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DT 26255

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26255

Hints and tips by Gazza

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

Shamus has given us a good workout today with a slightly more difficult puzzle than his usual fare. Of course, that’s just my opinion, and whether you agree or disagree we’d love to hear your views.
As always the answers are present, but hidden, inside the curly brackets under each clue. Just drag your cursor through the white space between the brackets to reveal.

Across Clues

4a  Wave plate of healthy food? (8)
{BRANDISH} – a verb meaning to wave or flourish could also, if redefined as (4,4), be a plate of the grain husks that we’re meant to eat a lot of.

8a  Players pass in succession, we hear (6)
{TROUPE} – a company of theatrical performers (players) sounds like a verb meaning to pass in rapid succession (on Horse Guards Parade, perhaps).

9a  It’s used to fire a retired Irishman in sect (8)
{CATAPULT} – put A and the reversal of a common Irish male name inside a sect or unorthodox religious belief to get a medieval weapon used for firing heavy objects at the enemy.

10a  Bowler, maybe, getting first of records in instant – with this? (3,5)
{HAT TRICK} – this semi all-in-one defines what a bowler in cricket is said to have got if he takes three wickets in successive balls. Put the item of clothing that a bowler is an example of (maybe) in front of a short time (instant) with the first letter of R(ecords) inside.

11a  Journey both ways making profit (6)
{RETURN} – double definition – a type of journey where you end up where you started and a profit from an investment.

12a  Bird in a short time interrupting playing of golf (8)
{FLAMINGO} – to get this long-legged bird put A and the abbreviation for a short time inside (interrupting) an anagram (playing) of GOLF.

13a  Take a step awkwardly around tiny flower (5,3)
{SWEET PEA} – put an anagram (awkwardly) of A STEP round another word for tiny to get a colourful, fragrant flower.

16a  One boarding transport is by university for second course (8)
{TIRAMISU} – this Italian sweet is made by putting I (one) inside a type of urban public transport and following this with IS and U(niversity). Whether it’s your second, or third or fourth, course depends on how grand your dinner parties are.

19a  Accomplished Greek character with first woman in trailer (8)
{ACHIEVED} – the definition is accomplished or fulfilled. Put a Greek letter and Adam’s wife inside the sort of trailer which entices you to go and see a film.

21a  Bikini, perhaps, is new transfixing young male (6)
{ISLAND} – Bikini is an example (perhaps) of this geographical feature. Start with IS and then put N(ew) inside (transfixing) a young man.

23a  Office outlay seen roughly in short book with extra note (8)
{EXPENSES} – the costs of paper clips and such in an office are formed from the abbreviations for the second book in the Old Testament and an afterthought in a letter (extra note) with an anagram (roughly) of SEEN inside.

24a  Grey men in service put back headwear (8)
{SOMBRERO} – a type of hat is constructed from an adjective meaning grey or dull followed by the abbreviation for Other Ranks (men in service) reversed (put back).

25a  English flower festival (6)
{EASTER} – this is a really old chestnut. String together E(nglish) and a type of flower.

26a  Bachelor say beginning to gravitate into uncivilised envy (8)
{BEGRUDGE} – we want a verb meaning envy, and to get it we start with B(achelor) and add the abbreviation for say or for example, followed by a synonym for uncivilised or coarse with the first letter (beginning) of G(ravitate) inside.

Down Clues

1d  A chapel that’s empty in service say showing sentimentality (7)
{TREACLE} – a word used to mean cloying sentimentality is formed by putting A and the outer letters (empty) of C(hape)L inside what service is an example of (say). Service (thanks Chambers) is a Eurasian tree similar to a rowan.

2d  Bit of unusual meat cooked in festivity in foreign land (9)
{GUATEMALA} – we want the name of a Central American country (foreign land). Put the first letter (bit) of U(nusual) and an anagram (cooked) of MEAT inside a festivity.

3d  Northerly river abroad circling old area (6)
{REGION} – a major river of western Africa has to be reversed (northerly, i.e. written upwards in a down clue). This has O(ld) inside (circling) to get an area.

4d  Returning to original problem like an unsuccessful solver? (4,2,6,3)
{BACK TO SQUARE ONE} – One possible derivation of this phrase, meaning to return to the start, is that it originated in early sports broadcasts on the wireless. A diagram of the sports field was printed in Radio Times, divided into numbered squares, and while the main commentator was describing play a second voice could be heard saying “square 2”, “square 5”, etc. to let the listeners know whereabouts on the field the action was taking place. I can’t think why this practice didn’t survive. Alternatively, the phrase may come from board games like Snakes and Ladders.

5d  Lawyer working on treaty (8)
{ATTORNEY} – an anagram (working) of ON TREATY.

6d  Exile losing right place for supplies (5)
{DEPOT} – start with a verb meaning to expel someone from a country (exile) and take out the R (losing right) to leave a large storage facility (place for supplies).

7d  Extravagant display shown in crowd’s movement around place (7)
{SPLURGE} – an extravagant, and costly, display is formed from a sudden, powerful movement of a crowd with PL(ace) inside.

14d  Evidence of flagging? It’s raised raw feeling (9)
{TIREDNESS} – Reverse (raised, in a down clue) IT and add a colouring resulting from chafing (raw feeling).

15d  Get rid of letter about wife and daughter – it’s unwelcome in nursery? (8)
{BINDWEED} – the nursery here is where plants, rather than infants, are looked after. Start with a verb meaning to get rid of or throw in the wastepaper basket, then add how you would spell the fourth letter of the alphabet with W(ife) inside it (about), and finish with D(aughter).

