousers and a narrow or bootlace tie.

6d  Clumsy students from e.g. Durham taking road south (5)
{NERDS} – think of the part of England where Durham is, then add abbreviations for road and south.

7d  One in a part, kind for learner to follow (4,5)
{ROLE MODEL} – a charade of a part played by an actor and another word for kind or sort (a design of car, for example) gives us someone for a newcomer (learner) to imitate.

8d  Drunk on ship when entertaining the French (7)
{LEGLESS} – even non-cricket fans should by now know that “on” is synonymous with LEG in the summer game. Add the usual abbreviation for steamship and put the French definite article inside (entertaining).

14d  Mistake in swirling mist may bring state of fear (9)
{TERRORISM} – put a synonym for mistake inside an anagram (swirling) of MIST.

16d  Progressive class, one restricted by all the others (9)
{REFORMIST} – put a synonym for a school class plus I (one) inside (restricted by) a word meaning the remainder (all the others).

17d  Academic female, top lady becoming tender (7)
{PROFFER} – a verb meaning tender is made from an abbreviated academic, F(emale) and the initials normally used by the Queen (top lady).

18d  Downfall of little girl English blokes upset (7)
{NEMESIS} – little girl is SIS(ter). Follow this with E(nglish) and a synonym for blokes and then reverse the whole lot (upset) to get an inescapable downfall.

19d  Spear, say, used in short attack (7)
{ASSEGAI} – say is EG (for example). Put this inside (used in) a verb meaning to attack shorn of its last letter (short) to get an iron-tipped, African spear.

20d  Hunter in exploit over a very long period (7)
{ACTAEON} – the name of a hunter in Greek mythology (who was turned into a stag and killed by his own hounds) is made from a synonym for exploit or deed followed by (over, in a down clue) A and a major division of geological time (very long period).

22d  Bird plunging into sea, gleefully (5)
{EAGLE} – this bird is hidden (plunging into) in the clue.

24d  A need to give an old-fashioned expression of regret (5)
{ALACK} – put together A and a need or want to get this old interjection denoting regret or woe.

The clues I enjoyed today included 10a, 21a, 25a, 27a and 8d, but my clue of the day is 17a. How about you? – send us a comment with your thoughts!

61 comments on “DT 26192

  1. Hello, Telegraph Puzzles Editor here. Mon dieu, you are right — we have got our Madames mixed up with our Mademoiselles. We’ll correct it on CluedUp. Thanks for pointing it out, and apologies to all our French solveurs.
    Best wishes

  2. Wow doing a Giovanni, I feel I need to get marks off a teacher, because for me it is mostly down to reference books etc. so many things i hadn’t heard of e.g. 13a, 19a, 20d, and i’m sure there are others, although it is hard work for me i can now usually understand Giovanni puzzles and work them out with a lot of reference help, am now going to read the blog to see if my thinking was correct, thanks in advance Gazza :)

    1. Interesting puzzle, a typical Giovanni if rather harder than normal. Only managed the top left 1/4 I’m afraid :-(
      Not been a great two weeks for me, been so long since I last finished a DT crossword that I must admit I am not really enjoying them any longer. I need a couple of fairly straightforward ones to get me going again. Perhaps Saturdays might be a little less tricky than last weeks.

      1. I got really confused on that too because soma is a type of plant and very nearly fit!!!!!!

  3. Having a mistake in a very difficult puzzle didn’t help. 12a was the last answer I put in. I still don’t like the cricket references. The penny didn’t drop until a long time after I’d guessed the correct answer to 8d.

  4. Just done the Quickie as a warm-up exercise for The Big One. It’s another of those using all 26 letters, for which I can never remember the correct word – pandemic, or something!!??

        1. I do the little one but stop after i’ve worked out the expression from the first clues! Sometimes find the little one harder than the main crossword!

  5. This is exactly the type of crossword I enjoy… not easy, but solveable from the wordplay, entertaining, and absorbing! Thanks to Giovanni, and to Gazza.

  6. Another really enjoyable puzzle completed without the blog but with much use of my ‘special dictionaries’. Even having got all the checking letters I would never have got 19d in a million years without looking up types of spear!!!! I really really loved the challenge, especially liking 5d 11a 19a. Had a wobble having rushed to put Artemis in 20d even though I couldn’t make the second half of the clue work!!!!!

