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DT 26596

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26596

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Perhaps we’re going to get a “North American” week because, after yesterday’s Independence Day theme, today’s puzzle has a distinctly American flavour. It didn’t take me too long to solve and I wasn’t too impressed at first, but I did warm to it more when writing the review. What did you think?
If you want to reveal an answer drag your cursor through the space between the brackets under the clue.

Across Clues

1a  Sea creatures in this Walpole novel (5,6)
{PILOT WHALES} – we start with quite a neat clue because Horace Walpole did write at least one successful novel. What we want here, though, is an anagram (novel) of THIS WALPOLE to make large sea creatures.

7a  High, the Parisian church tower with spire (7)
{STEEPLE} – an adjective meaning high or exorbitant (when talking of prices, say) precedes a French definite article (“the Parisian”).

8a  Put on an act if performance cancelled (4,3)
{SHOW OFF} – double definition – a phrasal verb meaning to put on an act and a terse statement that you might see on a notice outside a theatre to indicate that a performance is cancelled.

10a  Drop of ouzo when one’s in watering hole (5)
{OASIS} – this watering hole is constructed from the first letter (drop) of O(uzo) followed by a synonym for when and I’S (one’s).

11a  Club official, someone much valued at end of year (9)
{TREASURER} – put the last letter of (yea)R after someone that you value.

12a  Be worthy of extremely durable present (7)
{DESERVE} – the definition is to be worthy of. Start with the extreme (i.e. outer) letters of D(urabl)E and add a verb to present, i.e. what a waiter does.

14a  Film-maker in governing body, we hear (7)
{SENNETT} – the surname of the man who was responsible for bringing slapstick comedy to the silent movie era sounds like (we hear) the governing body of a college. I always thought that this film-maker’s first name was Max but it turns out to be Mack, so you learn something every day.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

15a  One close to wicketkeeper having edge on members (3,4)
{LEG SLIP} – put the edge of a jug or other vessel after limbs (members) to make a fielding position on the on side close to the wicketkeeper.

18a  Metro users, some characters in pocket (7)
{TROUSER} – a verb meaning to pocket or appropriate is hidden (some characters) and rather leaps out at you from the clue.

20a  A comrade’s mixed a fizzy drink (5,4)
{CREAM SODA} – an anagram (mixed) of A COMRADE’S.

21a  Film one in advance (5)
{MOVIE} – put I (one) inside a verb to advance (a pawn on the chessboard, for example) to make a film.

22a  Study is over: that is, indefinitely adjourned (4,3)
{SINE DIE} – reverse (over) a word for study or office and IS, then add the abbreviation for that is. What you end up with is a phrase, from latin meaning literally “without a day”, describing an indefinite adjournment.

23a  Completely perplex small number on bonus (7)
{NONPLUS} – to get this verb meaning to perplex totally start with an abbreviation (small) for number and add ON (in the clue) and a bit extra or bonus.

24a  Wave bowler hat in US skating race (6,5)
{ROLLER DERBY} – a charade of a synonym for wave (in the sea) and the American word for a bowler hat produces a race on roller skates in the US.

Down Clues

1d  Sees lap dancing gives enjoyment (7)
{PLEASES} – an anagram (dancing) of SEES LAP.

2d  Stone circles around Flint’s centre (5)
{LAPIS} – the latin word for a stone (normally used to mean the precious sort and often followed by lazuli) is formed from circles on a racetrack or athletics track containing the central letter of (Fl)I(nt).

3d  Awful threat, closure of the Crucible, perhaps (7)
{THEATRE} – an anagram (awful) of THREAT is followed by the last letter (closure) of (th)E to make what the Crucible (in Sheffield, perhaps) is an example of.

4d  One entertaining those at sea on steamship (7)
{HOSTESS} – this is a semi all-in-one. An anagram (at sea) of THOSE precedes (on, in a down clue) the usual abbreviation for steamship.

5d  Investigates skin disorder in old lackey, retired (5,4)
{LOOKS INTO} – a phrasal verb meaning investigates has an anagram (disorder) of SKIN inserted in a reversal (retired) of O(ld) and a synonym for lackey or poodle.

6d  Well up about care of cat (7)
{SCOURGE} – a verb meaning to well up (like the sea) goes round the abbreviation of “care of” to make a whip, with cat(-o’-nine-tails) being an example of such. I think that a question mark may have been helpful here.

7d  Counterfeit pounds — beats money! (11)
{SPONDULICKS} – an anagram (counterfeit) of POUNDS precedes an informal synonym for beats or conquers to make an informal term for money.

9d  Intended to help race officials, to begin with (3,8)
{FOR STARTERS} – this is an informal phrase meaning in the first place or to begin with. Cryptically it could mean to the benefit of (intended to help) those race officials who fire a gun or wave a flag to get the event going.

13d  A good example to follow part way on line (4,5)
{ROLE MODEL} – a phrase meaning a good example to follow is constructed from a part (in the theatre, say) followed by a way or manner and L(ine).

