DT 26393

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26393

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty ****Enjoyment **

From some of the General Knowledge type answers today it looks as if one of the mystery setters from Thursdays has been re-assigned to Tuesdays. I’ve given this one four stars for difficulty – this means that it’s my opinion that it’s a bit more difficult than the average Telegraph Cryptic (and quite a bit more difficult than yesterday’s which I would only have given one star). But, especially after the discussion yesterday, I would like to reiterate that this is just my personal opinion – it’s not written in stone and you are perfectly at liberty to disagree.
There are an awful lot of abbreviations used in this puzzle (see 1d) and, to be honest, by the time I finished writing the review I was a bit fed up with writing the word abbreviation. Let us know what you thought in a comment.

Across Clues

1a  Untrue earth’s damaged in game offering prize? (8,4)
{TREASURE HUNT} – an anagram (damaged) of UNTRUE EARTH’S leads to a game in which the objective is to find a hidden prize. It was also the name of a TV series in which the main attraction was the sight of Anneka Rice leaping in and out of a helicopter.

9a  Company initially incorporated in a drink staff on board? (5,4)
{CABIN CREW} – these are the people who attend to the needs of the passengers on board an aircraft. Start with the first letter (initially) of Company, then put the abbreviation for incorporated inside A and a drink (of tea or beer).

10a  Official companion getting appearance (5)
{CHAIR} – an official who is in charge of a meeting or a committee is a charade of the abbreviation for a companion of honour and a synonym for appearance.

11a  Lexicographer of more unpleasant disposition, we hear (6)
{FOWLER} – the surname of the lexicographer who wrote the definitive work on the use of English (“A Dictionary of Modern English Usage”) sounds (we hear) like a comparative meaning having a more unpleasant disposition.

12a  Short time weaving near the loom (8)
{THREATEN} – a verb meaning to loom or to approach in an unpleasant manner is the initial letter (short) of Time followed by an anagram (weaving) of NEAR THE.

13a  Lieutenant skirts a Roman road in country (6)
{LATVIA} – the name of a Baltic country is the abbreviation for lieutenant around (skirts) A followed by the latin word for road.

15a  Standing pier gets demolished (8)
{PRESTIGE} – the definition is standing or good reputation, and it’s an anagram (demolished) of PIER GETS.

18a  Male has trained around yard dog (8)
{SEALYHAM} – an anagram (trained) of MALE HAS goes around Y(ard) to make a breed of terrier of Welsh origins.

19a  Suspend inhibition (4-2)
{HANG-UP} – double definition. With the hyphen it’s an inhibition or emotional problem; without the hyphen it’s a phrasal verb meaning to suspend (on a hook, perhaps).

21a  Good artist, fellow appropriate to lead one drawing on wall (8)
{GRAFFITI} – this is a drawing on a wall (or, more correctly as it’s a plural, drawings on a wall). String together G(ood), a member of the Royal Academy (artist), F(ellow), a synonym for appropriate and I (one).

23a  Animal better reared in a US city (6)
{ALPACA} – we want a South American animal, valued for its wool. Put a verb meaning to top or better reversed (reared) inside A and the abbreviation for a large US city.

26a  Have break about lake in front of a cross (5)
{RELAX} – the definition is have break or take a breather. Just build the word using the instructions in the clue.

27a  Story about male accompanied by frivolous sort of publicity (9)
{LIMELIGHT} – this synonym for publicity derives from an old type of illumination used in the theatre. Put a fictitious story around M(ale) and add another word for frivolous.

28a  Part of course with man beset by wild dogs requiring emergency vehicle (5,7)
{GREEN GODDESS} – this is an affectionate name for a type of ancient appliance which used to be wheeled out whenever the firefighters went on strike. Start with the part of a golf course that has a hole in it and add an abbreviated man’s name inside an anagram (wild) of DOGS.

Down Clues

1d  Diplomatic account defended by dry female, university lecturer (7)
{TACTFUL} – the definition is diplomatic. Put an abbreviation for account or bill inside (defended by) the abbreviation for a non-drinker (dry), then finish with the abbreviations for the last three words in the clue. There are no less than five abbreviations used to make this 7-letter word.

2d  English bachelor staying in mean joint (5)
{ELBOW} – start with E(nglish) and then put B(achelor) inside (staying in) an adjective meaning mean or base to make a joint.

3d  Past railway containing appeal and no fake feeling (9)
{SINCERITY} – the quality of genuineness or honesty (no fake feeling) is built from an adverb meaning past followed by the abbreviation for RailwaY around a short word for personal magnetism or sex appeal.

