DT 26440

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26440

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

I suspect, but don’t know, that it’s Shamus today. I enjoyed it – how about you? Let us know what you thought in a comment!
If you need to see an answer just highlight the space between the curly brackets under the clue.

Across Clues

1a  Receive dismissal as a loser in karate? (3,3,4)
{GET THE CHOP} – a phrase meaning to be given the sack could also mean, cryptically, to be on the receiving end of a blow in karate.

6a  Second group offering advice for strikebreaker (4)
{SCAB} – the definition is strikebreaker. After S(econd) we want the initials of an organisation that offers advice to citizens, often from premises on the High Street.

9a  Ruffle an ornamental extra? (5)
{FRILL} – double definition.

10a  Proud son possibly infused with short energy is weighty (9)
{PONDEROUS} – put E(nergy) inside an anagram (possibly) of PROUD SON.

12a  Look shown by a lot of wine in glasses — and sherry (7)
{OLOROSO} – we start with a visual construct – what two letters would you draw side by side to depict a pair of spectacles? Between these insert a short word meaning look and a type of wine without its final É (a lot of). You should end up with a medium-sweet sherry.

13a  Estimate Prague’s size (bar outskirts) (5)
{GUESS} – a verb meaning to estimate can be found in the rest of the clue when you ignore the outer letters (bar outskirts).

15a  Port with volunteers in front of court as a means of controlling disorder? (4,3)
{RIOT ACT} – this was a statute once used to control civil disorder (it was repealed in 1967). It’s a charade of a South American port, our part-time soldiers and an abbreviation of court.

17a  Batting side with influence in practical joke? (3-4)
{LEG PULL} – an alternative word for the “on” side in cricket is followed by a synonym for influence to make a good-humoured practical joke.

19a  Menial type prepared to go round rear of inferior vehicle (7)
{SERVANT} – this menial type is a synonym for prepared which contains (to go round) the last letter (rear) of inferioR and a commercial vehicle.

21a  Funny lord with poor diet, one averse to new ways? (7)
{LUDDITE} – an opponent of technological innovation (one averse to new ways) is a facetious way of saying or spelling lord followed by an anagram (poor) of DIET.

22a  Cleaner linked to low grades in lightweight transport (5)
{MOPED} – a cleaning implement with a long handle is followed by two low grades to make a light motorcycle.

24a  Island in area of Scotland beginning to harbour suffering (7)
{ANGUISH} – put I(sland) inside the name of an area on the east coast of Scotland, then finish with the first letter (beginning) of H(arbour) to make a noun meaning great suffering.

27a  View a barn that’s renovated — it prompts fresh thinking? (9)
{BRAINWAVE} – an anagram (renovated) of VIEW A BARN.

28a  Consummate portion following starter in Indian (5)
{IDEAL} – an adjective meaning consummate or perfect is a portion following the first letter (starter) of I(ndian).

29a  Sharp cry coming from narrow lane heading west? Not initially (4)
{YELL} – a narrow lane loses its initial A (not initially) and what’s left is reversed (heading west, in an across clue) to make a sharp cry.

30a  Fish ends in a distressed state caught by timeless figure with snares? (3,7)
{RED SNAPPER} – there’s a nice bit of misdirection here – I started off by assuming that ends meant the final letters of adjacent words. What we actually want is an anagram (in a distressed state) of ENDS which is inserted (caught) inside someone who hunts wild animals with snares, but without the initial T (timeless). This gives us a fish common off the east coast of America.

Down Clues

1d  Talent shown in painting if trained (4)
{GIFT} – this talent is hidden (shown) in the clue.

2d  Standard raised in a department? (9)
{TRICOLOUR} – there’s a bit of lateral thinking required here. What sort of standard would be raised in one of the administrative areas (départments) of France or its overseas territories on Bastille Day, say?

3d  Instrument with opening adjusted in magazine (5)
{HELLO} – start with a large stringed instrument and change its initial C to H (opening adjusted) to make the name of a magazine which appears to be just a catalogue of celebrity gossip and pictures.

4d  Refuses to participate in patrol away from home? (4,3)
{COPS OUT} – a phrasal verb meaning refuses to participate could also be a cryptic description of a police patrol away from base.

5d  A new logo created with no end of hype — a footballer’s nightmare? (3,4)
{OWN GOAL} – this footballer’s nightmare is an anagram (created) of A N(e)W LOGO, without the last letter (end) of hypE.

7d  Repetitive task in Switzerland or Spain (5)
{CHORE} – two IVR codes with OR between them.

