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DT 26716

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26716

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment **

We have a pretty straightforward puzzle with nothing too exciting today. Let us know what you made of it.
If you want to see an answer just highlight the space between the brackets under the troublesome clue.

Across Clues

1a  Evidence of a burglar? Disturbing — isn’t proof about time? (10)
{FOOTPRINTS} – an anagram (disturbing) of ISN’T PROOF goes around T(ime) to make what could be evidence of a burglar. The surface isn’t very smooth.

6a  Sucker taking in old TV serial (4)
{SOAP} – an informal North American word for a foolish or gullible person goes round (taking in) O(ld) to make a TV serial based on the lives of a group of characters. The word for sucker doesn’t seem to have made it into Chambers, at least not in my edition.

9a  Vulgar man squeezing female’s rear (5)
{CHEAP} – another word for man goes round (squeezing) the last letter (rear) of (femal)E.

10a  Nasty trick, inhaling hydrogen at the same time (9)
{MEANWHILE} – we want an adverb meaning at the same time. Insert (inhaling) the chemical symbol for hydrogen in a charade of an adjective meaning nasty or unpleasant and a trick or ruse.

12a  Scottish island, for example, backing position (7)
{ARRANGE} – the definition here is position as a verb, i.e. to set out or exhibit like flowers in a vase. Start with an island in the Firth of Clyde and add the abbreviation of for example reversed (backing).

13a  Spotted returning without daughter’s requirements (5)
{NEEDS} – reverse (returning) a past participle meaning spotted and insert (without) D(aughter).

15a  Merchant initially abandoned mince he’s prepared for restaurant (7)
{CHINESE} – an anagram (prepared) of (m)INCE HE’S without the initial letter of merchant gives us a type of restaurant. I think that some indication (e.g. a question mark or “maybe”) that the answer is just a type or example of restaurant would help here.

17a  He’s not upset about runs to get trim (7)
{SHORTEN} – a verb meaning to trim or curtail comes from an anagram (upset) of HE’S NOT around the abbreviation used for runs in cricket statistics.

19a  After treatment I rang her, having left hospital more annoyed (7)
{ANGRIER} – an anagram (after treatment) of I RANG (h)ER without H(ospital).

21a  Oliver, perhaps, making outrageous claim about America (7)
{MUSICAL} – for our fourth anagram in a row the indicator is outrageous, the fodder is CLAIM and you have to arrange it around an abbreviation for America to make what Oliver was an example of (although it was spelt with an exclamation mark, i.e. Oliver!).

22a  Table talk about queen (5)
{CHART} – a table (in a spreadsheet, for example) comes from putting a word for casual talk around R(egina).

24a  Persistently question family for something you can eat (7)
{PUMPKIN} – a charade of a verb to question persistently or interrogate and a word for family make a large orange-yellow fruit.

27a  Urgent — I’m to step in (9)
{IMMEDIATE} – start with I’M and add a verb to step in or act as peacemaker.

28a  Ring caught by dog to be found (5)
{OCCUR} – a verb meaning to be found or exist is constructed from a ring-shaped letter, C(aught) and the usual Crosswordland synonym for a dog.

29a  Those at the game departed, leaving league for good (4)
{GATE} – the definition is those at the game, i.e. the total attendance. Start with an adjective meaning departed (i.e. no longer living) and replace (leaving) the L(eague) with G(ood).

30a  Without resistance, Noel’s play’s rewritten for my part (10)
{PERSONALLY} – an anagram (rewritten) of NOEL’S PLAY contains (without) R(esistance) to make an adverb meaning for my part or as far as I am concerned.

Down Clues

1d  Truth from a Conservative framed by newspaper (4)
{FACT} – put A and C(onservative) inside (framed by) the pink newspaper.

2d  Running ordinary exercise class (9)
{OPERATING} – a present participle meaning running or managing is built from O(rdinary), the abbreviation for physical exercise and a synonym for class or grade.

3d  There’s no male inside to spoil what you’re reading? (5)
{PAPER} – what you may be reading starts off as a verb meaning to spoil or cosset, then the M(ale) is taken out.

4d  Huge semi demolished with blokes inside (7)
{IMMENSE} – an anagram (demolished) of SEMI has another word for blokes inside.

5d  Tenor and composer on small tours (7)
{TRAVELS} – T(enor) and the French composer who wrote Boléro are followed by (on, in a down clue) S(mall).

7d  Where penguin might be waiting? (2,3)
{ON ICE} – double definition, the first a description of where a penguin might be standing.

8d  Fresh plants lay around middle of bed, in an attractive manner (10)
{PLEASANTLY} – an anagram (fresh) of PLANTS LAY contains the middle letter of (b)E(d).

11d  Gust that hurt soprano’s eyes (7)
{WINDOWS} – the definition here is eyes (which are regarded as apertures through which others may peer into one’s soul). Put together a) a synonym for gust, b) a mild exclamation you might utter if you dropped a hammer on your toe, and c) S(oprano).

14d  Erasing writing quickly (10)
{SCRATCHING} – double definition.

