DT 26276

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26276

Hints and tips by Gazza

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

We have a typical Giovanni today (but with the usual sprinkling of religious references). Let us know what you thought of it in a comment.
As always the answers are hidden between the brackets under the clues. Just drag your cursor through the white space between the brackets to reveal one.

Across Clues

1a  Trailing after a nag? (5-5)
{HORSE-DRAWN} – an all-in-one clue (where the whole clue is the definition). It’s constructed from a word meaning pulled along (trailing) after what a nag is. The attempted misdirection is trying to make you think of a nag as someone who is always finding fault, but I don’t think it works very well since I believe that most solvers will immediately associate nag with the word in the answer.

6a  Business putting out English jazz (4)
{TRAD} – a type of jazz comes from a synonym for business without its final E (putting out English).

10a  Held cold part of body (5)
{CLUNG} – a verb meaning held or embraced is a simple charade of C(old) and an internal organ (part of body).

11a  Asian cell forged partnerships (9)
{ALLIANCES} – an anagram (forged) of ASIAN CELL.

12a  Fools don’t expect honesty from the cleaner! (8)
{CHARLIES} – one of the countless words for fools in English, if split as (4,4) indicates that the cleaner tells porkies.

13a  Birds — gosh! — going over the Home Counties (5)
{GEESE} – these birds are a charade of an exclamation of surprise (like gosh!, but used more by North Americans than by us) and the geographical part of the country where the Home Counties are located. Since this is not a down clue, what do think of the use of “going over” to mean followed by?

15a  Model test lots only half completed (7)
{EXAMPLE} – this model is a charade of a formal test followed by the first half (only half completed) of a word meaning lots or more than enough.

17a  Hanging around the bar, Edward stayed behind (7)
{TRAILED} – a verb meaning stayed behind (as used in 1a) is constructed from a familiar form of Edward surrounding (hanging around) a bar or rod …

19a  Rod gets hot working inside pit (7)
{POTHOLE} – … and speaking of rods, we want another synonym for rod or bar here with an anagram (working) of HOT inside it. The answer is a natural underground cave (pit).

21a  Notice little girl having hesitation, being not so well (7)
{SEEDIER} – a comparative meaning more unwell or out of sorts is a charade of a verb to notice, a two-character abbreviated girl’s name and an exclamation expressing hesitation while you try to think of what to say next.

22a  Chip receptacle being taken around house (5)
{NACHO} – a piece (chip) of tortilla, typically topped with melted cheese and flavoured with peppers, is a receptacle or vessel which is reversed (taken around) followed by an abbreviation of house.

24a  Lighter chaps? (8)
{BARGEMEN} – cryptic definition. A lighter is a flat-bottomed boat used to transfer goods to and from ships in harbour.

27a  Brief signal coming on time, received by the Virgin (9)
{MOMENTARY} – the definition is brief or short-lived. Put a signal or portent ahead of T(ime) all inside (received by) the forename of the Virgin as revered by Roman Catholics.

28a  Undefined article included in the levy once (5)
{TITHE} – this is an old levy, equivalent to one-tenth of an individual’s income, which was once raised to support the church. Put a pronoun describing something of unspecified sex inside (included in) THE.

29a  Dispute using low tactics initially (4)
{MOOT} – this word is used these days mainly as an adjective meaning debatable, but, as here, it can also be a verb meaning to dispute or plead. Put a verb meaning to sound like a cow (low) in front of the first letter (initially) of T(actics).

30a  British record agent with a ruddy good motto! (2,8)
{BE PREPARED} – the definition is the motto of the Boy Scouts (“good” appears to be just padding). String together B(ritish), an old record format now largely confined to crosswords, a sales agent, A and a synonym for ruddy.

Down Clues

1d  Ham and wine (4)
{HOCK} – double definition, the second a dry white wine from the Rhine valley.

2d  Thug chucked coat (9)
{ROUGHCAST} – string together a synonym for a thug or hooligan and a verb meaning chucked or threw to get a covering (coat) for the outside walls of buildings.

3d  King housed in walled garden (5)
{EDGAR} – the name of an English king (959-975) and also of a later Scottish king is hidden (housed) in the clue.

