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DT 26309

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26309

Hints and tips by Gazza

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

It’s two weeks since we had a Ray T puzzle and we get a good one today with a few of his “nudge, nudge, wink, wink” clues. Let us know how you like it in a comment.
As always, if you still need to see an answer after reading the hint you’ll find it hidden between the brackets under the clue – just highlight the space between the brackets to reveal it.

Across Clues

7a  ‘Sir’ canes new form for indecency (8)
{RACINESS} – an anagram (new form) of SIR CANES produces the quality of being risqué  (indecency, though it means the seaside postcard type of titillation rather than full-blown lewdness).

9a  Begin meal around start of afternoon (6)
{LAUNCH} – put a mid-day meal around the first letter (start) of A(fternoon).

10a  Attend club (4)
{BEAT} – a verb meaning to work over with a club can also mean, if redefined as (2,2), to attend.

11a  Gather criminal, for example, is in scrape (10)
{CONGREGATE} – the definition is gather or come together. Start with an abbreviation for a criminal and then put EG (for example) inside a verb meaning to scrape or rasp.

12a  Keep back alien in deluge (6)
{RETAIN} – put Steven Spielberg’s cute alien inside precipitation (deluge).

14a  Ministry held to account to find truth (8)
{ACCURACY} – place the church ministry of a sort of assistant vicar after (held to) the abbreviation for account or invoice to make a noun meaning truth or correctness.

15a  Note the French imbibing very soft drink (6)
{TIPPLE} – the definition is drink of the alcoholic variety. Put together the alternative spelling of one of the notes in tonic sol-fa and the French definite article (masculine singular) and between them (imbibing) insert PP (pianissimo, very soft).

17a  Labour with a new motto (6)
{SLOGAN} – a charade of a verb to work hard, A and N(ew).

20a  Secretary bird almost completely protective (8)
{PATERNAL} – the definition is protective. Start with the abbreviation for a posh secretary, then add a seabird with long pointed wings and a forked tail and finish with all but the last letter (almost) of a synonym for completely.

22a  Street grooves in parades (6)
{STRUTS} – we want a verb that means parades with an arrogant gait. It’s assembled from the abbreviation for street followed by grooves or deep tracks in the ground.

23a  Tom, Dick or Harry for example (10)
{DIMINUTIVE} – these names together are used to mean anybody and each is an example of a shortened form of a name (which is what the answer means), but I don’t see how the clue is meant to be cryptic.

24a  Rent is raised, we hear (4)
{HIRE} – a synonym for the verb to rent sounds like (we hear) a comparative meaning more elevated (raised).

25a  Insect’s partner, afterwards it’s chewed up (6)
{MANTIS} – start with how a woman might refer to her male partner and follow this with an anagram (chewed up) of IT’S to make a predatory insect which waits motionless for its prey with its forelegs folded like hands in prayer. This is a very appropriate and clever clue because these insects are cannibalistic and the female has the unladylike habit of biting off her partner’s head during copulation as a method of increasing the delivery of sperm (please don’t ask for more details!).

26a  Head of state after winds up redundant (8)
{NEEDLESS} – put the first letter (head) of S(tate) after a verb meaning winds up or gets under someone’s skin to make an adjective meaning not necessary or redundant.

Down Clues

1d  Window when framed by putty, perhaps (8)
{CASEMENT} – a sort of window that opens on a vertical hinge is made from AS (when) inside (framed by) something that makes two objects stick together, of which putty is an example (perhaps).

2d  Dress encircling top of legs? (4)
{KILT} – a clever all-in-one clue. Put the uniform (dress) worn by sports teams round the first letter (top) of L(egs).

3d  Minister in landslide, a Conservative (6)
{DEACON} – hidden in the clue is a church minister who ranks below the one described in 14a.

4d  Relating to white-collar worker? (8)
{CLERICAL} – keeping to the minister theme we have a word which relates to both someone working in an office (distinguished from “blue collar” manual workers) and to a member of the clergy with his or her white dog collar. Nice clue.

5d  Remove kit with a redhead bird (10)
{BUDGERIGAR} – an amusing clue leading to a cage bird. It’s a charade of a verb to push aside or remove, the sort of kit used on an oil well for example, A and the first letter (head) of R(ead). This sort of construct (i.e. using Redhead for R, or weeKend for K for example) is frowned upon by some purists but seems fine to me.

