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DT 26677

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26677

Hints and tips by Gazza

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

The on-line site, far from improving, seems to be getting worse and worse. I dread to think how much time has been wasted in futile attempts to access the puzzles.
This very entertaining puzzle from Giovanni is on a par for difficulty with Wednesday’s Toughie. Let us know how you fared with it.
Good luck to Wales tomorrow morning!

Across Clues

1a  What a buccaneering student does in plot (10)
{CONSPIRACY} – this is a plot involving a number of people. If split (4,6) it could mean studies buccaneering.

6a  Instrument making note, first to blast off (4)
{HARP} – start with a musical note raised a semitone above natural pitch and remove the leading letter (first to blast off) to leave a stringed instrument. I’m a bit surprised by the use of “blast” – I’d have thought that “sound” (for example) would have made it a better clue.

9a  One getting in on the act, so to speak (10)
{LEGISLATOR} – “so to speak” is an attempt to mislead you into looking for a homophone, whereas this is a cryptic definition of someone who is involved in making laws or acts.

10a  Everyone joining start of march from avenue (4)
{MALL} – add a synonym for everyone to the first letter of M(arch) to make an avenue.

12a  We will embrace one female who is not the mistress! (4)
{WIFE} – put WE around (will embrace) I (one) and F(emale).

13a  Withdrawn type at home time and time again hugging dog (9)
{INTROVERT} – the definition here is withdrawn type. Start with the usual Crosswordland short word for at home and add a couple of T(imes) bracketing (hugging) the traditional name given to a dog.

15a  Tramps making rude sign when accepting handout (8)
{VAGRANTS} – the first letter here is descriptive of a rude sign also known as a “Harvey Smith”. Add a synonym for when with a handout or award inside.

16a  Back from China maybe, first to leave (6)
{ASTERN} – an adverb meaning back (of a ship) comes from dropping the first letter (first to leave) from an adjective describing someone or something from China or other place in that part of the world.

18a  Family including British people who are cold and mechanical (6)
{ROBOTS} – put B(ritish) inside one’s family origins to make descriptions of people who behave like emotionless automatons.

20a  Bits of food, cooked — what may be provided by a golf club (4,4)
{CHIP SHOT} – this is what golfers use to try to propel their ball a fairly short distance on to the green using an iron. If split (5,3) it could be bits of food, recently cooked.

23a  A cult one’s contrived in diplomatic office (9)
{CONSULATE} – an anagram (contrived) of A CULT ONE’S.

24a  Copper perhaps losing heart? Food needed (4)
{MEAL} – remove the central T (losing heart) from what copper is an example of to be left with food.

26a  Troubled country? I question soldiers being sent in (4)
{IRAQ} – a neat comment on Anglo-American foreign policy of the last decade? Put the abbreviation for the Royal Artillery (soldiers) between I (in the clue) and Q(uestion).

27a  The man I guided round, composer from German city (10)
{HEIDELBERG} – this is a city in South-West Germany famous for its university. String together a masculine pronoun (the man), I, a synonym for guided reversed (round) and the surname of an Austrian composer.

28a  Sheep approaching river vessel (4)
{EWER} – this is today’s old chestnut. A female sheep is followed by R(iver).

29a  Agree to provide answer after expression of surprise (10)
{CORRESPOND} – what we’re looking for here is a verb meaning to agree or coincide. Put a verb to answer after an expression of surprise similar to Blimey!

Down Clues

1d  Player not yet big gun? (4)
{COLT} – double definition – a youngster playing for a junior team and a single-action revolver.

2d  Horse should have drink? Then it’s little good going on and on! (7)
{NAGGING} – the definition here is going on and on. It’s a charade of an old horse, an alcoholic drink and G(ood) (little good). I’m sure it’s just a coincidence that this answer intersects with 12a.

3d  Card mounting is obsolescent, a bit unfashionable (5-7)
{PASSE-PARTOUT} – I knew this term as a master key but I wasn’t aware, until today, that it also means a simple piece of card cut as a mount for a picture. It’s a charade of a French word meaning outdated, a bit or portion and an adverb meaning unfashionable.

4d  New serial about street folk who don’t have fancy ideas? (8)
{REALISTS} – an anagram (new) of SERIAL goes around the abbreviation of street.

5d  A hundred yobs — they’re supposed to disappear in June? (6)
{CLOUTS} – this is a reference to the old proverb advising one not to cast off one’s winter garments before May is out (the question mark perhaps indicating that may is now generally taken to mean the blossom of the hawthorn rather than the month). So what we want here is an old word meaning patches or garments – put together the Roman numeral for a hundred and a synonym for yobs.

