DT 26198

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26198

Hints and tips by Gazza

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

We have a fairly tough challenge from Giovanni today (with three words which were new to me) but all clued in his usual, impeccably fair way. Let us know your thoughts on the puzzle by sending a comment, and please remember to grade the puzzle on how much you enjoyed it by clicking on one of the stars below.
The answers are in the review, but hidden so that you don’t see them by accident. To see one, drag your cursor through the white space between the brackets under the relevant clue.

Across Clues

1a  Location at which many are canvassed? (8 )
{CAMPSITE} – cryptic description of a place where many people sleep under canvas. A nice gentle start.

5a  Duke will back the country, it’s said (6)
{STATED} – the definition is said. Put D(uke) after a synonym for country.

9a  NCO — gosh, quietly spoken! (8 )
{CORPORAL} – string together an interjection indicating surprise (gosh), P (piano, quiet) and an adjective meaning spoken rather than written to get an NCO in the army.

10a  Animal sailor attached to a line (6)
{JACKAL} – an old term for a sailor is jack tar (for which a number of possible derivations have been suggested, but none stands out). We are more used to seeing the second word in crosswords but here we want the first. Add A L(ine) to get a wild dog (animal).

12a  Ambassador joining the French people at match (6)
{LEGATE} – put together the French definite article and the number of people through the turnstiles (people at match, size of the crowd) to get an ambassador, especially a papal one.

13a  Show contempt for dramatist’s worthless article (8 )
{KICKSHAW} – I had problems with this one (see 6d) but got there eventually. The definition is a cheap, worthless article or trinket (which I’d never heard of), and to get it we need to put together KICK (show contempt for, as in the phrase “kick in the teeth”) and the name of an Irish playwright. The latter is reputed to have sent a telegram to Churchill (with whom he did not get on) saying “Two tickets reserved for you, first night Pygmalion. Bring a friend. If you have one.”. Churchill replied with a telegram: “Cannot make first night. Will come to second. If you have one.”

15a  Look after maiden perhaps going to 24? (7)
{OVERSEE} – the definition is look after or supervise, and we have to combine (yes, it’s cricket again!) a word for six consecutive balls from the same end (which, if no runs are scored off them, is termed a maiden) and another word for a diocese, such as the one in 24d.

16a  Try in this place to get listened to (4)
{HEAR} – what a judge does to a court case sounds like (listened to) a word meaning in this place.

20a  The man will, it’s said, get well again (4)
{HEAL} – and that’s immediately followed by another homophone. The definition is get well again and it sounds like (it’s said) a contracted form of he (the man) will.

21a  Very small society’s account of what happened at meeting (7)
{MINUTES} – the formal record of what happened at a meeting is constructed from a word meaning very small and S(ociety).

25a  Got hold of many sheets of paper to be put into a record (8 )
{ACQUIRED} – put a word for 25 (formerly 24) sheets of paper into A CD (record).

26a  Cluster of flowers, number outside bedsit? (6)
{SPADIX} – a slang term for a small place to live (bedsit, perhaps) is put inside SIX (number) to get a spike of minute flowers. Another word that was new to me, but the crossing letters and wordplay make it fairly easy to get.

28a  A leg-puller is relaxed (2,4)
{AT EASE} – double definition, a leg-puller being (1,5).

29a  Utter a word of dismissal, just (8 )
{OUTRIGHT} – the definition is utter, as in complete. It’s a charade of a word of dismissal (as may be used by an umpire at cricket, perhaps) and a synonym for just or fair.

30a  Tea’s in — this herbal infusion’s out (6)
{TISANE} – this is an anagram but expressed backwards, so to speak. If you make an anagram (out) of the answer (herbal infusion) you can get TEA’S IN. Very neat!

31a  One viewing a sequence of acts? (8 )
{PLAYGOER} – cryptic definition of someone who attends the theatre.

