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DT 26872

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26872

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

The grid gives us four puzzles for the price of one today. I quite enjoyed it – how about you?

If you need to reveal an answer just drag your cursor through the space between the brackets under the clue that’s giving you problems.

Across Clues

1a  Pub after pub is origin of man’s uncivilised behaviour (9)
{BARBARISM} – uncivilised behaviour results from a couple of pubs followed by IS (from the clue) and the first letter (origin) of M(an).

9a  Trial or trade? (6)
{ORDEAL} – OR followed by a verb to trade gives us a trial or unpleasant experience.

10a  A resident’s behind with payment for property (9)
{ATTRIBUTE} – a property or characteristic is built from A, the last (behind) letter of (residen)T and a payment or gift.

11a  Strive for higher things — a pinnacle (6)
{ASPIRE} – a verb meaning to strive for higher things can be broken down (1,5) as a pinnacle (on a church building, perhaps).

12a  French roll or short crop isn’t about sex appeal principally (9)
{CROISSANT} – to get this French roll start with the truncated (short) crop and add ISN’T containing the principal letters of sex appeal.

13a  Cavort in cut-off dress around centre of Carlisle (6)
{FROLIC} – a dress shorn of its last letter (cut-off) goes round the middle two letters of Carlisle.

17a  Expert fancies ignoring the odds (3)
{ACE} – ignore the odd letters of fancies to leave an expert.

19a  A reprobate, first in exams, joining my school (7)
{ACADEMY} – a school is constructed from A, a reprobate or rotter, the first letter of E(xams) and MY.

20a  Tend to pamper model (4-3)
{BABY-SIT} – a verb meaning to tend young children is a charade of a verb to pamper or treat in an over-protective manner and another verb to model (for an artist or photographer).

21a  Numb bottom following half-hour back massage (3)
{RUB} – a massage comes from the last letter (bottom) of (ru)B following half of the word hour reversed (back).

23a  Driving force in party welcoming large numbers back (6)
{DYNAMO} – a party (the festive rather than political sort) contains (welcoming) the reversal (back, for the second time in consecutive clues) of a lot (large numbers).

27a  According to one featured in Sun report it’s slander (9)
{ASPERSION} – a phrase (2,3) meaning according to is followed by I (one) contained in what sounds like (report) Sun.

28a  Female admitting children’s game is an old weakness (6)
{DOTAGE} – the weakness of the old comes from a female animal containing (admitting) a children’s game involving a lot of chasing.

29a  In France she volunteers to talk about trifle (9)
{BAGATELLE} – start with a feminine French pronoun (in France she), then add the abbreviation for our part-time (volunteer) troops and an informal verb to talk. Finally reverse the lot (about) to get a trifle or something of little importance.

30a  Bully’s outwardly touchy tirade (6)
{TYRANT} – the outer letters of T(ouch)Y are followed by a tirade.

31a  Craft storm sent farthest back (9)
{STERNMOST} – an adjective meaning farthest back (on a ship, say) comes from an anagram (craft) of STORM SENT.

Down Clues

2d  Greek feta with rocket salad starters and pudding (6)
{AFTERS} – the definition here is pudding. Start with an anagram (Greek) of FETA and add the initial letters (starters) of R(ocket) S(alad). Presumably Greek qualifies as an anagram indicator from its use to mean something unintelligible (it’s all Greek to me) rather than from the parlous state of the Greek economy.

3d  You may be expected to watch this one less than normal (6)
{BIRDIE} – double definition – what a photographer may ask you to watch and one less than normal on a hole at golf.

4d  Well run old vehicle on time (6)
{ROBUST} – an adjective meaning well or healthy is made from abbreviations for run and old followed by a vehicle and a final abbreviation for time.

5d  Black cat’s in a frenzy (7)
{SATANIC} – an adjective meaning black or demonic is an anagram (frenzy) of CAT’S IN A.

6d  Ban cheat in writing (9)
{PROSCRIBE} – to get this verb to ban insert a verb meaning to cheat (by copying another’s work) inside writing.

