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DT 26731

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26731

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Straightforward and enjoyable (and possibly a relief for some after yesterday’s tougher puzzle) – what more can I say? A comment from you would be very welcome.
If you want to see an answer just highlight the space between the brackets under the clue.

Across Clues

1a  Young Conservative in Newcastle becomes business magnate (6)
{TYCOON} – put the abbreviation for Young Conservative inside where the natives of Newcastle “gan doon” for a night out to make a business magnate.

4a  It’s good having a small old-fashioned lamp (8)
{GASLIGHT} – string together G(ood), A and a synonym for small or delicate to make the kind of old-fashioned lamp that those of us who grew up in rural areas before the arrival of mains electricity remember well.

9a  Put label round each bishop that may have got into hot water (6)
{TEABAG} – something that is put into hot water comes from a label containing the abbreviations for each and a bishop on the chessboard.

10a  Notice one held by guide as being less likely to fall over (8)
{STEADIER} – a comparative meaning more stable or less likely to fall over is constructed by placing the abbreviation for a notice and I (one in Roman numerals) inside a verb to guide or direct.

11a  Something lacking in a cold salad? Tricky situation (3,6)
{HOT POTATO} – double definition.

13a  A residue of lipstick maybe from second kiss? (5)
{SPECK} – a tiny mark that may possibly be left behind by lipstick comes from S(econd) followed by a light kiss.

14a  Manly aviators flying for a charitable organisation (9,4)
{SALVATION ARMY} – an anagram (flying) of MANLY AVIATORS gives us a charitable organisation founded by General William Booth and structured on military lines.

17a  Like an unsophisticated saint — nothing more, nothing less (4,3,6)
{PURE AND SIMPLE} – a phrase meaning nothing more, nothing less could be a description of a holy and unsophisticated person.

21a  Cook rubbish (5)
{ROAST} – double definition, rubbish here being a verb meaning to criticise or pour scorn on.

23a  Rider and horse said to be in horrifying situation (9)
{NIGHTMARE} – a horrifying or unpleasant situation is a charade of a) what sounds like (said to be) a noble man in the Middle Ages who provided military service on horseback and b) a female horse. The homophone relates only to the rider, not the horse.

24a  Story books requiring editor with special gift (8)
{TALENTED} – the definition here is with special gift or accomplished. Start with a synonym for story and add the abbreviation for the second part of the Bible (books) and the usual abbreviated editor.

25a  Man on roof delivering abuse and beginning to riot (6)
{SLATER} – someone who may be working on your roof comes from a verb to deliver abuse, criticise or 21a followed by the first letter of R(iot).

26a  Resumes subjects for BA after vacation? (8)
{RESTARTS} – BA is not the airline but a university degree. Put the general area of subjects that you may study to get it after a vacation or time off.

27a  Showy marble protected from the elements? (6)
{TAWDRY} – this adjective meaning showy but of poor quality is a charade of a large or choice marble (new word for me) and a description of someone or something free from moisture (possibly due to being protected from the elements).

Down Clues

1d  Bird sitting on church, unknown and very small (6)
{TITCHY} – an informal word used to describe something very small comes from a small songbird followed by (on, in a down clue) one of the abbreviations for church and a mathematical unknown.

2d  Punisher of naughty cheats — ‘Sir’! (9)
{CHASTISER} – an anagram (naughty) of CHEATS SIR.

3d  Listed as one having a prolonged spell of good form (2,1,4)
{ON A ROLL} – double definition. This literally means listed (as someone entitled to vote may be, for example) but it is used figuratively to mean enjoying a continuing spell of good form.

5d  Giving the thumbs up to writer, I perform on stage maybe (11)
{AUTHORISING} – the definition is giving the thumbs up or the ok to a proposal. It’s a charade of a synonym for writer, I and an example of what a performer may do on stage.

6d  Affair in Australia is ongoing (7)
{LIAISON} – an affair or secret relationship is hidden in the clue.

7d  Smut produces scowl, putting Bill off (5)
{GRIME} – you need to ignore the false capitalisation of Bill. Start with a scowl or ugly expression and take out the AC (putting bill or account off) to leave smut or dirt.

