DT 26279

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26279

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

We have a pleasant workout from Shamus today, with several homophones and a visual clue. Let us know what you thought of it in a comment, and please remember to vote to indicate how much you enjoyed it by clicking on one of the stars at the bottom.
For new readers wondering where the answers are, they’re concealed between the brackets under the clues. Highlight the space between the brackets to reveal one.

Across Clues

1a  Drink juice after eating new biscuit (6,4)
{BRANDY SNAP} – the biscuit required is thin and crisp and flavoured with ginger. Start with an alcoholic drink and add the juice that circulates in plants which contains (eating) N(ew).

6a  Keep firm hold of travel bag (4)
{GRIP} – double definition (although both have the same derivation).

10a  Old theologian left yard in a strange way (5)
{ODDLY} – the definition is in a strange way and you have to string together a number of abbreviations, including that for Doctor of Divinity (theologian).

11a  One getting crust from studying it? (9)
{GEOLOGIST} – cryptic definition of someone who earns his living by studying the earth’s crust.

12a  Exercise equipment separated by European fellow holding record (4,3)
{KEEP FIT} – we want a phrase meaning to exercise. Start with a word for equipment and inside it (separated) put E(uropean) F(ellow) which contains (holding) an old record format no longer seen anywhere except in crosswords.

13a  Ornament wild Ted smashed (7)
{TWIDDLE} – an anagram (smashed) of WILD TED produces a twisted or curled mark or design (ornament).

14a  Having damaged goblet, I leave cooking item (9,3)
{VEGETABLE OIL} – an anagram (damaged) of GOBLET I LEAVE.

18a  Stuffy beak might benefit from it? (12)
{HANDKERCHIEF} – cryptic definition of what you might need to use if you have a blocked-up nose.

21a  List held by copper before quiet removal of illegal activity (5-2)
{CLEAN-UP} – the definition is removal of illegal activity. Put a verb meaning to list or tilt inside (held by) the chemical symbol for copper and end up with the musical direction to play quietly.

23a  Wild South American place in our view (7)
{RIOTOUS} – we want an adjective meaning wild or rowdy. Put the chief port of Brazil (South American place) in front of a phrase meaning in our view or as far as we are concerned.

24a  Ordinary tool in front of Indian ascetic, we hear (5-4)
{PLAIN-JANE} – this is a double homophone (we hear). Firstly we want a sound-alike of a tool used to smooth wood, and this is followed by a homophone of the adherent of an ascetic Indian religion which preaches non-violence towards all living things. You should end up with a compound word meaning ordinary or unremarkable (normally applied to a garment). I’d never heard the term used in this sense – it’s more commonly seen (without a hyphen) as a derogatory description of a woman who is not a great beauty.

25a  Charter a diocese partly for broadcast (5)
{RADIO} – the presence of broadcast in the clue makes you think it’s another homophone, but this time broadcast (as a verb) is the definition. What we actually want is a hidden word, indicated by partly.

26a  Second plan with conclusion up front (4)
{AIDE} – the definition is a second or assistant. Start with a plan or thought and move the last letter to first position (conclusion up front).

27a  Test option scribbled in piece of paper (4,2,4)
{POST IT NOTE} – an anagram (scribbled) of TEST OPTION produces this (often yellow) piece of paper which is seen plastered everywhere in most offices (and which is normally spelt 4-2,4), even though we were assured twenty years ago that the day of the paperless office had arrived.

Down Clues

1d  Poet recording small stream (6)
{BROOKE} – the surname of this English poet sounds like (recording) a small stream. “Stands the Church clock at ten to three? And is there honey still for tea?”.

2d  Tot was first in a confused state (6)
{ADDLED} – a charade of a verb meaning to tot or accumulate and another verb meaning was in first place produces an adjective describing someone who is confused or muddled.

3d  Time to face up to past requiring treasurer’s attention? (3,2,9)
{DAY OF RECKONING} – double definition. A time in the future when people will have to deal with an unpleasant situation which they have avoided until now (time to face up to past), and, in a financial sense, a time when bills need to be paid and accounts squared.

4d  Mention of place with dry figure on tour (9)
{SIGHTSEER} – the definition is figure on tour, i.e. someone visiting places of interest. It’s another double homophone (mention) of words which sound like site (place) and sere (dry).

5d  Assume trouble before drills (5)
{ADOPT} – a verb meaning to assume or take on is a charade of a synonym for trouble and the abbreviation for drills or physical training.

7d  Talk about popular doctor beginning to organise bit of a shower? (8)
{RAINDROP} – an informal verb to talk or chat (and also a rhythmic monologue accompanied by music) is put around IN (popular), an abbreviation for doctor and the first letter (beginning) of Organise to get a minute bit of a shower from above.

