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DT 26827

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26827

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

This is a fairly routine Giovanni puzzle with a fair sprinkling of proper names. After last week’s Nina I looked carefully for another (but in vain). Let us know how you enjoyed it.
If you need, in spite of the hint, to see an answer, just highlight the spaces between the curly brackets under the clue.

Across Clues

1a  South-east Asians, dreadful maniacs imprisoning person (10)
{CAMBODIANS} – citizens of a South-East Asian country are an anagram (dreadful) of MANIACS with an informal word for a person inside (imprisoning).

9a  Friends about to produce a hit (4)
{SLAP} – reverse (about) another word for friends.

10a  In which someone may be out of his or her class? (10)
{PLAYGROUND} – cryptic definition of where schoolchildren may spend their time between lessons.

11a  German boy certainly not a Bunter type (6)
{DIETER} – Billy Bunter was not known for restricting his intake so could not be described thus. With a different pronunciation it’s a common German male forename. With forenames I usually try to identify someone famous with that name – the only one I can think of here is the footballer Herr Hoeneß, who played for West Germany in the 1980s.

12a  What may give cover to one who is lying (7)
{BEDDING} – a fairly weak cryptic definition of what may give you cover at night.

15a  Senior schoolgirl gets a bit twisted, becoming model (7)
{PERFECT} – start with a senior schoolgirl (or boy) who is given a limited amount of authority over younger pupils and swap (get twisted) the second and third letters.

16a  Frigid upper-class girl with little money once (5)
{GELID} – an adjective meaning icy or frigid is a charade of an informal word for an upper-class girl and a coin (little in value but large in size) used prior to 15th February 1971.

17a  Split wood brought back and lit finally (4)
{RIFT} – this is a split or break in relations. Reverse (brought back) the wood of an evergreen tree and add the final letter of (li)T.

18a  Mist somewhere in Middlesex, we hear (4)
{HAZE} – this mist sounds like (we hear) a town which was once in Middlesex, but which, since Middlesex no longer exists as a local government entity, is now in the London Borough of Hillingdon.

19a  Leave old city in South America (5)
{QUITO} – a verb to leave is followed by O(ld) to make the capital city of Ecuador.

21a  Core group of students tackling tricky clue (7)
{NUCLEUS} – the core, of an atom or anything else, is built from the Students’ Union around (tackling) an anagram (tricky) of CLUE.

22a  Hoarding pounds, misers unlikely to be such? (7)
{SMILERS} – L is an abbreviation that can mean either pound or pounds. Put it inside (hoarding) an anagram (unlikely) of MISERS. I’m not sure that most misers are grim-faced grouches – surely some must laugh all the way to the bank?

24a  Judge a script brought in by boy (6)
{SAMSON} – insert (brought in) A and the abbreviation for manuscript in a male child (boy) to get an Old Testament character. He is known mainly for a) being supernaturally strong and b) having a bad hair day, but apparently in his spare time, when not wiping out whole armies with the jawbone of an ass, he was also a judge.

27a  One who has lost all his cash simply can’t get over it! (4,6)
{TOLL BRIDGE} – cryptic definition of what you have to pay to cross. Based on what seems to be the current government’s road policy there may be a lot more of these in future.

28a  Bird’s merit being expressed audibly (4)
{ERNE} – this is a sea eagle and it sounds like (being expressed audibly) a verb to merit or deserve.

29a  Works at Llantrisant maybe and shows a profit (5,5)
{MAKES MONEY} – there’s a bit of general knowledge required here. Llantrisant in South Wales is the home of the Royal Mint (the town is referred to, rather unkindly, after the old polo advert, as “the hole with the mint”).

Down Clues

2d  Sack that’s left inside bar (4)
{AXLE} – it’s always wise to check whether the “’s” in a clue stands for “is” or “has”. In this case it’s “is” in the surface but “has” in the wordplay. So what we want is a bar or spindle that comes from a verb to sack or dismiss staff which has L(eft) inside it.

3d  That is buried in plot further away (6)
{BEYOND} – a poetic adjective meaning “that” (used to describe something at a distance) goes inside (buried in) a plot (in the garden, perhaps) to make an adverb meaning further away.

4d  Place in Surrey could be complete with two sovereigns (7)
{DORKING} – we’ve had a place in Middlesex so to even things up we now have a town south of the river in Surrey (the birthplace of Lord Olivier). A verb meaning to complete is followed by a) the abbreviation for rex and b) what rex means.