4d  Republican period brought up? Not common (4)
{RARE} – after R(epublican) reverse (brought up, in a down clue) a period.

5d  Tree with worth cultivated among Chinese people (8)
{HAWTHORN} – an anagram (cultivated) of WORTH goes inside the native Chinese people to make a small tree.

6d  Hospital in French city offering comfortable place? (5)
{NICHE} – put H(ospital) inside a Mediterranean French city to make a comfortable position in life or employment.

7d  Old coin, distant object (8)
{FARTHING} – combine synonyms for distant and object to make a pre-decimalisation coin worth about 0.00104 of a pound.

8d  Publicity in church for pop musician (6)
{PRINCE} – start with PR (which can stand for either public relations or press release, but I’m not sure that either is the same as publicity) and add IN and the abbreviation for the Church of England to make the pre-graphical name of a pop musician.

14d  Excessively describing seismologist’s research trip? (2,1,5)
{TO A FAULT} – a phrase meaning excessively is literally where a seismologist may go to investigate a fracture in the earth’s crust.

16d  Young male professionally engaged in stalls? (6,3)
{STABLE LAD} – the stalls here are those found at a horse trainer’s establishment, and this type of worker is not always young and very often not male.

17d  Sweet office worker, calm and with energy (8)
{PASTILLE} – this sweet, designed to be sucked, is the abbreviation for a personal assistant (office worker) followed by a synonym for calm and E(nergy).

18d  Almost take action against man being overly sentimental (6)
{SUGARY} – start with all but the last letter of a verb to instigate legal action against someone and follow this with a man’s name (though how you’re supposed to work out what this is from the wordplay is beyond me!) to make an adjective meaning excessively sentimental.

20d  Author not half enthralled by positive Roman writer of old (7)
{PLAUTUS} – put exactly half of the word author inside (enthralled by) a positive sign or point to make the name of a Roman playwright who died in 184 BC.

22d  Official turns up around nine, dodgy figure? (5)
{FIXER} – an abbreviation for the man with the whistle (official) is reversed (turns up, in a down clue) around the Roman numeral for nine to make someone who makes arrangements of a devious kind.

24d  Old German’s point of view (5)
{ANGLE} – double definition, the first being a member of the Germanic tribe who settled in parts of England in the 5th century AD.

25d  Choking conditions beginning to scare cat (4)
{SMOG} – choking conditions which were common in our major cities before the Clean Air Act was passed in 1956 are the first letter (beginning) of S(care) followed by a slang term for a cat.

I liked 12a and 17d today, but my favourite clue was 27a. What do you think? Leave us a comment.

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50 Comments

  1. Prolixic
    Posted November 9, 2010 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    Many thanks to Gazza for the review. All things are relative, but I solved this in less time than it took to complete yesterday’s puzzle by Rufus (I had a blind spot yesterday on one clue that took as long as the rest of the puzzle to unblock)!

    Thanks too to the Mysteron for the crossword. Favourite clues were 21a, 27a and 17d (any relation to CS?).

  2. Jezza
    Posted November 9, 2010 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    I thought this was trickier than normal, and one of those puzzles I had to put down and come back to later. That said, I thought it was quite an enjoyable one to solve.
    In my opinion, the toughie today is easier than this one.
    Thanks to setter, and to Gazza.

  3. crypticsue
    Posted November 9, 2010 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    I am with Gazza on this one. It took me ages to get going, twice as long as usual to solve. I did like 17d, however, and of course, Prolixic, that’s a good description of me, apart from when the cryptics make me grumpy :D Thanks to the Mysteron and Gazza for the explanations and lovely pictures – anyone else remember buying sweets for just a 7d?

    I got on much better with the Toughie, apart from the SW corner, which took me longer than the rest of it and more. I would recommend the other three corners to anyone who wants to give it ago!

  4. mary
    Posted November 9, 2010 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    Wow! Parts of this were really tough today and I would not have completed the SW corner without telephone help from my brother who was also stuck on 23a and 20d, it took us 20mins to work them out between us! for me this was worthy of a toughie, so I am hapyy to have finished it without the blog, albeit lots of ‘other help’ :) I think a very hard one for CC today, but who knows, good luck everyone, thanks for blog Gazza going to read through now – ‘to understand’ , fav clue 7d, this is the type of clue I like straight to the point, which is the word I put for 14d at first! Duh :(

    • Chris Price
      Posted November 9, 2010 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

      Just spent 45 minutes on it and got 5 clues – 3 of which were anagrams! I really like 7d but I am only picking from 5 answers. Think I will sleep on it.
      Yet again the Sunshine State was not – more cloud and humidity.
      Cheers
      Chris

      • mary
        Posted November 9, 2010 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

        but warm :)

        • Chris Price
          Posted November 9, 2010 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

          Very – about 26 C.

