DT 26806

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26806

Hints and tips by Gazza

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment **

Today’s puzzle is perfectly fair but not too exciting. Give us your take on it and tell us how you got on.
If you’re stuck and absolutely have to see an answer just highlight the space between the curly brackets under the troublesome clue.

Across Clues

1a  Old wife sat bare (7)
{EXPOSED} – the short word used for a one-time wife is followed by a verb meaning sat (for an artist or photographer).

5a  Imitating policeman leads to your insisting ‘Not guilty!’ (7)
{COPYING} – a slang term for a policeman is followed by the initial letters (leads to) of the last four words.

9a  Means of conveying sound (7)
{CHANNEL} – double definition – a means of conveying (information, for example)  and a strait or narrow stretch of water.

10a  Looked happy to go round new church (7)
{GLANCED} – the definition is looked. Put a synonym of happy round N(ew) and one of the abbreviations for church.

11a  Kept quiet and reticent (9)
{PRESERVED} – the letter used in musical notation to indicate quiet is followed by an adjective meaning reticent or shy.

12a  Instrument loudly followed by another? (5)
{FLUTE} – a modern musical instrument comes from the musical abbreviation for loudly followed by an old one. I bet Mary likes this one!

13a  Beats daughter with spades after alcohol (5)
{DRUMS} – start with D(aughter) and add S(pades) after an alcoholic drink.

15a  Press gang — note harbour with last characters in alehouse rather nervous (9)
{REPORTERS} – not a group trying to enlist men forcibly into the services but members of the fourth estate. String together a note (the second in tonic sol-fa), a synonym for harbour and the last characters of the final three words of the clue.

17a  Somehow drain mere to reveal what’s left (9)
{REMAINDER} – an anagram (somehow) of DRAIN MERE.

19a  Car seat (5)
{SEDAN} – double definition – what North Americans call a saloon car and a chair carried by bearers.

22a  Dean twisted round cold tap, maybe (5)
{DANCE} – the definition by example (maybe) here is tap. Put an anagram (twisted) of DEAN round C(old).

23a  Cosmetic mixtures to cram in mugs (4,5)
{FACE PACKS} – these are cosmetic mixtures designed to improve the complexion. Put a verb meaning to cram or stuff inside what mugs are an informal term for.

25a  Little change in great desire for modelling (7)
{CARVING} – the definition is modelling (not the sort done on a catwalk but with a piece of wood or stone). Start with a great desire (such as some women have during pregnancy) and make a little change to it by swapping the second and third letters round.

26a  At college, degree brings advance in status (7)
{UPGRADE} – this is a charade of a small word used to mean at college and a synonym for degree or level.

27a  Pleasure from French kissing conspicuous person (7)
{DELIGHT} – join together the French for from and a conspicuous person (often preceded by “leading”).

28a  Are changes by resort serious? (7)
{EARNEST} – the definition is serious. An anagram (changes) of ARE is followed by a resort or place of retreat.

Down Clues

1d  Ladies’ cape discounted, stores got free (7)
{ESCAPED} – a verb meaning got free is hidden (stores) in the clue.

2d  Starter missing from meal up at high table (7)
{PLATEAU} – what we’re looking for here is a table or flat area of land. It comes from an anagram (high) of (m)EAL UP AT with the starting letter of meal missing.

3d  Poles seen in Ely maybe, making impression (5)
{SENSE} – Ely is an example (maybe) of a diocese. Put another word for diocese around the two poles to make an impression or inner feeling.

4d  Something done about meat supplied (9)
{DELIVERED} – an action (something that is done) goes round a type of meat or offal.

5d  Composer died in prison? (5)
{CAGED} – to get an adjective that could mean in prison put D(ied) after the surname of an American composer most famous for his noted (or more accurately “not noted”) composition entitled 4’33”.

6d  Factory with no name makes shoes (9)
{PLATFORMS} – remove the N(ame) from a factory and add a verb meaning makes or constructs to get shoes designed to give one additional height.