16d  Was present left to absorb son? (7)
{EXISTED} – a past tense meaning was present or prevailed comes from a verb meaning left or went out with S(on) inserted (to absorb).

18d  Specialised new ICT can help after loss of power (9)
{TECHNICAL} – an anagram (new) of ICT CAN HEL(p) after P(ower) has been removed.

20d  Succeed by record length in running competition (7)
{REPLACE} – the definition here is succeed (as one monarch or Prime Minister may do to his/her predecessor, for example). Insert an old vinyl record and L(ength) inside a running completion.

21d  Arms and legs with marks — evidence of a fire? (7)
{MEMBERS} – a generic term for arms and legs comes from M(arks) (the old, and the way things are going possibly future, German currency) followed by what’s left after a fire.

23d  Let in first man without hint of any sex appeal (5)
{ADMIT} – a verb meaning to let in is constructed from the first man in Genesis without one first letter (hint) of A(ny) followed by a short word for personal magnetism or sex appeal.

25d  Recognised immediately in outskirts of Kingston (5)
{KNOWN} – an adjective meaning recognised or noted requires an adverb meaning immediately or without delay to be placed inside the outer letters of K(ingsto)N.

26d  Bachelor escapes from eccentric host (4)
{ARMY} – what host (indicating a large number) is an archaic term for comes from a slang word for eccentric or mentally unstable after the initial B(achelor) has escaped.

The clues I liked best today were 29a and 11d. Which ones (if any) did you like?

Today’s Quickie Pun: {SEIZE} + {NAILS} = {SEA SNAILS}

64 comments on “DT 26716

    1. I made it nine. I tend only to complain about the number of anagrams these days if I have to take my socks off to count them :D

  1. Thanks to the setter & Gazza for the review and hints, which luckily I didn’t need. I found this quite straightforward, favourites were 24a & 7d. Last in was 21d.

  2. I like anagrams but found them rather overdone today. Everything else very straightforward so only one star from me.

  3. Ooooo Errrrr, what’s happened to this site – it looks totally different.

    Fun but rather untaxing crossword today, can’t say I have any favourites, but 26D made me chuckle as I was looking for a four letter word in ‘eccentric host’ meaning bachelor and immediately spotted RICH.

  4. As others have mentioned, I was not too keen on the number of anagrams in this puzzle. The last one in for me, in what was otherwise a very gentle puzzle, was 6a.
    Thanks to setter, and to gazza for the notes.

  5. Yes, anagrams definitely on the increase … liked 24a, and not really convinced by 11d … we seem to be going through an easy spell at present

  6. Even easier than yesterday for me. Lacked a bit of variety, I thought. Lots of anagrams and very many single letter indicators. I agree with Gazza that, strictly speaking, 15a should have a query to indicate it as a definition by example. But where the definitions are obvious examples, these days, there seems to be some looseness allowed.

  7. A minute smidge less straightforward than yesterday for me. I did like 11d. Thanks to the Mystery Setter and Gazza too.

    The Toughie shouldn’t cause anyone any problems at all today, so give it a go.

    1. Hi CrypticSue, it’s bothering me :-) I’ve got “peculiar “for 27a, but I think 25d is “used”. Any help would be welcome thanks.

      1. peculiar is wrong – 24d is right. You are looking for an old coin which is an anagram of pecuinary without the R (Rex left). Sorry BD I know I am breaking the rules but he did ask nicely :)

  8. I find that the anagrams help me to get in although 9 may be a bit OTT. However, did enjoy puzzle today which shows that it does not need to be difficult to enjoy. Thanks to Gazza for the hints which, fortuitously, I did not need.
    Where’s Mary today?

    1. You just have to see what fits, I’m afraid. We have two examples of anagrams with apostrophes in this puzzle. (M)INCE HE’S prepared and NOEL’S PLAY’S rewritten. In the first one the S is part of the anagram fodder, whereas the second one isn’t. Both are fair. It is down to the solver to determine whether to include the S or not. You can normally determine this by checking the fodder length against the answer length. Obviously, when you have single letter deductions or insertions, it makes it a bit more difficult to work out.

      1. Thanks. Was a bit wrong footed by the rule (admittedly of my own creation) that the trailing ‘S was a variable but the preceding one wouldn’t be. If you follow my meaning.

      1. I’ve been going back and forward daily to Edinburgh with her for her radiotherapy treatment ( another week to go ) so haven’t been able to get on line much. Thanks for asking Gazza she is ok and is now completely clear of cancer.

        1. Sorry, BigBoab, I knew this was going on but have neglected to ask having been wrapped up in my own little world. Glad all is going well. A friend had the all clear after treatment in the last couple of months as well.

  9. Still stuck on 26d keep coming back to it but have a complete block. Anyone offer an alternative clue? I know, I know how hard can a 4 letter clue be when you already have 2 letters?!!

    1. Jo,
      We’re not keen on giving alternative clues. It’s better to try to understand the one the setter’s provided. The word you want for eccentric in the clue is “barmy”.

