DT 26381

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26381

Hints and tips by Gazza

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Shamus has given us another pangram today and they’re rapidly becoming a trademark of his. It’s a pleasant puzzle with very fair clueing. Let us know what you thought of it in a comment.
Those who need to see an answer will find it lurking between the curly brackets under the relevant clue. Highlight the space between the brackets to reveal it.

Across Clues

1a  Local black drink knocked back in island (8)
{BARBADOS} – string together a drinking place (local), the abbreviation for black and a soft drink reversed (knocked back) to make a Caribbean island.

5a  Outing at public expense? Abandon it in speech (6)
{JUNKET} – an extravagant trip out for freeloaders sounds like, if you split it as (4,2), to take something to the tip.

9a  Nigel tailored my clothing (8)
{NEGLIGEE} – an anagram (tailored) of NIGEL is followed an exclamation of surprise (my!) to get a loose, flimsy gown.

10a  Character following Romeo? (6)
{SIERRA} – Romeo is the codeword standing for R in the Nato phonetic alphabet, so what comes next?

12a  What’s stashed in illegal van is expected to produce a shock (9)
{GALVANISE} – a verb meaning to stimulate or shock into action is hidden (stashed) in the clue.

13a  In-flight column airline welcomed in part (5)
{NEWEL} – the second hidden word (in part) in succession is one I’d not heard of. This is an upright column around which the steps of a circular staircase wind.

14a  By the sound of it, vital area for unloading boats (4)
{QUAY} – an area for unloading boats sounds like (by the sound of it) an adjective meaning vital.

16a  Small publication allowed to include a set of papers I left out (7)
{LEAFLET} – this small publication is formed from a synonym for allowed with, inside it,  A and a set of papers without an internal I.

19a  Asinine old dictator with face of ogre and nervous habit (7)
{IDIOTIC} – the definition is asinine. String together the forename of an old Ugandan dictator, the initial letter (face) of O(gre) and an habitual nervous twitch.

21a  Short of time, risk Eastern drink (4)
{SAKE} – start with a verb meaning to make a wager (risk) and remove the T (short of time) to leave a Japanese alcoholic drink.

24a  Get on with religious education in period (5)
{AGREE} – a verb meaning to get on with or have similar opinions is formed by putting the abbreviation for religious education inside a period.

25a  Entry gained by 500 into a charitable establishment (9)
{ADMISSION} – put the Roman numeral for 500 between A and a charitable establishment.

27a  Youngster really submitting name for college (6)
{INFANT} – start with a phrase (2,4) meaning really and substitute N(ame) for the C(ollege) to end up with a youngster.

28a  Terribly vain and flashy sort without power beginning to encourage encroaching (8)
{INVASIVE} – the definition is encroaching. An anagram (terribly) of VAIN is followed by a flashily dressed man (whose business dealings may be of doubtful legality) without the P(ower), ending with the first letter (beginning) of E(ncourage).

29a  Old man’s mention of hot spring (6)
{GEEZER} – this is a bit of an old chestnut. It’s a slang term for an old man and it sounds like (mention of) a hot spring.

30a  Far-reaching and expert cast (8)
{PROFOUND} – an adjective meaning intense or far-reaching is a charade of an expert and a verb meaning to make something by melting and moulding metal (cast).

Down Clues

1d  Kindly German entering African country (6)
{BENIGN} – put G(erman) inside the name of a West African country to make an adjective meaning kindly.

2d  Entertain man with drink (6)
{REGALE} – a verb meaning to entertain (often by telling amusing stories) is a charade of an abbreviated man’s name (think of the name that Elton John started life with) and an alcoholic drink.

3d  A fool accompanied by a girl (5)
{ANITA} – just to even things up after a man’s name we now have a woman’s name. It’s made from A, a synonym for fool and then another A.

4d  Site boy disrupted in bloated state? (7)
{OBESITY} – an anagram (disrupted) of SITE BOY.

6d  Group of workers to raise standard (5,4)
{UNION JACK} – a common name for our national flag (standard) is a charade of a workers’ association and a verb meaning to raise (a car in a garage, perhaps).