Down Clues

1d  Bird with left foot hidden in weed (6)
{COCKLE} – put together a male bird and LE(ft) (with the foot (ft) hidden, i.e. removed) to get a cornfield weed.

2d  An illusion? I am churning over with anger (6)
{MIRAGE} – reverse (churning over) a contracted form of I am and add a synonym of anger to get a shimmering optical illusion.

3d  After second drink I have to be frolicsome (8 )
{SPORTIVE} – start with S(econd) and add an alcoholic drink and I’VE (I have) to get an adjective meaning playful or frolicsome.

4d  Bird regularly spotted in the fall (4)
{TEAL} – this bird is a small freshwater duck and it can be spotted in the odd letters (regularly) of “the fall”.

6d  Grating in street held up dogs (6)
{TRACKS} – In my first pass through the puzzle I quickly wrote in “trails” and moved on, forgetting about it until I was held up by 13a and had to think again. At a pinch I think that rail could be a grating, but RACK is a better one. It needs to be put inside the normal 2-letter abbreviation for street which is reversed (held up).

7d  Pay attention when there’s ghastly death — eek! (4,4)
{TAKE HEED} – an anagram (ghastly) of DEATH and EEK gives us a phrase meaning to pay attention.

8d  State English rule in bold act (8 )
{DELAWARE} – this state (one of the fifty in the U.S.) is formed by putting E(nglish) and a synonym for rule inside an act of boldness.

11d  Break item possibly? (4,3)
{TIME OUT} – the definition is break and it’s what called for, for example, by a trainer in a match to give him or her the opportunity to discuss tactics with the players. It’s a reverse anagram and if you read the two words of the answer as anagram fodder and anagram indicator respectively you’ll end up with ITEM.

14d  Hurt in game and is put into bed (7)
{BRUISED} – put the abbreviation for the 15-player variety of rugby (game) and IS inside BED (given to you for free).

17d  Bird hard for country person to bag (8 )
{PHEASANT} – an old chestnut – put H(ard) (grade of pencil) inside a poor country person.

18d  Square meal not half awkward in tents (8 )
{MARQUEES} – an anagram (awkward) of SQUARE and ME(al) (not half).

19d  Danger when padre dances with joy (8 )
{JEOPARDY} – an anagram (dances) of PADRE and JOY.

22d  Starts eating at home, superior lodgings (4,2)
{DIGS IN} – an informal phrasal verb meaning starts eating is formed from IN (at home) with a synonym for lodgings in front of it (above it, superior, in a down clue).

23d  Notice a soldier with love for slow music (6)
{ADAGIO} – string together an abbreviation for a notice, A, a U.S. soldier and O (zero, love in tennis) to get a musical instruction to play slowly.

24d  Old saint not keeping quiet in cathedral city (6)
{EXETER} – old is EX and this is followed by the saint who, according to Catholic belief, was the first bishop of Rome with his initial P dropped (not keeping quiet) to get a cathedral city in Devon.

27d  Frame of ship in port (4)
{HULL} – double definition.

The clues I liked included 12a, 21a, 4d, 11d and 19d, but my clue of the day is 30a. What do you think? Leave us a comment with your views!


  1. gnomethang
    Posted March 26, 2010 at 11:04 am | Permalink | Reply

    Enjoyed this one and agree about the two new words for me – I just had to look up 26a and 13a to confirn the definitions from the wordplay.
    Thanks for the review and thanks to Giovanni for another fine puzzle.

  2. deecdee
    Posted March 26, 2010 at 11:13 am | Permalink | Reply

    A wonderful Friday treat from Giovanni. Thank you Gazza for your hints and tips. I totally agree your summary. 13a was the last to go in.

  3. Geoff
    Posted March 26, 2010 at 11:25 am | Permalink | Reply

    I am (almost) speechless! Before the review was available, I had put in all but 5 of the answers. Ok, so 18d wrong, having entered ‘banquets’, because I didn’t understand the clue and it fitted. Can hardly believe it …

    Thanks for the review Gazza.