5d  Chemical in a shapeless mass not soft (4)
{ALUM} – start with a shapeless mass (1,4) and remove the final P (not soft) then squash up what’s left to make a hydrated double sulphate of aluminium and potassium (I assumed that the word derived from the first two letters of the first and the last two letters of the second word, but this is not the case according to the BRB).

6d  A horse may be second — rotten (7)
{SADDLED} –a horse may be this, prior to being ridden. S(econd) is followed by an adjective meaning rotten or putrid.

7d  Clones are, come what may (3,3,4)
{ALL THE SAME} – what clones are is also an expression meaning come what may or whatever happens.

8d  Dejected, being deprived of whisky? (10)
{SPIRITLESS} – double definition, the second cryptic.

12d  A soberness not usually found in ladies (10)
{BARONESSES} – an anagram (not usually) of A SOBERNESS produces titled ladies.

13d  Damage makes building material fade badly on top (10)
{DEFACEMENT} – a word meaning damage or disfigurement comes from a powdery building material preceded (on, top, in a down clue) by an anagram (badly) of FADE.

14d  Sort of very clever chap? Not I (5)
{GENUS} – a sort, in the biological sense, comes from a very clever chap (or woman) with the I removed.

15d  Drinks — any number needed in the mines (5)
{PINTS} – insert the letter used in maths or everyday expressions for an unknown, usually large, number inside another word for mines.

19d  The tiniest bit gives a fashion designer hesitation (7)
{QUANTUM} – the surname of a fashion designer famous in the sixties (and venerated by many for what she made fashionable) is followed by an exclamation indicating hesitation. The result is a word meaning an amount (not necessarily small) but which, because of its use in physics, is used these days for a tiny bit.

20d  Books packaged together in vehicle (7)
{OMNIBUS} – double definition.

23d  Desire shown by one bather, primarily to get into pool (6)
{LIBIDO} – sexual desire results from inserting I (one) and the primary letter of B(ather) in a swimming pool.

25d  Criticism when one gets cut shaving? (4)
{FLAK} – an informal word for strong criticism is left when the final E is cut from a sliver or shaving.

26d  Contend that’s not right, making complaint (4)
{AGUE} – remove the R (not right) from a verb to contend or dispute.

My favourite clue today was 16a. How about you?

Today’s Quickie Pun: {HOUSE} + {WHEAT} = {HOW SWEET!}

73 comments on “DT 26827

  1. Not my favourite puzzle of the week, although there were some clues I enjoyed. Completed bar 10a (thanks to work colleague) – My knowledge of anything German is next to nothing; Everything was ‘French’ at my school!

    Back to try and complete the (very enjoyable) Toughie, which I am determined is not going to defeat me, even if I have spent more time on it that the other 3 toughies combined this week.

  2. Enjoyed this – some tricky and D’oh moments. First in 12a, last in 26d. Thanks to Gazza for the Hints & Tips

  3. About half way through and not enjoying it at all. I was really looking forward to today’s puzzle as normally Friday’s are the highlight of the week but can’t say that about this one.

        1. I agree. I am still fighting my way through this puzzle but I am really not enjoying it. I don’t know why

            1. Couldn’t agree more – hated this one. If this is “fairly routine” then quite obviously I’m not!!

  4. Good morning Gazza thanks for the blog and explainations, a def 3 star at least for me today, needing lots of help from my ‘electronic friends’ once again, 16a def not a favourite for me as I’ve never heard the word before, never heard that about Llantrisant before either :-) , last few in were in top L/H corner, I thought 5d was a bit of a toughie clue, 22a – I think that a miser would actually be smiling with glee as he rubs his hands together thinking of all his money can’t think why he wouldn’t! fav clue today 27a and just maybe being picky, is a haze the same as a mist?

    1. Mary – Re 22a, i think that “unlikely” is the anagram indicator. That leaves “to be such”; and why wouldn’t they be with all their hoarded pounds?

  5. This was a real grind for me, thinking with a hangover is not sensible.
    Completed all bar 2d, thanks for hint on that. Four letter clues always cause me probs.
    Thanks to Gazza for review and to compiler for a challenging start to the day, (mind you, just getting up was a challenge this morning.).

  6. Like others, I found this a bit of a slog but got there without hints. Had to look several answers up (28a – oddly not in mobile version of thefreedictionary, and 26d), Thanks to Gazza for explanations to others (11a, 16a, 3d & 4d).

    1. the bird has appeared in many many crosswords over many many years, but obviously not just lately in the DT!

      1. Seems to me to be some grammatical confusion here. Erne is a verb but clue implies a noun. Sloppy? Or am I misunderstanding?