7d  Church rule that’s overturned left in Scottish islands capital (8)
{KIRKWALL} – the chief town of the Orkney islands is the Scottish word for church followed by a rule reversed (overturned, in a down clue) and L(eft).

8d  A medical problem in the ground? Get kitchen item (3,5)
{TEA CLOTH} – this kitchen item is A plus a medical problem related to blood inside an anagram (ground) of THE. Coincidentally this kitchen item was also an answer in Radler’s excellent puzzle over the weekend (NTSPP – 037) where the clue was “Kitchen rubber shows result of curdling in blistering heat (3,5)”.

11d  Final character before negotiation losing head in enthusiasm (4)
{ZEAL} – the final character (in the alphabet) precedes a negotiation without its initial D (losing head).

15d  UN, pet hate, mobilised to increase risk? (2,3,4)
{UP THE ANTE} – this phrase derives from poker and it means to increase risk or to play for higher stakes. It’s an anagram (mobilised) of UN PET HATE.

17d  Spot element in a government getting preoccupied (8)
{FIXATING} – a present participle meaning obsessively preoccupied with is built from the sort of spot or jam that you may find yourself in, followed by a metallic element inside A and G(overnment).

18d  Shooter’s strain when coming to plunder (3,5)
{AIR RIFLE} – this is a shooter, i.e. a firearm. It’s a charade of a musical strain and a verb meaning to plunder.

20d  Rabbit, whiskery creature circling front of hutch (4)
{CHAT} – rabbit, here, is a verb. The whiskery creature is a feline which surrounds the first letter (front) of H(utch).

21d  House managed to get up for academic forum (7)
{SEMINAR} – a type of house is followed by a synonym for managed which is reversed (to get up, in a down clue).

22d  Note story with university setting (6)
{MILIEU} – the definition is setting. It’s a charade of a note in tonic sol-fa, a story of dubious validity and U(niversity).

23d  Mean figure interrupting riotous din (6)
{INTEND} – we want a verb meaning to mean. Put a two-digit figure inside (interrupting) an anagram (riotous) of DIN.

26d  Man with son on Welsh river (5)
{STAFF} – man here is a verb, i.e. it means to supply manpower. Start with S(on) and add the river that flows through Cardiff.

The clues which I enjoyed included 1a, 5a, 17d and 20d, but my favourite today is 12a. Let us know what you liked!



  1. grandsire
    Posted October 26, 2010 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    I usually struggle on Tuesdays but this went quite smoothly. I always understood a newel was the nobbly bit at the end of an old fashioned staircase that hurt when you slid down the bannister.

    • gazza
      Posted October 26, 2010 at 11:09 am | Permalink

      Chambers has both meanings.

  2. Nubian
    Posted October 26, 2010 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    I found todays puzzle too clever for its own good. Although the clues were apparent once the answer was found it seemed like the one enjoying it was the Setter. e.g. 5a,19aThese clues are amusing up to a point but as someone yesterday said, soundslike clues are becoming a bit tedious.
    I must be back on my high horse again but sometimes I think the message gets through as we do not seem to have as many foreign words and phrases as we used to.
    Fave clue was er, I havn’t got one.
    Thanks to Gazza and Shamus

    • pommers
      Posted October 26, 2010 at 11:43 am | Permalink

      Agree completely Nubian. I too didn’t really enjoy this one.
      Perhaps I’m having an off day (again!).
      Favourites 12a and 10a.
      Thanks Shamus and Gazza

      • toadson
        Posted October 26, 2010 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

        I also agree with Nubian today – this took up too much of my half-term day off. Thanks to Gazza and Shamus though. At least I know another African country after today..

        • Ashley Wilkes
          Posted October 26, 2010 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

          Completely agree with your “too clever for its own good” observation, Nubian

          Too contrived & not very enjoyable

  3. crypticsue
    Posted October 26, 2010 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    A very enjoyable puzzle today. I did have to have a hint from Prolixic for 17d but can’t see why I didn’t get such a nice clue. Thanks to Shamus for the crossword and Gazza for the review – shame the wordplay limited the choice of pictures of gentleman (again). :D

    Beam’s Toughie, apart from two clues with which I struggled, is a good one for all to try today.

