DT 26252

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26252

Hints and tips by Gazza

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

Giovanni rarely disappoints, and this one certainly doesn’t with beautifully constructed clues. Let us know your opinion of it in a comment.
As usual the answers are hidden between the curly brackets under the relevant clue. If you need to see one, just highlight the space between the brackets.
I’m afraid that you’re going to get a double helping of me today. Since both Anax and Big Dave are away in London, I’ll be back later with a review of the Toughie (and in case you’re in two minds about whether to try the Toughie, I thoroughly recommend it – it’s not as difficult as some of Micawber’s, but it is just as entertaining).

Across Clues

1a  Characters in a treetop in trouble — one has song and dance (8)
{OPERETTA} – an anagram (in trouble) of the characters in A TREETOP produces this light musical drama.

5a  What sounds like bivalve’s bodily part (6)
{MUSCLE} – a homophone (sounds like) of a type of bivalve mollusc is fibrous tissue in the human body.

8a  Pub around five — excellent or ineffective? (2,4)
{IN VAIN} – put a synonym for pub around the Roman numeral for five and a grading meaning excellent to get a phrase meaning without success or ineffective.

9a  Answer from silly person, see, falling short (8)
{RESPONSE} – an answer is constructed from an anagram (silly) of PERSON followed by the first two letters (falling short) of SE(e).

10a  The man to be brought in by bishop, one about to give empty talk (8)
{RHETORIC} – bishop, in a crossword, is usually either B or RR (standing for Right Reverend, i.e. how he or she is addressed). In this case it’s RR and between them insert (brought in) HE (that man) and TO. Finally add I (one) and C (circa, about).

11a  Part of Europe like very cold part of Asia, avoiding the extremes (6)
{IBERIA} – start with an adjective describing a very cold and vast region of Russia (in Asia) and remove the letters at either end (avoiding the extremes) to leave the old name for a European peninsula.

12a  Divine figure shown by model, one person at university (8)
{POSEIDON} – this divine figure is the Greek god of the sea. Start with a verb meaning to model or sit for an artist and add I (one) and a senior member of staff at a university.

13a  After end of training I am allowed a tool (6)
{GIMLET} – string together the last letter (end) of traininG, the contraction of I am and a verb meaning allowed to get a small tool for boring holes.

15a  Skills required to get something afloat in the Civil Service (6)
{CRAFTS} – skills of a practical or artistic nature are made by putting a flat buoyant structure (something afloat) inside the abbreviation for Civil Service.

18a  Gushy stuff by right-wing politician in small room? (8)
{LAVATORY} – put together the stuff that gushes out of an erupting volcano and a Conservative politician. The surface reading paints a wonderful picture.

20a  A right place for the miraculous mysteries (6)
{ARCANA} – this is a cleverly worded clue where the “miraculous” appears to go with mysteries but actually belongs to place. We want a word for mysteries, and it’s made from A and R(ight) followed by the town in Galilee where Christ turned water into wine (place for the miraculous).

21a  Drug dens in underground caverns (8)
{POTHOLES} – a charade of a slang term for marijuana (drug) and how you might describe the lairs (dens) of wild animals gives us deep, natural, underground caves.

23a  What threat of ghosts may bring when one is in weird mansion (8)
{INSOMNIA} – a picture is being painted here of someone in a strange old house, having been told stories of ghosts perhaps, unable to get to sleep. Put I (one) inside an anagram (weird) of MANSION.

24a  Poster showing Norman? (6)
{MAILER} – double definition – someone sending correspondence and the surname of the American novelist and author of The naked and the dead.

25a  Good forest that may have a lot growing in it (6)
{GARDEN} – put together G(ood) and a forest in Warwickshire which is the setting of Shakespeare’s As You Like It to get a place where you may grow things.

26a  Canon houses soldiers in accommodation (8)
{TENEMENT} – we want a synonym for canon or principle with MEN (soldiers) inside (houses) to get an apartment in a larger building or block (accommodation).

