DT 26387

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26387

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Surely no-one will complain that this puzzle by Mr or Mrs X is too difficult! I thought that it was pretty easy but quite pleasant. If it leaves you wanting more, then why not have a go at today’s Toughie, which is well within the scope of most solvers?
If you need to see an answer just drag your cursor through the space between the brackets under the relevant clue.

Across Clues

7a  Takes in top paper (8)
{FOOLSCAP} – this is a size of paper and it’s a charade of a verb meaning deceives or takes in and a protective cover (top).

9a  A farmer finally fit, fit for ploughing (6)
{ARABLE} – string together A, the final letter of farmeR and a synonym for fit.

10a  Eager singer to return (4)
{AVID} – reverse (to return) a celebrated female opera singer.

11a  Champing at the bit, gunners round republic (6,2,2)
{RARING TO GO} – this is a charade of the abbreviation for the Royal Artillery (gunners), a synonym for round and a republic in West Africa.

12a  Civilised ancient city’s destruction (6)
{URBANE} – join together the name of a Biblical city on the Euphrates and a noun meaning misery or destruction to form an adjective meaning civilised or refined.

14a  Requiring careful handling, domestic pet in food store close to garage (8)
{DELICATE} – put a domestic pet between a shop that sells fine food and the last letter (close) of garagE.

15a  Antagonism shown by heartless adversary carrying it (6)
{ENMITY} – an adversary without his middle letter (heartless) contains (carrying) IT. I’m not keen on this clue – the words used for antagonism and adversary are from the same root.

17a  Showing little interest, stable about foremost of thoroughbreds (6)
{STOLID} – an adjective used to describe someone who shows little emotion or animation is a synonym of firm or stable round (about) the first letter (foremost) of Thoroughbreds.

20a  Distressed Hellenic fabric (8)
{CHENILLE} – this fabric, an anagram (distressed) of HELLENIC, is described by Chambers as “a thick, velvety cord or yarn of silk or wool resembling a woolly caterpillar”.

22a  Extremely tough breed in ancient land (6)
{THRACE} – start with the outer letters (extremely) of TougH and add a synonym for breed or strain to form an ancient country which is now divided between Turkey, Bulgaria and Greece.

23a  Crowd sitting for impromptu jazz concert (3,7)
{JAM SESSION} – this is a charade of a verb meaning to crowd or pack tightly into a limited space and a synonym for a sitting.

24a  Completely book first social event (4)
{BALL} – a formal social event is a synonym for completely with B(ook) first.

25a  Two articles about a third patron goddess (6)
{ATHENA} – put two indefinite articles round a definite article to make the patron goddess of the Greek capital.

26a  Settler, one wearing strange garment (8)
{EMIGRANT} –  I (one) has around it (wearing) an anagram (strange) of GARMENT.

Down Clues

1d  Study poetry, then discuss (8)
{CONVERSE} – a charade of a verb to study and another word for poetry. “Then” is just padding.

2d  Happy former PM, having lost weight (4)
{GLAD} – a Victorian Prime Minister has lost 14lbs.

3d  Rare shock Conservative getting in (6)
{SCARCE} – an adjective meaning rare is a shock or fright with C(onservative) inserted.

4d  Glove relative left in pocket (8)
{GAUNTLET} – a relative and L(eft) go inside a verb meaning to obtain (pocket).

5d  Special item (10)
{PARTICULAR} – double definition, the same word used firstly as an adjective and secondly as a noun.

6d  Plant disease in most of Britain (6)
{BLIGHT} – a slang term for Britain used by soldiers in the World Wars (to cop one of these was to get a wound sufficiently serious to be shipped home) has its final Y dropped (most of) to leave a plant disease.

8d  Amusing imitation in bar in Settle? (6)
{PARODY} – put a thin bar inside a verb meaning to settle up to make an amusing imitation.

13d  Regulate trade abroad importing cars (10)
{ADMINISTER} – an anagram (abroad) of TRADE goes round (importing) the quintessential British cars of the 1960s (now made by BMW).

16d  Charm wild animals after spot of training (8)
{TALISMAN} – this lucky charm is an anagram (wild) of ANIMALS which comes after the first letter (spot) of Training.

18d  Avoid fish and fowl (8)
{DUCKLING} – string together a verb meaning to avoid and one of Crosswordland’s favourite fish to make a young bird (fowl).

19d  Having little energy in very pleasant Italian city (6)
{VENICE} – put E (a little Energy) between V(ery) and a synonym for pleasant.

21d  Home in centre? Middle of nowhere! (6)
{HEARTH} – we want a word meaning fireside which is used as a metaphor for home. Start with a synonym for centre and add the middle letter of nowhere.

22d  Evil trap set up for game (6)
{TENNIS} – reverse (set up, in a down clue) an evil and a trap for catching animals or fish to make a game.

24d  Poet’s unfinished copy (4)
{BURN} – drop the final letter (unfinished) from Scotland’s national poet to leave a verb meaning to produce a copy of a CD or DVD.