  4. Jezza
    Posted March 26, 2010 at 11:27 am | Permalink | Reply

    The usual Friday compliments to Giovanni… not too difficult; solved 26a from the wordplay, but 13a caused me problems, as I kept wanted to enter ‘rickshaw’ even though I knew it wasn’t going to be the right answer! Last clue to go in was 11d.

  5. Prolixic
    Posted March 26, 2010 at 11:31 am | Permalink | Reply

    An excellent puzzle from Giovanni today. Thanks to our setter and to Gazza for the notes.

    Glad to see I was in excellent company in putting in “trails” as the answer to 6d and then struggling with 13a before realising my folly!

    Favourite clue was14d.

  6. Lea
    Posted March 26, 2010 at 12:07 pm | Permalink | Reply

    The best of the week that is for sure – thank you for a superb puzzle Giovanni – bit harder than some Fridays but lovely new words. REally enjoyed 26a – a new word – 15a for the play on words and 1a but think my favourite was 18d.

    Thank you Gazza for the write up – excellent as usual.

  7. Wingnut
    Posted March 26, 2010 at 12:38 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Done 75% in my lunch break, the rest will have to wait till i get home. Too many birds – still haven’s got 2 of them even though i have all the available letters. I liked 9a and 29a.

  8. Collywobbles
    Posted March 26, 2010 at 1:22 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I got 4d but if regularly is the odd letters, what are the even letters?

    • gazza
      Posted March 26, 2010 at 1:29 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Regularly can mean even or odd – for more info. see Big Dave’s Guide here.

      • Collywobbles
        Posted March 26, 2010 at 1:58 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Thanks Gazza

  9. BigBoab
    Posted March 26, 2010 at 1:32 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Brilliant puzzle from Giovanni, I liked 3d and 31d. I did put banquets in for 18d at first but noticed it on my check over. Thanks Gazza for the great review as always.

  10. Vince
    Posted March 26, 2010 at 1:33 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Made the same mistake as Gazza and Prolixic re “trails”; learned three new words; and thoroughly enjoyed the crossword. Lots of good clues – best for me were 11d & 16d.

  11. Pete
    Posted March 26, 2010 at 1:43 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Really enjoyed this – worked out 26a before knowing the word as well as 30a but spent as lot of time puzzling over 13a. Knew the playwright and was convinced it was rickshaw but didnt see how.

    • gazza
      Posted March 26, 2010 at 1:46 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Hi Pete – welcome to the blog.

  12. Franny
    Posted March 26, 2010 at 3:03 pm | Permalink | Reply

    It was a good puzzle today — tough for me, though, and I needed all the help I could get from you. For which thanks, Gazza. I managed to do about half without consulting this site, but could never have finished without it. I thought a ‘cockle’ was a shellfish, and would never in a million years have found ‘spadix’. As for 4d, I have still to learn how to manage this kind of clue. Big Dave’s guide is invaluable!

  13. Jerseyman
    Posted March 26, 2010 at 3:14 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Excellent friday puzzle from Giovanni and two new words ‘spadix’ and’kickshaw’ which I have never in my 70 years on the planet encountered before, though I worked them both out without recourse to Gazza’s expertise!
    I neede him ,though, for ‘cockle’ and ‘marquees’!!

  14. mary
    Posted March 26, 2010 at 3:20 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Well what a day for the CC I think! completed about half without the blog, liked 28a, never heard of 13s, surely Giovanni could have made it rickshaw, something most of us have heard of? 1d, cockle, a weed? new to me, no point saying any more to me today it was worth of a ‘toughie’

    • mary
      Posted March 26, 2010 at 3:20 pm | Permalink | Reply

      sorry that should be 13a

    • BigBoab
      Posted March 26, 2010 at 7:20 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Mary, I think cockle is another name for false wheat which is a weed which grows in wheat fields.

