DT 26875

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26875

Hints and tips by Gazza

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ****Enjoyment ****

Whereas the left-hand half of this one went in fairly quickly I did have a bit of a struggle with the right side, so I make this the hardest back-pager of the week. Thanks to Giovanni for the entertainment. Let us know how you got on with it.
If you want to see an answer just highlight the space between the curly brackets under the clue.

Across Clues

1a  Against orders being given to achieve results (12)
{CONSEQUENCES} – the definition here is results or effects. A shortened form of the word contra, meaning against, is followed by things given in a specific order.

9a  Capital city a short distance to the west (4)
{LIMA} – reverse (to the west, in an across clue) A and the abbreviation for a metric distance to make a South American capital city.

10a  Set of rules which may mean men are ‘tied’? (5,4)
{DRESS CODE} – cryptic definition of a set of rules, in a workplace perhaps, which may define what male employees have to wear.

12a  Compel old boy to be deceitful? There’s little good in that (6)
{OBLIGE} – the abbreviation for old boy is followed by a verb to deceive with the abbreviation for good inside it.

13a  Sea creature has first to swim (8)
{STARFISH} – a well-disguised anagram (to swim) of HAS FIRST.

15a  Worship may be helping, even when strange at first (10)
{VENERATION} – a helping (of 7d for example) is preceded (at first) by an anagram (when strange) of EVEN.

16a  Prime requirements for the student are rubber and ruler (4)
{TSAR} – the initial letters (prime requirements) of four consecutive words in the clue produce the title of an old ruler.

18a  Stranded presumably and not feeling very well (4)
{ROPY} – double definition, the first a cryptic description of something made from strands.

20a  Resistant and high-handed, very contained (10)
{IMPERVIOUS} – an adjective meaning high-handed or domineering has V(ery) inserted and then means resistant or unreceptive.

23a  One bishop after another in tricky situation — ghastly! (8)
{HORRIBLE} – if you find yourself in such a tricky situation the advice (from Denis Healey) is to stop digging. Inside this goes I (one) and the chess notation for a bishop after the abbreviation for the title awarded to a bishop.

24a  Doughnuts to get rid of before lunchtime? (6)
{ANNULI} – these are ring-shaped structures or objects, of which doughnuts are examples (indicated by the presence of the question mark). A verb to get rid of or nullify precedes the traditional hour for taking lunch.

26a  Fraud with phoney tickets right outside front of racetrack (9)
{TRICKSTER} – this fraud or conman comes from an anagram (phoney) of TICKETS followed by R(ight) around (outside) the front letter of R(acetrack).

27a  One managed to establish a republic (4)
{IRAN} – I (one) followed by a synonym of managed give us not only this Middle-East republic but also the curious way that most Americans seem to pronounce its name.

28a  See sort of artist in garret hop-hop around (12)
{PHOTOGRAPHER} – the surface isn’t great here – I can’t find hop-hop defined anywhere but I assume it’s a childish word for the way a rabbit moves. Anyway, the “sort of artist” that we want is an anagram (around) of GARRET HOP-HOP.

Down Clues

2d  The ranks irate, needing inner energy? One should provide fruit (8)
{ORANGERY} – the abbreviation for ordinary soldiers, excluding officers, is followed by an adjective meaning irate with E(nergy) inside (needing inner).

3d  Group of players sounded disappointed in broadcast (4)
{SIDE} – this group of sporting players is a homophone (in broadcast) of a verb meaning ‘sounded disappointed’.

4d  After pursuit I had one held to be examined (10)
{QUESTIONED} – start with the sort of pursuit that medieval knights used to undertake and follow this with the contracted form of ‘I had’ with ONE inside (held). The result is a past participle meaning examined or interrogated.

5d  Nurse getting out drug? There must be safeguard (6)
{ENSURE} – an anagram (getting out) of NURSE is followed by the abbreviation for E(cstasy) to form a verb to safeguard.

6d  Buddies offering prayers, holding on (7)
{CRONIES} – buddies or mates come from prayers or pleas with ON inside (holding).

