DT 26773

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26773

Hints and tips by Gazza

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Giovanni periodically provides a puzzle which is easier than normal and this one will probably come as a relief to those who have struggled this week. I breezed through most of it and then slowed down a bit in the SW corner. Let us know how you fared.
If you want to reveal an answer highlight the space between the brackets under the troublesome clue.

Across Clues

6a  I’m balancer with act going wrong — one with the hump repeatedly! (8,5)
{BACTRIAN CAMEL} – this pack animal with a repeated hump is native to Central Asia. It’s an anagram (going wrong) of I’M BALANCER and ACT.

8a  Female companion of the French Queen knocked over (6)
{DUENNA} – a word, from Spanish, for a female companion or chaperone is a charade of the French for “of the” and the name of our last Stuart Queen reversed (knocked over).

9a  Farm animal being old is in cheap accommodation (8)
{STEERAGE} – string together a young male farm animal and mature years (being old) to make the cheapest accommodation on board ship.

10a/13d  Nut too stupid to be dismissed? No! (3,3)
{NOT OUT} – an anagram (stupid) of NUT TOO gives the verdict of the cricket umpire favourable to the batsman.

11a  Pub wanting revolutionary type kept away (6)
{BARRED} – the definition is kept away (as you may be by the landlord if you misbehave). It’s a synonym for pub followed by a revolutionary type.

12a  Sailor’s old instrument for certain (8)
{ABSOLUTE} – one of the abbreviations for a sailor (plus the ‘S from the clue) is followed by O(ld) and a plucked string instrument.

14a  Be suffering with wound but not vanquished (7)
{UNBOWED} – an adjective meaning not vanquished is an anagram (suffering) of BE and WOUND.

16a  Go to sea in groups and be ill (3,4)
{SET SAIL} – a charade of groups and a verb meaning to be ill gives us a phrase meaning to cast off.

20a  The majority of English people in recent times (8)
{EIGHTEEN} – .. since 1st January 1970 in England (and Wales) to be precise.

23a  Unsophisticated rock music makes Georgia seethe (6)
{GARAGE} – a term for unsophisticated rock music (originating from the place where a lot of amateur bands used to practise) is formed from the standard abbreviation for the state of Georgia followed by a verb meaning to seethe.

24a  See 15d

25a  Adore old drunk in place where affluence is in evidence (8)
{ELDORADO} – an anagram (drunk) of ADORE OLD produces a golden land, a place where wealth is easily acquired. The original Spanish term is two words (2,6) but Chambers gives the single word as an alternative.

26a  Hits missing bull’s-eye from one falling short, first to last (6)
{INNERS} – these are hits on an archery target which just miss the bull’s-eye. Start with a transgressor (one falling short) and move his or her first letter to the end (first to last).

27a  Bats hidden by corner? (6,3,4)
{AROUND THE BEND} – a phrase which literally means not visible because of a corner is used informally to mean bats or mentally disturbed. In this country we don’t normally include the initial A in this expression (though they do in the US). There’s no consensus as to the derivation of this meaning – the theory I like best is that it came about because many mental institutions were sited at the end of a long drive with a kink at the end, in order to keep the buildings out of sight of passers-by.

Down Clues

1d  Sadly no care is put into plan (8)
{SCENARIO} – an anagram (sadly) of NO CARE IS.

2d  See material fade under one’s eye? (8)
{ORGANDIE} – a verb to fade or pass away follows (under, in a down clue) what one’s eye is an example of (the question mark indicating that eye is just an example) to let you see a fine translucent material.

3d  Winder-up to do better than small boy (7)
{CAPSTAN} – this is a cylindrical device on ships used for winding in ropes or cables. It’s a charade of a verb meaning to do better than or surpass and an abbreviated male name.

4d  Prison officers taking gang aboard ship (6)
{SCREWS} – a slang term used by prisoners for warders comes from putting a gang (of sailors, perhaps) inside (aboard) the usual abbreviation for ship.

5d  Not concerned with ethical issues in the morning before test (6)
{AMORAL} – the abbreviation for morning precedes a test to make a description of someone who doesn’t care about the difference between right and wrong.