  15. john middleton
    Posted March 26, 2010 at 3:34 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Good crossword I had to look up your hints for 13 across, good old Churchill

  16. Noel Barnes
    Posted March 26, 2010 at 4:08 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I struggled – 13a got me I was with many other on the rickshaw front.
    Good old Spadix on 28a in knew botany would come in handy one day. Also had this in a recent scrabble tournament (scoring 73) !

    • gazza
      Posted March 26, 2010 at 4:30 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Hi Noel – welcome to the blog.

  17. Little Dave
    Posted March 26, 2010 at 5:04 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Zoomed through but I also made the error with 6d entering “trails” which in turn left me stumped with 13a. Also missed 30a and 31a. “Spadix” is a new one on me but I worked it out.

    Very nice crossword – equivalent to a nice Sunday lunch.

  18. Shrike1313
    Posted March 26, 2010 at 5:49 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Got through it, by fair means and foul. Many thanks for the excellent hints!

  19. Wingnut
    Posted March 26, 2010 at 6:32 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Finally got there but needed 2 hint letters from the interactive site. Doing it on paper first i too had trails for 6d and even when i got it, it didn’t help with 13a. 11d was the last to go. Did enjoy it today and 4 new words for me.

  20. Greenhorn
    Posted March 26, 2010 at 7:36 pm | Permalink | Reply

    11d Looking at ???e / ?u? . Aha its an item for a break -so something mug or cup -or is first word cake ?

    Never would have got 1d or 13a which I think were just too difficult.

  21. Derek
    Posted March 26, 2010 at 10:18 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Good stuff from Giovanni once more but I finished this one rather quickly for a change!
    I liked 13a, 15a, 26a & 30a (memories of the Midi for the latter). 1d, 8d,18d & 24d.
    Very pleasant after yesterday’s mild puzzle.

  22. Claire
    Posted March 26, 2010 at 10:58 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Finally got to do a crossword in a very busy week! And it was a good one! Thanks Giovanni … and thank Gazza, wouldn’t have got the top right corner without your help! I think 9a was my favourite this time. :-)

  23. Barrie
    Posted March 27, 2010 at 12:06 am | Permalink | Reply

    Decent puzzle spoilt by some unbelievably stupid clues such as Kickshaw and Digs In and how on earth one is supposed ti understand that regularly means to take every other letter is completely beyond me!
    Apart from that, very enjoyable.

    • Greenhorn
      Posted March 27, 2010 at 8:28 am | Permalink | Reply

      I have come to realise that there are certain conventions and regularly is one. I thjnk oddly, instead of just being an anagram indicator can also mean “take the odd letters” -ditto evenly.

  24. Mark
    Posted March 27, 2010 at 12:51 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I enjoyed this puzzle and thanks to Gazza for the review. I did it with my mother and father-in-law. I had heard of the word “kickshaw”, but we had to check with you on “cockle”. Now realise that we got 18d wrong!!

  25. old bill
    Posted March 28, 2010 at 12:46 am | Permalink | Reply

    Doesn’t 30a break the the ‘rule’ where the answer is either the first bit or last bit of the clue? or can this ‘rule’ not be relied upon at all??

    • gazza
      Posted March 28, 2010 at 8:34 am | Permalink | Reply

      old bill
      Apparently the rule is not as rigid as it once was! Although I have seen a comment from Peter Biddlecome saying that the rule is still strictly adhered to in US cryptic puzzles.

  26. Amy Russell
    Posted May 1, 2010 at 5:30 am | Permalink | Reply

    I got stuck because I had 10a as “donkey” – sailors used machines called steam donkeys to raise heavy sails. It’s great to be able to get an online solution so I can complete that corner!

    • gazza
      Posted May 1, 2010 at 8:21 am | Permalink | Reply

      Hi Amy – welcome to the blog.
      You’re a few weeks behind us – could I ask where you’re getting the puzzles from?

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