DT 26315

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26315

Hints and tips by Gazza

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

We have an entertaining puzzle from Shamus today with some nice deceptions. I’ve given it 4* for difficulty because I was held up in the top right-hand corner. Let us have your thoughts on it in a comment.
As usual, the answers, should you need to see them, are hidden between the brackets under the relevant clues. Just drag your cursor through the white space between the brackets to reveal.

Across Clues

1a  Fit drink after time with worker (7)
{TANTRUM} – the sort of fit associated with a young child in a temper is made by putting an alcoholic drink after T(ime) and one of the hard-working insects beloved by crossword compilers.

5a  Fool ignoring a kind son in a rough way (2,5)
{OF SORTS} – the definition is in a rough way, i.e. a vague, inexact description. Start with a three-letter word for fool and remove the middle A (ignoring A), then add a synonym for kind or type and finish with S(on).

9a  Land enclosed by main diagram (5)
{INDIA} – this large land is hidden (enclosed) in the clue.

10a  Apt tip duo devised for finish (3,4,2)
{PUT PAID TO} – an anagram (devised) of APT TIP DUO gives us a phrase which means finishes off.

11a  Lose ability to cope as a keen chess player? (2,2,6)
{GO TO PIECES} – a phrase meaning to become so upset that one is unable to function properly could also mean, for a chess player, proceed to the chess set. I don’t think that the chess bit works very well.

12a  Advertise bathroom accessory (4)
{PLUG} – double definition.

14a  Fear rural mob disrupted one toiling in fields (4,8)
{FARM LABOURER} – this countryside worker is an anagram (disrupted) of FEAR RURAL MOB.

18a  Pass by college and grey joint (4-8)
{COLD-SHOULDER} – this is a compound verb meaning to ignore or refuse to acknowledge someone (pass by). It’s a charade of C(ollege), a synonym for grey and a joint of meat. This is a cleverly constructed clue – even after I had the answer I spent some time thinking that the definition was joint and the pass was COL.

21a  Porter, maybe, hard worker lacking a voice initially (4)
{BEER} – porter (the drink) is an example (maybe) of this. Remove A and the first letter (initially) of V(oice) from the centre of an animal synonymous with hard work.

22a  Judgment shown by English leaders of infantry marching into Waterloo? (10)
{ESTIMATION} – the question mark indicates that Waterloo is just an example. So start with E(nglish) and then put the initial letters (leaders) of I(nfantry) M(arching) inside what it’s an example of.

25a  Amateur artist capturing fellow in country (9)
{ARGENTINA} – this country is built from A(mateur) and RA (Royal Academician, artist) around (capturing) a synonym for fellow and IN.

26a  Read further about directions for sauce (5)
{PESTO} – read further is the meaning of the letters you write at the bottom of a page when you continue writing on the other side of the paper. Put two cardinal points (directions) inside these letters to get a sauce.

27a  Make known notes by poet (7)
{DECLARE} – the definition is make known or announce. It’s two musical notes followed by the surname of the English writer known as the Northamptonshire peasant poet. Here’s a poem of his called Summer Evening:

The frog half fearful jumps across the path,
And little mouse that leaves its hole at eve
Nimbles with timid dread beneath the swath;
My rustling steps awhile their joys deceive,
Till past, and then the cricket sings more strong,
And grasshoppers in merry moods still wear
The short night weary with their fretting song.
Up from behind the molehill jumps the hare,
Cheat of his chosen bed, and from the bank
The yellowhammer flutters in short fears
From off its nest hid in the grasses rank,
And drops again when no more noise it hears.
Thus nature’s human link and endless thrall,
Proud man, still seems the enemy of all.

28a  Man facing criticism in case of tawdry treatment (7)
{THERAPY} – the definition is treatment. Put a male pronoun (man) and a word meaning criticism inside the outer letters (case) of TawdrY.

Down Clues

1d  Pain is double, say, when upright (6)
{TWINGE} – start with a description of someone or something exactly like another (double) and add the abbreviation of for example (say) which has to be reversed (upright, in a down clue) to make a sudden, sharp pain.