8d  An outstanding corporation? (3-5)
{POT-BELLY} – cryptic definition of a protuberant middle.

9d  Stoical comrade converted leftist (6,8)
{SOCIAL DEMOCRAT} – someone on the moderate left in politics is an anagram (converted) of STOICAL COMRADE.

15d  A tendency about hotel with old recipes proving loathsome (9)
{ABHORRENT} – a synonym for loathsome is made from A and a tendency or inclination which goes round a) the letter for which the word hotel is used in the Nato alphabet, b) O(ld) and c) an abbreviation for Recipe repeated.

16d  Caught peasant with a lot of fertiliser for plant (8)
{CHICKPEA} – a plant which produces edible seeds which are used as pulses is made by stringing together C (caught, in cricket), an unsophisticated person living in a rural area (peasant) and all but the last letter (a lot) of partly decomposed vegetable matter, obtained from acidic, boggy ground, which is used in gardening.

17d  Named don working whenever required (2,6)
{ON DEMAND} – an anagram (working) of NAMED DON.

19d  Violent criminal with glasses a jinx (6)
{HOODOO} – a run of bad luck (jinx) is made from an American slang term for a gangster or violent criminal followed by a visual clue – two letters which, if placed side by side, look like a pair of glasses (especially if you put a circumflex (^) between them).

20d  Henry’s in a painful spot on land (6)
{ASHORE} – put the symbol for henry (the unit of inductance) inside A and a raw or painful place on the body to make an adverb meaning on land (after having been at sea).

22d  Good number keeping a source of notes (5)
{PIANO} – place a two-letter abbreviation for good or sanctimoniously religious and another two-letter abbreviation for number around (keeping) A to make a musical instrument (source of notes).

The clues I liked included 23a, 16d and 20d, but my favourite today is 1a. How about you? Leave us a comment!



  1. mary
    Posted June 29, 2010 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    Morning Gazza, thought at first I wasn’t going to be able to do this, but perseverance, thesaurus and little electronic friend won the day, fav clue 27a, didn’t know for a while if 11a was going to be economist or geologist! going to read through the blog now, to see if i’ve understood them correctly :)

    • lizwhiz1
      Posted June 29, 2010 at 11:21 am | Permalink

      I agree mary… made it through but had to look here for the things like 26a and 13a!

  2. Nubian
    Posted June 29, 2010 at 11:10 am | Permalink

    I enjoyed the puzzle
    Fav 8d cos it remind me of me. someone else can pick up the gauntlet today.
    Nuff said

  3. Posted June 29, 2010 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    Very enjoyable and not too taxing apart from taking ages to finish 26a – the pesky little critter!. Clue of the day for me 13a without a doubt – lovely word!
    Thanks to Shamus and gazza for the puzzle and the review.

  4. Prolixic
    Posted June 29, 2010 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    Many thanks to Shamus for a great puzzle. Favourite was 9d. Thanks to for the write, Gazza.

  5. Little Dave
    Posted June 29, 2010 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

    The commute into Liverpool Street went well today as I zipped through. Liked 18a and 26a best.

  6. crypticsue
    Posted June 29, 2010 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

    Memo to self: ignore emails from Gnomethang re Toughie. For the second week running, did puzzles in “wrong” order and struggled to get going with this one but finished it in fairly good time in the end. The only thing I knew about 13a related to thumbs so it was interesting to learn a new definition.

    • Digby
      Posted June 29, 2010 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

      Did this one first, then the Toughie, which I agree it wasn’t. Interesting after the discussion on Saturday’s blog about crossword-speak for “railway” that Big Dave’s comment “… and we haven’t seen the American EL = Elevated Railroad for a while!” should come up in 15d in today’s Toughie. Is BD also “The Warbler”?!!?

      • Posted June 29, 2010 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

        No chance! Warbler is one of the two ladies setting Toughies.

        And anyway, if I had known I would have kept quiet!

        • Digby
          Posted June 29, 2010 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

          Well, I’m pleased that you didn’t, or I wouldn’t have got it so quickly. So, you’re a bloke, then?

          • crypticsue
            Posted June 29, 2010 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

            I hope he is otherwise the picture on the “about” page is extremely worrying!!

            • Digby
              Posted June 29, 2010 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

              Hadn’t seen that before, and you’re right! He looks like someone’s favourite Granddad, don’t you think?

          • mary
            Posted June 29, 2010 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

            There was never any doubt in my mind :)

    • Posted June 29, 2010 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

      Not my fault!. I only pointed what Digby noticed too! ;-)

  7. Digby
    Posted June 29, 2010 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

    Agree – a nicely balanced and fair puzzle. Thanks G & S.

