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DT 26803

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26803

Hints and tips by Gazza

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

There is a fair sprinkling of pretty easy clues in this one to provide a helping hand for the few which are a bit trickier. Let us know how you got on.
To reveal an answer just highlight the space between the brackets under the clue.

Across Clues

1a  Second child loves Latin — here presumably (6)
{SCHOOL} – sadly Latin is no longer on the curriculum at many of these. String together a) S(econd), b) the abbreviation for child, c) a couple of the letters corresponding to zero (love, in tennis scoring) and d) L(atin).

5a  Stars seen after second drink — and letters all mingled? (8)
{MONOGRAM} – the animal identified with one of the signs of the zodiac (stars) follows a brief period of time (second) and an alcoholic drink to make a motif with interwoven letters.

9a  Inelastic? Not a swishing whip (3-1-4-5)
{CAT-O’-NINE-TAILS} – an anagram (swishing) of INELASTIC NOT A produces a type of whip. The enumeration gives it away.

10a  Put off hell when given religious leaflet (8)
{DISTRACT} – a charade of the city of Hell in Dante’s Divine Comedy (not to be confused with the Norfolk town which also turns up a lot, but which has an additional letter) and a religious leaflet makes a verb meaning to put off or sidetrack.

11a  Unsmiling look shown in that grief (6)
{DOLOUR} – the definition here is grief. Insert an interjection meaning look into an adjective meaning unsmiling or surly.

12a  Take back worker to sports ground (6)
{RECANT} – a verb meaning to take back or renounce a previously-held belief comes from a working insect appended to an informal abbreviation for a sports ground.

14a  Criticise a business community’s greed (8)
{RAPACITY} – a synonym for greed is built from a verb to criticise or censure, A and the financial and business centre of a large town.

16a  Got professional remedy, then died (8)
{PROCURED} – the definition is got. Join together the abbreviation for a professional, a remedy and D(ied).

19a  Not interesting, attention-grabbing? (6)
{DREARY} – this is an all-in-one (i.e. the definition is the whole of the clue) but for it to work you have to assume a second, implied, “not” after the comma. An adjective meaning uninteresting or dull contains (grabbing) the sort of attention that Mark Antony requested a loan of.

21a  Rhodes is one I defame without hesitation (6)
{ISLAND} – start with a statement meaning I defame (1,7) then remove the hesitation to leave what Rhodes is an example of.

23a  Suave person offering a drink (8)
{SMOOTHIE} – double definition.

25a  It’s a mess? Maybe setter’s needing short holiday, quick! (4,9)
{DOG’S BREAKFAST} – an informal phrase for something thrown together badly (mess) comes from a) what a setter is an example of (maybe), plus the ‘S, b) a short holiday and c) a synonym for quick.

26a  What makes us think of a naughty jumper? (3,5)
{RED LIGHT} – this cryptic definition works on two levels (at least it does for me – I hope I’m not maligning Giovanni). It’s something that a naughty motorist (or cyclist) ignores and it’s also a seedy district where a misbehaving man may have a brief relationship (jump being slang for to have sexual intercourse).

27a  Oldie in party running late with yen to leave (6)
{DOTARD} – this word for an old, senile, person comes from the usual party (the festive rather than political sort) followed by an adjective meaning running late without its final Y (with Y(en) to leave).

Down Clues

2d  Company with No.2 man introducing one drug and another (7)
{COCAINE} – join together the abbreviation for company, the name of the second male according to Genesis and E(cstasy) to make another drug.

3d  Group commander faces test with third being lost (5)
{OCTET} – the abbreviation for the officer in charge or commander is followed by TE(s)T with its third letter being lost.

4d  Dilapidated ancestral house of former kings (9)
{LANCASTER} – today’s old chestnut – an anagram (dilapidated) of ANCESTRAL gives us the red-rose house that provided England with a number of kings.

5d  Keep a close eye on lizard (7)
{MONITOR} – double definition.

6d  Famous but unable to make the final decision? (5)
{NOTED} – a synonym for famous could also (3,2) be someone other than the main decision maker. Although if you listen to the testimony given to the Leveson Enquiry you’d get the impression that some of these bosses, far from being hands-on decision makers, were totally in the dark about what was going on.