2d  A barely achieved condition? (6)
{NUDITY} – a cryptic definition that needs little embellishment. I suppose that you’re expecting a picture now?

3d  Judge again salesman grabbing a promotion firstly and pay hike (10)
{REAPPRAISE} – the definition is judge again. Put A (grabbing A) inside a travelling salesman, then add the initial letter (firstly) of P(romotion) and a pay increment (hike).

4d  Fellow skirting front of pretty tree (5)
{MAPLE} – put what a fellow (as opposed to a woman) is around the initial letter (front) of P(retty) to make a tree.

5d  Focus shown by manicurist maybe without delay (2,3,4)
{ON THE NAIL} – double definition, the second meaning (without delay) often being used to describe the prompt settlement of an account.

6d  Enclose marine creature (4)
{SEAL} – double definition.

7d  Unusually dear form of property containing right preparation for crisis (3,5)
{RED ALERT} – a security status requiring a high level of preparedness is constructed from an anagram (unusually) of DEAR followed by a type of property tenure around (containing) R(ight).

8d  Miss benefiting consumers? (4,4)
{SHOP GIRL} – cryptic definition of a salesperson. I’m not quite sure about the benefiting – ignoring, annoying, frustrating are often more appropriate words.

13d  Fine old King taken with liberal, say (3,7)
{FOR EXAMPLE} – the well-disguised little word at the end is the definition. Start with abbreviations for fine and old, then add the latin word for king and a synonym for liberal (as used to describe a large helping of food, say).

15d  Dodgy spirits? Nonsense (9)
{MOONSHINE} – double definition, the dodgy spirits being the product of an illegal still.

16d  Second character holding a couple of books in case (8)
{SCABBARD} – the definition is case and it’s the sort of case that holds a sword or dagger. Start with S(econd) and add a person regarded as odd or amusing (character) around (holding) A and a couple of B(ook)s.

17d  Abnormally sensitive girl Alec upset (8)
{ALLERGIC} – an anagram (upset) of GIRL ALEC.

19d  Society with a site developed for rest (6)
{SIESTA} – start with S(ociety) and follow with an anagram (developed) of A SITE.

20d  Bear to be round head of negotiations that’s haughty (6)
{SNOOTY} – put the name of a bear that Harry Corbett (and later his son) had a hand in around the first letter (head) of N(egotiations).

23d  Splashing of paint that’s not suitable (5)
{INAPT} – an anagram (splashing) of PAINT produces an adjective meaning not suitable.

24d  Language in train castigated (4)
{INCA} – hidden in the clue is the language of an old South American people.

The clues I liked today included 1a, 18a, 22a and 26a, but my favourite is 13d. Let us know what you thought of the puzzle in a comment.


  1. Nubian
    Posted August 10, 2010 at 11:06 am | Permalink | Reply

    A truly masterful puzzle today. It’s not often I laugh out loud but 22d did it for me. All the clues were great and doable (I hate that word, can anybody think off a different one?)
    Thanks Shamus and Gazza, It will take some beating this week as the best puzzle.

    • Nubian
      Posted August 10, 2010 at 11:07 am | Permalink | Reply

      Sorry, I meant 20d

    • Posted August 10, 2010 at 11:15 am | Permalink | Reply

      ‘Solvable’ works for me!

      • Nubian
        Posted August 10, 2010 at 11:33 am | Permalink | Reply

        What about Mary’s perservation ?

        • crypticsue
          Posted August 10, 2010 at 11:46 am | Permalink | Reply

          Isn’t that a peverse form of cogitation??

          • Nubian
            Posted August 10, 2010 at 11:47 am | Permalink | Reply

            Beats me, can’t find it in the dictionary

            • mary
              Posted August 10, 2010 at 11:57 am | Permalink | Reply

              Its a nice word dont knock it, if sue can have numberals then i can have perservation (perserverance) for those of you who don’t speak my language :)

              • mary
                Posted August 10, 2010 at 11:58 am | Permalink | Reply

                I like doable too!