7d  Performer who gets high energy in song on record (9)
{AERIALIST} – this is a performer who gets high to do his or her act. Insert E(nergy) in an operatic song, then finish with a record or catalogue.

8d  Heatedly dispute key before involving jazz fan (9)
{ALTERCATE} – this is a verb meaning to dispute heatedly in public (we normally only see it these days in its nounal form). Start with what’s written on one of the special keys on your keyboard, then add a poetic word for before containing (involving) a slang word for a jazz fan.

14d  Conservative leader and core of Cabinet woo prospective parliamentarian (9)
{CANDIDATE} – a prospective parliamentarian (if he or she can get enough people to vote for them) comes from stringing together a) the leading letter of Conservative, b) AND (in the clue), c) the central (core) letter of Cabinet and d) a verb to woo.

15d  Put on a show in court mid-morning over assault (9)
{BARNSTORM} – this is a verb meaning to put on a show or give a very energetic performance. Start with a term for the legal profession or a court, then add the middle letter of morning and a verb to assault or attempt to capture by force.

16d  Upsetting matter — nag and scold (9)
{TERMAGANT} – an anagram (upsetting) of MATTER and NAG produces a scold or bad-tempered woman.

17d  Race course sounds a breeze (3)
{AYR} – what we want here is a town with a racecourse in the South-West of Scotland. It sounds like a breeze. I don’t know why there’s a space between race and course in the clue, but with or without the space the surface is not great.

18d  Channel swimmer losing head in adverse tide (3)
{EBB} – we want the surname of the sea captain who made the first successful cross-channel swim in 1875. Take off the initial W (losing head) to leave an outgoing (adverse) tide.

22d  New kid on the block’s out of bed second, getting sharp (7)
{UPSTART} – someone who has suddenly risen in wealth or prominence (new kid on the block) is a charade of a) out of bed, b) S(econd) and c) sharp in taste.

24d  Go about two (6)
{REPAIR} – a formal (or humorous) verb meaning to go is formed from a preposition meaning about or concerning and two matching people or things.

25d  Regard events up to a point (6)
{ESTEEM} – organised events at which a number of races or contests take place are reversed (up) after a cardinal point to make a synonym for regard or respect.

26d  Brogue not even the French sport (6)
{BOULES} – brogue without its even letters is followed by a French definite article to make a sport which is popular in France.

My top clues today were 27a, 29a and 8d. How about you?

Today’s Quickie Pun: {STAY} + {TUSK} + {WOE} = {STATUS QUO}


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52 comments on “DT 26872

  1. No real problems with this one – I thought for one minute we were going to see that crossword cat again in 5d; fortunately B OUNCE S was not the right answer! :)
    Thanks to setter for a gentle and enjoyable puzzle, and to gazza for the review.

    The toughie is good fun, and I found it no harder than this one.

  2. For me it was tough but fair, but eventually cracked it with some electric help.
    The format of the grid didn’t help as I need all the checking letters I can get.
    29a,20a,3d,6d favourites.
    Thanks for review.
    Thanks to the setter for a testing puzzle.

  3. I found this difficult but got there without using the hints, some electronic assistance though, thanks for the review Gazza, needed a few explanations esp 29 & 27 the grid of course didn’t help, thanks to the setter, do we know who he/she is ?

  4. A bit of a long haul for me. Each answer was dragged kicking and screaming to the page. Still not finished, doubt I ever will !.
    Thanks to Gazza for the tips, I will probably crack and have a butchers.

  5. This one put up a bit of a fight this morning, probably 3.5* for me but it was an ‘odd’ grid. 3* fun and the same favourites as Gazza, thanks to him for the usual excellently illustrated elucidations. thanks to the Tuesday Mysteron too.

    I took exactly the same time to solve the nice Dada toughie – Kath etc should have a go. Fans of Mr Halpern (Dada) will be delighted to know he is in the Guardian today as Paul (the theme will suit people of my era) and in the Indy as Punk (both available free on line).

    1. Thanks for toughie information – may have a go this evening but need to go and do “stuff” in the garden and can’t quite justify any more time doing crosswords today – the back page one has taken me AGES.