6d  Tart, pro with jerk (6)
{ACETIC} – another surface reading which paints an amusing picture. However, tart (the definition) is here an adjective meaning sharp or acid in taste. It’s a charade of an expert (pro) and a convulsive twitch (jerk).

8d  Flip-flop for beach on a lake (6)
{SANDAL} – this flip-flop is what the best beaches consist of followed by A and L(ake).

13d  Go up to get prize (10)
{APPRECIATE} – double definition, a verb meaning both to grow in value (go up) and to value highly (prize).

16d  Suffering under Labour leader’s decline (8)
{LANGUISH} – put a synonym for suffering after (under, in a down clue) the first letter (leader) of L(abour) to make a verb meaning to decline or grow weak.

18d  She enjoys taking off on her holidays! (8)
{NATURIST} – cryptic description of a lady (or gent) who likes to let it all hang out.

19d  Adult, one with pride about Britain, Great Britain (6)
{ALBION} – an ancient name for the island of Great Britain (often coupled with the adjective perfidious by jealous foreigners) is made from A(dult) and the animal that lives in a pride around (about) B(ritain).

21d  Clothed in Armani, male pig, say? (6)
{ANIMAL} – something of which pig is an example (say) is hidden (clothed) in the clue.

22d  Capital of Israel (6)
{SHEKEL} – capital here means currency.

24d  Wheel made from hard wood (4)
{HELM} – the steering wheel on a ship is constructed from H (hard, category of pencil) and a type of wood.

The clues I enjoyed included 25a, 5d, 6d, 16d and 19d but my favourite is 18d. Let us know which clues you liked!

40 comments on “DT 26309

  1. Spot on with the rating today as some slightly tricky moments. Just worked my way down the hints and thinking no scantily dressed ladies this week when I got to 18d! Agree with all your enjoyed/favourite clues. Thanks to Ray T for the fun and Gazza for the review.

    Mary – today’s Toughie is tough but has quite a few good anagrams (and indicators thereof) which should get you started.

    1. I didn’t think it was any tougher than this one here. I thought it was a most enjoyable extra cryptic, very do-able and worth the effort. As I’m only on CluedUp I don’t know who the setter of the Toughie is.

      1. Its a Cephas puzzle. I think you were right about it being extra cryptic but its slightly more than beginner toughie standard, in my opinion.

  2. I still battle with Ray T’s puzzles after all this time. I got through three quarters of it and struggled with the last quarter.
    After finishing I reread the clues and they are all fair and doable, it’s just me, I always struggle to get on his wavelength.
    Fav was 4d although the picture in the blog for 18d has some mitigating points that make it a worthwhile clue.
    19d and 24d were also quality clues.
    Thanks to Gazza and Ray T

  3. Enjoyed it, but made life difficult by getting STRIPPER for 18d – She had me leading with S and the holidays had me on tripper…it all seemed to work. Ah well, getting better at this and thanks for the hints!

    1. Rob, I did exactly the same thing – I think the clue deliberately misled to Stripper, and that meant it took some time to untangle the bottom right corner.

        1. Didn’t fall into that one as I already had 17a so it had to begin with ‘N’ but even so it still took me a while …

  4. I say! All getting a bit fruity!.
    Lots of fun from RayT today, to whom many thanks. Thanks to gazza for the review – I would go with his favourites as well, although not necessarily in that order.

  5. I was a bit slow to get going on this one for some reason – very few answers went in on the first run through – then it all fell into place. Had some difficulty with 22a, 1d (is cement really the same as putty – thought that putty was fairly soft and flexible) and 2d was the last to go in. I enjoyed it and agree with the 3* rating. If time allows might even have a look at the toughie.

    1. Kath,
      Cement can be anything that binds two substances together, and the setter is using putty as an example of that (hence the “perhaps”).

      1. OK – thank you gazza – to me ‘cement’ is the stuff is that goes in the middle of bricks or stones and, when dry, is a rock hard substance but I understand now …

  6. Got on fairly well with this but for 22d not made any easier because I had 23a ending with N!! Nice one though, thanks to Gazza and RayT. Mary, if you read this have a go at the Toughie, it’s not bad at all!!

  7. Hello fellow xword buffs, I am chadwick ong’ara in Nairobi,Kenya.We r on no 26284 here which had lots of burstouts.Rufus is a pastmaster at humorous puzzles,in fact he is the fairest of them all,so to speak.I am sure Barrie had a ball.However,unlike him,I really like Ray T.His may be fiendish and infuriating but highly satisfying,so more grease to his elbows.25AC,29ac,3DN and 23DN left me in stitches(ie 26284).Looking forward to my other darling setter,Giovanni.