7d  She sipped her sloppy food (9,3)
{SHEPHERD’S PIE} – this traditional dish is an anagram (sloppy) of SHE SIPPED HER.

8d  Complete act as substitute (4,2)
{FILL IN} – double definition, the first being to complete a form, for example.

11d  Start to attack and exceed the bounds of reason? (2,4,3,3)
{GO OVER THE TOP} – another double definition, the first relating to starting an attack from the trenches, especially in WWI.

14d  Time in training device may be encouraging man (10)
{STIMULATOR} – insert T(ime) in the sort of training device used by airline pilots.

17d  Faller noted before start of Cup Final (8)
{EVENTIDE} – Cup Final here is a specific reference to the FA (i.e. English) cup final at Wembley. “Noted” means sung, so what we want is what falls fast according to the first line of the hymn traditionally sung before the start of the match. It’s also sung at the Rugby League Challenge Cup Final at Wembley – here’s Hayley Westenra’s version:

19d  Opening with image cut below it — an architectural feature (7)
{PORTICO} – an opening in the side of a ship for boarding or loading is followed (below it, in a down clue) by a religious image without its final N (cut).

21d  Vision’s funny, beginning to go (6)
{OCULAR} – the ‘s is important here. We want an adjective meaning relating to vision, i.e. a property of vision. To get it we have to drop (to go) the beginning J from a word meaning funny.

22d  Going mad circling bottom of oak tree (6)
{GINKGO} – I did know this ornamental Chinese tree but thought that the fourth and fifth letters were reversed (which is a variant spelling) so I was confused. Its name is an anagram (mad) of GOING around the bottom letter of (oa)K. It’s also known as the maidenhair tree and is used in traditional medicine.

25d  Stay for theatrical item (4)
{PROP} – double definition, the first being a verb meaning to stay or support.

My favourite clues today were 15a and 17d. Let us know what you liked.

Today’s Quickie Pun: {MAKER} + {BRAKE} = {MAKE OR BREAK}


36 Comments

  1. gnomethang
    Posted May 25, 2012 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    I would agree completely gazza. 24a then 17d were last in – I couldn’t get TORI out of my head – got 17 eventually but thought it a bit niche (I never listen to the anthems at sporting events!).
    Thanks to you and to Giovanni.

  2. crypticsue
    Posted May 25, 2012 at 11:10 am | Permalink

    Definitely 4* all round from me too. I did wonder if I was going to have to leave it to cogitate but the brain woke up just in time. Thanks to Giovanni for a Friday brain stretching and to Gazza for the explanations. I liked 10a as well as your favourites – 17d is possibly penny drop of the week.

    The Micawber toughie is very good and possibly more straightforward than the back pager! It has a solution in common with the back page so that should get you started.

  3. Jezza
    Posted May 25, 2012 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    I got stuck in the SE, put it down for a while, did the toughie, and then came back to finish it off.
    My last two in were 24a, and 17d. I spent a considerable amount of time trying to parse 17d (I kept thinking the faller was Eve). Thanks to Giovanni for a very enjoyable puzzle, and to Gazza for the review.

    Micawber is good fun in the other puzzle today, and not difficult either.

    • Prolixic
      Posted May 25, 2012 at 11:16 am | Permalink

      My experience to a tee! The sound of the penny dropping on 17d was heard throughout the land!

      Many thanks to Giovanni for the crossword and to Gazza for the review.

      I agree that the Micawber crossword is great fun. If anything, I found it slightly easier than Giovanni today!

  4. kermitthepilot
    Posted May 25, 2012 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    Couldn’t finish without at least 4 hints! I knew 17d but couldn’t abide the clue for it! 14d was easy for me as it relates to my profession!

