DT 26740

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26740

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty *Enjoyment **

Perhaps the setters think that we’ll all be stressed out with preparing for the festivities this week and have decided to go easy on us with some not too strenuous fare. Certainly this one is not very stress-inducing, including as it does quite a lot of fairly simple anagrams. Your comments, as always, are very welcome.
If you need to see an answer just drag your cursor through the space between the brackets under the relevant clue.

Across Clues

1a  Second best? That’s a laugh (6)
{SCREAM} – an informal word for something irresistibly funny comes from S(econd) followed by a word meaning the very best.

5a  Pop off inside theatre block (8)
{STOPPAGE} – an anagram (off) of POP goes inside a general term for theatre to make a block or obstruction.

9a  Following a trend to a certain extent (5,1,7)
{AFTER A FASHION} – substitute synonyms for following and trend to make a phrase meaning to a certain extent or “more or less”.

10a  Star dies unexpectedly — a calamity (8)
{DISASTER} – an anagram (unexpectedly) of STAR DIES.

11a  Singular clergyman heading off for a division (6)
{SECTOR} – follow S(ingular) with a clergyman in the Church of England without the leading R (heading off) to make a division or branch.

12a  Don’t forget about leaving part (6)
{MEMBER} – start with a verb meaning the opposite of forget and drop the two-letter prefix meaning about or concerning (about leaving). What remains should be a part or constituent.

14a  Late drink produced from ornate thing with stopper (8)
{NIGHTCAP} – an anagram (ornate) of THING is followed by a stopper (on a bottle, say) to make a drink late in the day.

16a  French PM and MP installing a decorative object in the House? (4,4)
{LAVA LAMP} – the surname of a controversial politician who was four times Prime Minister of France and who was tried and executed in 1945 for collaboration with the Nazis is followed by MP, then A is inserted to make a decorative object that might be found in a house. The false capitalisation of house is an attempt to make us think of a legislative assembly.

19a  River ban due for review (6)
{DANUBE} – the name of a great European river is an anagram (for review) of BAN DUE.

21a  Bowls data is wrong (6)
{STADIA} – the types of bowl where sporting events are held (though not all of these are bowl-shaped) are an anagram (wrong) of DATA IS.

23a  Cavalry force of yore — many lost (8)
{YEOMANRY} – for our third anagram in a row the indicator is lost and the fodder is YORE MANY. Not too difficult – if you say the fodder aloud you pretty well have the answer.

25a  What’s made guy gay? Reversal in attitude (6,2,5)
{CHANGE OF HEART} – this is a reversal in attitude. If you apply it literally to gUy you may end up with gAy.

26a  The woman’s energy before crossing a cathedral city (8)
{HEREFORD} – this is a cathedral city in England. It’s a charade of a possessive adjective (the woman’s), E(nergy) and a shallow crossing place on a river.

27a  Rogue, Ethiopian prince, still not married (6)
{RASCAL} – the definition is rogue. String together the title of an Ethiopian prince, from an Arabic word meaning head or chief, and an adjective meaning still or serene without its final M(arried).

Down Clues

2d  Girl going after Champion’s Cup (7)
{CHALICE} – to get this communion cup put a girl’s name (think of Lewis Carroll’s heroine) after the abbreviation for champion.

3d  Run in next race (5)
{EXTRA} – a run (but not one scored off the bat) is hidden in the clue.

4d  Temporary bans? Graduate’s written about one imposed on public speaker (9)
{MORATORIA} – the definition here is temporary bans or prohibitions. Put an arts degree around (written about) I (one) which has been appended to (imposed on) a public speaker.

5d  Food flavouring for flans foolishly left out (7)
{SAFFRON} – an anagram (foolishly) of FOR F(L)ANS with the L(eft) omitted.

6d  Love unaltered fertile spot (5)
{OASIS} – to make this fertile location start with O (zero, love) and add a phrase (2,2) meaning unaltered.

7d  Royal taken over to new university (9)
{PRINCETON} – this is a university (one of the Ivy League) in New Jersey. One of the royals precedes (taken over, in a down clue) TO and N(ew).

8d  Good on complete lake, a narrow boat (7)
{GONDOLA} – the definition here is narrow boat. It’s made from five distinct bits: a) G(ood), b) ON, c) a verb meaning to complete, d) L(ake) and e) A. The surface isn’t very inspiring.