                • crypticsue
                  Posted August 10, 2010 at 12:04 pm | Permalink | Reply

                  I think we should start our own dictionary. I have been using ‘numberals’ ever since I invented it by accident last week

                  • mary
                    Posted August 10, 2010 at 12:11 pm | Permalink | Reply

                    good idea sue, should it be female only, we obviously understand each other but these men, well they need to be educated :)

                    • Lea
                      Posted August 10, 2010 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

                      I agree with you there ladies – well done.

              • mary
                Posted August 10, 2010 at 12:07 pm | Permalink | Reply

                perservation – a mixture of perserverance and prespiration, i.e. as in a crossword puzzle that makes you work up a sweat! :)

                • mary
                  Posted August 10, 2010 at 12:23 pm | Permalink | Reply

                  for you doubters it is an actual word but perhaps not used in the sense I meant!

                  sorry I don’t know how to make the link ‘live’

                  to be fixated on someone or something, extended periods of time one would allocate for some topic of interest

                • weetie
                  Posted August 10, 2010 at 1:53 pm | Permalink | Reply

                  Mary, how exactly does one ‘prespire’?

                  • gazza
                    Posted August 10, 2010 at 1:55 pm | Permalink | Reply

                    It means to peak too soon :D

                  • mary
                    Posted August 10, 2010 at 3:54 pm | Permalink | Reply

                    New words weetie you have to have an open mind :)

            • gazza
              Posted August 10, 2010 at 1:57 pm | Permalink | Reply

              Nubian, nice to see you on COW !!

              • Nubian
                Posted August 10, 2010 at 2:19 pm | Permalink | Reply

                Thanks Gazza, my confidence has put its head above the parapet. I thought it was about time I tried to emulate the greats instead of castigating them.

                • mary
                  Posted August 10, 2010 at 3:55 pm | Permalink | Reply

                  wow haven’t seen you there yet, good that you are joining :)

  2. prolixic
    Posted August 10, 2010 at 11:11 am | Permalink | Reply

    Very nice puzzle from Shamus today – many thanks to him for the challenge. Favourtie clue was 22a. Many thanks to Gazza for the Victoria Wood clip and the rest of the review!

  3. mary
    Posted August 10, 2010 at 11:12 am | Permalink | Reply

    Morning Gazza, I can’t believe I’ve finished this, I was really struggling with parts of it, so I am really happy to see you have given it a 4* :) Of course I used all my books and machines to get to the end, but I know a year ago even with these I could not have done it, I nearly gave up a few times, a tough one for us CCers today but doable with perservation and hard work!! lots of anagrams but not particularly easy ones I didn’t think, fav clue 20d :) thanks for the blog, I am pleased to say I didn’t need it to complete the crossword but I am definitely needing it to understand some, so off to read it now

  4. Posted August 10, 2010 at 11:14 am | Permalink | Reply

    Excellent Puzzle – myself and one other that I know of got held up in the same corner (last three in were there). Favourites were 18a for the reasons you describe and also 20d when I realised who/what the bear was!.
    Many Thanks to gazza for the review and Shamus for the puzzle.

  5. crypticsue
    Posted August 10, 2010 at 11:16 am | Permalink | Reply

    Very enjoyable puzzle today. I too struggled with the top right hand corner but Gnomethang’s law soon took care of that. My favourites were 20d and 22a. Thank you Shamus for the entertainment and Gazza for the review (glad to see the pics are back to normal!!)

  6. Jezza
    Posted August 10, 2010 at 11:24 am | Permalink | Reply

    Many thanks to Shamus for an excellent puzzle today. My favourite clue is 18a, for the clever misdirection of the first 3 letters of the answer.

  7. Lea
    Posted August 10, 2010 at 11:36 am | Permalink | Reply

    A lovely puzzle today – thank you Shamus and thanks for the review Gazza (which I will read in a minute).

    I got the top r/h corner first off and was longer on the bottom r/h than any other portion.

    Favourite clues were 18a, 13d and 15d.