Down Clues

1d  Tree, very big, that is hanging over river (5)
{OSIER} – a small willow tree is made by putting together the letters standing for very big (outsize) in clothing sizes and the usual abbreviation for “that is” in front of (hanging over, in a down clue) R(iver).

2d  Food often eaten on Sun. that could be cooked before Sat. (5,4)
{ROAST BEEF} – the traditional British Sunday lunch is an anagram (cooked) of BEFORE SAT.

3d  Number terribly rude unfortunately unable to be sacked? (7)
{TENURED} – an adjective describing someone who has a guaranteed, permanent job (unable to be sacked) is formed from a number (the smallest one requiring two digits) followed by an anagram (terribly) of RUDE. Unfortunately seems to be redundant here, but presumably it adds to the surface reading which paints a picture of a group of rude workers whom their employers would like to sack, but cannot.

4d  One would presumably never forget being in the Serengeti (7,8)
{AFRICAN ELEPHANT} – cryptic definition of one variety of a large beast which is reputed to have a good memory.

5d  Absent maiden is sitting on grass (7)
{MISSING} – a synonym for absent is constructed from M (maiden over in cricket) and IS coming before (sitting on, in a down clue) a verb meaning to grass or inform.

6d  Very little money? Artist needs pounds — that’s key (7)
{CENTRAL} – put together the smallest monetary unit in many countries, the abbreviation for a Royal Academician (artist) and the letter standing for pounds sterling to get an adjective meaning essential or key.

7d  Alley gent done out in refined style (9)
{ELEGANTLY} – an anagram (done out) of ALLEY GENT.

12d  Wolves getting on — part of the drive for promotion? (9)
{PACKAGING} – this is nothing to do with football in spite of the surface reading. It’s a charade of the collective noun for a group of wolves and an adjective meaning getting older (getting on), and it’s one of the things that marketing gurus focus on in their attempt to increase (promote) the sales of a product.

14d  What could make him modest is a type of Christian outlook (9)
{METHODISM} – a Protestant denomination with its origins in 18th century England is an anagram (could make) of HIM MODEST.

16d  A cricket club employer is one to blame others (7)
{ACCUSER} – someone who blames other people is a charade of A, the abbreviation for cricket club and a synonym for employer.

17d  Quiet girl on river (7)
{SHANNON} – the longest river in Ireland is formed from an injunction to keep quiet, a girl’s name and ON.

19d  French wine — drinking it before noon can provide what your body needs (7)
{VITAMIN} – something essential for normal growth and nutrition (what your body needs) is made from the French word for wine which contains (drinking) IT and the abbreviation for before noon.

22d  Support good person on tedious course? (5)
{STRUT} – a supporting part of a framework is formed from the two-letter abbreviation for saint (good person) followed by what you may be in if you’re stuck in a monotonous activity that is hard to change (tedious course).

There are a whole host of good clues today including 20a, 12d, 14d and 19d, but my favourite is 18a. What do you think? Leave us a comment!

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20 Comments

  1. Ann B
    Posted May 28, 2010 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    What a pleasant CW today. Excellant. Friday as usual.
    Fav 12a
    Enjoyed completing with Coffee in Sunny garden after breakfast
    thanks. G

  2. Nubian
    Posted May 28, 2010 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    Nice one today, nothing contentious or sloppy, quality as ever from the maestro.
    It’s only 18 degrees today down here in Carcassonne

  3. Posted May 28, 2010 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    Its my day off today so lacking a printer here I used clued up for the first time in anger. Fortunately it wasnt Slowed Up!.
    Fine puzzle today from Giovanni. I thnk gazza pitched the difficulty/enjoyment just right (as opposed to the telegraph site).
    18a and 2d among favourites but I will give the nod to 20a for its simplicity.
    Thanks to gazza and to Giovanni – now for the Toughie.