8d  Something bound to prove profitable? (10)
{BESTSELLER} – cryptic definition of something bound between two covers which might warrant a big display in Waterstone’s window (and blockbuster has too many letters!).

11d  Officially due to take part in a match? (7)
{ENGAGED} – rings have been exchanged so it’s official – the wedding’s next.

14d  A plumber’s at work above yard doubtless (10)
{PRESUMABLY} – the definition is doubtless. Put an anagram (at work) of A PLUMBER’S in front of (above, in a down clue) Y(ard).

16d  Leave a university teacher to get round prohibition (7)
{ABANDON} – A and a university teacher contain (get round) a synonym for prohibition.

18d  Posh musical sent up with man on old record, Dickensian character (5,4)
{URIAH HEEP} – string together the letter used for posh or upper-class, a 1960s musical which is reversed (sent up, in a down clue), a male pronoun and an old record format to make a Dickensian villain who claimed to be very ‘umble.

20d  Note a King’s tucking into excellent snack (7)
{TEACAKE} – to make this snack start with the seventh note in tonic sol-fa and then insert A and K(ing) into a synonym for excellent.

21d  50 with glee dancing on ship getting inebriated (7)
{LEGLESS} – we want a slang term for inebriated (we seem to have more words for inebriated than the Eskimos have for snow!). Start with the Roman numeral for fifty and follow this with an anagram (dancing) of GLEE and the usual abbreviation for steamship.

23d  Valuable item left beneath fruit (5)
{PEARL} – put L(eft) after (beneath, in a down clue) a fruit.

25d  Trade commonly in road heading north for island (5)
{IBIZA} – this Spanish island is a slang term (commonly) for trade inside a major road linking London and Edinburgh which is reversed (heading north, in a down clue).

26d  Disparage endless noise when drinking (4)
{SLUR}  – an indelicate noise made by someone drinking has its final P dropped (endless) to leave a verb meaning to disparage.

I liked 6a,  2d and 4d today but my favourite clue was 11d. Let us know what you liked in a comment.


  1. Nubian
    Posted January 4, 2011 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    Quality stuff, very enjoyable. Thanks to Gazza and Shamus.

  2. pommers
    Posted January 4, 2011 at 11:10 am | Permalink

    Agree with Nubian.
    Also thanks to Gazza and Shamus, if it was he.

  3. Posted January 4, 2011 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    2d was definitely my favourite in a not too difficult but enjoyable puzzle.
    THanks to gazza and the setter.

  4. Barrie
    Posted January 4, 2011 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    Quite enjoyable but rather spoilt for me by the poor clues in the bottom right corner (20a, 28a, 25d and 26d), didn’t like any of them and although I got 30a, what a convoluted clue!! Best clue for me was 22a.

  5. Kath
    Posted January 4, 2011 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    I enjoyed this too and didn’t find it too difficult apart from 30a which had me tied up in just about every kind of knot that anyone could think of – had the answer but just couldn’t explain it so eventually had to read the hint. I also needed the hint to explain 2d.
    Particularly liked 6a, 17a (even though it’s cricket) and 5d (even though it’s football) – best today, for me anyhow, 18d.
    Thank you to Shamus if he set this one, or to whoever did if he didn’t (a bit of dodgy grammar there, I think) and to Gazza for the hints.

  6. Posted January 4, 2011 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

    I also liked this one. A fun puzzle to start my first day back at work after 2 weeks off. If i hear any recommendations for the Toughie, I’ll try and get around to that one too.
    Thanks to Shamus (?), and to Gazza.

    • gazza
      Posted January 4, 2011 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

      I recommend the Toughie – it made me laugh out loud!

      • Nubian
        Posted January 4, 2011 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

        That must have been 10a

        • Posted January 4, 2011 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

          I haven’t stopped giggling at 19d yet…. and I’ll say nothing more about the Toughie on this blog.

      • Posted January 4, 2011 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

        You’ve twisted my arm! That’s the December Management Accounts put on hold for the time being. :)

        • mary
          Posted January 4, 2011 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

          Hows the baby doing Jezza and does his brother like him so far?? :-

          • mary
            Posted January 4, 2011 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

            sorry I meant her, :oops:

            • Posted January 4, 2011 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

              Hi Mary, hope you are well.
              Sophia is very well thanks, and Joseph is very proud (judging by the amount of kisses he gives her). Hopefully we will have a few peaceful years before the sibling rivalry starts, along with the hair pulling, punching, screaming, and other manifestations of brotherly/sisterly love.

