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DT 26644

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26644

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment **

Today’s puzzle is not too exacting and doesn’t have many “penny drop” moments. Let us know your thoughts in a comment.
If you want to see an answer just drag your cursor through the space between the brackets under the clue.

Across Clues

1a  Substitute for bad language in memorable epic (5)
{BLEEP} – hidden in the clue is the sound used to drown out an expletive in a film on TV for example.

4a  Mention of rooms fronting place of entertainment — ideal sportsman’s place? (5,4)
{SWEET SPOT} – a sound-alike (mention) of a set of rooms (in a high-class hotel, for example) is followed by a place of entertainment to make a description of the ideal place on a bat, racket or club for a sportsman to make the perfect shot.

9a  Shop in African country without a pointer to policy (9)
{GUIDELINE} – insert a specialist food shop inside a West African country without its trailing A to make a pointer.

10a  Book count, maybe (5)
{TITLE} – the name of a book is also a rank in society, of which count is an example.

11a  Successful singer’s numbers — or ones requiring removal? (3,4)
{HIT LIST} – double definition, the second a list of targets to be killed.

12a  Coal left out daughter set on fire (7)
{IGNITED} – remove the initial L (left out) from a soft brown coal and add D(aughter).

13a  Established English author backed for honour (6)
{ESTEEM} – the abbreviation of established (as you may see on a shopfront to show when the business was founded) is followed by E(nglish) and a reversal (backed) of how the writer/author of the clue may refer to himself or herself. The end product is a verb meaning to honour or respect.

15a  Delightful soul getting tipsy around Channel Islands with American (8)
{LUSCIOUS} – an adjective meaning delightful or attractive comes from an anagram (getting tipsy) of SOUL around the abbreviation of the Channel Islands after finishing off with the abbreviation of American.

18a  A willing appointee? (8)
{EXECUTOR} – cryptic definition of someone appointed by you to carry out your wishes when you won’t be around to check that they do it properly.

20a  Soldier getting directions I start to observe back in place for drilling? (3,3)
{OIL RIG} – string together the abbreviation for a US soldier, the two directions available when you’re approaching a T-junction, I (in the clue) and the first letter (start) of O(bserve) then reverse (back) the lot to make a place where drilling occurs.

23a  Trial guy disrupted lacking a form of ritual (7)
{LITURGY} – an anagram (disrupted) of TRI(a)L GUY, without the A, makes a form of religious ritual.

24a  Tense and quiet game held in rickety hut (7)
{UPTIGHT} – an adjective meaning tense or nervy is formed by putting the musical abbreviation meaning quiet and one of the many names for a playground game involving chasing inside (held in) an anagram (rickety) of HUT.

26a  Plants clubs displayed before start of play? (5)
{CACTI} – the abbreviation for the card suit clubs is put before the first bit of a play (3,1) to make plants.

27a  Dissolute fellow from exotic tribe interrupting family (9)
{LIBERTINE} – put an anagram (exotic) of TRIBE inside (interrupting) a synonym for family or descendants to make a dissolute fellow.

28a  Resident moved to protect southern rebel (9)
{DISSENTER} – this rebel is an anagram (moved) of RESIDENT containing (to protect) S(outhern).

29a  Worthy Irish county and river (5)
{MAYOR} – the definition here is worthy and it’s a noun, so what we want is a worthy or local dignitary. Combine a county in the west of Ireland and R(iver).

Down Clues

1d  Cheshire VIP? (3,6)
{BIG CHEESE} – I don’t think that this clue works very well. The answer is a slang term for a VIP and Cheshire is an example of the second word. I suppose you could say that the first word applies to it (in the sense of “major”) but it seems weak.

2d  Dispossess six entering a form of therapy (5)
{EVICT} – put the Roman numeral for six inside (entering) a therapy involving electric shocks.

3d  Rule I violated during exercise is trifling (7)
{PUERILE} – an anagram (violated) of RULE I goes inside (during) the abbreviation for physical exercise to make an adjective meaning trifling or childish.

4d  Evasive leader of youths following spell at work (6)
{SHIFTY} – the first letter (leader) of Y(ouths) goes after a working period to make an adjective meaning evasive or slippery.

5d  Retired fellow showing appeal in elaborate resume (8)
{EMERITUS} – put an abbreviation meaning sex appeal inside an anagram (elaborate) of RESUME to give the honorary title given to a retired distinguished academic.