  4. Prolixic
    Posted October 26, 2010 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    I enjoyed this puzzle from Shamus, for which, thanks to the setter. In addition to Gazza’s favourite clues, I liked 9a, 19a and 27a, which I would say was my favourite. Many thanks to Gazza for the review.

  5. Posted October 26, 2010 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    I struggled a lot in the NW corner but got there in the end. Once again I completely ignored the pangram!. I would agree on 12a as favbourite – it took me ages to spot and was well hidden in the surface reading. Thanks to gazza and to Shamus.

  6. Dickiedot
    Posted October 26, 2010 at 11:28 am | Permalink

    Thanks Shamus and Gazza, i found this difficult today and needed help, putting Geyser in threw me Ho Hum

    • Jezza
      Posted October 26, 2010 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

      Geyser….. Me too!!!

      • nanaglugglug
        Posted October 26, 2010 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

        me too!

  7. Lea
    Posted October 26, 2010 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    I enjoyed that – had a few answers which I knew were right but couldn’t figure out why. Thanks for the review Gazza – made it clear.

    On thing though – in 23d don’t you mean a 3-digit figure in the anagram of DIN?

    Thanks for Shamus and to Gazza.

    • gazza
      Posted October 26, 2010 at 11:53 am | Permalink

      It’s 3-letters, but it’s only two digits (if you’re counting in decimal).

      • Lea
        Posted October 26, 2010 at 11:54 am | Permalink

        Good point – thanks. Pays to read things properly – doesn’t it!!!

  8. Pete
    Posted October 26, 2010 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

    Really enjoyed this puzzle with the southwest corner the last to go in. 17d was a bogey for me.
    I have not tuned in to looking for the pangram yet just happy to get on with the puzzle.
    Thought we might have seen a clip from EJ in 2D instead of just a picture!
    29A another of those “sounds like clues” I always seem to get wrong.
    Thanks to setter and Gazza as always for his excellent review.

  9. Franco
    Posted October 26, 2010 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    Suspecting that it was a pangram (Today’s Quickie is also a pangram) helped to solve the last in for me – 17d – the missing “X”.

    Isn’t 29a an example of an unfair homophone – as Gazza said yesterday “It’s where the homophone indicator comes between two possible definitions that it’s unfair.” I initially entered “geyser”.

    • Posted October 26, 2010 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

      I didnt have a problem with the position of the indication as it reads ‘mention of hot spring’ which is quite explicitly showing that the hot spring is the soundalikey and the ‘Old man’ is the definition.

    • gazza
      Posted October 26, 2010 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

      On 29a I meant to mention that I thought it was on the borderline of fairness. I think that the “apostrophe s” made it more likely that the definition was old man and the homophone related to hot spring. Even so, I didn’t commit the answer until I had 18d.

  10. Kath
    Posted October 26, 2010 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

    Had a bit of a struggle with this today – yet another off day perhaps? I couldn’t do 17d even having given in and read the hint – needed to look at the answer. Liked 5, 10 and 27a and 6, 20 and 22d. Last one to go in was 8d. Very cold, wet and generally miserable in Oxford. Thanks to Shamus and Gazza.

  11. Nubian
    Posted October 26, 2010 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

    Did anyone have ‘think tank’ for 6d. I was loathed to change it ehen I realized it was wrong.

    • mary
      Posted October 26, 2010 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

      no sorry Nubian but I do like it :)

  12. Geoff
    Posted October 26, 2010 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    Not one for me today, much too hard! I could try to blame it on the blood test that didn’t happen … the blood-letter phoned in sick after a 30-minute wait. Ah well, not as bad as having to spend most of the afternoon hanging around at the JR – and not even on my behalf, chaffering a friend to the eye hospital.

    • mary
      Posted October 26, 2010 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

      I agree with Geoff, not one for me today either, I have done this in fits and starts (wonder where that originated? ) going shopping in between, couldn’t have completed it without you Gazza, thanks for hints, for next two days or so, my computer will be hijacked by one of my grandsons, its half term! and I prefer to use my desk top to my laptop, unfortunately so does he :) so I will be doing the crosswords as and when, no favourite clue today, very wet here today after all that sunshine and frost yesterday, incredible!