7d  Decoration displayed by craft going round lake (9)
{GUILLOCHE} – this word is totally new to me so I’ll give you the Chambers definition: ornamental borders or mouldings formed of interlacing curved bands enclosing roundels. Put a word meaning craft or cunning round a Scottish lake.

8d  Report of a sailor’s violence (7)
{ASSAULT} – this violent act sounds (a bit) like A followed by an informal word for a sailor.

13d  Some dear changeless being from the upper realms (9)
{ARCHANGEL} – hidden (some) in the clue is a senior figure in the celestial hierarchy.

15d  Home on top of Downs occupied by philosopher secure from invaders? (9)
{PADLOCKED} – an informal word for a home precedes (on) the top letter of D(owns), then insert (occupied by) the surname of John, the English philosopher and founder of political liberalism.

17d  Have accommodation outside university grounds? (7)
{RESIDUE} – these grounds are the sort found at the bottom of your coffee cup after breakfast. Put a verb to live or have accommodation around U(niversity).

18d  Son protected by fairly good family background (7)
{DESCENT} – a word meaning background or ancestry comes from inserting S(on) in an adjective meaning acceptable or fairly good.

20d  Disorderly rioters go on a spree (7)
{ROISTER} – a not too difficult anagram (disorderly) of RIOTERS means to go on a spree.

22d  Yesteryear’s socialite ugly, not half? Put right with treatment (5)
{DEBUG} – a young lady socialite who used to “come out” years ago is followed by half of the word ugly. The result is a verb meaning to correct errors, especially in software. The term originates from the early days of computers when creepy-crawlies often got into the works and had to be removed.

24d  Tribute to a holy person (5)
{TOAST} – join together TO A (given to you in the clue) and the abbreviation for a holy person.

The clues I liked best were 25a and 26a. Tell us what grabbed you.

Today’s Quickie Pun: {PRIEST} + {WREST} = {PRE-STRESSED}

68 comments on “DT 26803

  1. With most of the across clues going in on the first look (except 5a), I thought this was going to be over very quickly. However 5a, and 7d had me baffled for quite some time.
    Thanks to Giovanni, and to Gazza.

    The top half of the Toughie today was pretty straightforward, but the bottom half proved to be a right b**ger!

  2. I found this both tough and enjoyable today, ****/*** for me. As you say, several simple clues to get you in to it (most of which were on the LHS I thought). Managed to finish it unaided eventually, although there were a few words I had to look up to check once entered, those being 11a, 27a & 7d. Not terribly impressed with 6d, with Ed being one to make the final decision….that’s only the case in newspaperland, and so a bit obscure/oblique I felt. Many thanks to G n G.

    1. Gazza, I just read through the hints, re 26a – just one level for me I’m afraid – not telling which one though. :)

  3. Thanks Gazza and Giovanni.
    Was having a good solving week up till now, found this really difficult, and for 7d had to resort to solver.
    Still fun though and had me running up a few blind alleys before resolution.

  4. I think 25 describes this perfectly. I liked 5 and 26 but what were 7 and 11 doing on the back page?

    1. I agree that 7d is a pretty obscure word but it is possible to work out from the clue – well, just about – it took me ages! 11a is OK – we’ve had it before (don’t ask me when but it does turn up sometimes) and, as with 7d, we can work it out. There’s always at least one word that is new to me on Fridays.

      1. We all worked it out but obscure words like these do not help the newer solvers, and could very well put them off.

        1. Also I don’t know about you but it took me a long time to work it out, especially not having 5a either

  5. Very enjoyable – quite difficult in places. I’d never heard of 7d, and that wasn’t helped by being pretty slow to get 5a. Having got 5a it took a while to work out why. It also took me ages to see why 6d was what it was, but that’s just me being dim, I think! I spent quite a long time trying to make 15d start with “in”. I have to confess that the second part of Gazza’s hint for 26a had escaped me but, now that he’s mentioned it, I see what he means! I liked 16, 23, 25 and 26a and 5 and 18d. With thanks to Giovanni and Gazza.

