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DT 26408

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26408

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

We have a nice mixture of clues from Giovanni today. Let us know what you thought of it in a comment.
To reveal an answer, should my hint be inadequate, drag your cursor through the space between the curly brackets under the clue.

Across Clues

8a  Soft soap that gets wet in the bathroom (7)
{FLANNEL} – double definition, the first (soft soap) meaning flattery.

10a  Country lake west of peninsula (7)
{LIBERIA} – west of in an across clue means to the left of, so this country is L(ake) before a European peninsula.

11a  Explains magician’s tricks — no longer secret (6,3)
{SPELLS OUT} – the definition is explains in detail. It’s a charade of a magician’s tricks and a word meaning exposed or in the public domain.

12a  Energy of second eleven maybe (5)
{STEAM} – this type of energy is S(econd) followed by what eleven people may constitute in some sports.

13a  Soldiers having bad time, needing to retreat (5)
{TROOP} – a unit of soldiers is formed from a synonym for bad and T(ime) all reversed (needing to retreat).

14a  Goes along casually, using various bits from tool set (7)
{TOOTLES} – an anagram (various bits) of TOOL SET produces a lovely informal verb meaning travels in a leisurely way without rush or hassle.

17a  We’d neglect man, OK? Not OK — recognition called for! (15)
{ACKNOWLEDGEMENT} – an anagram (not OK) of WE’D NEGLECT MAN OK produces a word meaning recognition.

19a  Snake here more than half coiling around (7)
{SERPENT} – start with a 10-letter adjective meaning twisting or coiling around and truncate it (leaving more than half the letters) to make a snake. I’m not really keen on this since the adjective is derived from the noun. Thanks to Giovanni for providing the correct wordplay – the snake is made by taking a word meaning here and reversing (coiling around) just the first four letters (more than half).

21a  Kicks overworked hirelings (5)
{HACKS} – double definition.

24a  Machine in box office covered in rubbish (5)
{ROBOT} – put a synonym for rubbish around B(ox) O(ffice).

26a  Note mum, so frightfully important (9)
{MOMENTOUS} – an anagram (frightfully) of NOTE MUM SO.

27a  Insult a female needing self-confidence (7)
{AFFRONT} – the definition is insult and it’s a charade of A, F(emale) and a synonym for self-confidence.

28a  A short time in that place where the war action is? (7)
{THEATRE} – a word describing the area where a war takes place is an adverb meaning in that place with A and T(ime) (short time) inside it.

Down Clues

1d  Make up for poor spell in tennis match? (6)
{OFFSET} – a verb meaning to make up for or counteract could be, as (3,3), a poor series of games in a tennis match.

2d  Odd person needing employment — social services know about it (8)
{CASEWORK} – an informal word for an odd person is followed by a synonym for employment to make social work concerned with the study of people’s family history and personal circumstances.

3d  GB pal? Oh no, ill-disposed to English! (10)
{ANGLOPHOBE} – an all-in-one leading to someone who dislikes the English is an anagram (ill-disposed) of GB PAL OH NO followed by E(nglish).

4d  Here’s piano — play something we’ve heard many times before! (9)
{PLATITUDE} – start with P(iano) and add a word meaning scope or freedom of movement (play, in a car’s steering for example) to make a truism that is heard too often.

5d  Bird is one that’s black on top (4)
{IBIS} – this large wading bird is IS preceded by (on top, in a down clue) I (one) and B(lack).

6d  Author is yellow, then in good health (6)
{ORWELL} – a charade of an heraldic term for yellow and an adjective meaning in good health forms the surname adopted by the author Eric Blair.

7d  Brought into market there’s some strange monkey (8)
{MARMOSET} –  an anagram (strange) of SOME is brought into a synonym of market to make a small monkey with a silky coat and long tail.

9d  Animal’s left leg, one getting trapped (4)
{LION} – this animal is made from L(eft) and the leg side of the wicket in cricket with I (one) trapped inside.

15d  Definitely not tight-fisted (4-6)
{OPEN-HANDED} – a neat cryptic definition of being generous.