6d  Shakily, I go in with valuable plant (13)
{BOUGAINVILLEA} – an anagram (shakily) of I GO IN and VALUABLE produces an ornamental climbing plant.

7d  Inclined to steal and evidently not heavy-handed? (5-8)
{LIGHT-FINGERED} – double definition, the second cryptic.

13d  See 10a

15d/24a  You and I jog? There’s indication of decay (3,3)
{WET ROT} – put together a pronoun encompassing you and I and a verb to proceed at a pace slightly faster than a walk to make a form of decay in timber.

17d  One’s seen in kitchen, say, before good row about start of meal (3,5)
{EGG TIMER} – this kitchen appliance is built up from a) the abbreviation for say or for example, b) G(ood) and c) a row (of seats, for example) containing the first letter of M(eal).

18d  Like rope abandoned? (8)
{STRANDED} – double definition.

19d  Monsieur’s expecting to arrive sometime later? (2,5)
{EN ROUTE} – in the surface the ‘s stands for “is” but in the cryptic reading “Monsieur’s” means “Monsieur’s way of saying”, i.e. what we want is the French term used to describe someone on the way but not yet arrived.

21d  One of the Robins getting a no-score draw? Bad luck! (6)
{HOODOO} – The Robins is the nickname of many football teams including Bristol City and Swindon Town but the Robin we want here is more likely to shoot with a bow rather than a foot. Add what a no-score draw looks like written down to make a run of bad luck.

22d  Girl of English descent going round Austria’s capital (6)
{ELAINE} – start with E(nglish) and add a synonym of descent or ancestry containing (going round) the capital letter of A(ustria) to make a girl’s name.

The clues I liked best today were 20a and 21d. How about you?

Today’s Quickie Pun: {CULL} + {AMITY} = {CALAMITY}


77 Comments

  1. Jezza
    Posted January 27, 2012 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    Most of this was pretty straightforward, but I did spend a while on my last three (20a, 2d, and 21d).
    Thanks to Giovanni, and to Gazza for the review.

    Back to the last couple in the Toughie, which is tricky, but good fun.

  2. Posted January 27, 2012 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    Well. a very un-Don like Don offering again had me checking my calendar. Fairly straight forward, although I was held up a tad with 2D and 6D since material and plants are not really my thing.I though 20A and 7D were very good today.

  3. Posted January 27, 2012 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    Made steady progress today until I met my nemesis in 20a. I was thinking of “most” and had my eureka moment after I had read the hints & googled the date. I did enjoy the puzzle though. Thanks to Gazza for the hints.

  4. SpikeyMikey
    Posted January 27, 2012 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    6a was my first one in today and then I pottered round the puzzle with 20a being the last in. Liked 20a, 7d and 27a as they gave me the D’oh moments :-) Enjoyed this a lot – Thank you Gazza for the great hints and tips and the wonderful visual clues – love it.

  5. Roland
    Posted January 27, 2012 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    A fairly simple run-through until getting stuck with 6d (never heard of it before and had to look it up), 20a and 21d, both of which fell in to place once 6d was in. I wasn’t convinced about 9a. Unless I’m reading it incorrectly, “being old” would be “aged”, not “age”. Thanks to G n G.

    • gazza
      Posted January 27, 2012 at 11:39 am | Permalink

      I think that age here is the condition of being old, e.g. “age has its advantages”.

      • Roland
        Posted January 27, 2012 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

        OK thanks Gazza. Couldn’t see it, but what you say sounds reasonable.

  6. Brian
    Posted January 27, 2012 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    I see the Master is back to his best today, very enjoyable. By the way I read yesterday’s thread with interest but I have decided to follow my old Mums advice, if you can’t find anything goog to say, say nothing.

    • mary
      Posted January 27, 2012 at 11:45 am | Permalink

      Well said Brian :-)

    • Toadson
      Posted January 27, 2012 at 11:55 am | Permalink

      Brian, not so long ago you had finished a Giovanni before 10.30a.m. Surely by close of play yesterday you must, therefore, have done a fair bit of yesterday’s Ray T? I don’t see how you have commented before on Ray T puzzles that there is no way in to ANY of the clues??

      • Brian
        Posted January 27, 2012 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

        Toadson, finished today’s by 10 but just not on the Ray T wavelength. Can’t please all the people all the time :-)

      • Posted January 27, 2012 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

        That’s a good point?

