DT 26662

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26662

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ****

I really enjoyed today’s challenge from a Mysteron. How about you?
To reveal an answer just highlight the space between the brackets under the clue.

Across Clues

7a  Novel story of an orphan girl breaking finger (3,5)
{THE IDIOT} – we want the title of a novel by Dostoyevsky. To get it put the name of a fictitious Swiss orphan girl inside (breaking) another word for a finger (i.e. a measure of hard liquor).

9a  Astuteness shown by a copper confronting workers (6)
{ACUMEN} – the definition is astuteness. String together A, the chemical symbol for copper and workers (as opposed to management).

10a  Suddenly see toupee on teacher’s head (4)
{TWIG} – this is an informal verb meaning to see all of a sudden or to catch on. Put a toupee after (on, in an across clue) the first letter (head) of T(eacher).

11a  Helicopter carrying foolish old peasant (10)
{CLODHOPPER} – an informal name for a helicopter has an anagram (foolish) of OLD inserted (carrying) to make a peasant.

12a  Record crowd, an immovable mass (3,3)
{LOG JAM} – a charade of an official record of events and a verb meaning to crowd or pack tightly gives us an immovable mass of timber.

14a  Use train (8)
{EXERCISE} – double definition.

15a  Steal the Spanish coin (6)
{NICKEL} – string together a slang verb to steal and the Spanish definite article (masculine singular) to make a five-cent coin across the pond.

17a  Girl carrying on in Italian city (6)
{VERONA} – a girl’s name (think of Ms. Lynn) contains (carrying) ON to make the name of the city in northern Italy from which Shakespeare’s two gentlemen came.

20a  Complete list as quickly as possible (4,4)
{FULL TILT} – bring together an adjective meaning complete or entire and a verb to list or incline to make a phrase meaning maximum speed.

22a  Let oneself down causing trouble over mad cow disease (6)
{ABSEIL} – a verb to trouble or afflict goes round (over) the abbreviation for mad cow disease to make a verb meaning to let oneself down (the side of a building or a rock face).

23a  Pain? (6,4)
{FRENCH LOAF} – cryptic definition requiring rudimentary familiarity with a modern European language.

24a  Model with the ultimate in elegance on location (4)
{SITE} – a verb to model (for an artist or photographer) is followed by the ultimate letter of (eleganc)E.

25a  Dish featured in red-top abroad (6)
{RAGOUT} – this dish is a charade of a low-quality newspaper (red-top) and abroad (in the sense of not at home).

26a  Dreadful, film star missing entrance — he won’t be pleased (8)
{DIRECTOR} – a synonym for dreadful is followed by a another word for film star without its initial A (missing entrance) to make the person who controls the shooting of the film.

Down Clues

1d  Escort to the ground for clash (8)
{SHOWDOWN} – a charade of a verb to escort (an usher may escort you to your seat, for example) and the direction towards the ground makes a confrontation or clash to settle a long-running rivalry.

2d  Phone engineer around noon (4)
{RING} – a verb meaning to engineer or set up goes around N(oon).

3d  TV series — it’s funny, endless tease (6)
{SITCOM} – an anagram (funny) of IT’S is followed by a verb to tease or separate (wool, for example) into separate strands without its final B (endless).

4d  Money to get sheer wool (8)
{CASHMERE} – put together ready money and a synonym for sheer or unqualified to make a fine wool from the hair of goats.

5d  Promising? Doubtful, with a change of leadership (10)
{AUSPICIOUS} – start with an adjective meaning doubtful or disbelieving and change its initial letter from S to A (change of leadership) to make a different adjective meaning promising or favourable.

6d  Suspension of business in bay (6)
{RECESS} – double definition.

8d  Telephone number to secure file, a hand-held tool (6)
{TROWEL} – the abbreviation (as seen on headed notepaper) for telephone number contains (to secure) a file or line to make a gardening tool.

13d  US novelist and sailor needing capital (4,6)
{JACK LONDON} – if the Swiss Miss in 7a is more familiar to girls than to boys then this US novelist is perhaps the opposite (I certainly enjoyed his books, especially White Fang and Call of the Wild, when growing up). His name is a charade of an informal word for a sailor and a capital city.

16d  Mine included in these silly nicknames, maybe (8)
{EPITHETS} – insert a mine inside an anagram (silly) of THESE to make descriptive adjectives, of which nicknames may be examples.

18d  A way into flying with the aircraft industry (8)
{AVIATION} – string together A (from the clue), the latin word for way or road and an anagram (flying) of INTO to make a word for the aircraft industry.

19d  Organised tour inside walls of sacred place in Gloucestershire (6)
{STROUD} – put an anagram (organised) of TOUR inside the outer letters (walls) of S(acre)D to make a market town in Gloucestershire.