16d  Oversupply a friend with salt in food? (9)
{GLUTAMATE} – a charade of too much of something (oversupply), A and a friend produces a salt, which is also a shorthand way of describing a common flavour enhancer in food.

17d  European in a train wandering around America (8)
{AUSTRIAN} – this European is an anagram (wandering) of A TRAIN around US.

18d  Like some food in the course of journey that’s kept cold (2,6)
{EN CROUTE} – a way of cooking food (Beef Wellington, for example) is an expression meaning in the course of a journey with C(old) inside (kept).

20d  Snub an expert on how religion should be taught? (6)
{REBUFF} – put an expert or enthusiast after the abbreviation for religious education to make a snub. I presume that the question mark and the “should be” are there to point up the fact that religious “education” is often more like indoctrination.

22d  Discover former lover in seaside county (6)
{SUSSEX} – an historic English county by the sea (split into two parts administratively) is an informal verb meaning to realise or discover followed by the shorthand way of describing a previous partner.

23d  Filthy stuff that gets stomachs churning over (4)
{SMUT} – reverse (churning over) a childish word for stomachs.

25d  You no longer will sit in magnificent house (4)
{THOU} – hidden (sit) in the clue is a word for you which is no longer in common use.

I liked 11a, 14a, 1d and 4d today, but my favourite was 3d. Let us know in a comment what you liked.

61 comments on “DT 26408

  1. Good morning Gazza, a lovely crossword today, it didn’t seem like a Giovanni at all, I found it a crossword of two halves the bottom went in fairly easily and with lots of help and perservating I have actually finished the top half without hints! the snow is coming down thick and fast at the moment, it has been snowing for five minutes and the paths and cars are covered already, we have had 2 power cuts already today! back to the crossword, there were so many I liked today and just the one I really didn’t like or understand 2d, as we can expect now I think 9d is to do with cricket??? Hope everyone is safe and warm and that Lea is not thinking of going out if it is snowing! :)

    1. I’ve just got to this and reading the comments first before I start the puzzle – haven’t even downloaded it.

      We have brilliant sunshine – cold but gorgeous. May go out for a walk while it is like this because I have no intention of going out if there is snow. Not risking anything – been good as gold so far and don’t want to ruin anything.

      Thanks for your thoughts Mary :smile:

    2. I’m about half way through with SW and SE nearly cimpleted. I think that there should be more cricket and French clues. I’m off into the garden now, in the sunshine, to finish it off

      1. Go on then – make us really green with envy and tell us what the temperature is while we all shiver!

          1. We have lovely sun in East Kent but its definitely not 8 degrees here – probably O degrees or less with a strong wind

          2. For a horribly envious few minutes I thought that you were going to say that it’s 20C or more …

  2. I enjoyed doing the crossword this morning (poorly daughter means that I’m at home rather than at work for once) Thanks for the explanations – I knew the answers to 9d and 19a, but couldn’t see why. Favourite clue today was 16d.

  3. Definitely 3D for me as well. I raced through this in one stop on the train.
    Thanks to Giovanni and gazza!

  4. 19A has backfired, clearly. It’s supposed to be PRESENT (here) with the PRES coiling around into SERP. Setter trying to be too clever with a word he has already clued too many times obviously!

    1. Thanks for putting me right on that. I should have known that the way I assumed it worked was too sloppy for one of your clues!

        1. Mary,
          I jumped (incorrectly) to the conclusion that it was SERPENT(ine) which does mean winding and twisting.

    2. Thanks I put in serpent thinking that something is serpiginous if it coils but nt quite understanding the full clueing.

        1. I think that’s sometimes a good enough reason and something that I did all the time before I discovered this log!!

  5. Good morning. Can some kind soul tell me how you identify the different setters.. Found todays straight forward with 6d as my favourite. Bright,sunny but cold in this neck of the woods.

      1. Blimey – that’s a lot in a fairly short time isn’t it? Must be a real blizzard – none here yet. :smile:

      1. Gazza, thanx for that. Does that mean there is an identified setter for each week day or do you identify them by their style?