  6. Hi Gazza thanks for hints tho’ I did just manage without, I thought the top right hand corner belonged on the toughie page! 7d particularly, still not sure of 6d not ed? lots I liked 21a, 25a, 24d, 4d, a three star for me except for top R/H corner!! A lovely day here today, good luck everyone, keeeeep perservating :-) Oh 26a for me I’m afraid to say, I just thought of the ‘district’ :-D

    1. I only thought of the traffic lights and bad drivers! Looks as if I’m not the one with the smutty mind today! Enjoy your good weather – cold, grey and very foggy here. :sad:

      1. it’s not going to last Kath and unfortunately I’ll be indoors this afternoon in art class! I don’t know what it says about me but traffic lights didn’t enter my head :-D

  7. Found this quite difficult to finish, particularly in NE. Not a fan of 26a – leading a pure life, the vehicular answer is the only one that came to mind and so the clue seemed a bit thin on content to me. Did not like 6d and could not understand our answer to 5a; thanks, Gazza, for the explanation. Like 99.9% of the population, I suspect, had never heard of 7d. 25a brought some much needed relief.

  8. Not the best offering from the Don IMHO. as others have stated, 7D is not a word I have ever come across and would doubt many people have. I got stuck for quite a wile on 8D also due to thing it started with ABS, grrrrrr and I can’t say I really enjoyed 19A either – not exactly cryptic I think.
    Having said all that, I thought 27A and 24D were absolutely excellent clues and most of the rest were up to the Don’s normal standard.
    Nearly got a bit of sun here now as the fog is starting to lift. Keeping my fingers crossed as out to dinner this evening and she’s driving for a change. Whooopieeeeee.

  9. This was rather tough for me too. However, with perseverance and the help of my various aids I managed to finish it. Got it right, too, except for 26a where I naïvely put in “tea-light” and wondered how that went with the clue. Thanks so much for your explanations, Gazza, for 26a and especially for 5a which was almost last in. And I really liked your pictures, specially for 25a and 7d, which was a word I’d never come across before, but isn’t it pretty! My favourites were 10 and 25a and 7d and thanks to Giovanni for the fun. :-)

  10. I hadn’t thought of the other VERY naughty RED LIGHT idea. To be honest I ddin’t know GUILLOCHE either ,but I need all the reasonable vocab I can grab to avoid endless repetition ( I strain hard not to recycle clues!) and I think it is good for solvers to have their analytical clue-solving skills tested once in a while and this word splits up beautifully ( I have even been known to put in a fairly simple clue for a Japanese city with a population of 2 million into a Toughie — shame on me for giving a geography lesson but it may well be history next time!). If you want something different today visit tye Church Times website and freely access my puzzle there, where you can work out a very long anagram * and then if you wish sing the hymn, which fits Lent quite well). Choir practice beckons.

      1. It is only on Saturdays and Sundays that we aren’t ‘allowed’ to put solutions in the comments.

  11. I usually take longer to solve the Friday puzzle than any other (except when it is a Petitjean) but this one took me longer than usual. Like Mary, I found the NE corner took ages to sort out. 26a was one of my two favourites, as I did immediately see the ‘other’ level and was surprised at Giovanni thinking such a thing (which it turned out he wasn’t :) ). Thanks to him for waking up the grey matter and to Gazza for the lovely review – I love the picture for my other favourite clue – 25a.

    If like me earlier on, you are finding the ferocious Toughie hard going, I highly recommend an hour and a half at the photocopier – did wonders for the cogitation, but not the planet (reams and reams of paper were sacrificed).

  12. ****/** today for me.Spent far too much time on the NE corner,thought the definition for 5a was going to be ‘stars’-a galaxy maybe-did’nt help!
    Never heard of 7d,took ages to find as i could’nt get 5a,also had the solution to 19a but could’nt see the cryptic bit-thanks Dave for the’ears’, never did like all in one clues ,always strike me as a tad masochistic.
    Bad day at black rock.

  13. Challenging puzzle today, for me at least. Spent as much time on 5a and 7d (new word to me) as the rest put together. Being a Lancastrian I liked 4d best! Again thanks to the setter and Gazza for the review.

  14. I’ll give this 5* for difficulty because I failed on 5a and 7d.

    As 7d down is such an obscure word, I thought that Giovanni was very mean not to clue it as “…Scottish lake”.

    Apart from that a nice puzzle! Thanks to G&G!

    1. Yes – I agree about the “Scottish lake” bit. Having got the second “L” from 11a I thought that was the “lake” – took ages to get the rest.

    2. Same here! We did the same as Kath and it was only the C from 14a that suddenly made me think a bit more laterally and the penny dropped – needed my BRB to check though as I’d never heard of it :grin:

      1. It took me a rather long time to make the “l*c” connection and was also thinking of wrong kind of “craft” – had got as far as boat, art of some kind but didn’t get to the right one for ages. Hope that you and Pommette have a lovely holiday. :smile:

  15. Many thanks to Giovanni for a cracker of a puzzle and to Gazza for an excellent review, 5a was a poser for ages and 7d though gettable was a stinker.

  16. Well after first run through the across clues, we only had 5 answers. So well done Jezza for getting so many!
    Definitely a crossword of 2 halves for me. Got the West side pretty quickly – but really struggled on the East. 7d and 27a were both new to me.
    So probably **** / ** for me.
    The phrase I know for 25 is Dog’s Dinner but worked this out okay!
    Thanks to Gazza and the Don for today.
    Off on holiday tomorrow for a week. We won a holiday to guess where? Costa del Sol :) So a busman’s holiday methinks.

    1. We have friends in Nerja who delight in calling us from the beach most Sundays while we are arguing about whether it is cheaper to keep the heating on overnight rather than let the house get stone cold.
      Enoy the Vino Collapso!

      1. Hope the weather improves! It’s gone cold and wet here today but Fuengirola is about a 5 hour drive away so it may be totally different – forecast looks good so I live in hope!. Always a bit hit-and-miss at this time of year.

  17. 25a – I’m sure that this subject has appeared previously on this blog – but what is the difference between “a dog’s breakfast” and “a dog’s dinner”?

    1. It might be a regional thing. I knew the phrase as ‘dog’s dinner’ in Manchester and only came across the breakfast version when we moved to Staffordshire, where they didn’t know about dog’s dinners :grin:

      1. There is also – “dressed up like a dog’s dinner” – wearing very formal or decorative clothes in a way that attracts attention.

        The dog in Gazza’s picture seems very well dressed!

    2. We’ve always said “dog’s dinner” too but they are both in BRB meaning “anything very untidy or badly done”. Maybe being “dressed up like a dog’s dinner” means not too well put together rather than very formal etc – just a thought.

    1. It’s the combination of a Giovanni and a Notabilis both on the same day which causes grown adults to collapse in a heap and start gently weeping while rocking backwards and forwards in the darkened room I’m afraid.

  18. Two and a half pint of blacksheep puzzle today. Last ones in 14 and 18A. Guessed at and verified by the dictionary (14) and the blog (18). Not that amused by the latter.

    Ho hum. Off to Toughie land. Thx to setter and blogger though.

    Perhaps a bag of salt and vinegar. . . .

    1. Happens often – on Weds this week there was the same answer in both the Jay and the Toughie.

      Spooky or what? There are various conspiracy theories :grin:

  19. Usual excellent Friday offereing from mr Manley, I thought GUILLOCHE was very clever, never heard of the word before but the wordplay gave it away. My only real struggle was with 5a, got the answer from the checking letters but could not for the life of me work out why until I read the hints. Thx Gazza. My fav today was 15d, made me smile.

  20. Despite reading the Hints, I still don’t understand ‘attention grabbing’ in 19a. Apart from that I found the Xword enjoyable, and yes I had heard of 7d. Thanx to all as usual.

    1. Oh my word!! Just didn’t get on that wavelength at all. Thank you Roland and Gazza

      1. …….and of course it explains Gazzas reference to Mark Anthony in his Hints. What a ‘thicko’ I am :-(

    2. 19a – I was very pleased to solve this one today. But, I very much doubt if I’ll ever understand what an “all-in-one” clue is.

      1. Franco,
        An all-in-one (or &Lit) clue is where the whole of the clue is the definition and the wordplay uses all the words of the clue (with none left over). BD has explained it better in his guide here.

  21. Definitely not my favourite of the week!! Could never have completed it without my faithful Seiko and still needed explanations for quite a few. Never heard of 7d but it makes sense once you see the word – think 19a is a completely AWFUL clue and is barely acceptable even with the explanation. Also only really know “dog’s dinner” but did work it out eventually. Hated 5a. Uuurggh! OK, I’m a GOW tonight! Don’t think I’m going to thank the setter to-day but I do thank Gazza for the explanations!