17d  Imminent like a dutiful retailer? (2,5)
{IN STORE} – double definition, the second semi-cryptic.

18d  Scheming woman, first person from France and Belize possibly I avoided (7)
{JEZEBEL} – the name of a Biblical character, the wife of King Ahab, has become synonymous with a shameless or immoral woman. Start with the French first person singular, nominative,  pronoun and add an anagram (possibly) of BEL(I)ZE without the I (avoided).

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20d  Central character in high-risk dash (6)
{HYPHEN} – so, what’s at the centre of high-risk?

22d  Leisurely pedestrian left out cautionary signal (5)
{AMBER} – start with someone who walks at a slow, relaxed pace (leisurely pedestrian) and remove the L (left out) to leave the colour of caution in traffic lights.

The clues I enjoyed included 19a, 21a and 20d, but my clue of the day is 15d. How about you? Let us know what you think in a comment!

33 comments on “DT 26255

  1. Glad you put the difficulty level up gazza as I found this harder than usual but no less enjoyable. Favourites for me were 2d and 5d which I liked for its simplicity.
    Thanks for the review and thanks to Shamus.

  2. Many thanks to Shamus for a right royal workout this morning. This fully deserves a four star rating. It was highly enjoyable with lots of great clues. Favourites were 2d and 20d.

  3. Agree with my fellow contribs. A great brain workout. I had to go for a bike ride along the Canal du Midi to blow the cobwebs.
    Heating up nicely out there.

  4. Finding this quite difficult but am working at it. I like 18d! Think I will probably have to use the blog to help me.

  5. Good brain work out to-day – but I would never have got 1 down without help. Has anyone ever heard of a Service Tree?
    Favourite was 4A
    My computer has suddenly stopped retaining my name and I have to fill in the required field every time I make a comment!

  6. Even though I managed to complete all but 8a and 3d I needed the hints to work out the wordplay for some of todays clues. I’ve never heard of a Service tree and I couldn’t work out why the answer to 24a was what it was. Wonder if, like me, most people filled in 4d first of all? 4a was my favourite too.

  7. have just finished this (with just a LITTLE help from the blog). and enjoyed it v much once I got into it. Liked 4d, 10a and 20d.

  8. Excellent, this, with nice degree of difficulty on well-constructed clues. I listened to either a long feature or an entire programme on Radio 4 not too long ago on the subject of 4d. Advancing senility seems to have prevented me from recalling what was the favoured explanation amongst Gazza’s options above and others……..

  9. Doesn’t 1d end in a Y? With the service being TRAY (trey)?

    Good level of workout, took a while to get inside the compilers head.

  10. Up until recently, the Tuesday puzzle was always a difficult one and this one brings us back to those days again. Couldn’t have done it without the hints, but didn’t need to look at the answers as Gazza’s hints were spot on.

  11. Excellent crossword! Managed it all except I needed Gazza’s hint to get 8a. Now I’ve got the answer it seems one of the easier clues! Had a mental block on groups of actors. Thanks Gazza! Liked 2d, for a long time I thought it was going to be a foreign festival rather than country.

  12. Dreadful day for me on this horror. Failed to solve a single clue!! For me an awful puzzle. HORRID!

    • Don’t despair, Barrie. I left it quite early on and did the quickie, the toughie and then went back to the Cryptic (I often find if you leave a puzzle alone for a bit and do something else, there is a part of your brain that seems to work the answers out without you being aware of it happening), and still needed Gazza’s hints. Try the Toughie, although it seems tough to start with, I got on better with it than today’s Cryptic, apart from 17d for which I am waiting the helpful hints.

    • I did a bit better than Barrie but this was too difficult.

      Some of us choose the Telegraph crossword because there is a chance of being able to do it.

  13. Took me an hour and 9 minutes.. but I did it!! whoop! whoop!! Loved 20d as it was so obvious once I’d got it! Had to agree with a few others about 1d which I put in as treacly!
    Oh well gave me something to do on a very grey wet day, apart from a trip to the physio… do they have specially sharpened fingers?? ouch!

  14. Oh, a 4* puzzle. That’ll be why I couldn’t do more than a dozen … but enjoyed those anyway!

    Terrific review, as usual.

  15. Is there a five-star rating for difficulty because, as far I’m concerned, four was definitely inadequate!!
    Having 1d as a synonym for sentimentality really is taking the 13a.

  16. Hi folks. I was surprised to see this rated as 4* – for me it was 3* although I must confess to being stumped on 1d and 8a. Otherwise I found it reasonable and not too taxing.

  17. I thought 20d and 25a were good clues, but I really don’t get how 15d is come about??

    • Steve
      Get rid of is BIN, letter is DEE (i.e. D) with W(ife) inside, finishing with D(aughter), so BIN + DWEE + D = BINDWEED, which is not welcome in a nursery where plants are grown.

  18. Thanks to Gazza for a superb blog (including the very entertaining pictures) and all for comments which are much appreciated.

  19. I agree with the rest of the contributors that this was a humdinger for a mid week cryptic.1d for me was the last one & even then I had the word ending in Y! Took more than the usual hour but time well spent on a good brain work out.

  20. Very enjoyable, despite having to pay 3 euros for a paper which does not include the toughie. No printers either, so forget cluedup, and hate using AZERTY keyboard!
    Never mind, off to enjoy a sundowner! Thanks to Shamus.

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