6d  Note volunteers on largely pleasant ship (7)
{TITANIC} – the name of a doomed ship is a charade of the seventh note in tonic sol-fa, the abbreviation for our volunteer soldiers and all but the last letter (largely) of a synonym of pleasant.

7d  European tucking into fancy fruit pot and biscuit (5,4)
{PETIT FOUR} – a small biscuit or cake normally served at the end of a meal is made by putting E(uropean) inside an anagram (fancy) of FRUIT POT.

8d  Flower that’s charmingly old-fashioned close to shed (5)
{TWEED} – flower here is being used in its cryptic sense, i.e. it’s something that flows – so a river. This is a river of the Scottish Borders and its name is an adjective meaning charmingly old-fashioned followed by the last letter (close) of (she)D.

14d  Criticism following article on special rural parts (3,6)
{THE STICKS} – a rather derogatory term for country areas (rural parts) deprived of such delights as street riots is formed from an informal word for criticism preceded by a definite article and followed by S(pecial).

16d  Place brand under discussion for a tourist (9)
{SIGHTSEER} – we need to combine two homophones (under discussion) here – firstly a sound-alike for a place or location and secondly a sound-alike of a verb to burn or brand. Together they make a tourist.

17d  Educational institute with good group, one linguistically talented (8)
{POLYGLOT} – someone able to speak several languages is the abbreviation of an institute of higher education specialising in vocational subjects (most of which have now been converted to universities) followed by G(ood) and a significant number or group.

19d  Artist in East supporting this country — and another (7)
{UKRAINE} – string together the abbreviation for a Royal Academician (artist), IN and E(ast) and put all of that after (supporting, in a down clue) the abbreviation for this country (i.e. the country in which the Daily Telegraph is published – slightly confusing if you’re doing a syndicated copy of the crossword elsewhere in the world). You should have formed the name of another European country.

21d  Favoured expression about island is temporary (7)
{INTERIM} – an informal adjective meaning favoured or trendy precedes a synonym for an expression containing I(sland) to make an adjective meaning temporary or transitional.

22d  Clumsily move logs (6)
{LUMBER} – double definition – a) a verb to move clumsily and b) logs.

23d  Clear part of ground I cultivated, on reflection (5)
{LUCID} – hidden (part of) and backwards (on reflection) in the clue is an adjective meaning clear.

25d  Unappealing yard ingrained with dirt (5)
{GRIMY} – the definition is ingrained with dirt. It’s an adjective meaning dour or unappealing followed by Y(ard).

None of the clues really stood out for me today. How about you?

Today’s Quickie Pun: {MOAT} + {IRK} + {AID} = {MOTORCADE}

58 comments on “DT 26644

  1. All very straightforward today with 15a my favourite. Many thanks the the Mysteron and to Gazza for the review.

  2. Nothing too contentious or tricky today.
    Thanks to setter, and to Gazza for the review.

    Re 15a, I thought the ‘with American’ was the last 2 letters, or is it the 2nd and 3rd?

  3. I found this one fairly straightforward but took a while to unravel why 20a was what it was. I’ve never heard of 4a but it was easy enough to work out from the clue and then look up. For some unknown reason 9a was last one to go in. I liked 1 and 11a and 7 and 17d. Thanks to the setter and to Gazza – very little opportunity for the usual picture hints today, although I did wonder about 27a! :smile:

  4. Isn’t the 7th letter of the tonic-sol-fa spelt te not ti? (6d) A pleasant enough coffee break, but no outstanding clues for me today. Thanks Gazza and compiler.

  5. A little tricky in parts for me. Managed top left and bottom right but needed your hints for the other two quadrants. 24a my favourite

  6. Agree that this was pleasant and straightforward and all that sort of thing, thank you to the Mysteron. I liked 15a best. Thanks to Gazza too.

    The Toughie is very enjoyable as well.

  7. I have discovered a new version of Gnome’s Law. As soon as you give up trying to access the site and download the last NTSPP in despair, you get a connection to the cryptic.

    1. PJ – I’m waiting for a response to this e-mail I sent regarding the hopelessness of the DT site:

      Excuses about the DT crossword site are starting to wear thin. It has taken me at least 5 attempts to access the site this morning in order to print the grids. You also seem to be compensating some subscribers on an ad hoc basis rather than putting your hands up & admitting that you are failing to deliver what people have paid for. At least Dick Turpin had the decency to wear a mask when he robbed people!
      If I let my clients down as often as you do then I would soon go out of business.
      Not good enough. Get it sorted!
      Thank you in anticipation of a return to normality as quickly as possible.

