DT 26506

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26506

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

We never did find out who the setter was last Tuesday and I’m not sure that we’ll fare any better with today’s puzzle. It’s pretty straightforward, so I don’t expect that the hints will be required too much!
Should you need to see an answer just highlight the space between the curly brackets under the relevant clue.

Across Clues

1a  Secret hide close to nest (6)
{COVERT} – an adjective meaning secret or concealed is made from a verb meaning to hide followed by the last letter (close) of (nes)T.

4a  Untidy writing from last in class, creep (6)
{SCRAWL} – untidy handwriting comes from the last letter of (clas)S followed by a verb meaning to creep.

8a  Deficit admitted by company, American organisation that’s hugely powerful (8)
{COLOSSUS} – a synonym for deficit goes between (admitted by) the abbreviations for company and American. The result is an organisation of great power and influence.

10a  Arrogant if winning sympathy (6)
{UPPITY} – this is an adjective meaning arrogant or snobbish. It’s a charade of an adverb meaning winning or ahead and a synonym for sympathy.

11a  America is a revolutionary part of the world (4)
{ASIA} – string together A(merica) IS A and then reverse it (revolutionary).

12a  Reprimanded, then became fond of the job (4,2,4)
{TOOK TO TASK} – double definition, the second slightly cryptic.

13a  Unstable deck? (5,2,5)
{HOUSE OF CARDS} – this is a phrase meaning an insecure structure. Deck is not being used here as part of a vessel.

16a  Argue about a trendy key solicitor trapping river fish (7,5)
{RAINBOW TROUT} – this is a fish. For the first word put a verb meaning to argue around A, a synonym for trendy and a musical key. The second word is someone soliciting for custom in a persistent manner around (trapping) R(iver).

20a  Cheese made by monstrous woman, French novelist (10)
{GORGONZOLA} – this blue-veined cheese is a simple charade of a mythical female monster (with snakes for hair) and the nineteenth-century French novelist who wrote Thérèse Racquin and Nana among many other works.

21a  Host is daft, ignoring bishop (4)
{ARMY} – remove the initial B(ishop) from an informal word meaning daft to leave a host or multitude.

22a  Too much poured into centre’s large bath (3,3)
{HOT TUB} – this is a large bath. Put an abbreviation meaning excessive or too much inside (poured into) a synonym for centre. Pictures of this bath are in short supply so, unfortunately, I have had to re-use one that I’ve shown in the past.

23a  Ugly old woman carrying pole and sack causes delay (4,4)
{HANG FIRE} – a phrase meaning to hold off or delay is constructed from an ugly old woman around (carrying) one of the two earthly poles followed by a verb meaning to sack or dismiss.

24a  Sounds like old man is a spouter (6)
{GEYSER} – this is a spring which periodically spouts hot water into the air. It sounds like an old man (who, perhaps like this clue, deserves to be retired).

25a  Lifted boa — constriction finally follows (6)
{STOLEN} – the definition is lifted or nicked. Something that ladies may wear around their shoulders (boa) is followed by the last letter (finally) of (constrictio)N.

Down Clues

1d  Angry over crook bringing weapon (8)
{CROSSBOW} – this weapon is a charade of a synonym for angry and something that is bent (crook).

2d  Fiddle in plant (5)
{VIOLA} – double definition.

3d  German chap, schoolmaster, served up a rice dish (7)
{RISOTTO} – a German forename (think of Herr Preminger, the Austrian-born film director) and how a schoolmaster is addressed are put together and the result is then reversed (served up, in a down clue) to make an Italian rice dish.

5d  Grumble about watch (7)
{CHUNTER} – an informal verb meaning to grumble or moan continuously is made from the single-letter abbreviation for about followed by a watch with a hinged cover to protect its face.

6d  Mushy peas and tripe starter (9)
{APPETISER} – we’ve reached 6d before we get our first anagram (no complaints from me!). A starter is an anagram (mushy) of PEAS and TRIPE.