7d  A disreputable type getting first in English, this person in the university world (7)
{ACADEME} – a literary word for the world of scholars is a charade of A, a disreputable or dishonourable type, E(nglish) and how the author refers to himself (this person).

8d  Province’s head having introduced a language of bygone days (10)
{PALATINATE} – this is a province of the Holy Roman Empire. Put A and a dead (but still useful) language inside an old word for head.

11d  Smog is swirling with people showing evidence of frightening experience? (5-7)
{GOOSE-PIMPLES} – evidence, on one’s skin, of a frightening experience is an anagram (swirling) of SMOG IS and PEOPLE.

14d  Eve and I cavort around, doing too much (10)
{OVERACTIVE} – an anagram (around) of EVE and I CAVORT.

17d  Mostly the person with a book is someone needing a yarn? (8)
{THREADER} – this could be someone who needs a strand of cotton to push through the eye of their needle. It’s most of TH(e) followed by a person with a book.

19d  Over a long time friendship can bring oppression (7)
{BONDAGE} – a long time is preceded by (over, in a down clue) a close emotional attachment to make a word meaning captivity or oppression. The pictures offered by Google for this are not really suitable for pre-watershed viewing.

21d  Not quite the ideal situation, small house? Let’s make an effort! (5,2)
{HEAVE HO} – I had a suspicion that this should be hyphenated so I consulted Chambers and, to my surprise, there are two different expressions; the first, hyphenated, one meaning dismissal or rejection and this one is a call to exertion (as in pulling up the anchor on a ship). It’s a charade of a delightful or celestial place without its final N (not quite) and an abbreviated house.

22d  Deal successfully with two irregular verbs (4,2)
{MAKE DO} – combine two irregular verbs to make a phrase meaning to manage or deal satisfactorily.

25d  Short artist turning up, well past his prime (4)
{AGED} – reverse (turning up) the name of a French artist without his final S (short) to make an adjective meaning over the hill.

The clues I liked best today were 15a, 26a, 5d and 21d. How about you?

Today’s Quickie Pun: {PIQUE} + {THYME} = {PEAK TIME}

51 comments on “DT 26677

  1. I’ve only just managed to get the puzzle after starting my attempts at 7:00am. What a way to run a railway! I’d like to know what Gerald Ratner would think of it. :-) Serious response later.

    1. I’m glad you all found it enjoyable. 9.00pm Australian time and I just got on. Mind you I’ve managed to get three months credit due to my complaining e mails. I thought 7th October was the fix up day.

      1. Hi Angela,
        Your comment had to be moderated because you’re no longer “falling” – both should now work.
        Phil McNeill (Telegraph Puzzles Editor) left a comment yesterday telling of further delays in getting the site working.

  2. I really enjoyed this one. I found it quite tough in places, and I did not understand the reference to ‘June’ in the answer to 5d.
    Many thanks to Giovanni, and to gazza for the review.

    I bet gazza wishes he was blogging the Toughie today – an excellent puzzle from Micawber! (I hope I am not the only one who tussled with it)

        1. Now that takes me back.. I can see my dad now setting off to the Oval with his packed lunch and trusty aircushion :)

    1. ……….Although in this case May refers to hawthorn, and it means “Don’t take a layer of clothing off until the hawthorn blossoms.” So the reference to June, is a pun or some such device.

      1. According to Brewers Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, although people take it to mean May blossom, it is more likely to mean ‘wait until the end of May’ ie June.

        1. In this case, I believe that they are Wrong, with a capital W.
          And I’m from up North, which proves it.

        2. ……..I stand corrected.

          I’ve done the research, and it turns out that despite a fair amount of academic discussion, it does indeed look like it means the month, not the flower.
          So thanks CS, “Every Day’s a Schoolday.”

  3. Brilliant! Worth waiting all week for. So many excellent clues, it’s difficult to choose but if I had to it’s def 20a, one of the most tricky shots in golf to get right. Even learned a new phrase in 3d, wasn’t he the servant in Around the World in 80 Days? Many thanks to the Master setter and to Gazza for his explanation of 6a. It must be a mind thing, I found this challenging but very doable but yet again failed to even start yesterday’s Ray T.

    1. Indeed yes! One of the most difficult golf shots…this was probablymy favourite clue and yes…3d was the esteemed servant…I knew it was familiar from somewhere.

  4. Enjoyable but not too much of a stretch today IMO. 8D was a new word for me. Very glad that I trudge down the road each morning to pick up the paper rather than having to rely on the electronic version! Thanks to G n G.

  5. I must really be in the zone this week as I found this one just slightly over 1* diffculty but definitely 4* enjoyment. My favourite was 5d – it relates to one of my favourite sayings. Thanks to Giovanni and Gazza – the only thing that spoiled the enjoyment was having to drive two miles there and back to the paper shop on my day off.