      • Chris Price
        Posted October 26, 2010 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

        I also did not enjoy it today. In fact I got so bored I put it down and forgot about it.
        Picked it up again this evening and resorted to the hints
        Favorite clue was 1a. Least fovorite was 9a. Yes Nigel tailored means anagram but how the heck! does “my clothing” get you “ee”. I know setters have latitude but….
        Good night

        • gazza
          Posted October 26, 2010 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

          My! gets you GEE! and clothing is the definition.

          • Chris Price
            Posted October 26, 2010 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

            If there was an exclamation mark in the clue it would have helped this dense solver.

          • mary
            Posted October 26, 2010 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

            That’s awful really :(

  13. BigBoab
    Posted October 26, 2010 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

    Fairly enjoyable crossword with a couple of tricky clues to keep me awake. I liked 1a and 18d best. Thanks Shamus and Gazza.

  14. Derek
    Posted October 26, 2010 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

    Solved this one very quickly but found some of the clues to be rather weak!
    Best for me were : 1a, 10a, 13a, 6d & 18d.
    I had a bit of trouble with 18d as for 29a I had entered geyser instead of geezer but changed it and hey presto – all OK.
    Re 29a, some years ago my son took a picture of me standing in front of Old Faithful in Yellowstone – I captioned the photo “Old geezer by the Old Geyser” but our US friends didn’t get it as they pronounce
    geyser as gay-ser!!!
    !2a used to be sugar in my youth.

  15. Jezza
    Posted October 26, 2010 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

    I liked it. Spotted the pangram early on, as my first clues in included 14a and 11d. Got stuck on the SW segment, and putting Geyser for 29a, stymied me for 18d.
    Thanks to Shamus, and to Gazza.

  16. Barrie
    Posted October 26, 2010 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

    Sorry, not one for me today, far too many convuluted and very difficult clues. All in all I found a rather unpleasant experience today. The DT seems to have slipped back into tough backpage puzzles again, I was rather hoping that those days were in the past but apparently not.

    • mary
      Posted October 26, 2010 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

      With you Barrie, shall we go back to the CC? :)

      • mary
        Posted October 26, 2010 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

        I’m having a bad week, really stumped for clues on the COW site too this week, blast! :)

  17. Jerseyman
    Posted October 26, 2010 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

    Yes, it was tricky at times, and, like cryptic Sue and others , I found that 17d needed a prompting from Gazza!The ‘geyser’ versus ‘geezer’ clearly bothered many of us, in 20a and I intially opted for the former till I needed the third letter to be an ‘e’ for ‘air rifle’ in 18d . Still, it filled my lunch break very agreeably. Well done to you both!

  18. Barrie
    Posted October 26, 2010 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

    Having been through all the answers I would go further and say this is one of the worst DT puzzles that I have seen in a very long time. My gripes:
    1. A geezer is any man not just an old one
    2. How can a risk be a stake? Not logical.
    3. Had to Google to find out where Benin was, if you are going to use obscure countries and islands how about a more specific clue
    4. What is the medical problem in 8d?
    5. 27a is unbelievable. How on earth are you supposed to know that name in N and college C. These sort of answers known only to the ‘club’ are just unacceptable in my opinion.
    6. How are you supposed to know that ‘my’ means an exclamation? At least put an exclamation mark in the clue.
    As you can gather I find it very frustrating when setters are allowed to use clues that require knowledge not available to the majority of people. This is very elitist and not acceptable. Save this sort of ‘club’ ethos for the Toughie.

    • mary
      Posted October 26, 2010 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

      Barrie 8d – clot

      • mary
        Posted October 26, 2010 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

        Agree about 9a, very obscure

      • mary
        Posted October 26, 2010 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

        sorry should be a clot

    • Franco
      Posted October 26, 2010 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

      Barrie, 21a – “I would stake my life on it, but it’s too much of a risk!”

      • Barrie
        Posted October 26, 2010 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

        Is this a quote? Even so the words ‘stake’ and ‘risk’ are not interchangeable.