7d  In Latin, a series of questions (6)
{LATEST} – the first word of the clue, sitting there looking innocent and innocuous, is in fact the definition, i.e. we want a word meaning trendy or the most up-to-date. It’s the abbreviation for L(atin) followed by A and a series of questions designed to find out how much one knows.

9d  Soup dish taken by British boiling hot (6,5)
{SCOTCH BROTH} – this is a traditional soup from north of the border. Start with a verb meaning to destroy or put an end to (dish), add an abbreviation for British and finish with an anagram (boiling) of HOT.

14d  Full of vitality and roguish seizing power? True (9)
{SPRIGHTLY} – an adjective meaning roguish or deceitful contains (seizing) P(ower) and a synonym for true or correct.

15d  Fool on ladder in rehearsal (5,3)
{DUMMY RUN} – this rehearsal is a charade of a fool and the sort of ladder seen in stockings.

17d  Soldier sent over impressive base (7)
{IGNOBLE} – the definition is base or dishonourable. Reverse (sent over, in a down clue) an American soldier and follow this with an adjective meaning impressive or imposing.

18d  A portable stand? Now that’s different (7)
{WHATNOT} – this is a lovely word for a small stand with shelves. It’s an anagram (different) of NOW THAT.

19d  Very protracted farewell (2,4)
{SO LONG} – an informal way of saying farewell is formed from synonyms for very and protracted.

21d  Disgusting, though legal after fifty? (5)
{AWFUL} – if you put this word meaning disgusting after the Roman numeral for fifty it becomes an adjective meaning legal.

The clues I liked best today were 13a and 18d. Let us know what you liked in a comment.

Today’s Quickie pun is {BALI} + {WHINE} = {BARLEY WINE}



  1. Nubian
    Posted March 22, 2011 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    Quality puzzle today with good strong clues and enjoyable answers. A big thumbs up for the Toughie also.
    Thanks to Gazza and the Mysteron

  2. Jezza
    Posted March 22, 2011 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    Nothing too difficult today, although I momentarily put ‘Tower’ as the first word for 13a, which caused me a problem for 14d. Favourite clue 21d.
    Thanks to setter, and to gazza.

  3. Wayne
    Posted March 22, 2011 at 11:26 am | Permalink

    Been away for 2 weeks so appreciated a nice easy reintroduction. Thought I might fall back into the CC club but managed without help. Thanx to Setter and to Gazza.

    • AlisonS
      Posted March 22, 2011 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

      Welcome back!

      • Wayne
        Posted March 22, 2011 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

        Thank you Alisons for the ” welcome back” but must admit I’d rather still be in Egypt. 30 degrees + wall to wall sunshine when we left Sharm El Sheikh early yesterday evening, then 3 degrees + fog when we landed at Gatwick at midnight.

  4. Skempie
    Posted March 22, 2011 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    Fun puzzle today, set about it with gusto but suddenly got pulled up short with two clues left (10a, 7d). Took another cup of coffee before 10a clicked, was plain sailing after that. Enjoyed 12a, 16a, 20a but got a tadlet stuck by getting the first word wrong in 23a (took another 35 seconds to fix that, lol). Very enjoyable and I would say little controversy today.

  5. mary
    Posted March 22, 2011 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    Morning Gazza, on first reading this I only gt one answer 4a! lwent away and came back half hour later and it began to come together, stil needed help but not the hints, although I did need to look up the explaination for 7d! now I think it is my favourite clue :) also liked 12a, 13a and 15d, thanks once again for the hints Gazza, always good to read through even if not needed on the day, have a lovely day everyone, almost summer weather here today :)

  6. Nestorius
    Posted March 22, 2011 at 11:40 am | Permalink

    Good stuff today and I’d love to know who the setter is!
    NW corner was toughest but not impossible. This poor bl**dy foreigner did not know either the 6-letter watch or the 7-letter solution of 5d but I worked it out by a process of elimination.
    Absolute topper clue was for me 7d with the sneekiest def I’ve ever seen. Also liked 10a, 12a and 13a.

