DT 26725

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26725

Hints and tips by Gazza

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Thanks to Giovanni for an entertaining puzzle today (which I must say I enjoyed a lot more than his Toughie yesterday). Let us know what you thought.
If you want to see an answer just highlight the space between the brackets under the clue.

Across Clues

7a  Inside vehicle find your broken implement (5,3)
{CARRY OUT} – a phrasal verb meaning to implement comes from putting an anagram (broken) of YOUR inside a vehicle.

9a  Soldier in road cut down — extremely sad (6)
{TRAGIC} – the abbreviation for a US soldier is inserted in a rough road without its final K (cut down).

10a  A member of the House before presenting current measure (6)
{AMPERE} – this measure of current is a charade of A, an elected representative and a poetic synonym for before.

11a  Bold opposition of French fellow anticipating marriage (8)
{DEFIANCE} – the French word for ‘of’ is followed by a man who is engaged to be married.

12a  One of the FIFA bosses, say, in an advantageous position? (5,2,3,4)
{AHEAD OF THE GAME} – a phrase meaning in a more advantageous position than expected could also mean, with a slight change of enumeration to (1,4,2,3,4), Sepp Blatter or one of his senior colleagues at FIFA.

15a  Not all sleep, it seems, in beds (4)
{PITS} – hidden (not all) in the clue is an informal word for beds (as a noun, not a verb!).

17a  Predicament almost entirely due to quarrel (5)
{SCRAP} – remove the final E (almost entirely) from a difficult or embarrassing predicament to leave a quarrel or minor fight.

19a  Heavy metal’s No. 1 performer (4)
{LEAD} – double definition, the second being the star performer (in a film or play, for example).

20a  ‘It’s most logical to change’: experts warning of catastrophe? (14)
{CLIMATOLOGISTS} – these experts who are almost unanimous in warning us of severe difficulties to come are an anagram (to change) of IT’S MOST LOGICAL.

23a  Munitions are not put outside back of barrack-room in the morning (8)
{ARMAMENT} – a mass noun meaning military weapons and equipment is formed by putting the contracted form of ‘are not’ around (outside) the last letter (back) of (barrack-roo)M and the abbreviation meaning in the morning.

25a  Duke has Barnaby as a servant (6)
{DRUDGE} – follow the abbreviation of duke with the surname of Barnaby, the eponymous hero of a Charles Dickens novel to make a menial servant.

27a  The man given antibiotic initially was first to get better again (6)
{HEALED} – a past participle meaning better again after an illness is a charade of a male pronoun (the man), the initial letter of A(ntibiotic) and a verb meaning was first.

28a  Plant producing metalloid element — a thousand laid off (8)
{GERANIUM} – remove (laid off) the Roman numeral for a thousand from a metalloid element once used extensively in electronic devices for its properties as a semiconductor to leave a plant bearing long, narrow fruits shaped like the bill of a crane.

Down Clues

1d  Rural set-up that’s distant, miles to the south (4)
{FARM} – this rural business is an adjective meaning distant followed by (to the south, in a down clue) the abbreviation for miles.

2d  Got very hot over a woman (6)
{FRIEDA} – normally when a forename appears in an answer I try to illustrate the hint with a well-known person having that name. That’s a bit difficult here but I have got a picture of Ms. Hughes, the poet and daughter of Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath. Put a verb meaning got very hot (by lying too long in the blazing sun, for example) in front of (over, in a down clue) A.

3d  Boss to consider finishing early (4)
{STUD} – in the surface boss is an employer but as a definition it means a projecting knob. Remove the final Y (finishing early) from a verb meaning to consider or look intently at.

4d  Naughty little creature — it’s knocked over hamper (6)
{STIFLE} – a verb meaning to hamper or restrain comes from putting together a mischievous but small supernatural creature and IT’S (given in the clue) then reversing all of it (knocked over).

5d  Possessed what was necessary for game and made whoopee (3,1,4)
{HAD A BALL} – double definition.

6d  Record agent and worker not agreeing (10)
{DISCREPANT} – we’re more used to seeing the nounal form of this adjective meaning not agreeing or not tallying. We have to bring together a) the traditional device for distributing a musical record, b) the abbreviation for a sales agent and c) the usual Crosswordland worker.

8d  Individual needs to get right round America — not easy (7)
{ONEROUS} – an adjective meaning not easy or burdensome comes from stringing together a word for an individual thing or person, R(ight), a round letter and one of the abbreviations for America.