        • mary
          Posted October 26, 2010 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

          Barrie, Chambers crossword dictionary gives stake as a synonym for risk

          • mary
            Posted October 26, 2010 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

            However it does not give gee as a synonym for my, if my and gee are the same then does ‘my my’ become a ‘gee gee’

            • Lea
              Posted October 26, 2010 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

              Nice one Mary!!

            • mary
              Posted October 26, 2010 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

              Noe does it give it in the Big Red Book!

              • mary
                Posted October 26, 2010 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

                Thank you Lea, now I think I will disappear to Tesco for a while, I will come back later to see if all Barries points have been satisfied! :)

    • Posted October 26, 2010 at 4:19 pm | Permalink


      I’ll not try and answer all of your questions, but in the East End of London a geezer certainly is ANY man. An old man is an old geezer.

      The ODE gives the usage as “old man” being American.

      Not often I agree with you!

    • gazza
      Posted October 26, 2010 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

      1) Chambers has for geezer: a man, an old man, a crafty or unscrupulous person.
      2) In most forms of betting your stake is at risk. “I’ll risk a tenner on that horse” is the same as “I’ll stake a tenner on that horse”.
      3) Benin was formerly called Dahomey.
      4) a (blood) clot.
      5) N & C are common abbreviations for Name and College respectively.
      6) “My” is a common synonym for gee, cor, etc.

      You ought to have a go at the Toughie, Barrie. It’s by a new setter called Beam :D

      • mary
        Posted October 26, 2010 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

        Gazza, I can’t find gee as a synonym for my??? Anywhere

        • gazza
          Posted October 26, 2010 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

          Mrs Bradford has “my” against “gee”, and against “my” she’s got coo, golly, gosh, lor, lumme, oh and tush.

  19. mary
    Posted October 26, 2010 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

    Barrie makes some fair points, the Toughie is there to cater for the more experienced solver, who know the ‘tricks of the trade’ whereas we who are learning and improving do not get helped by having clues that require specific knowledge and know how, as a lot of todays did, without this blog today how many of us would have completed it and if not why not?

    • Nubian
      Posted October 26, 2010 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

      Partially agree Mary primarily because the toughie is doable today, they probably switched them round.

      • mary
        Posted October 26, 2010 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

        You back on the brandy Nubian or are they just typos :)

        • mary
          Posted October 26, 2010 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

          :oops: they have magically disappeared, apologies Nubian :)

          • Posted October 26, 2010 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

            Someone edited them!!!

            • mary
              Posted October 26, 2010 at 4:31 pm | Permalink


              • Nubian
                Posted October 26, 2010 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

                Thankyou Dig Bave..hic

                • mary
                  Posted October 26, 2010 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

                  I knew it! :)

      • Barrie
        Posted October 26, 2010 at 10:43 pm | Permalink

        My God! If you think that a Ray T Toughie is doable, you ought to be working at Bletchley Park!

  20. ChrisH
    Posted October 26, 2010 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

    Well, out of step again! I quite enjoyed this although at first reading I thought ‘Gee!’
    I’m not sure that realising it’s a pangram helps much. Took longer to solve than usual, but still solvable. I, too picked the wrong geyser at first but hey-ho, that’s part of the fun.

  21. Drcross
    Posted October 27, 2010 at 12:35 am | Permalink

    Well todays offering has certainly created some controversy. I thought it was hard, especially the NE corner but I didn’t think any of the clues unfair. I’ve always adhered to the maxim of you only get better by trying something more difficult and whilst I had to use the blog, now I’ve learned.

    • Barrie
      Posted October 27, 2010 at 9:16 am | Permalink

      I think you have missed the point, one can only improve if there is a suitable mechanism which this puzzle most certainly did not provide. You can’t learn nuclear physics by studying O level maths, there has to be some form of progression.

      • gazza
        Posted October 27, 2010 at 9:57 am | Permalink

        If you’d learned something from this puzzle it would help you considerably with 25a in today’s (Wednesday’s) Cryptic.

  22. chadwick ong'ara
    Posted November 22, 2010 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

    Dear setter,dont you dare dumb down your puzzle.For me,it was fair.Help:what is Sammy soundalike?A certain writer used it in his article.

    • Posted November 22, 2010 at 3:51 pm | Permalink


      Could you please give more information for your request?