  6. I’m not quite sure how much I enjoyed this one – I certainly found it very difficult – at least a 4* for me but I don’t really know why. Having read the hints for all the ones that I couldn’t do I realise that there were several that I should have managed – just a bad crossword day I think – I mean me, not the crossword!
    I liked 27 and 28a and 26d. My favourite was 20a.
    With thanks to the setter and to gazza for the very much needed hints.
    It finally feels like summer – blue sky and warm sun. Going to Chelsea flower show tomorrow. :smile:

  7. Very enjoyable crossword from our mystery setter, super picture from Gazza, lovely weather, what more could one ask? Thanks to the mysteron and to Gazza.

  8. I managed most of this fairly easily but then got totally stuck on the NE corner and would not have finished without your hints! Many thanks… going to sit in the sun for a bit and recover after the effort! :)

  9. A really slow start, only 8 completed last night, and only 11 so far. Will probably need lots of electronic help later (over lunch here in Texas). Thanks to Gazza in advance.

  10. We too enjoyed this one :smile:

    When we came to read the clues for 17d and 18d we found we already had the answers filled in from the across clues. I like clues like 18a – as pommette reads out the clue I can construct the answer as she goes along :grin: Otherwise agree with Gazza’s favs.

    Many thanks to the mysteron and Gazza.

  11. Going to give this3.5* and 3*, found it quite difficult and somehow solved it in 4 quarters!Thanks to Gazza’s blog for explaining 10a-had the answer but couldnt follow the wordplay,thought the ‘behind ‘bit was ‘but’! nevermind,just a tad late to work,and it’s good beer drinking weather.

  12. Four star for me, and I got 29A wrong (out of desparation I put caramelle). Thanks for the explanation Gazza.

  13. A straightforward solve today!
    Liked : 10a, 12a, 27a, 29a, 3d, 6d, 8d & 22d.

    It is very warm here today !

  14. Each solution was like pulling a tooth.
    Taxing but very enjoyable.
    Thanks setter and Gazza

      1. Amend – some clues etc.
        Yes, a poor analogy but I like a struggle which is ultimately triumphant, sort of thing.

  15. Gave up on this one, too tough for me and far too nice a day to be sat in doors racking brains.

    1. try the toughie Brian, you’ll complete a lot of it, I found this one tricky for a Tuesday, and gave up on the “quickie”.

  16. Thanks very much to the Setter! I enjoyed this one despite constantly muttering “…what a terrible grid”.

    If “Greek” is an anagram indicator, I’ll eat my hat……Θα φάει το καπέλο μου!!

  17. I’m pleased you gave it 3* for difficulty Gazza as I found it quite brain-racking ,but finished it eventually with much help from the BRB
    and Mr A’s help for my last two in , 3d d’oh! and 15d. I don’t know if I enjoyed it or not but I think it was a clever puzzle. Och yes I think I did enjoy it. Thanks to Setter & Gazza. Possibly last comment for a couple of months as I’m off to New York to visit number one & only son & number one & only grandson (child). :smile: :smile:

    1. Both the DT Crossword site and Big Dave are accessible on this side of the pond, you may not have to go without for two months.

      And, in NY, you can access the crossword at 7pm the day before!

    2. lucky you, NY state or City, Both Great. Still hanker for my apartment in Windsor court, Murray Hill

    3. Hope that you have a wonderful trip – how exciting to be seeing only son and grandson. I’m sure that you have other things on your mind at the moment but I’m glad that gazza gave it 3* – was rather hoping that it might have been 4*!
      Have fun! :smile:

  18. Keep thinking of that old adage “pride cometh beore a fall” – that was me to-day. After my triumph yesterday I really, REALLY struggled and had to resort to hints – for which many thanks Gazza – to finish. Very bad day – and so many that I SHOULD have got. Oh well, perhaps it was the unaccustomed heat that was doing my head in? It didn’t help that I had the “breeeze” rather than the “course” for 17d and had spelt 16d wrong. No, not a good day – but thanks to setter anyway for putting me back in my box. Enjoyment *, difficulty *****!