13d  Device that can make the lock turn (4,6)
{HAIR CURLER} – cryptic definition. Lock doesn’t mean a security device here.

14d  Fish has lost tail, the power-booster (5)
{TURBO} – remove (has lost tail) the final T from a large flatfish to leave the abbreviated form of a mechanism for boosting the power of an engine.

16d  Proper bust? A lie — it’s false! (8)
{SUITABLE} – an adjective meaning proper or acceptable is an anagram (it’s false) of BUST A LIE.

18d  One making slow progress in place — stranger (7)
{PLODDER} – the definition here is one making slow (but steady) progress. Start with the abbreviation for place (as used in a street directory, say) and add a synonym for stranger or weirder.

21d  Death interrupts Turkish commander’s plan for action (6)
{AGENDA} – a synonym for death goes inside (interrupts) the title of a military commander in the Ottoman Empire to make a formal plan of things to be done.

22d  A gun I fired to get a lizard (6)
{IGUANA} – a large lizard comes from an anagram (fired) of A GUN I followed by (to get) A.

24d  Notice on discardable item in African country? (4)
{TOGO} – this country in West Africa is possibly (hence the question mark) what you might write (2,2) on something you want a rubbish collector to take away.

26d  Difficulty down below after good food (4)
{GRUB} – LOL, but this isn’t the price you have to pay the morning after a hot curry. The definition is a slang term for food and it’s G(ood) followed (down below, in a down clue) by a word (originating in Shakespeare’s Hamlet) for the central problem or difficulty.

I liked 20a and 4d but my favourite clue today is 26d. Let us know what you liked.

Since I’m rather short of illustrations today here’s a joke which made me laugh this morning, courtesy of Judi Spiers on Radio Devon:

The school was breaking up for Christmas and several of the children had brought in presents for their teacher. One child gave her a tray of fruit and another handed over a nice box of sweets. Then a shy little boy stepped forward with a parcel.
– Thank you, said the teacher. Don’t tell me what it is. Let me guess.
She noticed that it was leaking so she ran her finger through the liquid and tasted it, then asked “Hmm, is it champagne?”.
– No.
She had another taste. “Well is it sherry?”.
– No.
She tried it again. “Is it white wine then?”.
– No. It’s a puppy.

 

Today’s Quickie Pun: {QUEUE} + {BRUTE} = {CUBE ROOT}. Thanks to Crypticsue for this, since the online site are stuck in a time warp and are still showing yesterday’s Quick Puzzle.

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49 Comments

  1. Collywobbles
    Posted December 2, 2011 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    Well, I’ve taken a first pass and judging from my success I would give it 3*. I may find that it is different when I go back and pick my way through it

    • Collywobbles
      Posted December 2, 2011 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

      Once I picked my way into it I found it a lot easier so back to 2* for me.I had to use some of your hints Gazza as I didn’t fully understand why I got the clues right and thanks for that

  2. mary
    Posted December 2, 2011 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    good morning Gazza, a tough one for me today, a 3 or 4 * IMHO, would never have understood 24d or 26d without your explainations, and got stuck on the vision of a lock being picked by a hair clip in 13d! 2d – I thought Freda was spelt without an I , isn’t that the German way of spelling it, if so shouldn’t there be an indicator that is was German woman? also 28a is ‘healed’ the same as ‘to get better’ surely it is ‘got better’, sorry I seem picky today, but these are genuine queries for me :-D thanks for hints Gazza, once again, couldn’t have done it without you

    • gazza
      Posted December 2, 2011 at 11:35 am | Permalink

      Hi mary,
      The name was originally German but the lady pictured isn’t German so it’s not restricted to German people.
      For 27a the definition is “better again”. The “to get” are just linking words meaning “to obtain the answer ..”.

      • mary
        Posted December 2, 2011 at 11:52 am | Permalink

        Of course they are I ‘see’ that now, thanks Gazza :-)

        • mary
          Posted December 2, 2011 at 11:57 am | Permalink

          that also leads me to see my query re23a yesterday in a different light with the word ‘was’ being the linking word, that explains what nobody else did yesterday but I should have seen it, thanks Gazza :-)

  3. Posted December 2, 2011 at 11:45 am | Permalink

    Morning all from another grey day in the West Country. Extremely enjoyable and not too easy fare from the big G today. Got totally stumped with the FIFA thing as ‘overpaid bribe taking racism denying vote rigging tyrant’ didn’t seem to fit for some reason. Loved 20A (even if I am a sceptic when it comes to man made global warming, sorry if I upset anyone) and I thought 28A was an absolutely stunning clue.