      1. I can’t believe it’s taking so long – they told me in an email they expect to be working through September to put things right. They didn’t even respond to my comment that, even before the lightning strike, the site was far from perfect.

        I’ve asked for a refund too – 2.99 doesn’t go far, but (a) it’s the principle, and (b) it will buy about one and a half bottles of decent local Valencian wine. And if it does take all of September to get a decent service, we should get a second month’s refund!

  8. Many thanks to the setter for a very enjoyable if not overtaxing crossword and to Gazza for the review.

  9. Thanks to setter and to Gazza. Not too difficult but I spent ages on 24a as my version of the game is “tag” not “tig” so couldn’t make sense until I recollected the English term.

    Enjoyed 15a and 19d.

  10. A very pleasant puzzle IMHO! Agree with 2* difficulty but I would go to 3* for enjoyment.
    I liked 11a, 27a and favourite 14d.
    Thanks to setter and Gazza.

  11. Well I didn’t enjoy it very much. It took me a long time and I needed lots of help from Chambers and a few of your hints, Gazza, to finish. Of course I made things difficult for myself by putting ‘enter’ for 10a — didn’t like that clue anyway. Not much fun today, I’m afraid, but thanks to the setter and to Gazza. :-(

  12. Are there problems with the web site again and why does it take them 6/8 weeks to fix them. They are a complete shower and for folks who can’t get a paper the web site is crucial.

    1. I don’t think it’s a case of problems with the site ‘again’. There are problems at any time of each and every day. It can be fine one minute, and boot you off the next.

    2. I agree that the problems with the website are highly frustrating. Although the lightning strike undoubtedly exacerbated the problems with access, it seems to me that the root cause of the problems lies with the original design of the site. First, it relies on Flash for rendering may of the elements on the page such as the leader boards, grids, etc. Whilst it is a perfectly respectable technology, it is resource intensive and can slow things down – this is one of the key reasons that Flash is still not implemented on the iPhone or iPad.

      Of itself, I don’t think that this is the sole cause of the problems. I have been involved in implementing a number of IT projects at work where performance has been a significant issue with people’s desktops grinding to a halt. In each case the problem has been poorly implemented database connectivity. The IT / software designers have had to go back and redesign the connections between the software and the database to ensure that the system can cope robustly with a large number of concurrent users.

      I would imagine that the Clued Up site was not designed correctly to cope with the number of users who now try to access it. Flash and database connections working together must be a significant cause of the problems Resolving these issues does take time and require a lot of testing. Unless the site is rewritten from scratch, I suspect we will be stuck with Flash for the foreseeable future.

      Interestingly, I access the cryptic and quick crossword using an iPhone app that bypasses the main site and allows me to download the crosswords using my Clued Up id and password. Except on the day of the lightning strike, I have not had any problems using the app and the crosswords have downloaded without a problem. If Phil McNeill is reading this, could he allow access to the Toughie through the same app, please?
      It is important to remember that this is not Phil’s fault. He has inherited a Clued Up site that was designed some years ago and is now creaking at the seams. It must be a frustrating for him as it is for us that an important element of the Telegraph puzzles is performing so poorly.

      1. I appreciate your logic however before advertising this website and then taking subscriptions surely they should have tested the system thoroughly to check it was fit for purpose? I know you can’t plan for the vagaries of the gods but when that lightning bolt struck they were given a temporary “get out of jail card” which has now expired.

      2. While agreeing with everything that Prolixic has said, I would like to add my own few points:

        Even today the number of concurrent users can’t be more than a few hundred. A properly written application should have been able to cope with far more right from the start.

        Libellule has commented in the past that the database used by the site is renowned for having problems of scalability.

        The organisation responsible used to boast about it on their website, but I can’t find it now!

      3. Can somebody represent these points to whoever is responsible for the Clued Up site, or maybe we already have. Perhaps Prolixic could apply for a job there and fix it because, if you live abroad and your only access to the crossword is the web site, it becomes very irritating

      4. I collect the paper every morning from the newsagents – so I have no problems with “puzzles.telegraph” / Clued up etc.

        But, since reading all the complaints on this blog, I quite often try to gain access to their site. I have never had a problem! Or, does the problem occur after their home page?

        (There are never any problems when following the path to become a new subscriber – well, I’ve never got to the end of that route)

    3. If I can’t get into the site for my breakfast Toughie I do the Grauniad instead! Bit trickier than the DT in general but the site’s free and it works, albeit not very fast but that’s probably due to my internet connection.
      Just praying for a bit of luck tomorrow morning as I’m up for the blog again! If it’s late I’ll blame it on the web site!