  4. Jezza
    Posted May 28, 2010 at 11:26 am | Permalink

    Very enjoyable crossword today. Norman seems to be popular this week; we had a golfer yesterday, and a novelist today… maybe a politician tomorrow, or a retired comedian…
    Thanks to Giovanni, and to Gazza.

    • Posted May 28, 2010 at 11:48 am | Permalink

      …Doing chicken impressions and banging his dead microphone.
      Nice One!

  5. Geoff
    Posted May 28, 2010 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    Nearly got there today, just a few clues got the better of me. Stupidly put in methodisT instead of -isM, which didn’t help with 26a. But most enjoyable, thanks to both.

  6. Prolixic
    Posted May 28, 2010 at 11:48 am | Permalink

    Nice (in both the ancient and modern senses of the word)! Many thanks to Giovanni and to Gazza for the notes. Favourite clues were 20a and 23a; 12d and 19.

  7. David R
    Posted May 28, 2010 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    A polished Friday puzzle! Consistent, classical clueing; but a short lived lived entertainment. No real misdirection involved.
    Favourite clue 20a.
    Interesting to see another ‘Norman’ turning up today.
    Thanks to all.

  8. BigBoab
    Posted May 28, 2010 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

    Not the Maestro’s most difficult crossword but thoroughly enjoyable. Loved 20a and 12d. Great review as ever Gazza.

  9. Pamela
    Posted May 28, 2010 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

    Really enjoyed CW today. Pleased to see the subtlety in 20a well before my husband! Agree, we’ll all be studying “Normanism” in case it crops up again. Benitachell (SE SPAIN) is pretty warm, about 24 but seemed hotter playing tennis this morning.

  10. Mr Tub
    Posted May 28, 2010 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

    That was a tale of two halves for me: I flew through the right hand side, but the left hand side needed a bit of biro chewing. Look out for me at the Chelsea Flower Show tomorrow: I’ll be the one walking a few paces behind his wife wondering where the bar is…

    • Nubian
      Posted May 28, 2010 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

      I like the idea of looking for Mr Tub at the flower show.

      • Posted May 28, 2010 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

        I rather like the idea of finding him at the successful completion of his mission!

  11. Kath
    Posted May 28, 2010 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

    I also jumped straight in with 14d and put method-ist rather than ism which made 26a a touch on the tricky side! Managed 5d but without quite understanding why – now I do. Couldn’t do 24a at all. Really liked 12 and 18a. In general I thought that it was slightly easier than most Friday crosswords. As usual, thanks for all the explanations.

  12. crypticsue
    Posted May 28, 2010 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

    I thought this a brilliant crossword. Quite a good one for practising my analysing techniques ready for Monday!

  13. Lea
    Posted May 28, 2010 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

    A lovely Friday puzzle.

    Haven’t commented for a while but thought I would express my thanks to Gazza for the review and Giovanni for the puzzle – really enjoyed it.

    My favourite was 18a followed closely by 12d and 1d had appeal.

  14. Giovanni
    Posted May 28, 2010 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

    Many thanks. I shan’t reply every time, but it’s good to know that one’s labours are not always in vain. And it was good to meet my fellow (big) Bristolian at last yesterday too!

    • Prolixic
      Posted May 28, 2010 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

      Wonderful to hear from you. Your labours are very rarely in vain! Sorry I missed yesterday’s betters and sloggers’ meeting, I was in Cardiff for the day so could not get back into London in time. Hope that it went well.

    • Libellule
      Posted May 28, 2010 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

      Don,
      Nice to see the comment. I will echo the comments above. Not one of your most difficult crosswords, but superbly crafted. A joy to do.

  15. James N.
    Posted May 28, 2010 at 8:50 pm | Permalink

    Very amusing and enjoyable so far. Struggled to get started – but unlike yesterday when I didn’t have a “going” day at all, I’ve got to a point where I’ve only one to get – and I’m going to have to peek at the answer for that one (20A).

    18/21A and 4/12/17D are all excellent clues – if I had to pick one…er…ummm…blimey…it’d prob. be 4D.