13d  Monopoly? Directors willing to participate? (5,4)
{BOARD GAME} – the collective word for the directors of a company is followed by an adjective meaning willing to participate or “up for it” to make what Monopoly is an example of.

15d  Awfully good term around hospital for a sponsor (9)
{GODMOTHER} – one of a child’s sponsors at its baptism is an anagram (awfully) of GOOD TERM around H(ospital).

17d  Object in lorry, extremely large (7)
{ARTICLE} – the abbreviated term for a flexible lorry is followed by the outer (extremely) letters of L(arg)E.

18d  Passengers with cargo do a play in flight (7)
{PAYLOAD} – the contents of a commercial aircraft which earn revenue for the airline (i.e. the passengers and cargo) are an anagram (in flight?) of DO A PLAY.

20d  Strange attire topped by black cap (7)
{BIRETTA} – an anagram (strange) of ATTIRE is preceded (topped, in a down clue) by B(lack) to make a clergyman’s cap.

22d  Flag Group embodies hostility (5)
{AGGRO} – hidden (embodies) in the clue is an informal term for hostility or trouble-making.

24d  Gather a crowd (5)
{AMASS} – a verb meaning to gather or accumulate is A followed by a crowd.

The clue I liked best today was 25a. How about you?

Today’s Quickie Pun: {HAULS} + {TANNED} = {HALLSTAND}

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32 Comments

  1. Posted December 20, 2011 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    As a wise man once said – Verrrry Interestink. No real problems today with some very fine clues (14A, 16A, 25A, 26A, 18D, but I was left with a feeling of ‘too many anagrams’. Looking back, there weren’t an awful lot of anagrams (6 by my reckoning), but 3 of them were in consecutive clues which probably gave the feeling of too many. I particularly liked 4D – not a word you see very much in the plural these days.

    • gazza
      Posted December 20, 2011 at 11:08 am | Permalink

      I counted 10 anagrams (5a, 10a, 14a, 19a, 21a, 23a, 5d, 15d, 18d and 19d).

  2. Jezza
    Posted December 20, 2011 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    Apart from checking the Ethiopian prince in the dictionary, nothing much to think about today.
    I liked 25a and 20d.

    Thanks to setter, and to Gazza.

    Today’s themed Toughie is fairly straightforward too.

    • toadson
      Posted December 20, 2011 at 11:20 am | Permalink

      And looking up the Wikipedea list of French Prime Ministers!

  3. Posted December 20, 2011 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    Hello Gazza
    Think you’re right about the setter’s going easy on us this week! Not tackled this one yet but the Toughie is about as easy as they come, but enjoable nontheless. A good one for anyone wanting to break their Toughie duck!

    • Posted December 20, 2011 at 11:15 am | Permalink

      Don’t know why I put an apostrophe in setters and no Y in enjoyable. Must be cracking up!

  4. Posted December 20, 2011 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    I finished this crossword by 10.00 UK time which is unheard of for me. I enjoyed it nevertheless for that. Many thanks to the setter and to Gazza although I did not need to use you this time

  5. Chris
    Posted December 20, 2011 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    Perhaps they will get harder later in the week when we all have time on our hands (?) …. I liked 14a, 6d and 18d … not sure that the gay/guy clue really works (25a)

  6. crypticsue
    Posted December 20, 2011 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

    straightforward enjoyable and all those other things everyone else has already said. I also agree with what Pommers says about the Toughie. Thanks to the setter and Gazza too.

  7. Kath
    Posted December 20, 2011 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

    Not too difficult, even when in a bit of a sticky mess with mince pies!! I had never heard of the “Ethiopian prince”. 16a took me a while – I’m not very good with our own PM’s let alone French ones. Couldn’t see 17d either – always forget about that abbreviation for “lorry”. Those two were my last ones – I thought everything else was quite easy, probably because of the large number of anagrams which I like, although I know that I’m in the minority. 25a was my favourite. With thanks to the setter and Gazza.

  8. Mr Tub
    Posted December 20, 2011 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

    Lots to enjoy, but it was all over a bit too quickly for me! Thanks to Gazza and the setter.

  9. Prolixic
    Posted December 20, 2011 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    I agree that this was very straightforward today (it took me less time than Rufus’s crossword yesterday) but I found it enjoyable with some nice clues. Thanks to the Mysteron and to Gazza for the review.