        1. Erne is a noun (a sea eagle – see picture). It sounds like (being expressed audibly) a verb (earn).

  7. 3* for me too. Struggled with 11a, so thanks to Gazza for the hint. Liked 7d, but could only do 29a because I visited there for work many, many moons ago! Not one my favorites, but then Fridays rarely are.

  8. Started slowly but then got on Giovanni’s wavelength and finished it all off quite quickly. Very enjoyable. I agree with Gazza about 16a being clue of the day. Thanks to him for the blog too.

    The toughie is tough as befits a Notabilis on a Friday, needs a bit of concentration to make sure you have the right word but is worth rising to the challenge.

  9. I must be getting better or in tune with this setter as I knocked it off in short time even though I went ‘off-piste’ with blanket initially for 12a. I guessed 25d but couldn’t see the second part of the clue. Never heard of flak being a shaving ‘nick’! But thanks to Gazza I now understand it. Favourite was 11a.

    1. I put ‘blanket’ at 12a too and it mucked up the whole thing for me. Could only do about two-thirds and that with a good deal of help. Not much fun, but thanks to G&G.

  10. Many thanks to Giovanni for a most enjoyable crossword and to Gazza for an entertaining review.

  11. Loved this one, so very clever. Let’s you in then asks some tricky questions but always fair. For me the best clues are 14a, 29a and 19d. Learnt today where the Royal Mint is located, a new word for frigid and that lido means a pool my thanks to the Maestro and to Gazza for explaining 2d (why is it that the four letter answers are often the most difficult?)

  12. Friday is usually one of my favourite days but this left me a bit flat I’m afraid, just seemed to lack a bit of humour and the usual sparkle.

    I’m on record in this forum as saying its good to be stretched and learn new things but it’s stretching my enthusiasm a bit to discover Samson was a judge.

    I’m sure I will be flying in the face of the majority but I would love to see more scientific and technical and generally current references from our gifted and clever compilers and would be very grateful for fewer biblical, ornithological and botanical answers which at least in my mind seem to carry an excessive weight overall.

    However chacun a son gout as Robbie Williams once wrote.

    A happy weekend to all.


    1. I think you’ll find that kenny samson was on the Arsenal bench!
      As a chemist i agree with you on the dearth of scientific references-at least you had 5d today.
      Gave it ***/*** quite enjoyed it,got delayed on the NW corner as i took ages to think of the’bod’bit.
      My pet hates are the gods ,goddesses and myriad offspring of ancient mythology-on with the motley.

  13. I found this difficult and, for some reason, (not the difficulty I don’t think) didn’t enjoy it as much as usual – probably just me being grumpy. It was much closer to 4* for me. I started off badly by putting “blanket” for 12a and then, because it fitted with 12d, didn’t question it for rather a long time. I needed the hints for several – 2, 5, and 25d and to explain 29a – my general knowledge didn’t go as far as knowing where the Royal Mint is. Having got the “Q” and the “Z” I convinced myself that it was going to be a pangram – wrong! It’s beginning to look as if nothing I do today is going to be right! I liked 16a and 4, 7 and 12d. With thanks to Giovanni and to Gazza for the very much needed hints.

  14. A friend of ours rang me earlier to tell me about a clue in a crossword yesterday – he usually does the Guardian so I imagine that was what it was in.

    What six outraged dwarfs might do being reckless. (4,5)

        1. Kath,
          I liked that clue but I thought there was an even better one in the same puzzle:
          Designated partners primarily desperate for a quickie potential romance? (5,6)

          1. Thanks – my brain hurts – I think I might leave this until tomorrow! Assuming, that is, I can think straight after doing the cryptic AND making an attempt at the NTSPP. Perhaps I should just add that I told the same friend about “Peckish” in your puzzle last week and he loved it! :smile:

    1. I feel very Bashful about replying to this comment! Yesterday, doing the Paul/Dada in the Grauniad, I was very Sneezy and Sleepy so I called the Doc.

      Feel very Grumpy that I was so Dopey in solving the clue!

      1. Very smart! I’m getting a bit confused with all the “Anonymous” people – is there more than one – I know they all seem to have the same “face” (whatever it’s called) but the writing of the comments sounds as if it could be different people – or am I being dim again? Going back to that clue, didn’t you think it was a good one?

  15. I actually quite enjoyed this today after I realised that “blanket’ was wrong ,but it was two four-letter words that got me 2d and 25d ,therefore 27a was wrong although I did get the second word. Thanks to Giovanni & Gazza ;smile:

  16. Sorry Giovanni, todays offering did not tickle my taste buds at all.
    12(a) was weak, & who knew that Samson was a judge without looking it up?
    I’m new to the site & don’t want to be too hard on the setters, they & their predecessors have entertained me wonderfully for the last 48 years,but this one would have been thrown back over the side if it had been a fish!
    Have a smashing weekend.