        1. Sorry, still learning protocol here, don’t want to tread on any toes,(especially those belonging to the guys setting us so much entertainment every day).
          Thanks Gazza got 26d now – duh….

  10. Done it but didn’t really like it – thought some of the definitions a tad “stretched”, but perhaps that’s just little ol’ literal me! But fun on a miserable grey morning when I couldn’t move too far as the ground-floor carpets were being cleaned. Thanks to setter and Gazza for explanations.

  11. My iPad version of Chambers has the following (among others) definition for ‘sucker’: A gullible person, one taken advantage of (informal). The definition of *** contains: ***ˈhead noun (informal): A fool, a weak or foolish person; but there is no direct connection either way.

    It’s the same in Webster has “A person easily cheated or deceived” for sucker; and “a foolish, gullible person” for ***.

    Readers of American pulp detective fiction will have no problem linking both words. ;)

    1. That’s Mirriam Webster, BTW. I’m sure I typed it properly; sometimes my iPad demonstrates a mind of its own … and too much machine intelligence. I think Alan Turing is hiding inside.

    2. For sap the ODE has “a foolish and gullible person”.
      I see now that Chambers has it as meaning the same as saphead, for which the meaning is as you’ve given (i.e. no mention of gullibility).

  12. Hi Gazza late calling in again, finished early (started early too) as had to go for some scans today, so I was glad of the anagrams to get me going, I like anagrams anyway, I enjoyed this one not just because it was a little easier but because all the clues were workable i.e. you could understand from the reading of the clues mostly what the setter was looking for and how to go about getting it, 3* for enjoyment and 2/3* for difficulty for me today, agree 1a didn’t read very well

    1. re 6a in my edition of Chambers Crossword dictionary 2007 edition it does give ‘sap’ under ‘sucker’ but not vice versa

  13. Got my DT very late this afternoon as had to wait for TNTPost to deliver me a parcel – if you aren’t in when they come they dump it at a PO at the other end of the town which is bothersome for me as I can’t drive my car any more.
    Finished it over a G&T – faves : 1a, 10a, 15a, 21a, 24a, 29a, 5d, 11d, 18d, 21d & 26d.

    Norwegian salmon and French fries tonight with NZ sauvignon blanc.

    100% mist vanished today and we had sun again.

  14. I am fairly new to the world of cryptic crosswords and find your excellent tips essential if I am have any chance of completing a crossword.
    However, I am put off by a number of correspondents who complain about too many anagrams; for us beginners they are often our best chance
    of getting started and making progress. These correspondents who complain have probably been doing crosswords for a long time and may have
    forgotten how difficult cryptics appear to newcomers. If people find too many anagrams make solving a crossword a trivial experience, may I suggest
    that they just do the Toughie or tackle the crossword in another newspaper instead!

    1. Welcome to the blog Barry

      Everyone is free to express their opinions here, but we prefer that negative criticisms are constructive, so someone saying “I didnt like it because there were too many anagrams” is preferable to someone just saying “It was horrid”.

    2. I’m not new to cryptics but I STILL like anagrams – I agree that they are often the easiest way to get started, particularly if it’s a difficult crossword. Good luck! :smile:

    3. “This town ain’t big enough for the both of us” – Der ner ner ner!
      Actually I am usually here as gnomethang but the muddies have been suitably watered!

      1. Hi Barry – wish you’d decde whether to come out of the closet or not! These name changes confuse a bear of little brain like me!
        Anagrams? I don’t really like them because I’m the world’s worst at unravelling them! But they are an easy route into even an Elgar Toughie – assuming you can spot them!

  15. Started this one late so have only just finished. Not too difficult and didn’t need the hints although I always read them anyway – if I dropped a hammer on my toe I think I might say something a bit different to what Gazza suggested in his hint for 11d! It took me a while to get 9a – I couldn’t get beyond “creep” (vulgar man?) but couldn’t justify it so, luckily, didn’t put it in. I liked 22 and 29a and 3, 21 and 26d. With thanks to the setter and to Gazza.
    Christmas cake in oven! :smile:

  16. Bit of a steal today and marginally easier than yesterday’s. Last in 6a. Thanks for the review. 26,717 will be harder.

  17. I did find that the middle of the across clue all sort of fell together with the same construction. To be fair to the setter they weren’t all anagrams but were more of a //anagram this having first inserted/removed this// type. No problems with these types of clues but the balance, for me, when solving appeared to make the whole thing a bit routine but I don’t have any real complaints since I solve across then down.
    Thanks to gazza (not Jake the Peg on anagrams I hope!) and the setter.

  18. Although I got 30A, I can’t really get my head around how ‘Without resistance…’ can possibly imply that one must use the (R)esistance rather than take it out?

    1. Simon

      Without is used by some setters to indicate “outside”, so the clue reads “outside R(esistance) put an anagram (rewritten) of NOELS PLAY”

      Personally I disapprove of this usage because without actually means completely outside not, as used here, surrounding – as in the Christmas carol “There is a green hill far away, without a city wall” in which the hill is outside the wall but not surrounding the city.

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