7d  Add in hint about date (7)
{INCLUDE} – the definition is add. Start with IN (given to us) and add a synonym for hint containing D(ate).

8d  Beautiful woman’s barking dogs trapping man (7)
{GODDESS} – a woman greatly admired for her beauty is formed from an anagram (barking) of DOGS containing an abbreviated male forename (Mr O’Connor, perhaps).

14d  Twitter about winter in France, and what one might be doing (9)
{SHIVERING} – twitter is used here in its more traditional sense so we want a verb to twitter like a bird around the French word for winter.

16d  Drop equipment (9)
{PARACHUTE} – cryptic definition of what’s required for a drop.

17d  Became thicker — and became thinner (7)
{REDUCED} – double definition, the first meaning became thicker or more concentrated by boiling.

18d  Beryl perhaps kinky in male clothing right? (7)
{MINERAL} – beryl is an example (maybe) of this. An anagram (kinky) of IN MALE contains (clothing) R(ight).

20d  Clegg’s first to be taken in by new leader’s broadcast (7)
{DECLARE} – the first letter of C(legg) is inserted (taken) in an anagram (new) of LEADER.

21d  Beginning to develop a smell after end of afternoon (7)
{NASCENT} – the definition is beginning to develop. Add A and a smell to the end letter of (afternoo)N.

23d  Combat — panic right away (5)
{FIGHT} – remove the R(ight) from a panic.

24d  Runs after servant to obtain communication device (5)
{PAGER} – the abbreviation used for runs in cricket follows a servant.

The clue I liked best today (for the little story told in its surface) was 15a. Let us know what you liked.

Today’s Quickie Pun: {WAUGH} + {LAUDS} = {WARLORDS}


  1. Posted March 6, 2012 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    I thought this was going to be really really hard and then found the bottom half started to fall into place and then the top came good too – I had drubs in for 13a (as in alcohol rub) but I think drums sounds better – and counldn’t ‘see’ 3 down at all until I read the hints – I was looking up all sorts of interesting anagrams of ElyNS to no avail. All good fun fav clue 5a: thanks to setter and Gazza!

    • Posted March 6, 2012 at 11:17 am | Permalink

      OOps; really sorry – I think I have done something very naughty above – please forgive, I was obviously overexcited when doing the first comment!

      • gazza
        Posted March 6, 2012 at 11:20 am | Permalink

        You only need to be careful about putting answers in comments for the prize (weekend) puzzles.

      • Posted March 6, 2012 at 11:22 am | Permalink

        As Gazza says, revealing answers is only forbidden with prize crosswords! This is not one of those.

      • Posted March 6, 2012 at 11:32 am | Permalink

        I had DRAMS !!

  2. Roland
    Posted March 6, 2012 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    No probs, faves or raves. Thanks to setter and Gazza.

  3. Roland
    Posted March 6, 2012 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    Gazza – love the picture at 6d, even though they’re not platforms she’s wearing. Still………… who cares? :)

    • Kath
      Posted March 6, 2012 at 11:34 am | Permalink

      I agree with the bit about the shoes not being platforms!!

      • gazza
        Posted March 6, 2012 at 11:35 am | Permalink

        I thought they were near enough :D

        • Kath
          Posted March 6, 2012 at 11:38 am | Permalink

          … any excuse! :smile:

          • Posted March 6, 2012 at 11:56 am | Permalink

            I’ve only just noticed she’s actually wearing shoes!

            • mary
              Posted March 6, 2012 at 12:06 pm | Permalink


        • mary
          Posted March 6, 2012 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

          not even close! :-D

    • beaver
      Posted March 6, 2012 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

      Had’nt noticed the shoes either , are you a policeman? Thought it was going to be hard today but was’nt once you started,go for**/*** enjoyable romp.

  4. Domus
    Posted March 6, 2012 at 11:28 am | Permalink

    3* difficulty for me. Needed hints for the top half.

  5. Kath
    Posted March 6, 2012 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    I didn’t think that I was going to be able to do this at all – definitely, for me anyway, at least 3*. For ages I had almost nothing in the top half and the bottom half wasn’t looking good either. Then it all fell into place. I needed the hint to explain 25a and I wasn’t very sure about the “…nest” bit of 28a. Having got the “F” in the middle of 6d I tried to justify “flipflops” but couldn’t. My last one was 15a. Having finished now I realise that I enjoyed it and can’t quite see why I found it difficult. I liked 5 and 23a and 14, 16 and 17d. With thanks to the setter and to Gazza.

    • Posted March 6, 2012 at 11:39 am | Permalink

      Glad you got the F in middle… Sorry!

      • Kath
        Posted March 6, 2012 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

        … you said it, not me!! :smile:

  6. Posted March 6, 2012 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    Much better than yesterday… Maybe its me. I’m not too keen on puzzles that have a mix of very easy and very difficult clues. This was about right for me. Thanks.

  7. Posted March 6, 2012 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    Thanks Gazza – with you and your “Bishop Desmond” rating. And for a very nice pair of “platforms”. 25a my fave. Thanks to setter whoever.

  8. BigBoab
    Posted March 6, 2012 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    Thanks to the setter and to Gazza, a pretty nondescript sort of puzzle today, only saved by the fact that the toughie was even easier. ( Nice pictures though Gazza )

  9. Jezza
    Posted March 6, 2012 at 11:39 am | Permalink

    A couple in the SW held me up briefly; otherwise pretty gentle. Thanks to setter, and to gazza.

  10. Kath
    Posted March 6, 2012 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    16d reminds me of something someone told me last week which made me laugh. You don’t need a parachute to sky dive – you only need a parachute to sky dive twice!!

    • Steve_the_beard
      Posted March 6, 2012 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

      If at first you don’t succeed, sky diving isn’t the sport for you :-)

      • Colmce
        Posted March 6, 2012 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

        Great minds cross post :)

    • Colmce
      Posted March 6, 2012 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

      If at first you don’t succeed, maybe skydiving isn’t for you!

  11. mary
    Posted March 6, 2012 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    Well do you know gazza I found this tough today! eventually having filled in the top left and bottom right I decided to go and prune all the fuschias (hope it’s right time of year) in the glorious sunshine, I then took the rest of the crossword outside and the fresh air must have cleared my brain but definitely a three star at least for me, I thought 27a was a ‘toughie’ clue and yes gazza I have to put 12a as my favourite today, just because.., I needed lots of ‘help from my friends’ and I must say I was just glad to finish it, nice to see you back to normal with the pictorial art gazza, I thought you had gone a bit ‘quiet’ of late :-D

    • gazza
      Posted March 6, 2012 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

      The clue that I thought was a “toughie” clue was 25a.

      • mary
        Posted March 6, 2012 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

        Yes that one too!

        • Kath
          Posted March 6, 2012 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

          I thought that 25a was more of a toughie clue too – or a bit more like something that might turn up on a Sunday.

      • Jezza
        Posted March 6, 2012 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

        That was my last one in – I wanted to put ‘P’ (Little change) in it somewhere.

    • Kath
      Posted March 6, 2012 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

      Hi Mary – yes – right time of year to prune hardy fuchsias (spelt like that as they are named after a German botanist called Fuchs – not being critical – just saying :smile). If you mean the ones that need to be over wintered in a greenhouse I always leave them to shoot and then take cuttings.

      • Posted March 6, 2012 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

        Here we go again… Another spelling lesson… I now know there is only one F in fuchsia…

        • Kath
          Posted March 6, 2012 at 4:35 pm | Permalink


  12. Posted March 6, 2012 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    Quite straightforward for me today. I had to scratch my head a few times but once the penny dropped I could not see why. Thanks to setter & to Gazza.

  13. crypticsue
    Posted March 6, 2012 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    A mix of the straightorward and the ‘what?’ took me into 2.5/3* difficulty time today. I liked 15a and 16d. Thanks to the Mystery Setter and to Gazza too.

    The Toughie will take you less time than this one did and so if you want more crosswords, I suggest you go for Qaos in the Guardian. It is a nice entertaining crossword (and I am not just saying that because I met him at Little Venice!)

    • mary
      Posted March 6, 2012 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

      I always feel a lot better when I know that someone of your ability has struggled a little too sue :-)

  14. Jackie
    Posted March 6, 2012 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    I found this one fairly straight forward today, although it took me quite a while to finish the NW corner. I needed the hints to explain ‘why’ behind 3d and 25a as well. Favourite clues 15a, 2d and 18d – that form of beryl was lurking in the back of my mind for ages before I managed to drag it to the fore. Off to tackle the Toughie now.

  15. Derek
    Posted March 6, 2012 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    Very straightforward puzzle today – no special favourites.

  16. Hrothgar
    Posted March 6, 2012 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

    Thanks Gazza and setter.
    Enjoyable – crafty 25a which took me a few minutes longer (than the others) to solve and understand.

  17. wbgeddes
    Posted March 6, 2012 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

    Using my Blacksheepometer I really don’t see this as a 2* 3+ for me.

  18. Heno
    Posted March 6, 2012 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to the setter & Gazza for the review & hints, which fortunately I didn’t have to use. Found this quite a struggle, so was a bit surprised to see 2* for difficulty. Thought 15a a bit clunky. At the risk of being sent to Pedant’s Corner, wasn’t 25 across an indirect anagram? Last in was 18d. Favourite was 6d. Overall quite a fun puzzle.

    • gazza
      Posted March 6, 2012 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

      25a isn’t an anagram. You start with “great desire” then just swap letters 2 and 3 (a little change).

      • Heno
        Posted March 6, 2012 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

        Thanks Gazza, I see.

      • Roland
        Posted March 6, 2012 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

        Hmm……that could start an interesting debate. If swapping two letters around in a word to make another word isn’t an anagram, what is it? (See you in Pedant’s Corner Heno.)

        • gazza
          Posted March 6, 2012 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

          I admit that there’s a thin dividing line in this case, but I’d put this in the same category as a clue (down clue) like “Heartily raised welcome for bird (5)” where you start with GREET (welcome) and raise the central letter to the top.

        • mary
          Posted March 6, 2012 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

          I see what you mean Roland :-)

    • Kath
      Posted March 6, 2012 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

      I know this isn’t but could someone remind me what an indirect anagram is. I only got my head around compound/composite anagrams recently and brain doesn’t seem capable of remembering something that it DID know!!

      • Jezza
        Posted March 6, 2012 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

        An indirect anagram is when a synonym for part of the clue is part of the anagram fodder, in other words, you are expected to work out what the synonym is, and then make an anagram out of that word (which is a little unfair!).

        • gazza
          Posted March 6, 2012 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

          The example of an indirect anagram which Ximenes quoted as a no-no was:
          Tough form of monster (5)
          where you have to first find the monster (HYDRA) then make an anagram of it to get HARDY.

        • Kath
          Posted March 6, 2012 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

          So does that mean that ALL indirect anagrams are no-noes?

          • gazza
            Posted March 6, 2012 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

            I think that nearly all setters and editors would say that indirect anagrams are banned, but the difficulty comes in the grey areas of what is and what is not an indirect anagram.

  19. Annidrum
    Posted March 6, 2012 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

    Somehow fell into place quicker than I thought it was going to after first read through. I would agree with Gazza’s 2*. Last in was 3d and favourite was 16d.

    • wbgeddes
      Posted March 6, 2012 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

      The reason why I thing this is a 3* not a 2* today is demonstrated for my money by you last one in 3D.

      Although I didn’t write it in my first one in would have been 3D but the word impression foxed me.

      Perhaps the clue would have been better as “Poles seen in Ely maybe, making smell” although I suspect Warsaw’s Ambassador to the Court of St James would be huffing and puffing.

      • Addicted
        Posted March 6, 2012 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

        Totally agree with you wb – had to resort to hints to get this one – even had to visit curly brackets! – and STILL don’t like it – “impression” = “sense” – doesn’t make “sense” to me!!!

        • gazza
          Posted March 6, 2012 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

          e.g. I had a sense/feeling/impression that there was more to this than met the eye.