        1. Hi Wayne – I asked a similar question quite recently and either Gazza or BD replied. I’ll pass on what was said.
          Monday – Rufus
          Tuesday – Shamus (and others)
          Wednesday – Jay
          Thursday – Ray T (and others)
          Friday – Giovanni
          Saturday – Cephas
          Sunday – Virgilius

          1. Hello Kath, thank you for that, that’s another box ticked. Regards from the sunny,but cold, south coast.

  6. I found this a bit easier than I usually do on Fridays – 3* about right for me. Sailed through about 3/4 of it, then slowed down and did several more and the last three (19a and 3 and 25d) took longer than the rest of it put together. I miss the little words in the middle of the clue SO often (25d) that it’s becoming embarrassing to admit to it again. I needed the hint to understand 19a although it was obvious from all the other letters what it had to be. Even having read the hint I still don’t understand 21a – hirelings=hacks fine but why or how does kicks=hacks? Sorry to be so dim yet again. 9d took a little while – wretched cricket again! Favourite clues today are 11 and 17a and 4, 15 and 16d – best of all today was 3d. Very cold again (or even still) here in Oxford – just above 1C – but sunny and no snow yet.

      1. OK, thank you Gazza – I give in – have just never heard of it meaning that. Was almost beginning to wonder if it could be yet another strange sporting term!

  7. Lovely Friday lunchtime treat. 3D was the star clue for me though 16D made me smile also
    Thanks to Giovanni and Gazza

  8. A good crossword always makes me feel better and this one is no exception, it can snow like Billio if it wants to, I feel great. Now preparing for six guests tonight and have just completed the potatoes Dauphinoise, plus I lost another two pound in weight this week that make eighteen pound in last three months. Life just can’t get any better at the moment.
    Thanks to Gazza and Maestro Giovanni

  9. A superb Friday crossword completed in very short time. Lots of really good clues – my favourites include 11a and 3d. Thanks to the two Gs for the all round entertainment.

  10. Usual super crossword from Giovanni, not too hard and quite enjoyable. As a Scot I too had a wee snigger at 3d but as I lived and worked in England for over 40yrs I am definitely not one. Favourite clues were 4d,16d and 18d. By the way it is still lovely and sunny here in Kirkcaldy.

  11. Excellent crossword and excellent blogs – thanks Giovanni and Gazza.
    Favourite was 18d where I needed all the checking letters before the penny dropped.
    15C here in Almoradi but overcast and vaguely damp!

  12. Super CW always love Gio.on Fridays…. CW finished before coffee this morning it was so good.
    Was -10c last night here in Northumberland & we have about 5″ of very icy snow.

    will tackle Toughie this afternoon while watching more snow.falling.

  13. Its been a week of great xwords and this was no exception. Loved 3 and 19 best. Also enjoyed 7 11 25. Thought 2 was a bit weak but I had a lot of fun with this one after a late start. Pleased that Mary concurs on 2. Now to Osmosis!

  14. Such a relief to have a puzzle that I could actually solve! Having been completely stumped yesterday and Wednesday, I was feeling quite discouraged. So many thanks to Giovanni for giving me such an enjoyable hour or so. There were so many clues I liked, but I suppose I would agree that 3d and 11a were the best.

  15. Only got round to this puzzle late today having spent my day trying to travel around in the frozen conditions.
    Thoroughly enjoyed todays offering which fully justified the BD 3* rating. Although I ended up with “serpent” I was not sure how from the clue. Thanks to Giovanni for explaining that and the crossword and to Gazza for the hints.

  16. 3d great clue & 14a is a great word! Enjoyed this one – thanks Gio. Having said that I seem to have a mental block on 2d – have all the letters and want it to be carework but can’t see why an odd person is care. Refusing to use the hint so still working on it. Less than three hours to the cricket – might be enough time to do the toughie!

  17. Penny has dropped! I was only one letter out! And I have two of the Toughie already – game on.

  18. Thought todays was a brilliant puzzle, really enjoyable with a nice mix of clues. So much better than yesterdays horror for me.

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