16d  One picking up rest in country many ignored (7)
{GLEANER} – the definition here is one picking up. It refers to a poor person who would collect what was left in the fields after a farmer had harvested a crop (Ruth, in the Old Testament, was described as such a worker). A verb meaning to rest (against something) goes inside the name of a European country from which MANY has been removed.

17d  Peer got embarrassed in ward (7)
{PROTEGE} – a ward is an anagram (embarrassed) of PEER GOT.

18d  Unusual trade-in worked out (7)
{TRAINED} – a verb meaning worked out, in a gym perhaps, is an anagram (unusual) of TRADE-IN.

19d  The Spanish tucked into winter cabbage and sausage (7)
{SAVELOY} – insert the Spanish definite article (masculine version) inside a winter cabbage with densely wrinkled leaves to make a highly seasoned sausage.

21d  Little-known part of domino rules (5)
{MINOR} – hidden (part of) in the clue is an adjective meaning little-known or marginal.

I liked 22a, 5d and 16d but my favourite clue today is 1a. Tell us what you liked!

Today’s Quickie Pun: {LORE} + {LAUD} = {LAW LORD}

46 comments on “DT 26596

  1. A quick canter and not taxing. Wish I could say the same for the Toughie. I’m not on Beam’s wavelength yet.

      1. I think it’s the trickiest Beam yet, and Gnomey, were he not ‘spoiling a good walk’ in the sunshine would agree.

  2. What an odd crossword.
    I went off like a rocket for three quarters, then got sticjk for a few minutes, but some ace clues.
    I particularly enjoyed 20a……… ah, my childhood memories!
    And 16d, good one.
    And now, for the first time, I’m going to try embedding a picture in a comment, which i think is a good reference to 16d…….


    Anyway, in the end, I enjoyed it, so well done to errrr, the setter.

    1. Nice try. The picture can be seen by highlighting the path, then copy and paste into a browser.

      1. Thanks for confirming that BD- I would only have kept trying day after day otherwise.

  3. *stuck=*, not sticjk

    Huh, that didn’t work then.
    Probably needs moderation.

    Ah well, back to work……

  4. Couldn’t see much of an American theme in here myself Gazza. Admittedly there are are a couple (14A possibly, 20A possibly, 24A possibly and 7D very tenuously) but apart from that, a very British feel I thought. No particular favourites today, but I was quite glad to see the answers to 6D and 22A making an appearance.

  5. I usually find Tuesday’s puzzles rather tough, but managed to complete this one without too much trouble. It was, as you say Gazza, very American in flavour. I did enjoy it even though I found a number of words without knowing why, so many thanks for the explanations. For 1a I thought of the novelist Hugh rather than Horace, and for 3d of the Arthur Miller play rather than the Sheffield playhouse. I dredged up 14a from a distant course in film history, but needed help to find the necessary 7d. A fun solve and hard to pick a favourite clue, but I guess I’ll go for 13d. :-)

    1. Franny,
      You’re probably right on Walpole, though it doesn’t really matter which one the compiler was thinking of. For 3d I think the wording of the surface makes theatre more likely to be a building rather than the title of a play (but again, it could be either).

      1. And you’re certainly right about the theatre building — it’s just such a long time since I lived in England.

  6. I wonder if 6d could also refer to scourge, the name of the cat who appears in the book ‘The rise of scourge’? Just a thought. 1a also a favourite. Thanks to Gazza and setter

    1. I’m afraid that I’ve never heard of “The Rise of Scourge” but you could be right (although it’s a bit obscure for a back-page puzzle).

  7. Just back from Hamburg after going to see what was supposed to be a boxing match. Unfortunately, only one of the protagonists managed to turn up which was a bit of a shame! However, at least I hadn’t paid through the nose for ringside seats which were absolutely drenched before and during the fight. How annoying would that be to pay thousands of euros to have to sit there shivering in a pink bin bag? Anywhooo….quite enjoyed today’s crossword – a relatively simple easing back in for me after a few days away. I’d never heard of the Latin phrase in 22a but clue enabled me to work it out. No particular favourite clue. Thanks to the setter and Gazza for the review.

  8. I don’t get the chance to comment very often but I’m glad I can today. I found this one quite disappointing; I guessed the answers to some from the definitions without needing to figure out the wordplay, (7, 10, 13, 22 and 24 for example), yet 14a seems rather obscure for a back-pager. I liked 4d and 7d for surface reading. Many thanks for the review.

  9. Morning Gazza, from a rather damp, wet West Wales at the moment, thought it is supposed to clear up later, got off to a flying start today but got stuck 3/4 way through and needed my electronic friend to finish it! never heard of 7d and read 4d as entering instead of entertaining which didn’t help – duh! no fav clue today, probably a 3* for me, missed the anagram indicator for ages in 1a too, thanks for hints Gazza though I didn’t need them today, it is always good to read through,

    1. 7d is american slang for dosh! I still find difficulty with 6d I get the cat bit but…!!