    Meanwhile I have recovered from my weekend ethanol-overload in obedience to “חייב איניש לבסומי בפוריא עד דלא ידע בין ארור המן לברוך מרדכי” [On Purim every man is obliged to indulge in sweet wine until he does not know the difference between cursed be Haman and blessed be Mordechai.

    For the record: I did do the cryptic yesterday but with a heavy head ;-)

    • Nubian
      Posted March 22, 2011 at 11:57 am | Permalink

      Interesting stuff Nestorius, not being Jewish it is all new to me although being on the square I have a lot of interest in king Soloman and all that other stuuf. Good reading in the Wiki link for Purim, thanks for that.

      • Nestorius
        Posted March 22, 2011 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

        Funny, that. I come from a family of masons: father, grandfather, brother, stepfather. The masonic lore is full of allusions to the enterprise of Temple building, of course. The deep background of Purim is that king Ahasveros and his grand-vizier Haman had come to the conclusion that the Temple would never be rebuilt again and therefore celebrated with a huge festive meal where the king donned the holy garments of the High Priest and served his wine in the golden vessels that Nebuchadnezzar had taken to Babel.

        One thing Jews and masons have in common is those who hate them ;-)

        • Nubian
          Posted March 22, 2011 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

          How true

          • yoshik
            Posted March 22, 2011 at 1:08 pm | Permalink


            Not so sure we are hated so much today. I thought we had entered a new “chapter” in our public perception.

            • gazza
              Posted March 22, 2011 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

              Your comment needed moderation because you changed your email address. Both addresses should now work.

        • BigBoab
          Posted March 22, 2011 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

          With all the Brethren on this site maybe we could start a N.E. Corner club.

          • Nubian
            Posted March 22, 2011 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

            It must be all the black and white squares, clues, lights et al.

    • Franco
      Posted March 22, 2011 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

      Nestorius, for sneaky (or short) definitions: See Toughie No 418 by Notabilis: September 3, 2010.

      4d – Definition – “My”
      11d – Definition “E”
      23d – Definition – “A”

  7. Posted March 22, 2011 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

    No trouble here – just over a one-stopper equivalent. 25a was my favourite. Thanks to the mystery setter and to gazza for the blog.

  8. Rednaxela
    Posted March 22, 2011 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    I found this hard going today. It took me ages to get the fish at 16a and the cheese at 20a. Then I wasn’t helped by putting “take” as the first word in 12a, which held me up on 9d. I also put “stack” as the first word in 13a, which didn’t help me with the left hand side. So, all in all, a thoroughly enjoyable puzzle. Thanks to Gazza for the hint regarding the cheese clue [and the picture for 22a] and for the review, of course. Thanks also to setter

    • Posted March 22, 2011 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

      I think my solving time reflected the fact that in all the clues you mentioned I had a few checking letters and the words leapt out at me. I wrote them in then stopped to check the wordplay. Funny how you have days like that.

      • Rednaxela
        Posted March 22, 2011 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

        Yes, it was one of those days for me. In 14d, for example, I couldn’t get “veritably” out of my head as I thought the definition was “true”. Then because I put “stack” at 13a I thought “correctly” as it fitted with the fish at 16a. I got totally side-tracked today – but got there in the end!

  9. crypticsue
    Posted March 22, 2011 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    A typical Tuesday puzzle, thank you Mystery Setter. Thank you too to Gazza for the hints and pics. Do you think if there were more lady setters, the solutions might lend themselves better to pictures that might be appreciated by the ladies of the blog? ;)

    The Toughie is worth a go too.

    Sunshine here again so I am off out for a lunchtime stroll.

  10. Centurion
    Posted March 22, 2011 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

    Found this one hard to get into but ultimately satisfying. All in all a good workout. 13a my favourite. Thanks to each.

  11. Lea
    Posted March 22, 2011 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

    That was a good one – enjoyed it. Paericularly liked 5d (for its simplicity) and 7d (for its deviousness). Thanks to setter and of course Gazza (and your pictures).

    Next will be quick and then may look at the toughie since Nubian gives it thumbs up. Should probably do some housework but it can wait!!!