  8. Pete
    Posted August 10, 2010 at 12:02 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Tougher today than for a while but very enjoyable for that. Like many top right last area to complete and am still not clear about 5a! Enjoyed 26a and 20d. Thanks to Gazza for the review and to Shamus.

    • gazza
      Posted August 10, 2010 at 12:06 pm | Permalink | Reply

      5a is O(a)F + SORT + S(on) and the answer means in a rough way or “more or less”.

  9. Mr Tub
    Posted August 10, 2010 at 12:11 pm | Permalink | Reply

    An unusuall early finish for me on Tricky Tuesday: I still don’t know why 8d is what it appears to be, but 13d more than made up for it. Thanks to Gazza and today’s setter.

    • Pommers
      Posted August 10, 2010 at 1:28 pm | Permalink | Reply

      It’s a girl (miss) who is supposed to be helpful (of benefit) to consumers in the sense of people who buy things. I have to agree with Gazza’s comment in the blog!

  10. Pommers
    Posted August 10, 2010 at 1:26 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Really enjoyed this one, a bit of a challenge in places and with some excellent clues so many thanks to Shamus.
    The anagram I took ages to spot was 18d which is bizarre as I live in Spain and I’m now going for one before tackling the Toughie!
    Favourite clue definitely 15d.
    Thanks for the tips Gazza which I didn’t need but made a good read.

  11. BigBoab
    Posted August 10, 2010 at 1:44 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Best cryptic for some time, really enjoyable. Favourite clue was 11a, favourite picture 2d. Many thanks to Shamus for a masterly crossword and to Gazza for his usual great review.

  12. Franny
    Posted August 10, 2010 at 2:30 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Thanks, Shamus and Gazza, for the puzzle and the hints. I did manage to finish it, with a certain amount of persevation. Several solutions I had right without understanding why, or perhaps I didn’t read the clues thoroughly enough — 5a, 21a, 26a and 18a in particular. I didn’t like 7d and it took me a long time to work out 13d, but 20d was my favourite :-)

    • mary
      Posted August 10, 2010 at 3:57 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Like it Franny :) persevation pays off in the end!!

  13. Ashley wilkes
    Posted August 10, 2010 at 2:37 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Definately 4* for difficulty but didn’t enjoy it much today

    Never heard of the poet in 27a……..and if the above is a good example of his work, it’s clear why

  14. brendam
    Posted August 10, 2010 at 4:50 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Ashley, agreed, agreed!!

  15. ChrisH
    Posted August 10, 2010 at 5:23 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Struggled a bit with bottom right corner (eg 13d) but not too bad on the whole. Didn’r refer to the blog so must be improving!

  16. Kath
    Posted August 10, 2010 at 5:54 pm | Permalink | Reply

    This took a good bit of persevation but was doable in the end, apart from 22a – needed the hint for that – just complete mental block for some reason – think my brain has gone rusty from all the rain that we’ve had today! I’m SO glad that it rated 4* for difficulty. Favourite clues today were 18a and 13 and 20d. Didn’t care too much for 8d.

    • mary
      Posted August 10, 2010 at 6:25 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Well done Kath, see what a little persevation can do :)

  17. Little Dave
    Posted August 10, 2010 at 6:59 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I was surprised to see this graded 4* = for me 2.5* so was tuned in and 13d was my favourite. 5a quite clever. Very enjoyable.

  18. Edi
    Posted August 10, 2010 at 9:25 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Agree with the 4* difficulty. I had clam for 6d which confused me no end. off to punish myself with the toughie.

    • gazza
      Posted August 10, 2010 at 9:31 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Welcome back, Edi.

  19. Shamus
    Posted August 10, 2010 at 11:44 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Thanks to Gazza for his blog including the superb pictures and all for comments. Glad my clues didn’t cause too much perspiration!

  20. Posted September 6, 2010 at 2:54 pm | Permalink | Reply

    not bad.Why was Lord Snooty in the Beano genial while snooty means snobbish(If my memory serves me right from the 70’s)?

Leave a Reply, but please read the Comment Etiquette (under Comment on the menu) first. If you are asking a question, please check if it is already answered in the FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions).

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *