DT 26799

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26799

Hints and tips by Digby

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

After a week of celebration in Crosswordland, normal service is resumed with today’s challenge from “our” brand-new octogenarian. Rufus provides us with another gentle and enjoyable start to the week – his consistency never fails to impress.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.  You can also add your assessment by selecting from one to five stars at the bottom of the post.

Across

1a           Redeeming feature of a loan, perhaps (4,6)
{PAWN TICKET} The receipt that one would obtain when exchanging some valuables for cash.

9a           Information given by grass, say? (4)
{DOPE} A double definition of terms used to describe both “inside” information and a recreational drug.

10a         Mysterious form of harvest rotation? (4,6)
{CROP CIRCLE} Features created by aliens (?) that appear overnight in the countryside.

11a         Novelist has an American number (6)
{AUSTEN} This 18/19thC. English novelist is built up of A (an), the standard abbreviation for the States, and a 2-digit number.

12a         A match for the devil (7)
{LUCIFER} A double definition of something you strike, and another name for Satan. (also the planet Venus, when appearing as the morning star)

15a         Aspired to become a literary giant (7)
{DESPAIR} Be warned – this clue may cause a little consternation amongst some of our solvers! It’s an anagram (to become) of ASPIRED, and results in the giant in The Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan!

16a         Consequently we had scattered (5)
{SOWED} We are looking for a synonym for scattered (not an anagram of WE HAD is I initially thought). A word for consequently, followed by an abbreviation of my misplaced anagram fodder.

17a         Sponges theatre-managers like on their seats (4)
{BUMS} In theatre-land it’s all about putting these on seats, and also a slang term for those asking for your loose change.

18a         A most unfair description (4)
{UGLY} A gently cryptic definition of something / one not blessed with good looks.

19a         Badly riled, he’s not keen to work (5)
{IDLER} Fairly obvious anagram (badly) of RILED produces a lazy individual.

21a         Sells or tells (7)
{RETAILS} A double definition of what both  a shop-keeper and a story-teller does.

22a         Novel, article and story (7)
{RECITAL} Novel indicates an anagram of ARTICLE, and results in a synonym for a story.

24a         Spinner quietly stands by the French pitch (6)
{TOPPLE} A word for a spinning toy, P (quietly) and the masculine French definite article produce a word meaning to plunge forward, or over-balance.

27a         Wealth is about to provide security for a girl in nursery story (10)
{GOLDILOCKS} Start with a precious metal, then wrap IS (about) something used to prevent unwanted entry, and derive a girl who got involved with a trio of ursine creatures.

28a         Rebel is held by soldiers (4)
{RISE} Rebel is the definition, used as a verb. Our trusty Royal Engineers hold “IS”

29a         Only staged irregularly, but in UK it’s always in June (7,3)
{LONGEST DAY} An anagram (irregularly) of the first 2 words in the clue gives an event that occurs on, or near, June 21st.

Down

2d           Measure about a hundred to start with (4)
{ACRE} This measure (also a factor in 14D) is built up of A, Roman letter for 100, followed by “about”.

3d           One living in high mountains, alpine perhaps? (6)
{NEPALI} An anagram (perhaps) of alpine produces an inhabitant of a sovereign state in South Asia.

4d           They’re frozen in suspense (7)
{ICICLES} Cryptic definition of what hang down from guttering in winter.

5d           Put the boot in for a bit of excitement (4)
{KICK} Double definition, the second involving an adrenalin rush.

6d           Given medical care at another’s expense? (7)
{TREATED} What the doctor did to patients / bought a round of drinks.

7d           Proceed directly to lead an honest life? (2,8)
{GO STRAIGHT} In Monopoly this instruction sends you directly to Jail. And when you come out, you are said to do this.

8d           Mint copper sovereign (10)
{PENNYROYAL} This plant of the mint family is built from the basic unit of our currency, and an adjective describing a Sovereign.

12d         Due to disruption, giving boy art oral in the science room (10)
{LABORATORY} The anagram indicator (initial part of the clue) is also a nice piece of wordplay. BOY ART ORAL produces  a room full of Bunsen burners and test tubes.

13d         Happen to reach gap in hills (4,2,4)
{COME TO PASS} A phrase describing the occurrence of an event (often used in the Bible) is also how one might define arriving at an upland road.

14d         Area measures, out of doors (5)
{ROODS} These areas are equal to a quarter of an acre (or 40 poles) and are an anagram (out of) DOORS

15d         Put off Edward’s rise with hesitation (5)
{DETER} The definition is to put off, and is derived from reversing (rise) an abbreviation for Edward, followed by the usual small hesitation.

19d         Criminal is laid up, having broken a leg (7)
{ILLEGAL} A verb meaning criminal, or unlawful, is a word for poorly, followed by an anagram (broken) of A LEG

20d         Note given to the ill will get a rest (7)
{RESPITE} A word meaning care for the ill is also a term for as rest, or reprieve. (see Comments 6 & 7 belowI think that Jezza et al are correct, and my thanks for the alternative definition. To avoid confusion, I’ll leave mine on view)

23d         I’m given job in charge (6)
{IMPOST} I’M followed by a synonym for a job results in this tax, or duty.

25d         Blueprint of factory nearing completion (4)
{PLAN} Drop the final letter (nearing completion) of a word for factory to leave a synonym for a blueprint.

26d         Large bird raising smaller ones (4)
(SKUA} A bit of a chestnut to finish with – this large seabird is a reversal (raising) of penguin-like varieties.

A couple of clues took a bit of solving, which lifts this into 3* territory for me. But, what do you think?


Today’s Quickie Pun: {KILLER} + {HURTS} = {KILOHERTZ}

114 Comments

  1. Brian
    Posted February 27, 2012 at 11:10 am | Permalink

    Enjoyable start to the week but found the ne corner tough. Got 15a because of the anagram but the ref to literary giant had me completely fixed. Thx to Digby for the explanation.

    • mary
      Posted February 27, 2012 at 11:17 am | Permalink

      me too Brian, have never read Pilgrims Progress, yet another one I had to look up!

  2. Lord Luvvaduck
    Posted February 27, 2012 at 11:10 am | Permalink

    Very irritatingly, the iPad has a completely different puzzle – No.175. Found the paper one to be the usual good introduction to the week. Thanks to all concerned – but not to the gremlins at the Telegraph.

    • Prolixic
      Posted February 27, 2012 at 11:18 am | Permalink

      Is the iPad version showing “Stories a good laugh? Repeatedly (3,5)” as the first across clue. If it is, it looks as though it is giving you the on-line weekly prize puzzle instead of the usual back page puzzle.

      • Lord Luvvaduck
        Posted February 27, 2012 at 11:22 am | Permalink

        It is, indeed

        • Prolixic
          Posted February 27, 2012 at 11:24 am | Permalink

          I have dropped a line to Phil McNeill to let him know that you are getting the wrong crossword.

          • Lord Luvvaduck
            Posted February 27, 2012 at 11:26 am | Permalink

            Thanks

          • Posted February 27, 2012 at 11:28 am | Permalink

            175 is last week’s on-line prize puzzle which also comes up if you try to open this week’s D’oh!

          • Colmce
            Posted February 27, 2012 at 11:31 am | Permalink

            Thanks.

      • Prolixic
        Posted February 27, 2012 at 11:31 am | Permalink

        Quick response received from Phil McNeill to say that they are aware of the issue and that IT are investigating.

      • Brian
        Posted February 27, 2012 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

        Online prize puzzle, that’s a new one on me. How do you locate it?

        • crypticsue
          Posted February 27, 2012 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

          On the online Telelgraph puzzles site under ‘Win Prizes’

        • Posted February 27, 2012 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

          … and it’s only available to subscribers!

          • crypticsue
            Posted February 27, 2012 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

            Who enter every week to no avail!

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

              I am sure Nubian won once…if my memory serves me?

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

              Where’s the Olympic spirit? It’s not the winning that matters but the taking part :D

              • Jezza
                Posted February 27, 2012 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

                A bit like buying a lottery ticket……………..

        • Posted February 27, 2012 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

          Hi Brian

          others have said where it’s to be found but I’d just add they’re usually fairly easy for the most part but always with a couple of obscurities in there somewhere. Published every Monday.

    • Colmce
      Posted February 27, 2012 at 11:29 am | Permalink

      They did exactly the same thing last week, Cryptic 174/175. Irritating, snotty e-mail being sent!

      How can I access the correct puzzle on the web?

  3. Brian
    Posted February 27, 2012 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    You are quite right, it’s still shown as 175. How odd.

  4. Captain Lethargy
    Posted February 27, 2012 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    In toal agreement with Brian regarding 15a. Also stuck between 3 words for 20d – luckily chose the correct one. A great start to the week. Thanks to all.

  5. mary
    Posted February 27, 2012 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    Good morning Digby, back to normal thank goodness, I was suffering withdrawal symptoms after two days (two of my favourite crossword days) of not doing the crossword due mainly to ‘sporting commitments’ !! What a weekend, all the right results thank goodness :-D , (sorry Dave but it was a weekend for the ‘Reds’), anyway back to Rufus, I found this a bit tougher than his normal Monday with a bit more GK than is usual? I went back and fore on 26d not knowing which way up to put it, to me the answer is the other way round which is what I put, this of course made that corner impossible!!! as usual lots of clues I liked with 29a (eventually) favourite, thanks to Rufus and Digby

    • mary
      Posted February 27, 2012 at 11:20 am | Permalink

      Nice pictures Digby :-)

    • Posted February 27, 2012 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

      No they were not the right result and I banished myself to the garden shed

    • Heno
      Posted February 27, 2012 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

      Hi Mary, up the reds! I leave you to guess which team :-) Re 26d I read it as large bird as the definition, so if you are turning smaller ones, plural, then the “s” is at top.

  6. Jezza
    Posted February 27, 2012 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    Thanks to Rufus for a gentle start to the week, and to Digby for the notes.

    Re 20d, I thought the wordplay was a musical note, and a synonym for ill-will, and the definition ‘a rest’.

    • mary
      Posted February 27, 2012 at 11:21 am | Permalink

      I agree Jezza

    • Posted February 27, 2012 at 11:24 am | Permalink

      Re 20d, that was how I saw it.

    • Roland
      Posted February 27, 2012 at 11:30 am | Permalink

      And me.

    • Captain Lethargy
      Posted February 27, 2012 at 11:38 am | Permalink

      I agree as well. I had 3 possible answers which gave a rest, but the ill-will was the bit that gave me the corrct answer.

    • Posted February 27, 2012 at 11:40 am | Permalink

      Thanks Jezza, Lord L, Mary, bifiled, Roland, Uncle Tom Cobley and all. You are of course correct. I have added a line to the hint, but have left my original explanation in place, or other readers won’t know to what you are referring.

  7. Lord Luvvaduck
    Posted February 27, 2012 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    Digby – having had another look – 21d: surely the note is one sung by Maria in Sound of Music followed by a word meaning ‘ill-will’?

    • Lord Luvvaduck
      Posted February 27, 2012 at 11:20 am | Permalink

      OOPS – 20d

    • mary
      Posted February 27, 2012 at 11:21 am | Permalink

      Yes, I think so too

  8. Posted February 27, 2012 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    15a was the one that foxed me too. Anagram solved ok but had to wait for Digby’s explanation, must brush up on my English Literature. Apart from that one, a pleasureable start to the week for me. Thanks to Rufus & Digby.

  9. Posted February 27, 2012 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    Really good start to week no problems & enjoyed it allot thanks to all

  10. Posted February 27, 2012 at 11:26 am | Permalink

    sorry should be AnnB

  11. Posted February 27, 2012 at 11:28 am | Permalink

    Good start to week no problems thanks to all

  12. Roland
    Posted February 27, 2012 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    2* for me today. Had to look up 15a (never read the book) and 23d (never heard of the word without ..er.. on the end) to check that my answers were correct, but apart from that all went in very nicely. Thanks to Rufus and to Digby.

  13. Kath
    Posted February 27, 2012 at 11:39 am | Permalink

    So I’m the ONLY twit who started off with “dark” for 18a?? Got that sorted out before it caused any problems. Along with others the reason for the “literary giant” in 15a defeated me, although the answer was obvious. Apart from those two I thought that this was straightforward and very enjoyable. I liked 10, 17, 27 and 29a and 7 and 12d. With thanks to Rufus and Digby.
    A bit on the grey, chilly and gloomy side here today after a weekend of beautiful weather.

    • Roland
      Posted February 27, 2012 at 11:43 am | Permalink

      Hi Kath – no, not the only twit. I considered DARK too, but quickly figured out 7d & 8d to give the crossing letters.

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

      I also wrote in dark (but very faintly) at first

      • Franny
        Posted February 27, 2012 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

        You mean you wrote it lightly. :-)

        • Posted February 27, 2012 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

          Actually I was in a hurry so I probably wrote it uglyly

    • Kath
      Posted February 27, 2012 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

      Thanks all – glad that I’m NOT the only one!! :smile:

  14. SpikeyMikey
    Posted February 27, 2012 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    Very enjoyable start to the week. First in 10a and last in 23d. Favorites: 7d, 12d, 19d, 1a and 27a.

  15. Posted February 27, 2012 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    Usual nice gentle start to the week. I HAVE read Pilgrims Progress so I thought 15A was an excellent clue as was 10A.

  16. beaver
    Posted February 27, 2012 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

    Give it **/*** today,gentle start to the week as monday crosswords always were’ building to a friday’climax- no slough of despond today.

  17. Franny
    Posted February 27, 2012 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    Lovely sunny day at last, lovely Rufus puzzle! What better way to start the week? I agree with all about the ill will in 20d, had a slight problem with 24a, not thinking of ‘topple’ being a synonym for ‘pitch’, but apart from that it all went very smoothly. So thanks to Rufus, as ever, and to Digby for the analysis. :-)

    • Jezza
      Posted February 27, 2012 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

      Hi Franny

      At the time, I also wondered about the synonym for 24a, but one definition of to pitch is ‘to plunge or fall forward or headlong’, which would have the same meaning as to topple.