  5. Dickiedot
    Posted May 25, 2012 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    Lovely jubbly, had to look up 24, liked 17 23 and 10 (last in) sun is shining and the toughie completed as well, God is in his heaven! Thanks Gazza and Giovanni

  6. Franny
    Posted May 25, 2012 at 11:40 am | Permalink

    I also agree with you, Gazza. Needed your hints for 17a and 24d. Had no idea what (or who?) Faller was and am a stranger to football. I also thought gingko was spelled like this and wondered whether there wasn’t a misprint at 16a and the word shouldn’t have been ‘students’, in which case the result would have been hidden. Apart from these small glitches I enjoyed this puzzle very much, so thanks to G&G. :-)

  7. beaver
    Posted May 25, 2012 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    Yes easily the hardest of the week ****/***.Struggled with se corner and like Gnomethang wanted to put the plural of tarus in some way as a doughnut or a ring shape and overtime or overside for 17d! Iagree with Crypticsue tha tit was’ the penny drop’ of the week- only took xxxxxx!-a tad difficult for the back page.

    • crypticsue
      Posted May 25, 2012 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

      No times please. Just ‘much longer than usual’ ‘quicker than usual’ or whatever applies

  8. BigBoab
    Posted May 25, 2012 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

    Brilliant crossword, best of the week. In my opinion very nearly toughie standard. Many thanks to Giovanni and Gazza.

  9. Digby
    Posted May 25, 2012 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

    My hand goes up as a member of the 1724 brigade.
    At one point my grid had several unsolved clues ending in “odd” vowels, such that I began to question those that I had solved.
    Eventually the mist cleared, and duty was done.
    Excellent – thanks G-squared.
    Now, toughie or tennis………….?

  10. nubian
    Posted May 25, 2012 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

    Deffo heavy going today, as everyone, RHS was the most challenging. Still enjoyable. Thanks t G and G

  11. Kath
    Posted May 25, 2012 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

    I agree with the 4* x 2. I couldn’t have made things more difficult for myself if I’d been trying! Totally screwed up top left corner by putting “make do” for 8d and not even questioning it for ages. Also spelt 22d the alternative way. Oh dear!! Giovanni seems to be alternating his footwear – one week it’s fluffy slippers and the other it’s climbing boots plus crampons.
    Very enjoyable – favourite clues 10, 13, 18 and 23a and 7 and 21d. With thanks to Giovanni and gazza.
    Very sunny and hot. :smile: AND first sweet peas out! :grin: :grin:

  12. Wayne
    Posted May 25, 2012 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    I do not think this xword belonged on the back page. Reading previous comments I appear to be in the minority, but that’s my opinion. Congratulations to those who have completed it, mine is consigned to the waste paper bin. Nil* for enjoyment/entertainment.

  13. St George
    Posted May 25, 2012 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

    Congratulations to Giovanni, completely worn out having struggled with this today, phew. Definitely a **** for me, thanks to Gazza for the help with 22D and a couple others.

  14. Posted May 25, 2012 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

    Strangely enough I found this easier than yesterday’s. Did need help on a couple though. Favourite was 11a.

    • Kath
      Posted May 25, 2012 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

      Which 11a would that be … ?

  15. Colmce
    Posted May 25, 2012 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

    Found this one really tough, and had least 3 stabs at it before I gave up and used the hints for 3 and reveal for 1(17d as it happens not familiar with arcane sporting rituals :))

    Still a bit of a challenge and none the worse for that, all part of climbing the learning curve.

    Thanks for review really needed it.

    Thanks to big G for a stretcher.

  16. crypticsue
    Posted May 25, 2012 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

    Can I recommend that all the people who struggled with teh back page, try the Micawber toughie.

    • Kath
      Posted May 25, 2012 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

      You must be joking!! I am one of the ones who REALLY struggled with the back page – have been in garden nursing sore head (as a result of the crossword) ever since! Not sure that brain is up to another challenge but thanks for the recommendation. :smile:

      • crypticsue
        Posted May 25, 2012 at 8:57 pm | Permalink

        Prolixic and I found the Toughie slightly easier than the backpager, hence my recommendation

  17. Derek
    Posted May 25, 2012 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

    Enjoyed solving this fare from The Don on a roasting afternoon here in NL! Summer has definitely a-come in (not sure that Burchfield would approve that phrase but he has left us anyhow)!