21d  Loud outcry at college over poisoned arrow wife fired (6)
{UPROAR} – this loud outcry consists of an adverb meaning at college followed by (over, in a down clue) an anagram (poisoned?) of ARRO(w) with W(ife) kicked out.

22d  Grant, a fine US president (6)
{AFFORD} – a verb meaning to grant is built from A, F(ine) and a US President of the 1970s.

24d  Rifle fire (4)
{SACK} – double definition, with rifle a verb meaning to plunder or pillage.

I enjoyed 17a, 22a and 16d but my favourite clue today is 7a. Let us know what you liked.

Today’s Quickie Pun: {LOUGHS} + {MYTH} = {LOCKSMITH}



  1. Posted September 20, 2011 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    Interesting puzzle today, took me quite a while to get into it though and can’t say I enjoyed it too much either (although I can’t say why).

  2. Jezza
    Posted September 20, 2011 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    No particular favourites, although 10a evoked a few childhood memories of some of my school teachers sporting an Irish!
    Thanks to setter, and to gazza.

    • Posted September 20, 2011 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

      //some of my school teachers sporting an Irish!//
      But if they caught you sniggering there would be hell toupé.

      I’ve just got back but I’ll get me coat……

      • Jezza
        Posted September 20, 2011 at 9:22 pm | Permalink

        Nice one! :)

        • Kath
          Posted September 20, 2011 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

          What’s an Irish?

          • Jezza
            Posted September 21, 2011 at 8:33 am | Permalink

            An ‘Irish’ is cockney rhyming slang for a wig (irish jig). There is also ‘Syrup’ (syrup of fig). Another derogatory term for a wig is a ‘rug’.
            If the English language is not complicated enough as it is..!

            • Kath
              Posted September 21, 2011 at 9:57 am | Permalink

              Thanks Jezza – I know a fair bit of cockney rhyming slang, partly from cryptic crosswords and the rest from an old neighbour of ours, but that’s one I haven’t heard before.

  3. Nubian
    Posted September 20, 2011 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    Enjoyable puzzle although 7a had me beat.I have heard of the novel but had to get a bus to ground so many houses to get to the answer I gave up. Not like me, I suppose I am one now.
    Thanks to Gazza for putting me at ease.

  4. Posted September 20, 2011 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    Tougher than the average Tuesday Cryptic, I took longer to make a start but really enjoyed it once in. Ia is a corker and had me stumped for a long while. Thanks to the setter and Gazza.

    • Posted September 20, 2011 at 11:27 am | Permalink

      Apologies, I meant 7a. Time for an eye test?

      • Posted September 20, 2011 at 11:35 am | Permalink

        Just claim you were using Ordinal Notation (ie the 1st across clue)

  5. BigBoab
    Posted September 20, 2011 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    Terrific crossword from the mystery setter and terrific review from Gazza.

  6. Kath
    Posted September 20, 2011 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    I really enjoyed this and thought that there were some wonderful clues. I needed the hints to explain why 7a was what it obviously was – completely missed “Heidi” in the middle. Having found most of the unusual letters I was looking out for it to be a pangram – wrong, again! I think that there are so many good clues that it’s a bit difficult to pick out any particular ones – perhaps 23 and 26a. With thanks to the setter, for a great puzzle, and to Gazza for the hints. Grass needs cutting again ………

  7. andy
    Posted September 20, 2011 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    Ditto most of above, longer than usual to get going. 7a is terrific, for me closely followed by 16d and 23a. 22a made me laugh a little too loudly on the bus. Thanks to mysteron and Gazza for the review

  8. birdie
    Posted September 20, 2011 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    I too took a while to get into this puzzle and really enjoyed it when I did get going. So many great clues – it’s hard to choose a favourite but I’ll go for 22d because of the elegant surface reading. Stupidly, I got my mad cows all mixed up and tried to think of a word with CJD in it before I had the checking letters to 22a! Thanks to the Setter and to Gazza.

  9. crypticsue
    Posted September 20, 2011 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

    I’m with Skempie on this one – it took me twice as long as normal to finish and at one point, I thought I was going to have to leave it to cogitate. My favourite clue was 23a. Thanks to the Mysteron and Gazza too.

    Give the Toughie a go, it really belongs on the back page.

    • BigBoab
      Posted September 20, 2011 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

      Totally agree with you Crypticsue, in fact this one took me a few minutes longer than Excaliburs’ toughie, most enjoyable however.

    • Posted September 20, 2011 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

      That’s not where I think it belongs!

      • mary
        Posted September 20, 2011 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

        I obviously won’t bother then :-)

      • Kath
        Posted September 20, 2011 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

        Haven’t looked at toughie or the hints for it but have read what you wrote at the top of the hints – I get the distinct feeling that you weren’t too keen!