  7. mary
    Posted January 4, 2011 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    Hi Gazza and everybody, hope the New Year is being kind to you all so far :) I found this a tough one to start back and though I finished without the hints, there were lots that I got the answers to before understanding how I got them!! Fav clues 8d, 29a and 25d, thanks for the hints Gazza, off to read them now

    • Kath
      Posted January 4, 2011 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

      Glad you’re back Mary – everyone has been wondering where you had got to! UTC sent his best wishes to you and me (and everyone else I’m sure) and said that he was disappearing into the outback – don’t know how long for.

      • mary
        Posted January 4, 2011 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

        Hi Kath, thanks, I’ve been away for a few days over the New Year, I thought I’d mentioned it but maybe not, couldn’t quite get into the swing of it yesterday, hope your Mum is ok? so UTC is disappearing into the outback! nice of him to say hello first :-D, I often feel like disappearing too!

  8. crypticsue
    Posted January 4, 2011 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    Very enjoyable = too many good clues to pick a special favourite. Thanks to Gazza and Setter.

    I too recommend the Toughie, but possibly not to Barrie :D

  9. Werm
    Posted January 4, 2011 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

    Happy New Year everybody.
    Strange day, took me as long to get 8d as to do the rest of the puzzle put together.

  10. BigBoab
    Posted January 4, 2011 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

    Great fun, thanks Gazza and setter.

  11. Kath
    Posted January 4, 2011 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    Have done the toughie, apart from one clue, so am feeling fairly smug.

    • mary
      Posted January 4, 2011 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

      Well done you :)

    • Franco
      Posted January 4, 2011 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

      Kath, which clue?

      • Kath
        Posted January 4, 2011 at 10:51 pm | Permalink

        It WAS 9a but managed to sort it out before the hints were around so, possibly for the first time ever, I’ve finished a toughie all “by my own self” (a family expression from younger daughter when she was very little!)

        • mary
          Posted January 4, 2011 at 11:24 pm | Permalink

          I am really impressed Kath, wow!

  12. Prolixic
    Posted January 4, 2011 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

    First day back at work. It was nice to sit on the train and work through this and today’s Toughie. Both excellent puzzles. I seem to find it easier to solve them on train – probably because I don’t have as many distractions. Favourite clues were 2d and 11d. Many thanks to the setter and to Gazza for the review.

  13. Rednaxela
    Posted January 4, 2011 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

    A good work-out today, with some good clue-ing allowing us [well, me, anyway] to solve the puzzle without much difficulty but with a little thought. Thanks to the setter and Gazza for the review.

  14. Sarah F
    Posted January 4, 2011 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

    Haven’t quite finished and am going out while it’s bright, but enjoying it. So far, fav clues 21a, 21d, 6a.

    Thanks to setter and to Gazza.

  15. Shamus
    Posted January 4, 2011 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Gazza for his blog and all for comments. Hope this was a reasonably gentle post-festive exercise. Look forward to more cruciverbal tussles in the coming year!

    • crypticsue
      Posted January 4, 2011 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

      A perfect crossword for the first day at work post Christmas. Happy New Year to you.

    • mary
      Posted January 4, 2011 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

      Happy New Year Shamus

    • pommers
      Posted January 4, 2011 at 10:40 pm | Permalink

      Highly enjoyable, if not too taxing – just the ticket!
      More like this please.
      Happy New Year to you and Yours and thanks for this year’s puzzles, always enjoyable.

  16. Lea
    Posted January 4, 2011 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

    Have only just got to it as had to take an elderly friend of mine shopping. (She crashed her car on Christmas Day – not hurt thankfully – but now without transport).

    I enjoyed the puzzle – but didn’t like 12a – not a sherry drinker!!! Several very good clues – think my favourite was 21a.

    Nice to be back to normal – hope the weather stays reasonable.

    Thanks to Gazza and to Shamus and Happy New Year one and all.

  17. Pete
    Posted January 4, 2011 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

    Did not enjoy todays offering, it seemed to me to be disjointed although all the clues were very gettable. Definitely not a 3* offering, more like 2* for difficulty.
    Thanks to setter and Gazza for the review.

  18. Geoff
    Posted January 4, 2011 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

    Late start having been out all day. About half of this was very straightforward and finished it with the hints and fair bit of help. No particular favourites, just relieved at getting there after all the recent failures!

    Thanks to setter and Gazza.

  19. Jane
    Posted January 4, 2011 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

    Happy New Year to all. I think Geoff’s comments echo my experience today and recently.