  5. BigBoab
    Posted November 9, 2010 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    Marginally better than yesterdays I thought, I liked 27a and 28a best. Thanks to Gazza and setter. The toughie today would be a good one for beginners as it is good fun but fairly easy.

  6. Posted November 9, 2010 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    I thought that a lot of the clues resembled also-rans in a clue-writing competition!

    • mary
      Posted November 9, 2010 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

      which particular week Dave?

      • Posted November 9, 2010 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

        Now that would be telling!

        • mary
          Posted November 9, 2010 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

          that’s why I’m askin :-)

    • Kath
      Posted November 9, 2010 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

      Now I feel sorry for Mr or Mrs Mystery – I know I’m no expert but I enjoyed lots of these clues.

      • Lea
        Posted November 9, 2010 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

        As has been said many times – what suits one person isn’t always good for another. Glad you liked it.

  7. Lea
    Posted November 9, 2010 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    I started this at the hospital while waiting to see the surgeon and can’t say I enjoyed it. I only found two that I liked 7d and 14d. Those I marked as not liking were 11a 9d and 20d. Of course 20d wasn’t helped by the fact that I had on instead of up for the second word in 19a.

    Not really cryptic for a lot of the clues. Agree with your rating Gazza. Thanks for the review.

    • mary
      Posted November 9, 2010 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

      was the surgeon happy with your progress Lea

      • Lea
        Posted November 9, 2010 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

        Yes he was – don’t have to go back till early Jan AND he has said I can drive again if I am careful. Still have to use the crutches when I am out but I don’t mind that. Getting my independence back is wonderful. Mind you – today is a wet miserable rainy day so am sticking to home now that I am back.

        Thanks for asking. How are you doing?

        • mary
          Posted November 9, 2010 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

          That’s good news, it’s awful to have to depend on other people, I have to go back on Thurs to see if antibiotics have worked and then it’s big works I’m afraid, dreading it :(

          • Kath
            Posted November 9, 2010 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

            Poor you – how beastly!

          • Lea
            Posted November 9, 2010 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

            Will keep fingers crossed for you on Thursday Mary – hope the antibiotics have worked.

          • Chris Price
            Posted November 9, 2010 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

            Good luck on Thursday.

        • Franny
          Posted November 9, 2010 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

          I’m glad you’re doing better, Lea, and will keep my fingers crossed for you, Mary, on Thursday.

          • mary
            Posted November 9, 2010 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

            Thanks both

          • Lea
            Posted November 9, 2010 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

            Thanks Franny – how’s the new baby?

            • Franny
              Posted November 9, 2010 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

              He seems to be doing very well, thanks.

  8. Kath
    Posted November 9, 2010 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

    I took a very long time to get going today – in fact having gone through all the across clues I’d only done about five. Perhaps this would have been a day to start with the downs but never seem to remember to even consider that. I think that it’s definitely worthy of the 4* for difficulty – having eventually got going I enjoyed it very much. Made life difficult for myself in bottom right corner by the writing equivalent of a typo – managed to put ‘godesss’ for the second part of 28a – don’t ask me what my brain was doing but it certainly made 24d a bit tricky! Quite a few clues that I really liked – 11, 12, 21, and 27a and 5, 7, and 17d. I’ve never heard of 20d but worked him out and looked him up! Thanks to Mr or Mrs Mystery and Gazza for the review.

  9. Jemux
    Posted November 9, 2010 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

    Enjoyed this but think the difficulty rating is 2.5.
    Thanks Gazza for the scary pics:
    a. the llama impersonator is about to spit;
    b. troglodytes troglodytes is the most aggressive British bird pound for pound;
    c. Anneka’s teeth full-on emerging from a Castle Air Bell Jet Ranger – surely she has a better side (helicopter’s presence makes it look better but as a fashion accessory it has short falls) (the word ‘back’ was somewhere omitted from this observation;
    d. horses have teeth at one end hooves at the other and have had bad experiences of both;
    e. presumably Gary nicked her crisps or crisped (ironed) her nicks – he’s not having mine (either option);
    f. the environmentally friendly arson combatant is the most unpleasant vehicle I’ve ever had the misfortune to drive;
    g. I had nothing against the white man’s best friend until you revealed its geographic origins (apologies in advance to Mary).
    Dare I run the music video? – no! must go lie down in a dark room to recover.