      • crypticsue
        Posted September 20, 2011 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

        I am having a ‘try not to be grumpy day’. It’s not working very well but I am trying….

        • mary
          Posted September 20, 2011 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

          try reverse therapy? lol :-D

  10. mary
    Posted September 20, 2011 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

    Good afternoon Gazza, alate start for me today and once again I would not have finished withouth your help, so thank you for the review, I would never, ever have got 7a, along with a few others that caused me problems! I don’t know if its me but I have found the last few puzzles on the ‘tough’ side, needing the blog and all my usual ‘help’, my main problem is that although 90% of the time I can now work out what I’m looking for, I would never associate the answer or synonym with it! so that is why my Chambers Crossword Dictionary is falling apart! :-) , thanks once again Gazza, couldn’t have done it without you, at least a three star for difficulty once again for me and perservating didn’t help today!

    • Kathryn
      Posted September 20, 2011 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

      I’m with you Mary. I’m getting better at spotting what the clue is asking for but I often don’t get the synonyms without using the hints. I can usually spot the anagrams now which I use as my starting point. Am enjoying learning about the twisty thinking in the clues though.

  11. Franco
    Posted September 20, 2011 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

    I really enjoyed today’s offering. Perhaps, because I found it easier than usual – although there is no usual setter on Tuesday.

    Thanks to Gazza for the review, especially for explaining “finger” in 7a and “tease” in 3d. Favourites: 26a & 23a.

  12. Lostboy
    Posted September 20, 2011 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

    Nicely straightforward I think, enjoyable.

    ****Top Tip of the day*******
    Do NOT absent mindedly write “Epitaphs ” in for 16d, and then spend ages trying to solve the SW corner before realising your mistake :-(

    • mary
      Posted September 20, 2011 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

      Like it :-D

    • Kath
      Posted September 20, 2011 at 10:25 pm | Permalink

      I can see that it would make life unnecessarily tricky!! Having said that it sounds a bit smug – I ALWAYS have to check the dictionary for the “epitaph, epithet, epigram” etc – I’m sure that there are others!! :smile:

  13. keith Coleman
    Posted September 20, 2011 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the explanation for 2A, 8D , 17A & 21D
    Loved 23A, 22A, 11A, 26A,
    One for the scrapbook

    • gazza
      Posted September 20, 2011 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

      Your comment needed moderation because you’re using a different email address.

  14. Heno
    Posted September 20, 2011 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to the mysteron & Gazza. Found this really difficult but entertaining, needed 10 hints to complete. I thought Jack London was a boxer :-) Favourite was 22a

    • Franco
      Posted September 20, 2011 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

      Brian London was the boxer. Famous for being knocked out and then carried out!

  15. Addicted
    Posted September 20, 2011 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

    Never heard of 7a, or 13d and didn’t know “red-top” was slang for what it is! so no wonder I had a terrible time with this one and would never have finished without the hints – so thank you Gazza for saving my sanity! Also got one or two without quite understanding why, so needed hints for those as well. Not a good day – are they getting tougher, or is it me???

  16. Nick
    Posted September 20, 2011 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

    A nice challenge today – thought at one point I wasn’t going to finish it, but perservated and made it to the end.

    23a was a favourite.

    Thanks to the Setter and to Gazza for the review – and especially for explaining the wordplay at 1ac.

  17. Posted September 20, 2011 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

    Completed after a drive back from Southampton to Kent. I did start it earlier but only had half an eye on it. It turned out a bit more straightforward than it looked at 7 a.m.
    Thanks to gazza and to the setter.

  18. philip seymour
    Posted September 20, 2011 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

    I enjoyed both this back page and the Toughie today. Entertaining crosswords with just the right amount of difficulty. I wish they were all like that

    • gazza
      Posted September 20, 2011 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

      Hi philip – welcome to the blog.

  19. Drcross
    Posted September 20, 2011 at 11:51 pm | Permalink

    Yes quite difficult….. the use of finger for tot was rather clever . I was however totally stumped by 26a as I couldn’t really see and still can’t understand the director ref (are all directors bad tempered?!!)

  20. Derek
    Posted September 21, 2011 at 7:59 am | Permalink

    Enjoyed solving this puzzle late last night after departure of my son-in-law, daughter and their twins who came for dinner.
    This was a “thinking-cap” type of puzzle with many rather clever clues.

    Before dinner, my visitors revamped my living room to instal a wide-screen digital TV – my old one is approximately 25 years’ old – analogue – so half the channels were obsolete – and the change has given a complete new look to everything.
    First time the furniture has been shifted in years!