    Is it just me, or does it seem to be snowing in here?

    • mary
      Posted December 2, 2011 at 11:53 am | Permalink

      hi skempie re the snow see Daves comment above :-)

      • Posted December 2, 2011 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

        There aren’t any comments from Dave above

        • Posted December 2, 2011 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

          :-(

        • Jezza
          Posted December 2, 2011 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

          The comment is the first line of BD’s review of DT 26720.

          • Addicted
            Posted December 2, 2011 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

            Thank heaven for that – I thought it was my eyes or, worse, my computer!!

            • Silveroak
              Posted December 2, 2011 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

              I thought I was getting a migraine because that is exactly what starts to happen before one.

    • Heno
      Posted December 2, 2011 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

      Hi Skempie, I liked your comment about Blatter, I hope he gets his comeuppance sometime soon :-)

  4. Chris
    Posted December 2, 2011 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    Quite good today. I thought 12a clue was quite neat.
    Got stuck on 17a for a while (didn’t think of adding an e at the end!).
    Shouldn’t 23a be plural from the clue?

    • gazza
      Posted December 2, 2011 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

      23a For armament Chambers has “munitions, especially for warships”.

  5. eXternal
    Posted December 2, 2011 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

    Quite simple with no major hold-ups. Got the long ones and the rest fell into place. No stand-out clues for me today. Thx setter and blogger

  6. Jezza
    Posted December 2, 2011 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

    A very enjoyable puzzle – thanks to Giovanni, and to Gazza for the review.

  7. Roland
    Posted December 2, 2011 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    Very enjoyable puzzle today, but quite a quick run-through for me. The one that I was left stroking my imaginary beard over was 24d, which had to be the answer but I just couldn’t see why until the penny finally dropped with a large CLANG!!!. When I saw the crossing letters I had at the time for 12a, I was fairly sure that the last 3 words were going to be “on the take”, which would have been more than apt. Thanks to G n G.

  8. Kath
    Posted December 2, 2011 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

    This was trickier than 2* for me but have had various interruptions this morning – my excuse anyway! Good crossword – I enjoyed it very much. 23 and 28a and 24d took me ages to understand even though I had the answers. Favourites today include 11, 20 and 25a and 4, 13 and 26d. With thanks to Giovanni and Gazza – for the hints and your joke.

  9. Julian of EC4
    Posted December 2, 2011 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

    just got this from the oracle
    Thank you for your reply email

    Subscribers can access Quick 26,725 through the following menus:

    The “Puzzles” menu on the Home page;
    The “Crossword Puzzles” menu on the top bar;
    The “Search Puzzle Archive” menu on the right side of the screen.

    The “Today’s puzzles” display on the Home page still says 26,724, and will remain that way until this updates overnight so please follow procedure above for todays puzzle

    We are sorry for any inconvenience

    Yours sincerely

    Customer Services
    Telegraph Media Group

    • Posted December 2, 2011 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

      Julian

      I have edited out the name of the person who sent you this email – I had a complaint the last time!

    • Posted December 2, 2011 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

      BTW It certainly wasn’t there earlier when I wrote to the editor – it must have been added.

    • crypticsue
      Posted December 2, 2011 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

      Is it just me, or does ‘Julian of EC4’ sound like a character from history? :D

      • Julian of EC4
        Posted December 2, 2011 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

        Well I used to work in EC4 before being made redundant, So I guess you could say I’m history….

        • Julian of EC4
          Posted December 2, 2011 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

          having printed out the quick crossword I see its all of a dither about 12 across, so back to the email….

          • crypticsue
            Posted December 2, 2011 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

            The clue for 12 ac in the Quickie is Indefinitely (2, 9). It’s very obvious and seems to refer to the situation with Telegraph puzzles :D

            • Julian of EC4
              Posted December 2, 2011 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

              The clue is there but they havent bothered to put any blanks in. I just looked at the ‘do it on line jobbie and that’s all over the place too I think this problem could go on adinfinitum…..

              • crypticsue
                Posted December 2, 2011 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

                Ad nauseum probably

                • Julian of EC4
                  Posted December 2, 2011 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

                  only i don’t think that will fit in….