        • Kath
          Posted March 6, 2012 at 9:14 pm | Permalink

          I think that I agree with you too, Addicted and wb. I only put this answer in very faintly because I wasn’t sure about it but there wasn’t much else it could be – I do see what Gazza means but I just wasn’t convinced at the time.

  20. wbgeddes
    Posted March 6, 2012 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

    Who is today’s compiler?

    • mary
      Posted March 6, 2012 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

      It’s a mysteron today

      • wbgeddes
        Posted March 6, 2012 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

        We know you can hear us – Earth….man

        • Roland
          Posted March 6, 2012 at 3:58 pm | Permalink


          • wbgeddes
            Posted March 6, 2012 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

            I thang yew

            • Roland
              Posted March 6, 2012 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

              Hello Arthur!

  21. Colmce
    Posted March 6, 2012 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

    Found this one really difficult, just couldn’t get into the groove at all.
    Needed hints to complete, thanks Gazza.

    • Posted March 6, 2012 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

      Yes, I quite enjoyed today’s offering. I can see this one being easier for people that have been doing the puzzles for some time and being harder for a newcomer. There were many single letter abbreviations that stand out if you are looking for them and can be hard to spot if you don’t know they are used regularly. For example Run/ Right for R. Spades for S, etc. Also ‘up’ for at college or university (as opposed to down for being expelled) also appears from time to time. The more you do this type of crossword the easier they become.

  22. Brian
    Posted March 6, 2012 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

    Beyond me how you can give this only 2 star for difficulty, for me it was verging on a 4 star, managed 3 answers!

    • Kath
      Posted March 6, 2012 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

      Keep perservating, Brian. Took me AGES to get started but then it was possible, apart from needing explanations for a couple.

  23. upthecreek
    Posted March 6, 2012 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

    Nice and easy today with no problems. Favourites were 25,16 and 25. The toughie was also quite easy so thank goodness we have a footy match tonight.

    • Posted March 6, 2012 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

      What’s good about Footie UTC? Just a bunch of overpaid hoodlums trying to get each other sent off and winging when they get caught cheating. Football stopped being a sport back in the late 60s and became a business, I’m afraid it looks like cricket and rugby may be going the same way.

      • upthecreek
        Posted March 6, 2012 at 10:44 pm | Permalink

        So why did 60,000 people turn out at The Emirates tonight when Arsenal were 0-4 down after the first leg?

        • Posted March 6, 2012 at 11:31 pm | Permalink

          Slaves to commerce

          • Heno
            Posted March 7, 2012 at 12:23 am | Permalink

            Or optimists :-)

          • upthecreek
            Posted March 7, 2012 at 9:03 am | Permalink

            Get a life

  24. Posted March 6, 2012 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

    I would agree with gazza’s assessment of 15 a as favourite. I quite enjoyed the rest too. Thanks to gazza and the setter.

  25. Posted March 6, 2012 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

    Bit late today, had to go and cover for a colleague on leave (and will be there until Friday week). Unfortunately, its an hour’s drive away and an 8 o’clock start. By the time I got home, fell asleep for an hour and had a cup of tea, it was time for dinner!

    Fairly enjoyable today today. Top half had me stumped for a while (I put that down to the fact I kept falling a’kip) but soon fell into place.

  26. Addicted
    Posted March 6, 2012 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

    Had quite an easy romp to start with (sitting beside a beautiful chalk stream, out of the wind, in lovely sunshine – bliss!) but having got home and tried to finish proved disaster – NW corner completely flummoxed me, apart from 11a; finally got 1a, then 2d occurred to me but couldn’t justify it, ditto 13a. So many thanks for hints – and answers! – Gazza – but I still dislike 3d intensely! Hadn’t got any idea for 9a but it does make sense once explained. (there’s that word – “sense” – again! See what I mean?) wbgeddes has a much better clue for 3d up above! However, not really as grumpy as I sound as basically enjoyed it – as always! Thanks to mystery setter and Gazza for badly needed hints.