      1. I’m still trying to get used to ons and offs being legs and vice versa!!!! Eeeek.

  7. Top notch crossword from Giovanni today, for which many thanks. Loved 1a, 27a and 8d. Thanks to Gazza for the notes.

  8. Somehow managed to get LARGE-SS for 8d, so thanks for sorting me out Gazza. Hope tomorrow is up to this exceptional standard, but prepared to be disappointed!

    1. We’re certainly had him before, but I can’t remember whether it’s only been in Toughies.

        1. Well, it seems to me that references to cricket and the French language are OK but references to South African golfers that nobody has ever heard of is a clue too far

          1. He’s won 3 major championships including a British Open, and has been in the top 10 in the world for most of the last 15 years. Easily well-known enough for inclusion in a clue.

  9. Good stuff again! Thanks Giovanni.
    As soon as the switch in my head turned over I found it quite straightforward. Good 15 minutes of staring at 3 clues before that though!
    Thanks fir the review, gazza

    1. never Barrie, had to look it up in Chambers big red book :) and that was after I’d fed the letters I had into my electronic friend!!

  10. Enough lurking! Please may I join the CC?

    Got off to a bad start by putting Cabinet for 13a – thanks Gazza for putting me back on track.

    1. Hi essjay – you’re very welcome.
      I hope you’ll keep leaving comments, now that you’ve started. Cabinet would be quite an amusing answer for 13a!

    2. Feel free to join us in CC anytime essjay, some days we think we are almost out of there only to be brought back to the CC corner another day :)

  11. a wonderfully enjoyable excercise. Thank you for the review Gazza. Barrie The construct is the same as monarch (y).

  12. Fantasic puzzle today,quality in every clue and high level of enjoyment. What a start to the weekend.
    Thanks Giovanni and Gazza for the blog

  13. Managed complete the top half and then barely had a letter in the bottom half before resorting to the hints. 19d, 20d and 24d were all new to me but have hopefully been absorbed! Disappointed not to have got 19a having studied Of Mice And Men.

  14. Really struggled with this. Only put about 8 in without needing help. Some answers I’ve never heard of – can often work them out because of the clue but not today :-( Very bottom of the CC today Mary.

    1. Hi Helen, Geoff, don’t worry, it was tough today, I can’t believe I finished it, but as i said I do use lots of books and electronic help, I would never manage without, that’s why i’ll always be in the CC :)

  15. More hopeless than usual for a Friday! Not even going to say how hopeless …

    6d: how is ‘students’ relevant here?
    8d: having remembered LEG = ON, was it earlier this week?, I forgot today but did guess the right answer!

          1. ..well the clue doesn’t say “full-time student” so anyone who studies something can be a student! :D

  16. Help! I got 4d Obesity, but I can’t get the clue to work. O for love, end of uglY, but BESIT means to suit or to become. I can’t find it meaning “to be given rest”.

  17. After a hard day dressed as a sporting hero & running round a field with a gang of 5 year olds in aid of sports relief (well – not all day!) I came home looking forward to a quiet night with the friday crossword only to find that clued up is giving me the clues but no grid – any ideas anyone??

    1. Claire
      I’ve just had a look at it. If you select “Cryptic Crosswords”, then 26192, then Print you should get it.

      1. Thanks Gazza! I went to today’s crosswords & tried to print from there – didn’t think to go to the list of cryptics. Go it now so can relax with a glass of wine & see how I get on. No doubt I’ll be back here later :-)

      2. Wow – managed it without coming for help. Just a little assistance from my husband & a quick check above to see the whys of a couple! A great crossword today, so pleased I managed to download it – thanks again Gazza. Particularly liked 8d, 25a and 27a but altogether satisfying :-)

  18. Hello all

    12a was one of the few i’ve got today! IS i should say – not finished yet.

    But can someone explain 4d to me…?


  19. Very late comment from me as have been very busy shopping this morning.
    Good stuff from Giovanni as usual.
    I liked 10a,19a & 27a. 20d.
    Agree that 12a is a poor clue – mme is not mademoiselle.

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