  8. BigBoab
    Posted June 29, 2010 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

    Been up in the Highands for a few days so haven’t been able to do the crosswords, got back last night and did Rufus’s which I enjoyed very much then had the pleasure of waking up to this lovely wee effort from Shamus and todays toughie from the Warbler, smashing homecoming. Thanks to all three compilers and to Gazza and Libellule for their reviews.

    • Posted June 29, 2010 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

      Your absence has been duly noted!. Welcome back and hope the break was enjoyable.

      • BigBoab
        Posted June 29, 2010 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

        Thanks Gnomethang, it was great if a triflealcoholic.

        • Nubian
          Posted June 29, 2010 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

          Better than alcoholic trifle

        • Posted June 29, 2010 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

          Trifle as well? Niiice!

  9. Wingnut
    Posted June 29, 2010 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

    Took the day off work because I knocked myself out yesterday and settled down with the crossword. Eventually finished after struggling with 26a. Brain must be ok then.
    Didn’t like Recipe giving an R; can any word be used in this way or is there a finite list of those permissible?
    Liked 8d; I now know another meaning of corporation!

  10. Barrie
    Posted June 29, 2010 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

    Didn’t much like todays, the bottom half was OK but the top was very tricky. 1a makes little sense and 4d is a nonsense. At least there were enough anagrams to let one get started but not my favourite.

    • Barrie
      Posted June 29, 2010 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

      Oh and 13a leaves me speechless! What a dreadful clue!

  11. Geoff
    Posted June 29, 2010 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

    Oh dear, way beyond me! I only managed 12 and one of those was wrong. Still don’t understand some of the explanations.

    Very little enjoyment here, but thanks for the review.

    • gazza
      Posted June 29, 2010 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

      Which explanations don’t you understand?

      • Geoff
        Posted June 30, 2010 at 7:53 am | Permalink

        Didn’t see your response until this morning, not ignoring you!

        Probably fair to say that having looked again, I understand them ok now. Perhaps I found deriving ‘abhorrent’, easy enough to guess given an ‘a’ and ‘h’, from the clue so complex as to be mystifying at first. Sometimes I’m not sure if I’ll ever crack these puzzles – I’ve already looked at this morning’s and thought, oh dear, do something else today!

        • mary
          Posted June 30, 2010 at 11:22 am | Permalink

          same here Geoff, it takes so much of our time, unlike the experts who can solve them in under an hour, never mind, i am halfway through, but really stuck now :(

  12. Sarah F
    Posted June 29, 2010 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

    Enjoyed this. Favourite were 11a, 13a, 18a and 8d.

    Thanks for x-word and the review

  13. Mr Tub
    Posted June 29, 2010 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

    I made sure that I got my money’s worth out of this one today. I started off by putting ‘score’ for 22d and it took a bit of self restraint no to write in ‘age of austerity’ for 3d. 11a and 18a were probably my favourites. I think the cryptic definition is my kinda clue.

  14. Lea
    Posted June 29, 2010 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

    That was not one of my favourite puzzles – took ages to get in to so went over to the Toughie and fared better there. Came back to this and persevered but was not on his wave length at all today – must be the heat. Went to London for lunch and it was very muggy in the Covent GArden area.

    No favourite clue at all.
    Oh well – tomorrow is another day.

  15. Dim Dave
    Posted June 29, 2010 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

    Quelle domage, pas de francais aujourd’hui ? Sacre bleu.
    Puzzles seem a lot easier in english as did this one. My only reservation is 8d. Now it may be this is accepted usage amongst the compilers’ fraternity but i’ve never heard of anyone referring to their midriff as ‘corporation’. Corporeal, yes corporation , no. But enough of my ‘corporation-aching’, much enjoyed the battle with Shamus. Particularly like 1a especially with chantilly. I always thought 9d were more centrist?
    4 stars for enjoyment and difficulty-0 for annoyance.

  16. Peter
    Posted June 29, 2010 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

    Of the crosswords I’ve finished, I have not enjoyed one less or had the key out more.

    Likes? 24a, 7d 9d and 20d

    Dislikes 1a, 11a, 18a, 26a, 15d

    Generally too many homophones

  17. paolors
    Posted June 29, 2010 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

    I found this pretty straightforward, solved it during the first half of the football. 7d was my fab. Might try the toughie next.

  18. Shamus
    Posted June 30, 2010 at 10:49 am | Permalink

    Thanks to Gazza for his great blog and all for comments. Glad it was straightforward for most!

  19. Pommers
    Posted June 30, 2010 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

    Very enjoyable, thanks Shamus! Managed it without the blog except for 8d and still don’t understand why corporation points one at the midriff!!!

    • gazza
      Posted June 30, 2010 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

      According to my Dictionary of Slang the usage of corporation to mean belly dates from about 1750, and it derives from the word “corpulent”.

    • Posted June 30, 2010 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

      … and all uses are derived from the Latin corpus – a body. For a business, it is “to combine in one body’”