Today I liked 11a, 23a and 18d, but my favourite was 7a. How about you? Let us know in a comment.



  1. crypticsue
    Posted November 2, 2010 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    As you say, another pleasant Tuesday puzzle from one of our Mysterons. I agree with your ‘liked’ clues but my favourite was 18d. The associated pic is my favourite today as I am not a fan of Mr Nadal. Thanks to Gazza and the Mysteron.

    Agree with Gazza’s suggestions re the Toughie too – there are some clues that need a bit of lateral thinking but its well worth a try by all.

    • Lea
      Posted November 2, 2010 at 11:18 am | Permalink

      CS – I’m with you – both in favourite of the day – 18d – and not a fan of Nadal.

      Might try the toughie later if you say it is a reasonable one.

      Thanks to setter and to Gazza for the review. 22a was a new one for me and had to look it up – thanks for the explanation.

      • mary
        Posted November 2, 2010 at 11:20 am | Permalink

        I had to do a lot of looking up Lea, so if that’s the only brilliant! :)

      • crypticsue
        Posted November 2, 2010 at 11:21 am | Permalink

        Its reasonable for a toughie, but as it is a toughie, does have a few that make you think/struggle/invoke Gnome’s Law!

        • Nubian
          Posted November 2, 2010 at 11:42 am | Permalink

          28a on the toughie has got me stumped Sue, please put me out of my misery, Ive got i-mbo-e- . I driving me doo lally

          • crypticsue
            Posted November 2, 2010 at 11:45 am | Permalink

            The O is wrong. Its metric (poetical) feet. Hope that helps.

            • Nubian
              Posted November 2, 2010 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

              Thanks for that Sue and Gazza, another new word in the lexicon of my brain

          • gazza
            Posted November 2, 2010 at 11:45 am | Permalink

            You’ve got the 5th letter wrong.

  2. mary
    Posted November 2, 2010 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    Hi Gazza, on a damp miserable morning in West Wales, leaves falling everywhere, soggy underfoot, Autumn has arrived! This was a three star for me I think because there were a few I struggled with, 12a and 22a being two of them, also 26a, I thought an emigrant was one who left a country and an immigrant was one who ‘settled’ in a country ? No? The one clue I really lied today was 7a, my clue of the day :)

    • mary
      Posted November 2, 2010 at 11:14 am | Permalink

      Did you mean 7a for your fav clue? or 1d?

      • gazza
        Posted November 2, 2010 at 11:16 am | Permalink

        7a – fixed now – thanks!

    • Jane
      Posted November 2, 2010 at 11:26 am | Permalink

      7a gets my vote too!

  3. Jane
    Posted November 2, 2010 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    Struggled with 22a and 22d! Thought ‘strict’ for 22a but this didn’t fit with second half of clue. This then made me think that 22d was sin bin but this no good either because it’s two words. It did sort of(!) fit as this is where ice hockey players get sent for foul play. Thanks Gazza I have now been put right. Hadn’t heard of ‘Thrace’.

    • mary
      Posted November 2, 2010 at 11:32 am | Permalink

      I put sin bin at first two Jane, its also where Rigby players get sent

      • mary
        Posted November 2, 2010 at 11:33 am | Permalink

        I mean Rugby players

  4. mary
    Posted November 2, 2010 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    Wouldn’t it be good for everyone to vote on their fav clue of the day? :)

    • Kath
      Posted November 2, 2010 at 11:41 am | Permalink

      Good idea – think mine might have to be 11a

  5. Kath
    Posted November 2, 2010 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    Good morning all. I found this fairly easy but had 24d wrong – I couldn’t explain why but had put ‘bard’ – was trying to think of a 5 letter word meaning copy without its final letter – oh dear! How easy it is to make life unnecessarily difficult! :oops: Apart from that, all was fine. I liked 7, 11, and 23a and 2 and 18d. Pretty miserable day in Oxford – grey and damp – real November weather.

  6. Patsyann
    Posted November 2, 2010 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    8d is another example of the unfair capital letter! Settle with a capital S does not mean to settle up. Setters used to avoid doing this, but it cropped up twice in the same puzzle last week. I had bard for 24d but couldn’t work out why that was unfinished copy! An enjoyable crossword overall – favourites 18d and 7a.

    • Kath
      Posted November 2, 2010 at 11:43 am | Permalink

      I’m glad that I’m not on my own in getting 24d wrong – I couldn’t work out why either.

      • Jezza
        Posted November 2, 2010 at 11:49 am | Permalink

        24d was my last one in…I was thinking bard as well, then the penny dropped!
        Thanks to setter, and to gazza.

      • mary
        Posted November 2, 2010 at 11:51 am | Permalink

        I put bard first too!

        • Lea
          Posted November 2, 2010 at 11:58 am | Permalink

          As did I – that makes most of us. Soon changed it when I reread the clue.