    The Micawber Toughie didn’t take me that long either (I told you I was in the zone) but is stupendous fun. As Jezza says above, definitely worth the tussle.

  6. Very enjoyable today. Wasn’t sure about 3D as I’d only heard of the phrase as Phileas Fogg’s servant as Brian mentions above. It didn’t help that I originally pencilled in STEN for 1D (player – South in bridge, not yet big – 10) – bit tenuous (and wrong) hence the pencil. Enjoyed 5D and 27A.

  7. Thanks to BD for sending me a PDF version without which I would not have enjoyed my mid morning brew of Yorksher Gold ‘alf as much!

    The Toughie’s well worth a go – get theesenstuckin!

  8. Tricky but good I thought.
    Just as well I had a long train journey for it though.

    I liked 20a, although I am more in the mood for a mashie nibble myself.

  9. Thanks for encouragement. If you want some more of my stuff today, please go to the Church Times website (no charge). Now if one of you wanted to blog the CT puzzle regularly (maybe on its website) there would be a thought …

    1. Thx Sir for another great Friday puzzle, you don’t by any chance do any courses on understanding Ray T puzzles?

      1. Brian, are you Barrie in disguise? But I know what you mean. Everyone seems to find the Monday Rufus very easy, whereas I always struggle.

    1. Mary’s been on her hols in sunnier climes (Tenerife) all week. She did fill in the appropriate paperwork before she went.

  10. No luck with the puzzle site again today. It’s hard to believe it could be getting worse! Could someone mail me the cryptic (and quick if possible), please. Thanks in hope.

    1. Post your e-mail address & I”ll send you on a copy of what BD sent me _ no quickie though I’m afraid

  11. Great puzzle today… only the third time I’ve completed a puzzle with no need for hints. Friday’s do seem to be my most successful puzzle solving days though.

  12. I am using this blog to check my answers. Although I did manage to get the crossword after nearly 3 hours of trying it is hard to get in during the day to check them. Thoroughly enjoyable, not too hard but hard enough to be challenging. I like 1a, 27a, 3d, and 5d.

  13. I finally got in and started the puzzle but lost it with touch of “finger trouble”. Now I can’t get it back. Would a samaritan help me with a pdf version please.

  14. Very enjoyable today especially after a day gardening in the cool sunshine. Last in 3 and 5 down. Looked at them for ages then thought about Round the World in Eighty Days, why? your guess is as good as mine, and there was the answer. 5D followed.
    Thanks to setter and Gazza for his review.

  15. I can’t generally do Fridays, so was delighted to finish this one – and without too much head-scratching either! Did have to do some searching for 8d – kind of had the word at the back of my head somewhere but wasn’t totally sure of the spelling. Spelt 27a wrong too, which didn’t help with 11d, but got there in the end. Liked 12 & 13a but think 20a was fav (being a golfer and having trouble with those particular shots!) Thanks to setter and hinter – certainly needed Gazza to really explain 3d, even though I had put it in – didn’t know about the card mounting bit.

  16. Nice one today – haven’t finished yet – I like to spin it out all day! That’s what happens when it gets delivered at 6.45am! I’m so glad my paperboy trudges here in all weathers – definitely worth the Christmas box he gets! For those that have trouble getting on-line, are there copyright issues if you put a .pdf on this site? Just a thought.

  17. can you email the pdf to me as well? we are across the pond and hubby is addicted (and sometimes me) to the DT Cryptic one…can’t get in on and off for a month, like others! sometimes you can get in for like a minute, then it all goes away lol

    many thanks! xo and if anyone knows the email address for the Daily Telegraph puzzle support, I would appreciate it…think it’s time to complain.

  18. wow thanks gazza, thanks crypticsue, you rule!

    and yes we have had to read your blog before to get some solution lol (though I am trying not to read your post above, we should start with being clueless first ;) )

  19. A very good puzzle from The Don – more like his usual stuff – many good clues!
    Faves :1a, 15a, 18a, 20a, 5d, 11d, 17d & 25d.

    Giovanni : last Friday I was rather negative about Chambers Xword Dictionary and 6a of this puzzle exemplifies what I meant. Under the entries for flat, note and sharp no relevant nuance is given!

    You may remember that Chambers Thesaurus, in its earliest editions, listed all nuances of a given word just alphabetically without separating the nuances. This was done in later editions and greatly improved usage.

    Perhaps this should be done in a revision of the Dictionary. Of course it would expand it!

    1. Re 5d, as Libellule will know, in France it is a month earlier ; “ne jeter pas de fil qu’à la fin d’avril”.

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