  10. upthecreek
    Posted December 2, 2011 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

    Enjoyed this apart from 2d which was very poor [christian name again and a far fetched one at that – grrrrrrr] . Got 6 wrong to start with so that made 12 a bit difficult. On the whole a good workout.

  11. crypticsue
    Posted December 2, 2011 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

    The usual enjoyable start to Friday from Giovanni – thank you to him and thank you to Gazza too.

    The Friday Toughie is by Elgar and he has his Vlad the Impaler hob-nailed stomping boots on today. It will take you ages, you will need to groan a bit and a darkened room on standby when you have finished. :) That sounds like I didn’t enjoy myself, which I did, I am just saying you will need to devote time and all your brainpower to it.

    • Kath
      Posted December 2, 2011 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

      This sounds as if I should, perhaps, give it a miss today ….

  12. Julian of EC4
    Posted December 2, 2011 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

    If I’d cocked it up I guess I’d have wanted to keep my name out of it too! I had to ‘complain’ and then reply to their ‘we’ve fixed it’ email to say it still wasn’t ‘there’
    Thanks for your blog by the way its sometimes more fun reading it and the comments than it is doing some of the harder puzzles!

  13. Franny
    Posted December 2, 2011 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

    Well, I mucked things up for myself by putting ‘discordant’ at 6d, which meant I was completely stumped by 12a and would never have found 2d without your help. Apart from that I had no great problems, so thanks to G&G. :-)

    • Kath
      Posted December 2, 2011 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

      I spent ages trying to make it “discordant” too – thankfully didn’t get as far as writing it in. :smile:

      • Chris
        Posted December 2, 2011 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

        Yes, I did that too

  14. toadson
    Posted December 2, 2011 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

    Took a while – hardest of the week for me. Needed the review to fully justify 24d and 28a. Some enjoyable clues though. Thanks to G and G. Good joke Gazza, will pass it on to my other half who is a junior school teacher – should be well received in the staff room at this time of year!

  15. Brian
    Posted December 2, 2011 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

    Really loved today’s offering from the Friday Maestro. The electronic DT is still working well in Thailand. Too many excellent clues to single one out.
    Thx to all concerned.

  16. BigBoab
    Posted December 2, 2011 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to the two Gs for the usual Friday offering, fun but not too taxing and a fun review ( loved the wee joke )

    • Kath
      Posted December 2, 2011 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

      :grin:

  17. Heno
    Posted December 2, 2011 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to the two G’s. A very enjoyable puzzle. Favourites were 25& 28a and 14& 21d. Last in was 2d, which took ages until I remembered an alternative spelling for Freda.

  18. Addicted
    Posted December 2, 2011 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the hints Gazza, otherwise I wouldn’t have finished as 10a was a complete blank – also my geography isn’t that good, so 24d was a bit of a guess! I got 28a but, please, when does that plant have “long narrow fruits shaped like the bill of a crane”? I’ve never seen them! Got 26d but couldn’t quite see the justification, so thanks for explaining that. Definitely 3* difficulty for me, if not perhaps 4*? – maybe I’ll give it 3.5*. Thanks to setter as well.

    • gazza
      Posted December 2, 2011 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

      I could write what I know about flowers on the back of a stamp, but the alternative name for geranium is apparently cranesbill. This is what Wikipedia has to say about them:
      The English name “cranesbill” derives from the appearance of the fruit capsule of some of the species. Species in the Geranium genus have a distinctive mechanism for seed dispersal. This consists of a beak-like column which springs open when ripe and casts the seeds some distance. The fruit capsule consists of five cells each containing one seed, joined to a column produced from the centre of the old flower. The common name cranesbill comes from the shape of the un-sprung column, which in some species is long and looks like the bill of a crane. Many species in this genus do not have a long beak-like column.

      • Addicted
        Posted December 2, 2011 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

        I bow to Wikipedia! I have obviously only ever grown the ones in the last sentence!! Thank you for the courtesy of your reply Gazza.

        • gazza
          Posted December 2, 2011 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

          I didn’t base my hint purely on Wikipedia. This is how Chambers defines geranium:
          a plant of the genus Geranium with seed vessels like a crane’s bill, typical of the family Geraniaceae.

          • Addicted
            Posted December 2, 2011 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

            I think my second name is “Ignorant”! That’s one reason I love this blog – you learn something every day. Keep up the good work!

  19. Mike Turvil
    Posted December 3, 2011 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

    Frieda? – She was the girl with curly hair in Charlie Brown’s “Peanuts”