  7. Kath
    Posted November 2, 2010 at 11:40 am | Permalink

    PS Thanks to Mr or Mrs Mystery Setter and to Gazza.

  8. Nubian
    Posted November 2, 2010 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    I could not reconcile 28d answer with copy. I know it has to do with dvd’s and cd’s etc but use of another clue would have worked better for me like ‘small stream’. Apart from that I agree with the general consensus. Not too taxing and not up there with the greats but a pleasant little exercise.
    Fav was 23a ..cos it reminded me of Irish whiskey…hic
    Thanks to Gazza and the Cruciverbalistian whoever they may be.

  9. Barrie
    Posted November 2, 2010 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

    Words fail me. You thought this was easy? I managed 6 clues only!! Thought it was even tougher than yesterdays and that was difficult.

    • mary
      Posted November 2, 2010 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

      Barrie, it wasn’t easy, easy, but within your capabilities, it’s just that you are not doing them on a regular basis at the moment and I know if I do that, it takes ages to get back into it, of course as it is a mystery setter today it could well be Ray T :) I feel that since I got out of the CC it has all been a struggle to sta out!

  10. Geoff
    Posted November 2, 2010 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

    A lot of this was pretty straightforward, but I needed a few hints to finish it. Agree on 7a and 23a. My first thought on 24d, having the b and r, was byron but couldn’t work out what byro had to with copy, unless it was to do with an imitation pen!

    Thanks for puzzle, review and comments. 1a in the Toughie was easy enough; maybe I’ll read it through, but music to learn for a concert at the weekend.

    • mary
      Posted November 2, 2010 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

      I also thought on the lines of an imitation pen Geoff! :-D

  11. Barrie
    Posted November 2, 2010 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    Please enlightment me. What has Jam Session got to do with a crowd sitting? What has Parody to do with Settle? Either I’m getting worse at this lark or the setters are on a totally different wavelength to me. Absolutely Hated it!

    • crypticsue
      Posted November 2, 2010 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

      The first two letters and the last letter of parody mean to settle up for something you have bought, put a type of stick inside and you get an amusing interpretation. I can’t improve on Gazza”s explanation of the session, and nor should I, or anyone else for that matter,have to!

  12. gnomethang
    Posted November 2, 2010 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    No complaints here. I rattled through it, corrected BARD as well (!) then went on to the Toughie. 23a was my favorite.
    Thanks ti gazza and the mystery setter.

  13. BigBoab
    Posted November 2, 2010 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

    A bit like yesterday, fun but a wee touch too easy, same with the toughie. Thanks to the setter and to Gazza.

  14. ChrisH
    Posted November 2, 2010 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

    Straightforward, but as above (Jane?) I struggled on 22a and 22d. Mind’s not on it really. Off to the Opers tonight. Tackle the toughie on the train methinks.

  15. Collywobbles
    Posted November 2, 2010 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

    A very thorough professional job Gazza, thank you and MR and Mrs X, whoever they are

  16. toadson
    Posted November 2, 2010 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

    Did this at work today, and have just logged on. I too went for ‘bard’ at first. I worked out ‘thrace’, though it is a new one on me. One thing … can anybody explain why ‘con’ equates to ‘study’ in 1d? Thanks to Gazza and setter.

    • mary
      Posted November 2, 2010 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

      sorry toadson, not sure why it does just know it does!

      • mary
        Posted November 2, 2010 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

        think it’s something to do with the verb rather than the noun i.e. to study

    • gazza
      Posted November 2, 2010 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

      Con is an archaic verb meaning to study attentively or learn something by heart.

      • toadson
        Posted November 2, 2010 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

        Thank you both. It is described as such in Chambers, I’ve just discovered after reading your replies. Have a good evening!

  17. Little Dave
    Posted November 2, 2010 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

    All done save 24d (DOH!) and 22a (a new one for me).

    Thanks to the Setter.

  18. Derek
    Posted November 2, 2010 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

    Quickly solved puzzle this Tuesday.
    My favourite clue was 11a then 7a, 22a & 6d.

    • Derek
      Posted November 2, 2010 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

      Re 19d : I call Venice “Cozze e Vongole Stad” as every restaurant there attempts to shovel them at you!
      Delicious once in a while.
      There are some good restaurants along the quay at the Ponte Rialto.

      Stad is Dutch for town – German Stadt.

  19. flounce
    Posted November 2, 2010 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

    24d last to go in for me too (had to use Gazza’s hint)…… I did have ‘byro’ written in at one point?!

    I don’t really have a favourite today – possibly 6d.

    Until tomorrow…..:)

  20. Drcross
    Posted November 3, 2010 at 12:15 am | Permalink

    7a was a fab clue. Overall a very nice puzzle.

  21. Posted November 4, 2010 at 8:57 pm | Permalink

    Would you believe I’ve only just finished this? I’ve learnt something new – that a ling is a fish – and my favourite clue was 9a. 8d really threw me, though – because Settle started with a capital, I thought it must be a placename.