4d  Register shows each learner is in RE (7)
{REALISE} – register here is used as a verb meaning to become conscious of something. The outer letters of the answer are given to us, and inside we need to put EA(ch), the abbreviation for a learner and IS.

5d  Very small city film properly put together (4-3)
{WELL-SET} – start with the smallest city in England (and the only city in Somerset) with a population that only just exceeds 10,000. Then add the Spielberg film about an alien which is getting a repeat showing today after its screening yesterday.

7d  Engineers start to conduct church survey (5)
{RECCE} – a slang term (especially used by the RAF) for a preliminary survey is constructed by stringing together the usual abbreviation for the Royal Engineers, the first letter (start) of C(onduct) and the abbreviation for the Church of England.

8d  Lords’ feuds destroyed German city (10)
{DÜSSELDORF} – an anagram (destroyed) of LORDS’ FEUDS produces the city on the Rhine which is the capital of Nordrhein-Westfalen.

9d  Tongue of monkey shortened over time (8)
{LANGUAGE} – a synonym for tongue is a long-tailed tree-dwelling Asian monkey without its final R (shortened) followed by another word for time.

14d  Looking after mother and saying nothing (7,3)
{KEEPING MUM} – this double definition is a bit of an old chestnut, but amusing if you’ve not seen it before.

16d  Publicist came across as intense (8)
{PROFOUND} – start with the abbreviation for a public relations officer (is this the same as a publicist?) and add a verb meaning came across or discovered.

18d  Old jockey reportedly in city with race course (9)
{LEICESTER} – the forename of a famous (now retired) flat-race jockey sounds like (reportedly) a city in the East Midlands with a racecourse (I’m not sure why racecourse appears as two separate words in the clue).

20d  Grab drug, having gone to doctor, then run (7)
{EMBRACE} – a verb meaning to grab is a charade of E(cstasy) (drug), one of the abbreviations for a doctor and a verb meaning to run or go quickly. The Earl of Sandwich is reputed to have said to John Wilkes “Egad, sir, I do not know if you will die on the gallows or of the pox”. To which Wilkes replied “That will depend, my lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress”.

21d  One administering infant baptism maybe in second part of service (7)
{SPRAYER} – someone who baptises an infant sprinkles water and could be (maybe, at a stretch!) described as the answer. It’s a charade of S(econd) and a constituent part of a church service.

23d  Short piece arrived with ring attached (5)
{CAMEO} – a short performance, often by a well-known actor, is a synonym for arrived followed by O (ring).

25d  Poets getting drunk in bar (5)
{ESTOP} – a legal term meaning to bar or preclude is an anagram (getting drunk) of POETS.

26d  Crook, object given to bishop (4)
{BEND} – a verb meaning to crook (one’s finger, say, when partaking of tea) is an aim or object after (given to) B(ishop).

The clues I liked today included 24a, 27a and 8d, but my favourite was 12a. What do you think? Leave us a comment!


  1. Prolixic
    Posted June 25, 2010 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    Fine crossword from Giovanni – a tad tougher than some of his recent ones – and highly enjoyable.

    Glad you picked up on 13a. In the context of an across clue I would associate the indicator “A going over B” as putting word B inside word A or, possibly, reversing word A before word B.

    I don’t know what sort of baptism services Giovanni attends but I have never baptised anyone in the manner suggested by the clue – I have visions of a vicar with a scent bottle with the water in it administering the rite.

    Many thanks to Giovanni and for the hints Gazza,

  2. Barrie
    Posted June 25, 2010 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    Excellent puzzle rather spoiled by far too many religious clues. However, the best clue by far is 30a, very well constructed. Needed help with some of the trickier clues such as 22a (had Niche), 12a, 5d, 4d and 13a. The only poor clue I thought was 17a, trailed – hung about? Don’t think it’s up to the standard of the rest. Overall very enjoyable from the Friday Maestro. Could you give Ray T some lessons in well constructed clues – sorry Ray only joking (I think?).

    • gazza
      Posted June 25, 2010 at 11:21 am | Permalink

      “Trailed” in 17a relates to the definition “stayed behind”. “Hanging around” is the instruction to put TED around RAIL.