    My faves : 10a, 23a, 24a, 17d, 21d & 22d.

    Usual fish and chips tonight with a drop of Vouvray then fruit and cream.

    Incidentally, BRB doesn’t have 10a under either word!

  18. Ainsley
    Posted May 25, 2012 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

    Could not quite finish this one. As with others 17 and 24 I could not do – even with the hints – same for 22d. Still managed the rest so not a bad effort. Thought it was ok apart from the obscure answers mentioned.

  19. Hrothgar
    Posted May 25, 2012 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

    Brilliant crossword.
    Made me think!
    Blow me down with a feather – I got 24a by construction from the clue, never heard of it before.
    Many thanks Giovanni and Gazza.

  20. Brian
    Posted May 25, 2012 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

    What a nightmare!!

  21. Kath
    Posted May 25, 2012 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

    Quiet here today – is everyone out enjoying the weather, or is it because of Mary’s absence – she certainly manages to stir things up most days!!
    Wherever she is in her camper van I do hope that she’s having fun and making the most of the sun. :smile:

  22. Bemused
    Posted May 25, 2012 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

    My experience today was similar to Gazza’s. Got the south-west fairly quickly but the north-east corner was a struggle until the penny dropped on 1a and then the rest fell into place.
    Last to go in were 17d and 21d – I got them but, frustratingly, couldn’t see why. So thanks to Gazza for the explanations.

  23. Tinhead
    Posted May 25, 2012 at 8:50 pm | Permalink

    Another very challenging puzzle today, but i,m determinded to finish without looking. SE corner , 3 to go, hoping the rest are right.. love it love it. not a lot for free today. good PUZZLE !!

  24. Tinhead
    Posted May 25, 2012 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

    no, can’t do it without hints. thankyou so much this sit it is brill.

    • Kath
      Posted May 25, 2012 at 10:31 pm | Permalink

      Agree totally – a brilliant site – I’ve learnt SO much in the last couple of years but still needed the hints to explain one today – this was definitely a tricky crossword.

  25. pommers
    Posted May 25, 2012 at 10:25 pm | Permalink

    Loved 1a and 9a (first two in) but not finished the puzzle due to friends turning up unexpected. From previous comments it sounds a bit diffficult but I’ll have a go tomorrow.

    Been out to lunch today :grin:
    Any ” lunch” that takes from 1400 till 2000CEST and then a coffee and nightcap in the local bar has to count as a good day – but not for crossword solving, unfortunately my mates aren’t cruciverbalists! Hey ho, got about half so far and agree with Gazza that most are on the left of the grid!

    Hope that makes a bit of sense – bit pissed now : Smiley drinking beer

    Thanks to Giovanni and Gazza

    • Kath
      Posted May 25, 2012 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

      … now I want to know how to do the little chap tipping it back but suspect it’s going to be another of the ones that is too complicated for me!!
      Do hope that the head isn’t TOO bad in the morning! :smile: unless :sad: is more appropriate!!

      • pommers
        Posted May 25, 2012 at 11:02 pm | Permalink

        Hi Kath – remind me tomorrow, no not tomorrow as I won’t be here, I think? Brain fade of a spectaculer nature setting in! Don’t really know what I’m talking about but it’s fairly easy to do the emoticons once you know how. I’ll tell you when I sober up – probably sometime next week :Very sleepy smiley:

  26. Heno
    Posted May 26, 2012 at 1:12 am | Permalink

    Thanks to the two G’s, agree with the star rating for difficulty. Tried all day to complete, but to no avail. Thought 17d was the most ridiculous clue I’ve ever seen. Needed 5 hints, & had to look up 3 of those.

  27. Rich40
    Posted May 27, 2012 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    Just found this site. Nice to know my brain can be as fuzzled as others. Just seen 24 d and finished with 17 a.

    • gazza
      Posted May 27, 2012 at 8:05 am | Permalink

      Hi Rich40 – welcome to the blog.