  17. Like some others, I didn’t enjoy this one much. Some rather weak clues I thought (3d, 5d, 25d, 27a, 11a, 16a).

  18. I’m just beginning to realise that it probably wasn’t just me being grumpy today – most others seem to be a bit less enthusiastic than is usual for a Friday.
    On the plus side our poor neglected and shut in the shed all winter lawn mower started on the third pull of the stringy thingy, whatever it’s called. :smile:

  19. Just done.

    Less than a minute to put in 5D then 1A and then loathed the rest of it. Plodding stodgy clues of boring ambiguity – yawwwwnn.

    I had 12A 18A 27A 29A 3D pencilled in quite quickly then lost enthusiasm. The whole thing felt like watching a teenager wash his Dad’s car for a tenner.

    So ho hum I will give this a 3*/1*

  20. Thanks Giovanni and Gazza.
    Rather a form-filling exercise but reasonably enjoyable.

  21. A thinking-cap type of puzzle from The Don this week.
    Clues I liked : 1a, 11a, 19a, 24a, 27a, 4d, 6d, 13d, 19d & 23d.

    Re 29a I did not understand the reference to Llantrisant but after googling the town all became clear! I did not know that The Royal Mint had shifted! Been permanently expatriate too long.

    The roadworks are now completed and normal traffic has resumed – it certainly sounds much quieter!

    Temperature has dropped sharply today – ne’er cast a clout ’til May be out weather! In France : ne jeter pas de fil qu’à la fin d’avril.

  22. I also put ‘blanket’ at 12a and that mucked the whole thing up for me. Could only do about two-thirds and that with a lot of help. Not much fun, I’m afraid, but thanks to G&G.

    1. Your comment went into moderation because you’ve changed your alias – both aliases should work from now on.

      1. I didn’t mean to change my alias — it was something to do with my WordPress account. I couldn’t get any comments at all registered for about a week. Would like to get back to being just Franny again, but how?

  23. Can anybody explain to me why I have to keep signing on to the wordpress website when I make my first comment and how I can get out of it. It’s a blimmin nuisance

  24. Not crossword related but I thought others might like to smile at my letter of the day in the paper “Man with pasty would like to meet lady with jerrycan and stamps for travel and fun” :D

    1. A good week for Letter Writers and Cartoonists – Favourite Matt Cartoon this week – Wednesday.

      I was on my way to panic buy stamps when I ran out of petrol

      Doesn’t really need a picture.

      1. I really loved yesterday’s Matt Cartoon – DOES need a picture so I won’t even try …

        1. The world would be a much poorer place without Matt cartoons. They are the best.

  25. Finished now. There seems to be a big thumbs down for this puzzle. Thoroughly unenjoyable. Looking forward to tomorows puzzle which does not usually disappoint

    1. I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s puzzle too – and the NTSPP which I only started doing a few weeks ago – all the ones I’ve done have been really good.

  26. Greetings from the Outer Hebrides. Just here for 4 days – weather a lot different from Surrey. I agree with the consensus that this crossword is not quite as entertaining as some of the ones we have had during the week. Like some I fell into the BLANKET trap for 12a which held me up for a while. Favoutite clue was 4d (10 minutes from home). ***/*** I thought we were in for the second pangram of the week as a QXYZ went in but alas no. Many thanks to G&G

  27. Glad it wasn’t just me! Just for the record, thought 12 & 16a perfectly horrid clues. And why just the feminine bit for 15a? Boys are that as well – got it fairly quickly but didn’t put it in because of that! Grrrr! Sorry Giovanni, didn’t like it, but thank you Gazza for hints otherwise I would never have finished.

  28. Started this at 10pm on account of DT having simultaneously advised me of receipt of subscription and cancellation of my access to the site. Breakfast was miserable, lunch cheerless and by the time Mastermind x 2 was over the brain had ceased to function. Many thanks Gazza for your valued assistance with a puzzle I really didn’t like. Maybe tomorrow’s GGKC will restore peace to my tiny world.

    1. I had the same problem. iPad I presume?

      3*/3* from me too many slightly strained/ not quite there clues for me.

      Thanks to all

  29. It seems that a series of meetings, and then running a quiz in Henfield’s Leisure Centre, have saved me from a less than satisfying experience.
    I will take heed of the advice offered by 70% of our kindred spirits, above, consign today’s paper to recycling, and go for an early bath.

    1. The informal word for ‘upper-class girl’ is GEL, and the ‘little money once is’ (one)D – ID

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