  7. Brian
    Posted January 27, 2012 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    Sorry ‘good’

  8. mary
    Posted January 27, 2012 at 11:49 am | Permalink

    I too was wondering if this was a Giovanni today, 20a was last in, the clue is confusing because surely it should be British people not just English? had to check there was such a thing as 23a and the spelling of 6d, at first put boo boo in at 21d! and actually did find a cartoon character (not Yogis friend) called Booboo Robin!! fav clue today 12a, all from me for now, off to art, good luck everyone :-), as the grandchildren say ‘laters’ :-D

    • gazza
      Posted January 27, 2012 at 11:51 am | Permalink

      The law in Scotland is different.

      • mary
        Posted January 27, 2012 at 11:52 am | Permalink

        OK but What about Welsh people?

        • Posted January 27, 2012 at 11:59 am | Permalink

          Yes,they are different

          • Posted January 27, 2012 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

            Can I take that back?

          • mary
            Posted January 27, 2012 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

            Wotchit collywobs! I haven’t left yet :-)

            • Posted January 27, 2012 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

              Morning Mary. Gazza is right. I have struggles over the last few days so I’m looking forward to something a little easier so here I go

      • mary
        Posted January 27, 2012 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

        Thanks for including us in 20a Gazza :-D

    • mary
      Posted January 27, 2012 at 11:52 am | Permalink

      Sorry, morning Gazza and thanks for the blog :-)

      • Brian
        Posted January 27, 2012 at 11:58 am | Permalink

        Perhaps the answer should have been Deunaw :-)

        • mary
          Posted January 27, 2012 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

          Don’t think so Brian!

          • mary
            Posted January 27, 2012 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

            Un deg wyth maybe :-)

          • Brian
            Posted January 27, 2012 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

            I know my Welsh is very rusty but is Deunaw not welsh for eighteen?

            • gazza
              Posted January 27, 2012 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

              Only in North Wales, not where Mary lives.

  9. Toadson
    Posted January 27, 2012 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

    Enjoyable. Needed electronic aids to look up 6d and 6a. Took me a while to see the ‘voting majority’. By the way, there is a good game of tennis on at the moment!

    • gazza
      Posted January 27, 2012 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

      The age of majority is not necessarily the same as the voting age.

      • Toadson
        Posted January 27, 2012 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

        That explains it .. the ‘age of majority’ is a new phrase to me!

    • Posted January 27, 2012 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

      There’s a pretty good game of cricket on too

  10. Kath
    Posted January 27, 2012 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

    I enjoyed this one very much but didn’t find it easier than is usual for a Giovanni. I was stupid about 21d and needed the hint to explain that one – just blindly assumed it was ALL to do with football and missed the “Robin” bit which, if I’d tried a bit harder, I could have seen! 20a took me the longest as I was thinking along the lines of “the most” and managed to convince myself that it had to have “emen” (for the “English people”) somewhere in the middle – WRONG! Got there in the end. I noticed all the letters sticking out around the edge and wondered if it was going to be a “Nina” – wrong again! No particular favourite clues today. Thanks to Giovanni and Gazza – rather classy pictures today – beautiful wedding dress and bougainvillea!!

  11. BigBoab
    Posted January 27, 2012 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    Many thanks to Giovanni and to Gazza for an entertaining if untaxing crossword and an informative review.

  12. crypticsue
    Posted January 27, 2012 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

    Very enjoyable thank you Giovanni – solved over tea and toffee cake in M&S. I too was held up by the SW corner – d’oh to practically all of them except 25a. Who else started to put Round in 27a and then realised it didn’t fit?! Thanks to Gazza too. – my favourite was 21d.

    Nice Toughie too.

    • Posted January 27, 2012 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

      Me *raises hand and looks sheepish*

    • Kath
      Posted January 27, 2012 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

      Me too!

    • mary
      Posted January 27, 2012 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

      Me too!!

    • Annidrum
      Posted January 27, 2012 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

      Me too!