    As others have said, Warbler is a gentle Toughie with a theme ideally suited for anyone who has to spend time on the naughty step at the weekends!!

  10. BigBoab
    Posted December 20, 2011 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to the setter and to Gazza, a bit better than yesterday but not much.

  11. Captain Lethargy
    Posted December 20, 2011 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

    Not much point in posting today, as Jezza has said everything I was going to say! Many thanks to all concerned.

  12. Posted December 20, 2011 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

    As others have said it’s not very difficult but I did enjoy it over lunch.
    24d is a prime candidate for a place in the rest home for retired crossword clues and 25a my favourite.
    Thanks to the setter and Gazza.

  13. mary
    Posted December 20, 2011 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

    Hi Gazza, as with everyone else so far, only a few slight hold ups today, in fact I finished it off in the doctors surgery, unheard of for me! I won’t even begin to explain how I got 16a, it certainly had nothing to do with the French PM!!! I am really enjoying not having to use my books or electronic friends at the moment :-) , I know it won’t last!

  14. Posted December 20, 2011 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

    Not too taxing but I found it very enjoyable. I liked 4d, I dislike incorrect plurals.

  15. Addicted
    Posted December 20, 2011 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

    Also found it pretty straightforward, apart from 16a, as am not aufait with French PMs and neither did I know that’s what the object is called! Like Kath, I’m all in favour of anagrams as they give me a start, but I suppose there were quite a number (though I hardly think you can call 1a an anagram Gazza?) Think 9a as favourite. Thanks to setter and Gazza for hints/explanations.

    • gazza
      Posted December 20, 2011 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

      My mistake – my list should have contained 5a, not 1a – it does now!

  16. sirknapp
    Posted December 20, 2011 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

    Hi, first time posting on BD’s, but been reading it for a while now. Enjoyed 13d and 25a. Completed it in one sitting with the father in law. Annoyed with myself that I had to look up biretta, saw that in a clue a month or so ago and thought I’d made a mental note to remember it.

    • gazza
      Posted December 20, 2011 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

      Hi sirknapp – welcome to the blog.

      • sirknapp
        Posted December 20, 2011 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

        Thanks gazza, it’s always seemed like a friendly community.

        • Posted December 20, 2011 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

          I like your hat!

        • Kath
          Posted December 20, 2011 at 10:00 pm | Permalink

          It’s a VERY friendly community. Even if you’re (for that read I’m) having a particularly dim day nobody makes you feel stupid! :smile:

  17. Posted December 20, 2011 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

    Enjoyable without being too taxing. Liked 4d, 12a & 16a.. Thanks Gazza.

  18. Posted December 20, 2011 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

    I’ll echo the sentiments above – I mentioned to C-Sue that gazza would note the number of anagrams – only because I did myself!.
    Thanks to the setter and to gazza

  19. Buffer
    Posted December 20, 2011 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

    Very enjoyable today. Thanks Gazza, although I didn’t need much help. Can’t see why this one should have been difficulty rating 3 because I was way inside usual time but thanks to setter just the same.

    • Heno
      Posted December 20, 2011 at 8:47 pm | Permalink

      Hi Buffer, it was a one star for difficulty according to Gazza..

  20. Derek
    Posted December 20, 2011 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

    Quite an easy puzzle today!
    25a was my favourite.

    Forgot to post yesterday’s comment re the puzzle from Rufus – I always enjoy his fare!

    Shall probably miss a few editions of the DT over the Christmas & New Year period as the papers are never delivered on Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year’s Day and 2 Jan in NL!
    Same thing happens at Easter & Whitsuntide and a few Dutch special days.

  21. Heno
    Posted December 20, 2011 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to the setter & Gazza for the review and hints, needed one for 16a, thought it was gala lamp, hadn’t heard of Laval. Favourites were 26a & 20d.

  22. Little Dave
    Posted December 20, 2011 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

    I agree. Fairly easy but ejoyable nonetheless.

  23. TimCypher
    Posted December 20, 2011 at 11:09 pm | Permalink

    Pretty straight-forward and enjoyable stuff, I thought. Lots of easy-to-spot anagram clues led to much of the grid filled itself out rather quickly.
    After checking the review here, I realised I’d got 16a incorrect (I went with para-lamp for some reason), not being familiar with French PMs.
    I liked 12a, 25a and 13d.