8d  Country’s imprisoning any number — jailers here are old-fashioned (8)
{TURNKEYS} – an old word for prison warders comes from a country which is partly in Europe and partly in Asia with a letter used to mean any number inside it (imprisoning). The jailers in this country could certainly be said to be “old-fashioned” if they’re as portrayed in the film Midnight Express.

12d  A group getting on, fellows over time being neglected (11)
{ABANDONMENT} – a state of being neglected is constructed from A, a group (of musicians, possibly), ON, a synonym for fellows and, finally, T(ime).

15d  Bizarre ‘tree dance’ is performed again (2-7)
{RE-ENACTED} – an anagram (bizarre) of TREE DANCE.

16d  One controlling machine in drama, landing on hill (8)
{OPERATOR} – someone who controls a machine is a musical drama followed by (landing on, in a down clue) a rocky hill.

18d  Princess about to meet worker? One senses something in the air (7)
{ANTENNA} – reverse (about) the name of the Queen’s daughter and append it (to meet) to the usual Crosswordland worker. We have two definitions here – it’s a sensory appendage for certain insects and it’s also something that’s erected (in the air) to pick up radio or television signals.

19d  Bone in food paste getting everyone upset (7)
{PATELLA} – the scientific name for the kneecap (bone) is constructed from a rich savoury paste (often eaten on toast) followed by (getting) a reversal of another word for everyone.

20d  Prince soon begemmed (6)
{PEARLY} – the abbreviation of prince is followed by an adjective meaning soon or premature to make a description of someone or something festooned with gems (like the traditional working class “royalty” in the East End of London).

22d  Book finally complete? Not quite (5)
{ATLAS} – a phrase meaning finally (2,4) is not quite complete.

My favourite clues today are 3d, 8d and 18d. Let us know what you like.

Today’s Quickie Pun: {PLACED} + {ASIAN} = {PLAYSTATION}

47 comments on “DT 26731

  1. Certainly easier than yesterday! I enjoyed it – thanks to Giovanni, and to Gazza for the review.
    I vaguely recall the marble in 27a – I must have seen it in a crossword before!

    Back to the Toughie, which for me, is a little tricky.

  2. I enjoyed the crossword today – and it was certainly a relief after the trouble I had yesterday! I didn’t understand why 1a was what it obviously was and I’ve never heard of the “marble” in 27a but apart from those two I finished this quite easily and, for me anyway, quickly. 5d was my last one in – I spent a while trying to think of a specific writer – that was a bit dim. I liked 11a and 3, 8 and 19d. With thanks to Giovanni and Gazza. Off to do useful “stuff” now.

    1. Hi Kath, toon is slang for Newcastle, ie the Toon Army for Newcastle United FC. Then yc for Young Conservative written inside toon.

      1. Toon is Geordie dialect for “town” – but isn’t it a city?

        “Ye knaa what ah mean leik?”

  3. did quite well with this today ……(1d ) i managed to get this but was not sure where the Y came from , thanks to your clue all is now clear. best wishes

  4. Definitely a 3* for me today but totally enjoyable nevertheless.I can stll remember taws & alleys from my dim & distant childhood days.

  5. 1ac young conservative YC inside TOON, gives Tycoon, Newcastle football supporters are called The Toon Army. That may be the explanation.

  6. An excellent example of a quality crossword with good clues and answers and a sence of achievement at the end. What more do you want.
    Quality never goes out of fashion.
    Thanks to Giovanni and Gazza.

  7. The others have said it already – straightforward, enjoyable, good clues (I agree with Gazza’s top favourites). Thanks to both the Gs.

    I love Jezza’s description of the Toughie being a little tricky – the understatement of the week!!

      1. I struggled with yesterday’s toughie, but todays …..well! After your comments I think I’d better do the Christmas cards instead!

            1. Unfortunately, I looked at Today’s Toughie – never heard of half the solutions! I must brush up on my vocabulary!

              I will never again attempt the Toughie on Friday!

  8. I found this a bit tricky today but I didn’t help myself by having ‘slick’ for 13a instead of ‘speck’.
    ‘Slick’ is a residue after all but I suppose a peck is more appropriate for a kiss rather than a lick.

    1. I made a similar yet forgivable mistake by answering ‘smack’ for 13a. After all, the both ‘smack’ and ‘mack’
      are alternate words for kiss?