  13. Esprit
    Posted January 27, 2012 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to all the contributors to this blog. As a relative newcomer the guidance has been a real education. I used to have a bash at the cryptic on long train journeys, usually leaving the thing half-finished, if that. Now I can quite often finish, though an online anagram sorter is a help. (Is that cheating?) Today I’m still stuck on the double definition 18d. I expect it’s really obvious as nobody else has reported a problem, and I’ll be kicking myself. But my other question is, how do you know who the setter is? I generally fill in the puzzle on line, so perhaps the name is given in the paper. Or maybe you just get to know the signs! Thanks again, anyway.

    • Posted January 27, 2012 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

      Esprit, the double definition may be easier if you think about the ‘abandoned’ part first.

      We generally can tell who the setter is from the clue style, plus a bit of background knowledge. Mondays are normally set by Rufus, Wednesdays by jay and Fridays by Giovanni. Ray T normally sets every other Thursday and Tuesdays often seem to be set by guest compilers although the thought is that Petitjean has started doing the odd Tuesday crossword. There are quite a lot of entries describing each setters style in previous blogs, all of which are written far more eloquently than I can manage.

      • Esprit
        Posted January 27, 2012 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

        Thank you!

        • Esprit
          Posted January 27, 2012 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

          Got it at last!

  14. Steve_the_beard
    Posted January 27, 2012 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    OK, ‘fess up – who else wrote in, for 22D, the name of Austria’s capital city and then struggled horribly with the SW corner!

    … and I wanted to write GRUNGE for 23A…

    • crypticsue
      Posted January 27, 2012 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

      Me – I did – even explained it to Mr CS – and then found as you did that it didn’t work with the rest of the SW corner!!

      • gazza
        Posted January 27, 2012 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

        So how did you parse the clue to get to Vienna? :D

        • Posted January 27, 2012 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

          In retrospect I can’t. Got half way there with girl of English (ANNE) descent. More speed, less haste!

        • crypticsue
          Posted January 27, 2012 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

          No idea but it made sense at the time :D

    • Posted January 27, 2012 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

      Guilty as charged! Only began to doubt myself when absolutely nothing would fit the checking letters for 20a, plus the fact that we’d already used reversal of ANNE elsewhere.

    • Kath
      Posted January 27, 2012 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

      I make LOADS of mistakes but not guilty of either of those!!

      • mary
        Posted January 27, 2012 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

        Nor me :-)

    • AlisonS
      Posted January 27, 2012 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

      Yep, did both of those, but couldn’t really justify and couldn’t get 20a or 18d! 25a being one word didn’t help, either…

    • Annidrum
      Posted January 27, 2012 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

      I really wanted it to be Grunge!!!

    • Mike in Amble
      Posted January 27, 2012 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

      I did….

    • Heno
      Posted January 27, 2012 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

      Me too

  15. Lea
    Posted January 27, 2012 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

    A good Friday puzzle – thank you to the two G’s. I had to verify the spelling of 2d as I had always used the American spelling of the ending in a “y” instead of “ie” so that took me a while. Got 27a on first run through but got stuck on rest of s/e corner with 26a the last one in. I particularly liked 20a (when I finally twigged to what it was – very clever). The sun is shining so think I may go out again.

  16. droolie
    Posted January 27, 2012 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

    A lot harder than a 2* for me today. I still don’t understand where ‘see’ comes in to 2d, and it took me a long time to justify ‘Hood’ for ‘One of the Robins’, though I suppose it works. And I had no idea that 6d could be so difficult to spell even with all the checking letters, and the correct fodder, and knowing what the answer must be.

    • Posted January 27, 2012 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

      ‘See’ just refers to ‘see the answer’ as far as I can make out, or could possibly be a bit of misdirection making one look for a bishopric.

    • Captain Lethargy
      Posted January 27, 2012 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

      I’m with you on the spelling of 6d. I got it wrong twice even with the letters in the anagram! The disadvantage of having a lunchtime drink I think!

  17. Captain Lethargy
    Posted January 27, 2012 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

    This was a lovely end to the week. Did most of it in the pub but struggled with 21d and 20a which once that doh moment came were my faves. Thanks to the two G’s Gazza and Giovanni.

  18. Posted January 27, 2012 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

    Good crossword, even though I struggled for a while. Got to get a Chambers dictionary as I dismissed the correct answer for 8a due to not being in OED. Thought 20a was best and most annoying clue!