    1. I think that you have suggested before that we must be related – I echo everything that you have said – I really struggled too – never mind, tomorrow is Wednesday! It’ll all be fine – apart from the fact that I’m going to Chelsea flower show so may not get to see, let alone do, the crossword!

    2. I’m with you on this one. Following Monday’s triumph on the train this was unfathomable to me. I have never before substantially used the hints but somehow did not have will or interest to persist. Still have not got8d. I’ve no idea what a jazz fan is called and Ken Clarke doesn’t fit!

  19. I think that the grid strcture didn’t help today but I enjoyed the cluinbg in the main. I found that I had the NE almost blank and 2 in the NW and really had to think to get them knocked off. Thanks to gazza and to the setter.

    1. Bit of a funny day for me. Did a bit at breakfast time, then a bit at lunch time and finished after doing my jobs. 7 and 8d last in nudged it towards the **** difficulty. But there were some very clever and super clues like 23a so **** enjoyment. Many thanks to all.

  20. Not sure why that happened. Clumsy fingers on the iPad. ****/**** from me. Second flag cracker of the week here in sunny Lancashire. Making the most of it … This is probably Summer!

  21. Least fun for me for a long time. Having read the solutions to the many that I didn’t get I’m glad I didn’t bother trying anymore. 29 is a perfect example of a tortuous clue leading, if you have enough time on your hands, to an unsatisfying solution. 6, 7 and 8 down weren’t much better. The grid didn’t help, slow progress in one section not aiding progress in another.

  22. 7.5* difficulty for me today. Couldn’t get on with it at all – although strangely I managed the whole of the SW section (and the four 3 letter ones) but NOTHING ELSE (except 13a). The grid didn’t help me. There seemed to be no way in without some of the key answers.

    I have to admit however, that having now gone through the hints there several more that I should have got. Many more however that I would still be doing this time next year without Gazza’s excellent hints.

    Can we have an easy Jay puzzle tomorrow please. I need something to boost my much-dented confidence.

    Thanks as always to the setter and of course to Gazza who might just have saved me from giving up altogether…

    1. You never know with Jay – he might have his mischievous hat on! Hope not as I’m doing the blogging !

      1. I think that Jay’s puzzles are usually pretty user friendly – it’s just that some take longer than others – I quite like him when he’s wearing his mischievous hat!

  23. What a struggle. My partner and i finish within xxxxxxxx usually, and here i am on the blog still unfinished!! hard today WE thought.

    1. Sorry Tinhead, however much we struggle, it is the convention not to mention solving times on this site, just longer than usual, quicker than usual etc. It wasn’t the easiest Tuesday puzzle by a long way.

  24. Been gardening in the sun nearly all day – just come in, had supper and finally got round to reading all the comments – I’m SO glad to read that it wasn’t just me! I thought that this was a bit of a little piglet!!

  25. I’m with Lizwhiz1 today – got stuck on the NE corner. Needed help on 7d but then the rest fell into place.

  26. Just spent two weeks on the Costa del Sol doing some printed out old toughies. So expected to breeze through this on first day back. But alas no! Struggled with about half. At least 4* for me. Depressing.

  27. Thought this was very tricky today, some words I had never heard of! I liked 1a and 3d. Thanks to Gazza for the hints, as I needed them to finish. For a beginner like me, the hints are invaluable for finishing, as it is only when reading the hint that the clue opens up for me.

  28. Finished this only this morning at a second sitting over my toast, but like others had no real idea why the answers to 27 and 29a and the last in 8d, obtained from the definition and in 8d I did get “cat”, fitted the rest of the wordplay. But with the perseverance referred to by others, this is my seventh in a row fully completed – a record for me!!

  29. Thanks to the setter & Gazza for the review and hints. Couldn’t get on with this at all. Completed the right hand side and a few in the NW corner before resorting to the hints. Thought 14 & 15d were Toughie quality, had heard of 16d but had forgotten it. Found it a real struggle throughout.

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