    1. It is a well-known abbreviation which these days appears more in crosswords than in daily life.

      1. Thanks Sue. Having not seen it before it came across as a little dubious but I shall add it to my lexicon as I navigate onwards.

  9. Many thanks to Giovanni for a very enjoyable and untaxing crossword and to Gazza for the usual superb review.

  10. Hi Gazza in 23a because ‘said’ comes after ‘horse’ it suggests it applies more to the horse than to the rider and if it applies to the rider then surely it must apply to the horse too, which it doesn’t if you know what I mean???

      1. I don’t understand why crossword editors don’t notice these things, do they actually go through each crossword before it is published?

  11. I agree slightly easier than yesterdays but by no means easy, I went right through it only doing one at first! A 3* for me today, 11a isn’t a ‘hot potato’ a sticky topic rather than a sticky situation?

    1. Chambers has “a controversial issue; a tricky problem or assignment that one would prefer not to touch”.

  12. Did anyone else find this extremely tough? Started well with the top left corner then came to a screaming halt. Needed not just the hints but also the answers to many clues today. Yesterday’s and today’s are def for the inside page Toughie as far as I am concerned. Don’t see how Roast could mean rubbish, surely the alternative meaning is to castigate someone. Nothing in my copy of Chambers has rubbish as a definition. Not my favourite Giovanni. Thx to Gazza for the hints.

    1. Brian,
      For to roast Chambers has “to criticize excessively, even sarcastically” and for to rubbish it has “to criticize”.

  13. I foolishly put ‘smack’ at 13a, which confused me utterly when it came to solving 7d, but that was the only spot where I had a problem. Otherwise I found this a very enjoyable puzzle. I remembered the ‘taw’ at 27a because it is a useful word in Scrabble. 8d and 17a were my favourite clues. So many thanks, as always to G&G.

    Would anyone like to play Scrabble with me online? :-)

  14. Thanks to the setter & Gazza. A nice fun solve, quite straightforward but had to think about a few. Taw was new to me in 27a, but guessed it from the wordplay. Favourites were 4a & 8d. Last in was 16d.

  15. Such a relief after yesterday’s – really enjoyed this one, it made my brain work but nothing was finally impossible. Guessed at 27a but then had to look up “taw” as this was unknown to me. Yes – very useful in Scrabble, whoever above said that – thanks! Didn’t particularly like 20d as, to me, “soon” is not “early”. If your guests will be here “soon”, then they’re not “early”, otherwise they would already be here – same goes for premature babies, IMHO. A small niggle! Favourites I think were 3d and 17a. Thanks to setter and hinter.

  16. I concur that this was a lot easier than 26,730 8d being the best. Last in was 7d which I thought was a rather weak clue.

    A nice quiet weekend in store – staying well away from the shops but not too far from a nice burgundy.

  17. Enjoyed this one a lot – but then I always like the Friday Giovanni puzzle (and always look out for Pasquale in the Grauniad).
    Never heard of the marble either but it had to be that to fit the rest of the clue.
    Thanks to Giovanni for an excellent puzzle, which was a tad more benign than yesterday’s ‘Toughie in disguise’!
    Thanks for the review Gazza – most entertaining as usual, but where’s the gratuitous picture?.

    1. I kept thinking of the film Fanny By 4a for an illustration but it seemed just too gratuitous :D

    1. I must say that I don’t drink tea, but if I make it for others, I do the same; put it in and add hot water.

  18. Finished this from The Don earlier this evening but then had to go with my daughter and family to the dorpskerk in Wassenaar
    for the annual Christmas Carols Performance – exceptionally good!

    Faves : 4a, 13a, 17a, 27a, 7d, 8d, 18d & 20d.

    Gazza – I was surprised that you did not know that a marble is a taw – perhaps this is common only in the north of GB!

    We used to wear out our thumbnails playing taws in Leeds when I was a kid! Look up Taw on Google!

    1. Well I lived in the Manchester area for 35 years but by the time I moved there I was too old to play marbles, so I never came across the word taw.

  19. Just caught up with this. Definitely an enjoyable and quite straight-forward puzzle – I do like it when 1a goes in immediately.
    27a was the only one that eluded me and I needed the hint. Not heard of that marble before, like many others here I see…
    But, yeah, a top offering from Giovanni! :)

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