    • Silveroak
      Posted January 27, 2012 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

      I had problems with 20a as well as the age of majority seems to have changed since I left England. I think you could drink at 18, and had to wait to vote until 21, but 21 was the only birthday where you had a really big celebration whereas both seem to be equally celebrated now. So obviously the answer to 20a is considered the age of majority.

  19. jampudd
    Posted January 27, 2012 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

    finished about 75% today without any assistance !
    3d was one of them i got ……….but was not sure of the “small boy” connection
    thanks to gazza for the hints

    • crypticsue
      Posted January 27, 2012 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

      Well done. Make a note that ‘small boy’ often means that you need a abbreviated boy’s name – eg Bill, Ted, or similar.

      • jampudd
        Posted January 27, 2012 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

        thanks….i only started attempting cryptic crosswords a couple of months ago(even tho ive taken the telegraph for about 25 yrs) ….but am getting better everyday :)

  20. AlisonS
    Posted January 27, 2012 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

    Agree with most of the comments above and had most of the same problems (20a, 21d), but also caused myself problems with 3d by putting ‘resolute’ in 12a: wasn’t really paying attention; RE is army not navy!! Never mind. Thanks to G&G and have a good weekend, everyone.

  21. Posted January 27, 2012 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the hints Gazza, I needed to use a couple of them and thanks to Giovanni for a pleasurable puzzle. 2* seems about right

  22. Heno
    Posted January 27, 2012 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to the two G’s today. I found this a very hard one, at least three stars. I ended up 7 answers short & reverted to the hints, which didn’t help much either. It was just me being dim. Never heard of the plant but had the letters for the anagram. Favourite was 25a. A tough end to the week.

  23. Annidrum
    Posted January 27, 2012 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

    Agree with the comments above and like most got really stuck on 20a 21d & 22d. Thanks to Giovanni & to Gazza as well as for the hints for the clip of Porridge. Was such a great programme.

  24. Grumpy Andrew
    Posted January 27, 2012 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

    Words like 2d are why I’ll never finish a puzzle by this setter, a word so obscure that even when I put all the crossing letters into unscramble.net it still came up blank. And is 21 a word? I mean, is it a word that anyone ever uses?

  25. Posted January 27, 2012 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

    This was the usual Giovanni great puzzle, sorry Gazza, can’t agree that it was easier than normal!

    I quite liked 10a across because it reminded me of some England batsmen!

    Thanks Giovanni and also to Gazza for the hints.

  26. Posted January 27, 2012 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

    Still not finished and I have yet ti start the Toughie. Excellent golf day today. I had a look over a Bacon Roll but found it a bit tricky. Still had 6 clues to go when the call to arms came! Thanks to all and hope to see some of you tomorrow.

  27. Rozza
    Posted January 27, 2012 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

    Just finished … having started after 8.30 p.m. Stuck on SW corner and struggled for ages on 21d – ugh – despite the hint but got it at last! Worked out the clues that were anagrams but then struggled with solving them! Maybe, I’m just tired leaving the puzzle until so late. Did not like 21a at all but loved the answer to the clue for 15d + 24a – clever!

  28. Derek
    Posted January 28, 2012 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    Solved this puzzle this morning as had family for dinner last night so was busy all day.
    First in were 1d & 4d which helped to get 6a. 7d no problem and likewise 27a. With the initial B and final A of 6d it didn’t take long to solve it – memories of The Carribean and The Var! Thereafter pretty plain sailing.

    Faves : 20a, 23a, 26a, 2d, 17d & 18d.

  29. Sarah F
    Posted January 28, 2012 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

    Late in to the blog but just finished it, after being busy all yesterday and today. Enjoyed it all, and perhaps a shade easier than usual. Thanks to all.

  30. TimCypher
    Posted January 28, 2012 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

    I did this one, along with the Thursday Ray T offering, on my red-eye flight back from the US earlier.
    Not knowing the full name of 1a’s camel or 1d’s plant did not help matters, so, with no on-line resources to hand to assist (United Airlines really does need to install WI-FI on its planes), I had to call it a day with the bulk of the left-hand side of the puzzle incomplete.
    I enjoyed the bits I could do tho’…