    • Posted June 25, 2010 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

      Please Barrie, Its only twice a fortnight!.
      If you want a puzzle with no religious overtones have a look at this wonderful puzzle by Brendan from Wednesday’s Grauniad:


      Almost every clue has a mathematical feature in the clue or the answer.

      • Jezza
        Posted June 25, 2010 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

        If you’re referring to a Ray T puzzle, I think you mean once a fortnight… I’d quite happily have more!

        • Posted June 25, 2010 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

          Thanks, did I mention that I am no good at maths!

  3. mary
    Posted June 25, 2010 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    Not an enjoyable one for me, one of those where i’m glad to say, thank goodness that’s finished, think 13a should be a down clue? is a publicist the same as a public relations officer – 16d and 20d does this mean grab?? visitor gone out early this am so had chance to do in peace, rest of day full of other visitors, so good luck all back later ……much later, thanks for blog Gazza, though didn’t need it today :)

  4. Mr Tub
    Posted June 25, 2010 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    By my standards I flew through this and then got completely stuck in the SE corner. I’m still not wholly convinced about 21d or 24a and I had to check one or two of my other answers were correct as well. Couldn’t and wouldn’t have done it without you Gazza!

  5. Jezza
    Posted June 25, 2010 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    As a Giovanni fan, I always look forward to Friday, but this one did not quite do it for me. Maybe because I have been spoilt with an excellent Ray T puzzle on Tuesday, and one from Messinae yesterday. Still enjoyable though!
    Favourite clue, 12a; thanks to Giovanni, and to Gazza.

  6. Posted June 25, 2010 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

    I thought this was great and a fair bit harder than last week. 24a hung around too long even though I knew I was looking for a nautical operative of some sort. I liked 12a, 24a and 18d best!.
    Thanks gazza and thanks Giovanni

  7. Domus
    Posted June 25, 2010 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    Done it but needed this website for explanation of my brilliance. Gazza for president!

  8. crypticsue
    Posted June 25, 2010 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

    I did the toughie first today rather than the cryptic for reasons I won’t go into here and this obviously upset my thought processes as I really struggled to get going on this one. Now I have finished it, I would agree with Gazza’s assessment. I thought it a nice mix of clues, didn’t really think about the religious elements until I read Barrie’s comment above.

  9. Posted June 25, 2010 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

    Glad you gave this 4* for difficulty. I found it the trickiest ‘standard’ Cryptic for a few weeks, including the Sunday ones. A touch obscure in places, especially 21d.

  10. Geoff
    Posted June 25, 2010 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

    Ooh, a bit tricky for me! Maybe I got halfway, but certainly needed the hints. Struggled with 22a for a fair while, expecting ‘house’; to provide just the H. Did have to look at the answer for 21d and then wished I hadn’t … !

    Thanks G&G.

  11. Nora
    Posted June 25, 2010 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

    Just the right mix of easy and tricky clues. I agree with other comments about 21d – sounds like the baby could get pretty sodden!

  12. Kath
    Posted June 25, 2010 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

    Just done all of this apart from 24a and 20d in hospital OPD – my ancient mother had an appointment – so not a dictionary in sight. Given that it’s a Friday I feel quite pleased with myself! Did manage 24a as soon as I got home but no such luck with 20d – needed the hints again – thanks. Best clues for me today – 12a, 22a (although that took a while as I was looking for four letter word for receptacle going around “H” for house) 27a and best of all 30a. Now going to sit in sun for a short time while waiting for weekend visitors to arrive. Have a good and sunny weekend everyone.

  13. Sarah F
    Posted June 25, 2010 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

    Enjoyed this. Favourite clues 12a and 30a—could also refer to a certain oil company??

    Didn’t like 21d much, rather chancing it, a bit, I thought!

    I don’t mind the religious clues.

    Thanks to Giovanni and reviewer.

  14. Lea
    Posted June 25, 2010 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

    I really enjoy Fridays – thank you Giovanni for the xwrd and thanks Gazza for the review. I got stuck in the bottom, right hand as 21a and 23a were not part of today’s wave length for me for ages (even with the cross letters) and until I read 21d I didn’t know why the answer was what it was.

    All in all though very enjoyable with my favourite being 25d (appealed to my sense of humour).

  15. Spindrift
    Posted June 26, 2010 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    21d! I don’t think so…