    • mary
      Posted February 27, 2012 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

      Hi Franny, we had a beautiful sunny weekend, warm enough to sit out in the garden lunchtimes but afraid back to gray skies today

      • Franny
        Posted February 27, 2012 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

        Well, if it’s you who sent us today’s sun, many thanks, and I hope you get some more soon. :-)

  18. crypticsue
    Posted February 27, 2012 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    Usual nice start to the cryptic week, thank you Rufus. 2* difficulty, 3* fun. Thanks to Digby too – although I am not particularly enamoured of the pic for 17a, not least because it looks very uncomfortable :)

  19. Dragon60
    Posted February 27, 2012 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

    Flew through this one at first, leaving only 15a and 8d after I had finished my coffee and toast. I had 15a pencilled in lightly, but was unaware of the source until Digby furnished the explanation above. Would never have got 8d without this page – I’m not a gardener!

  20. Posted February 27, 2012 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

    What a lovely puzzle. Rufus is my favourite setter. The crossword unfolded nicely with a few difficult clues which tested the grey matter. I would say 2* rather than 3* but nonetheless enjoyable for that. Reaching 80 has not deterred him

    • Franny
      Posted February 27, 2012 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

      Hear! Hear! :-)

  21. Steve_the_beard
    Posted February 27, 2012 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

    Lovely puzzle, and I agree with Digby’s ratings and choice of pictures :-)

    My last one in was 9A; does this make me clean-living or just not very bright?

    Thanks to all involved.

  22. beaver
    Posted February 27, 2012 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

    I understand from Digby’s hints that today’s puzzle is from Rufus-is this insider knowledge,or is there an easy way of identifying the setter? hope this isn’t a silly question.

    • Posted February 27, 2012 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

      Rufus does every virtually every Monday – and on the handful of occasions that another setter is used he tells us.

    • Posted February 27, 2012 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

      If you like Rufus puzzles he does 4 out of 5 in the Grauniad on Mondays as well – pommette insists on doing both!

  23. Heno
    Posted February 27, 2012 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Rufus and to Digby for the review & hints. Usual brilliance from Rufus, over too quickly. Needed hints for 1a & 11a. Favourites were 27 & 29 across, & 26d. Great start to the week in a cloudy central London.

  24. simon spencer
    Posted February 27, 2012 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

    I prefer the American Indian kind of ‘Large Bird’ for 26 down. It made me laugh when I thought I had it right, and I still think you’re answer is no better. -Simon

    • Posted February 27, 2012 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

      Hi Simon, welcome to the blog.

    • Roland
      Posted February 27, 2012 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

      Either everyone is dying to ask this or I’m being particularly thick, but here goes…………the American Indian kind of large bird?…_K_A..?……

      • Franco
        Posted February 27, 2012 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

        Roland – 26d – I wanted to ask the question…. but I have waited awhile. Whatever the “clever” answer is …I very much doubt that it will fit in the grid or be appropriate to the clue. But, I am ready to be proved wrong!

        • Posted February 27, 2012 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

          I wonder if Mr Spencer will turn out to be a one-hit-wonder?

          • Kath
            Posted February 27, 2012 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

            … or perhaps a non-starter – no reply yet! I’m glad that others asked the question, Roland and Franco! :smile: Now I feel sorry for Mr Spencer – perhaps he had a really cunning plan which, on closer scrutiny, just didn’t work.

            • Roland
              Posted February 28, 2012 at 8:28 am | Permalink

              Thanks all (Franco, Digby, Kath, Gazza) – glad it wasn’t just me. Gazza – I did wonder if he may have been referring to SQUAW but wasn’t aware that SQUA was an abbr.

              • simon spencer
                Posted February 28, 2012 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

                Sorry so late to reply on this one- if anyone is still watching, I was thinking SKWA- alternative spelling of squaw, backwards of awks (alternative spelling of auks) and she does, after all, raise children (smaller ones)
                .

                • Posted February 28, 2012 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

                  Hi Simon, I’m not sure if there is anyone else still “out there”, but as the Duty Blogger I get email alerts whenever anyone comments. As you can see, your suggestion set off an interesting chain of ideas and chat – which is the added value that this blog generates. It it was just a plain old “how to solve it” site, it wouildn’t be half as much fun. Do drop in any time you’re passing!

      • gazza
        Posted February 27, 2012 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

        I suspect that he’s thinking of SQUA, which according to the BRB, is a Massachuset spelling of squaw.

        • Posted February 27, 2012 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

          Good call, Gazza, though I struggle to see how it fits the wordplay?

          • gazza
            Posted February 27, 2012 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

            It could be a rather loose, and non-PC, cryptic definition (i’m just guessing that this is what Simon had in mind).

  25. St. George
    Posted February 27, 2012 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

    Enjoyable start to the week for me too. Altghough i was unfamilliar with 9A as information and 12A as a match. Thanks Digby for the explanations.