  12. BigBoab
    Posted March 22, 2011 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

    I quite enjoyed this offering from our Tuesday mystery man and like Mary, I couldn’t work out why the answer to 7d was what it was till I checked the hints, otherwise, fairly straightforward. Thanks to the setter and to Gazza for the hints (and the pictures ).

  13. Ian
    Posted March 22, 2011 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    Loved this – tough enough to get the grey matter ticking over, but easy enough to do over lunch break. Also appreciated 25a and 6d for simplicity and surface reading. Thanks to all once again

  14. AlisonS
    Posted March 22, 2011 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

    Enjoyed today’s puzzle, with similar favourites and difficulties to everyone else. I also put ‘take’ as first word of 12a to begin with, til I couldn’t get anything to fit in 9d. Guessed what 7d had to be but just couldn’t see the definition for the life of me – devious, indeed, as Lea said. The hint is so true! Thanks to Gazza and the setter.

  15. Derek
    Posted March 22, 2011 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

    Another quickie from the Mysteron!
    8a, 13a, 16a, 20a, 23a, 25a, 5d, 7d & 15d were nice clues.

    Re 24a the Yanks don’t pronounce the Spouter with ee but with ay as in hay! My son once took a snap of me at Yellowstone in front of Old Faithful which I labelled as “The Old Geezer and the Old Geyser” but the locals did not get it.

    Ever tried screwing things into walls in houses constructed in USA?

  16. toadson
    Posted March 22, 2011 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

    Enjoyed this – managed in the time before and after work with no aids (unusually). Last in were 7d and 10a – took me a while to see ‘in’ as the key to 7d. Liked 16a – remembered the ‘other’ use of ‘solicitor’ from a recent crossword. Thanks to all.

  17. Kath
    Posted March 22, 2011 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

    Didn’t start this until after the time when, usually, the cryptic bit of my brain has switched off but I found it quite easy so I think 2* is about right for me. Took a bit of time to understand 7 and 14d but got there without needing the hints even though I always read them. I interpreted 11a slightly differently and thought that it was one of those “in the middle of the clue” (part) turned around (revolutionary) but who cares – answer is the same however you look at it!
    Liked 8, (even though I started off by putting ‘colossal’ although I couldn’t quite explain it) 13, 16 and 25a and 5, 6, 15 and 18d.
    Thanks to the setter, whoever he or she is, and to Gazza.

    • Don1991
      Posted March 22, 2011 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

      Hi Kath,

      Made the same mistake with colossal and didn’t spot it for ages which really held me up for a while. Glad to know I’m not the only one.

  18. Matt M
    Posted March 22, 2011 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

    Enjoyable in the most part but I was out-crossworded again on a few occasions. My watch knowledge left me scratching the noggin at 5d; A new definition of soldier to store away and a tense issue on 12a stored up some problems for 9d.

    Another learning day!

    • Kath
      Posted March 22, 2011 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

      Well done – have been doing cryptic crosswords for ages and STILL have learning days, especially since I discovered this blog. Before then sometimes it was clear from checking letters what an answer had to be but I couldn’t work out why – so good to always have an explanation.

      • Matt M
        Posted March 22, 2011 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

        Thanks Kath,
        I am definitely improving and spotting the type of clue much quicker. However, this has made it all the more frustrating to get completely stumped when I can’t se it. This site is clearly an outstanding boon.

        • Kath
          Posted March 22, 2011 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

          Just keep going – totally agree about this site. I know that I’ve said it already so many times but, yet again, a million thanks to Big Dave who thought it all up in the first place and to all the clever people who do the hints, also to all the people who comment.


  19. Don1991
    Posted March 22, 2011 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

    Nice puzzle. Gazza, thanks for the h../t.. pic. You can always be relied upon…

  20. Little Dave
    Posted March 22, 2011 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

    Great puzzle my favourite being 16a. Thanks for the review.

  21. Prolixic
    Posted March 22, 2011 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

    Pleasant and pleasing to solve. Thanks to the Mysteron and to Gazza for the review. Favourite clue was 7d.