      1. Hi Drongo, as Gazza says it is ‘surge’ for ‘well up’ around ‘c o’ care of to give a scourge or whip (the cat bit)

        1. Cheers Mary for the explanation – another doh moment!! If it’s wet where you are then it’s going to be wet in Mid Wales where I am!!

            1. Living! Right on the border! At last the sun has come out, first time today!

  10. I went through this one quite quickly so didn’t particularly notice the American theme, although now its pointed out….. ! Had a read through again just now to work out my favourite clues but didn’t really have any – but I did work out which one Gazza would have the most fun finding a picture for :D Thanks to Gazza for the review – a very nice cabbage – and the Tuesday mystery setter for the crossword.

    Have a go at the Beam (Ray T) Toughie – tougher than some of his previous toughies but very enjoyable.

    1. 24a was pretty good for pics as well since it’s a sport that is played mainly by young ladies :D

  11. I would not have solved 14a if I sat here for a month. Apart from that, very straightforward.
    Thanks to setter, and to Gazza.

  12. Straightforward puzzle with a mix of clues, although I was a little too conscious of the anagrams. 4d was very nice.

  13. Far too many anagrams or part anagrams ( 9 or so ), I’m afraid I didn’t enjoy this very much, liked your pictorial clues however. Thanks to Gazza and the setter.

  14. I found this amiable enough though it did not take too long. With some of the clues it felt a little like an Everyman puzzle from the Observer. Many thanks to the Mysteron and to Gazza for the review.

    I can join in CS comments about the Toughie – Beam has upped the bar on difficultly and brilliance!

  15. Lots of really good clues in this one. We have seen 7d on several occasions recently so that was no problem. Ground to a halt on 14 but Onelook came to the rescue. I think 1a was best but I enjoyed the whole puzzle. Now on to Beam.

  16. Like lots of other people, I wouldn’t have spotted the American theme unless it had been pointed out!
    Never heard of 14a but pommers helped me out here! No faves for me at all today!
    Thanks to both Gazza and the Mysteron

  17. enjoyable if not taxing and I didnt see it as particularly american. Not sure I agree with most comments on the toughie- fist time i’ve cracked a Beam without help though I had to google one and there are 2 I dont quite understand the wordplay on.

  18. I knew 14a but, like Gazza, always thought he was a Max! One lives and learns!
    Thanks to setter and Gazza.

  19. I whizzed through a large chunk of this one and then came to a complete halt – eventually gave in and read the hints for 14a, which I would never have got, and for 7d. Also needed the hint to understand 10a – don’t quite know why – should have managed to work that one out. I started off with “take off” for 8a but when I got on to the down clues 4d sorted that one out. I’ve never heard of 24a but worked it out from the clue and looked it up. I did 15a without too much trouble, even though it’s cricket!! I liked 1 and 20a and 4, 16 and 19d. Thanks to the setter (do we know who he or she is?) and to Gazza for the very much needed hints.

    1. I was thinking of you when I saw 15a. It seems as though you just take cricket in your stride now.

  20. I agree with many of the comments above today: puzzle was not too tricky, but I was aware of the high anagram count; I managed to get 15a, as Kath did, despite it being cricket; not come across 22a either, but worked it out from wordplay; and the one that stumped me was 14a, even though my dad used to watch the Keystone Cops – I hazarded a guess that the governing body was ‘senate’, but that didn’t help as I’d never heard of ‘Mack’ so needed the answer. Thanks to setter and to Gazza for the help.

    I have a small gripe with today’s quick: the tuba is not a wind instrument – it’s brass! Hence, I wrote ‘oboe’.

    1. Sorry Alison but Chambers disagrees:

      Wind instrument
      A musical instrument sounded by means of a current of air, esp a woodwind or brass instrument sounded by the breath

      The SOED clarifies:
      A musical instrument played by means of a current of air, esp. the breath (now freq. esp. a woodwind instrument)

      1. Yes, I realise now that the clue didn’t specify woodwind, just wind, so it’s a fair cop! Thanks for clarifying. :-)

  21. Raced through this today until 14a which again was unknown to me (rather like yesterday in fact!). Fine for a Tuesday so thanks to the setter and to gazza!.

  22. Def not my favourite today, thought it a good 3 star for difficulty esp if we are going to get Latin phrases chucked at us. Needed lots of help from the blog today. Thx to Gazza for the clues.

  23. Thanks to Gazza and the setter, I quite enjoyed this one, a nice gentle solve Favourites were 6d and 1a.

  24. A bit of a let down for me. Too many not terribly well disguised anagrams, 9 if my sums are correct. What was 18a about? The setter told us twice the answer was included in ‘Metro users’ (‘some characters’ as well as ‘in’!!!).
    Luckily I knew the cunningly placed Latin phrase. 14a was relatively obvious although I profess I didn’t know how to spell his name. 6d held me up for almost the time it took me to do the rest of the puzzle and I quite liked it. For that reason 6d is my favourite. I agree with Gazza’s initial impression. Not too impressed!

    However, without setters we wouldn’t have crosswords. So, thanks whoever you were and thanks to Gazza for the usual high standard of artwork.

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