    1. Hi Chadwick – welcome to the blog.
      Does your publication in Kenya tell you the names of the setters or do you get that information from this site?

  8. Not a great puzzle and not really enjoyable, I was disappointed because i usually enjoy RayT, it just shows that you can’t please everybody all the time. Loved your picture for 18a Gazza.

  9. Enjoyable puzzle today. i did not finish without help with 23a and 13d and I still do not follow the answer.

    1. 13d Appreciate can mean both go up (e.g. the value of your house appreciated) and prize/cherish.

  10. I found this fairly straighforward today, only held up momentarily by the two 4-letter clues in the top left.
    Thanks to gazza for the notes and the pictures (esp 18d). We can always rely on you to find something suitable to illustrate the answer :)

  11. Not one for me today, started late in the day having had one of the grandsons staying over and have not been able to get my ‘crossword head’ into mode since he’s gone, still in ‘Professor Layton and the diabolical box’ on the DS mode!! needed help with 7 or eight from yourself Gazza, not really sure if I’d have completed even if i wasn’t still thinking of how to sove the puzzle of the ‘Nohey’ cows!!
    I think a pretty tough one from RayT today, not one of my favourites, having put stripper for 18d and ‘firstnames’ for 23a didn’t help at all! the one clue i did like was 6d, ah well always tomorrow, don’t be too disappointed CCers if you could not finish this today, pretty tough i think :)

  12. Before I print it off clued up I read the blog coments – may try the toughie first – thanks for your assessment of it crypticsue. Might have a cup of tea first and then start them. Since I usually agree with Nubian I am not sure about this one. We shall see.

  13. That actually wasn’t so bad. Learned a new word – 19a; didn’t like 23a at all; but enjoyed 25a, 2d, 5d but my favourite was 22d.

    I didn’t fall in to the stripper category as already had 17a (and had read Mary’s comment). Nice photo for the fellas!!

  14. Thanks to Gazza for the analysis, and to everybody for their valuable feedback. I’m glad that most of you enjoyed it.

    Ray T

  15. Hello all. I’m a newbie so please excuse any naivity.

    Firstly, how do you know it’s a Ray T puzzle? I only get the setter’s name on the Toughie. (East Midlands edition)
    Secondly, is it ‘cheating’ to use a software aid such as Puzzlex, which, despite the American bias in its lexicons, I find excellent!?

    I’m no expert, but I found today’s puzzle straightforward, likewise the toughie, apart from one word which I need to check.It’s interesting to note how different posters on this blog find difficulty with words which others find obvious, and vice versa if you see what I mean.

    A fine site. Keep it going!

    1. Hi ChrisH – welcome to the blog.
      1) The Telegraph have a regular pattern and Ray T does alternate Tuesdays. We know that because he leaves comments (see Comment above yours)
      2) The point of doing crosswords is to get enjoyment. As long as you enjoy it, use whatever methods you find appropriate.

    2. Agree ChrisH – it IS a truly fine site – PLEASE keep it going to all involved – the people who write the blog and the valuable hints, and all the people who comment. Have learnt so much over the recent months.

  16. A late finish for me today and I still don’t get 23a, but I still had good fun, so thank you Gazza and Ray T. 19d was my favourite today.

    1. Tom, Dick and Harry are “diminutives” of Thomas, Richard and Henry respectively – although it seems strange calling Harry a diminutive of Henry!

      Chambers defines a diminutive as “a shortened form of a name (e.g. Rob for Robert)”.

  17. Dear Gazza,Chadwick Ong’ara of kenya here:no they dont publish the setters names in our papers,i know about them from this blog .ive just completed 26285.i liked OBSOLESCENT.I bet if the DT let the notoriously fiendish araucaria set his puzzles here u will lose many readers.dont u think so?

    1. Chadwick,
      Araucaria is one of my favourite setters (still going strong in his late eighties!) and I think that there would be some consternation if some of his puzzles appeared as the Telegraph Cryptic. But the Telegraph does now have a “harder” puzzle called the Toughie (which we do review) and Araucaria’s puzzles wouldn’t be out of place there.

  18. Back to form again I see, another Ray T HORROR that I couldn’t even start. Not a single clue could I solve.

  19. For 10a I put in “meet” (which can mean attend, as well as a club) and it helped me get “kilt”! Otherwise just failed to get 5D.

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