    1. Addicted – I know what you mean, but I think that appreciation for The Don is merited anyway. Surely the spectrum of difficulty on the back page should encompass all tastes and capabilities. If solvers can crack the occasional Toughie-level clue they may be encouraged to have a go at the real thing. Life’s a learning curve.

      1. Hi Digby – absolutely agree with you there.

        But see comment #14 – I agree that, as this is a back pager, “The Don” could have been a bit kinder and used “Scottish Lake” in the clue. No pasa nada :smile:

        The DT seems to have a system – a gentle Rufus on a Monday with double and cryptic definitions, fairly gentle (mostly) but but more involved clueing on a Weds and a trickier one on Friday – all from regular setters. And then nobody knows what to expect on Tues and Thurs!

        Works for me :grin:

        You’re right that the occasional harder bit does no harm and stops us being complacent! You may have seen from yesterday’s blog that I sent my solving times to a couple of people – well, on those times this would have been 4* for me and not far off 5* – all due to just a couple of clues!

        1. pommers, with regard to solving times…I know it’s verboten to discuss such matters…. but recently..gnomethang let the cat out of the bag for his solving times…. a very late post which I doubt anyone else read (only us insomniacs). All I can say that I was impressed – not too disheartened even though I’m a plodder! But I found it very interesting to know!

          But what does Mark GOODLIFFE do with his day after finishing the XWord

          1. Missed gnomey’s post but I know he’s faster than me. Apparantly crypticsue is the Sebastian Vettel of this blog!

            As a matter of interest (or not) the record for solving a Times competition puzzle is held by the Toughie setter Elgar (John Henderson) at a ridiculous 2mins 53secs – I couldn’t write all the answers in that fast!

          2. Franco and Pommers – I don’t know who Mark Goodliffe OR Sebastian Vettel are – I can only assume that they are both very fast at something – my only question is “WHAT”?

            1. “Mark Goodliffe has won the Times Crossword Championship five times – in 1999, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011.”

              In the 2010 final he completed the three crosswords in 25 minutes 9 seconds, almost 14 minutes ahead of the runner-up – a feat described by Times crossword editor Richard Browne as “like winning a 100m race by 40m”.

              Sebastian Vettel drives a very fast car!

        2. I agree with all this. I really like the “don’t know what is going to be chucked at us” Tuesdays and Thursdays but that doesn’t mean that I don’t enjoy the slightly more predictable, from the difficulty point of view, Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. I don’t really want to know the time that it takes other people to do the crossword – I don’t time myself and, in any case, I so often do a few clues, get up, have coffee and ciggie, hang washing out, do a few more clues etc – in other words I rarely do the crossword at one “sitting”.

          1. Hi Kath

            I’m like you. If not letting pommette do the work, and heping out a bit, over lunch I never time myself or do the thing without a break or two. When on my own other things always seem to intervene. But on blogging days I try to get a time so I have a basis for a star rating. Have to admit I don’t follow it slavishly as, has been said before, I’m the world’s worst at sorting anagrams so if there’s a lot of them I might knock a couple of minutes off my time. In my early days I gave a 4* once, due to my time, but everyone said how easy it was – yeah, it was easy if you’re good at sorting anagrams!

            1. I was going to comment about times and then I thought surely we have said this before, and we had back in August DT26622 – a fact I discovered because if you Google search about the Bert Danher Cup (which was a timed competition the Telegraph ran many moons ago) you come up with a link to my comment on this blog back in August!

              All I will say here, is that I may solve a crossword in a quick time but I will never be as fast as either Goodliffe or Elgar :)

  22. I really didn’t enjoy this puzzle. Too many obscure words for me and as a relatively new solver I just find it all so disappointing to spend ages looking at it and then find I didn’t know the word anyway. I guess that is to be expected but the roller-coaster ride of being able to finish one day and be baffled the next is driving me insane! I shall endeavor to swallow the dictionary today!

  23. Thanks to the two G’s. Found this really difficult, did about half before resorting to Gazza’s marvellous hints, needed 9 to complete. Never heard of 7d. No favourites found the whole thing too difficult.

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