    • mary
      Posted November 9, 2010 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

      Think you’ve ‘lost it’ Jemux :)

      • Jemux
        Posted November 9, 2010 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

        On the other hand to quote the lamented/lamentable Tony things can only ameliorate

        • mary
          Posted November 9, 2010 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

          precisely!

  10. TrickyDicky
    Posted November 9, 2010 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

    Hi all, just wanted to say a huge thank you to all contributors, your assistance is invaluable. Perhaps one day I’ll even finish one without referring to the blog.

    Thanks again

    • Posted November 9, 2010 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

      Welcome to the blog TrickyDicky

  11. Franny
    Posted November 9, 2010 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    Yes, well it was a funny thing. Yesterday’s two stars and today’s four — truly the difficulty of crosswords is relative! I sailed through today’s puzzle over my breakfast coffee, quite often guessing words without properly connecting them to their clues, and then became completely stymied by the bottom right-hand corner. Putting ‘boy’ for ‘lad’ at 16d didn’t help; I couldn’t work out 23a and had never heard of 28a, which I thought was a kind of salad dressing!

    What I could manage to do I enjoyed very much and my favourite clues were 11a and 14d. So many thanks to Gazza and the Mystery Setter. :-)

  12. Nubian
    Posted November 9, 2010 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

    Another good puzzle, we may be on a roll as the toughie is good as well.
    Thanks to Gazza and the Mysteron.

  13. Geoff
    Posted November 9, 2010 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

    How strange, I found a fair bit of this easier than yesterday’s, but finally had to resort to the blog for a few hints. I’ll plump for 28a and 7d as my faves and yes, CS, I remember getting 2 blackjacks for a 7d from the little shop-in-her-back-room across the road from my primary school!

    Thanks for puzzle and ever-helpful review.

    • mary
      Posted November 9, 2010 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

      You must really be improving Geoff if you found this easier than yesterdays, excellent :)

      • Geoff
        Posted November 9, 2010 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

        Only some of it. Would never have got 23a and 20d without hints and no idea how 8d related to the clue!

  14. Piglet
    Posted November 9, 2010 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

    Hi, just wanted to join in the thread. I’m a (part-time) crossword compiler who’s been loving the DTs crossword for years, and I have to say that I thought today’s was somewhat simple. I polished it off in less than an hour. I like my crosswords to last me most of the day (on and off).

    I’m not bragging. I am quite often stumped by the Toughie, and occasionally by the regular one, but both of today’s were quite disappointing. However, I particularly liked the seismologist clue.

    Love the site, by the way. Great way to get people to understand how to think about cryptics.

    Oh, and I thought yesterday’s offering was also poor as, apparently, did most here.

    • gazza
      Posted November 9, 2010 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

      Hi Piglet – welcome to the blog.

    • Posted November 9, 2010 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

      Perhaps you’d like to submit a puzzle for our weekly series?

      • Piglet
        Posted November 9, 2010 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

        Hi Big Dave,

        Didn’t know there was one. I’d love to!

        Dave

  15. Piglet
    Posted November 9, 2010 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

    Hi BD. How do I submit it?

    Dave

    • Posted November 9, 2010 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

      I’d already written to you with my email address.

      Any format is ok, but a pdf + Crossword Compiler file is favourite.

      • Piglet
        Posted November 9, 2010 at 9:56 pm | Permalink

        I can do both. Hopefully get it to you for the weekend.

        Dave

  16. paolors
    Posted November 9, 2010 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

    Found this quite straightforward apart from a couple of clues. Like some others didn’t find it very enjoyable. Disliked 18a but did enjoy 7 and 17d v much. Many thanks for the review.

  17. Derek
    Posted November 9, 2010 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

    I agree with Gazza that this one was slightly trickier than yesterday’s by Rufus.

    Best for me : 1a, 23a, 28a, 7d, 16d & 24d.

    Can manage only one puzzle per day at the moment as have several medical problems which are under surveillance by my GP and local hospitals.

    • mary
      Posted November 9, 2010 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

      If you can manage one a day you are doing well Derek, hope you are better soon :)

  18. Ainsley
    Posted November 9, 2010 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

    Still can’t get 14d. Got the rest but found it a little easier than yesterday which I eventually gave up with half a dozen or so left. I have read the hint to 14d and am still trying to solve without looking at the answer

  19. Ainsley
    Posted November 9, 2010 at 10:44 pm | Permalink

    Got it! Seems so simple when the penny drops!

  20. chadwick ong'ara
    Posted December 6, 2010 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

    Hello,BD,read your interview on xword unclued and could not believe that Giovanni is not among your pet setters.Why?