  13. Morning all, Sorry I did not post yesterday, was busy out enjoying myself :-) Quite fun today, but not too taxing, no real favourite today I’m afraid.

  14. Thanks to the setter & Gazza for the hints. Quite a nice puzzle today, managed it without the hints for a change. Favourites were 16 & 19 down.

    1. My thought was ‘NIGHTSPOT’ – a place of nighttime entertainment. Worked for me but maybe Gazza has a better explanation!

      1. My thought was the same, pommers. .Chambers for spot has “place of entertainment” (exactly as in the clue) but doesn’t elucidate further.

        1. Tks Gazza. I really struggled with this Xword today especially with the logic behind some of the cluse – for example 20a. I think that it is worth at least 3*’s

      1. Tks Jezza. That makes the clue more abstruse. How would we know what the US spelling is lightly to be.
        I have found this Xword very difficult and some of the clues quite strange.
        Does anybody know who the setter is?

        1. No idea who the setter is. Tuesday and Thursday tend to alternate between a regular setter (Shamus and RayT respectively), and a mystery setter.

  15. Very straightforward puzzle today with much to enjoy. Fav clue 4a. No problems logging in at this later time of day. Thanks setter and gazza.

  16. With regard to accessing the Clued up site, I have only had a few problems so far, however, I have noticed that when I do have problem it seems to work if I access the site via the link on Big Daves page. It may just coincidence, or their may be a technical reason for this, I’m not sure as IT is not my forte. However, I thought it may be worth mentioning as other bloggers may wish to try this route when they encounter the same problem?

  17. I finished it, so I’m happy. Didn’t know why I had 26a so thanks for the explanation.

  18. Travelling home today and sat down with this offering after supper. For me a horror, just could not get into it and make it flow at all.
    Not sure about the above comments relating to yesterday’s puzzle. That one I found very enjoyable but was nowhere near a broadband connection to comment.
    For me today was three star and a one star. Thanks to setter and Gazza for the hints.

  19. This was slow ol’ going for me, but I got there in the end.
    4a I got from the checking letters, then saw the ‘SUITES/SWEET’ connection, but aren’t there too many ‘S’s in play here? SUITES (rooms) SPOT’ ?
    I really liked 26a – again, the answer was obvious from the checking letters, but I couldn’t quite see how the wordplay fitted. My forehead met with a huge slap as the ‘Act 1’ tie-in dawned.
    Overall, I found it fun, and certainly much better than Monday’s! :)

    1. It’s SUITE/SWEET rather than SUITES/SWEETS because you have several rooms in one suite.

  20. Evidently I wasn’t “switched on” to this one because I found it tough and it took me a long time, plus a lot of help from my electronic friend. However – did finish eventually – except for 13a which I now realise I was reading backwards cos I thought the answer was “established” – wrong! – it was “honour”. So, lesson learned – READ the clues, backwards, forwards, upsidedown, I don’t care, but one has to DIGEST them, No – didn’t find it half as easy as some – according to posts above! – but enjoyed the challenge nonetheless. Also needed hints to explain some of them even though I’d got them!! This is “cryptic land” for you. Thanks to setter and Gazza. (I’ve had a moan about this before, but I STILL don’t like setters using single letters from a word to make up the clue – sorry! – If they’re going to, shouldn’t there be an indicator? For instance, 25d?? there’s nothing to tell you to use the “y” of “yard”. I just think it’s an easy way out – sorry! Moan over)

      1. Really? I must then be very old because all my life it’s been “in” “ft” and “yd” – but there you go, it’s never too late to learn! Thanks for the info.

  21. Really enjoyed today’s challenge which I thought was 3* for difficulty. Some good clues my favourite being 9a. Thanks to the setter and for the review as always.

  22. Having skimmed through all the comments above I have to say I’m really glad that I still call in at the local shop to collect the paper on the way home from dog walk number one – come home – more coffee and toast – read paper and then do crossword. All this stuff above about the web site would “do my head in” and would not start the day off in the right way at all!

    1. Kath, I agree completely! Nothing better than the paper version of the paper! (Plus a few crosswords!)

  23. I’m probably a bit late and I guess that nobody is reading this but I thoroughly enjoyed this puzzle and I’m grateful to Gazza for the hints which I needed in order to finish

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