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DT 26896

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26896

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

This would have had two stars for difficulty if I hadn’t made a right pig’s ear of 9a and written in BAG for the second word (well, it does work fairly well – that’s my excuse) causing me major difficulty with 3d. Apart from that I didn’t think that there were any great problems – how did you get on?
To reveal an answer just highlight the spaces between the curly brackets under the clue.

Across Clues

1a  Farmhouse in grand set of mountains (6)
{GRANGE} – the abbreviation for grand (as in 1,000 dollars) is followed by a set of mountains to make a farmhouse.

4a  Woman and bachelor taken in by tiny fantasist (8)
{WANNABEE} – the definition here is fantasist; this is an informal term for someone who aspires to a certain lifestyle or image (usually with little chance of achieving it). Insert a woman’s forename (think of Ms. Friel, the actress) and B(achelor) inside a mainly Scottish adjective meaning tiny.

9a  Sounds like place for driver to obtain drinks holder? (3,3)
{TEA URN} – I eventually got this after taking the wrong route. We need two homophones (sounds like) – firstly something sounding like the place on a golf course where a golfer uses a driver and secondly a homophone of a verb to obtain or gain. The resulting drinks holder used to be a regular sight in offices where it was wheeled around on a trolley.

10a  Commotion in endless fight around river by sunken ditch (8)
{BROUHAHA} – a commotion or period of excitement comes from an arranged fight without its final T (endless) containing R(iver), all followed by a sunken ditch (2-2).

11a  Fine facing a London college linked to criminal lie (9)
{FALSEHOOD} – the definition is lie. F(ine) is followed by (facing) A and the initials of a London college, then a mainly North American informal term for a violent criminal or gangster.

13a  Burst of wind I anticipated in country (5)
{INDIA} – hidden (burst of) in the clue is a country.

14a  A neighbour’s do disrupted overnight accommodation (8,5)
{BOARDING HOUSE} – an anagram (disrupted) of A NEIGHBOUR’S DO produces a private establishment providing accommodation for paying guests.

17a  Set of bars, we hear, linked to a jolly among teenagers in resort (5,8)
{GREAT YARMOUTH} – start with what sounds like a set of bars in the frame of a fireplace, then insert A and the abbreviation for a Royal Marine (jolly) in a word for teenagers considered as a group. What you end up with is a resort in Norfolk.

21a  Educate artist in money (5)
{TRAIN} – the abbreviation for a Royal Academician (artist) goes inside a slang word for money.

23a  Fellow embracing woman briefly in the Spanish athletics event (9)
{DECATHLON} – a strenuous athletics event for men is built from an academic fellow containing (embracing) a woman’s abbreviated (briefly) forename inside the Spanish definite article.

24a  Patient group after backing managed to get into film (8)
{TOLERANT} – this is an adjective meaning patient or easy-going. Reverse (after backing) a group or large number, then insert a synonym of managed in Spielberg’s film about an alien.

25a  Boxing blows shown by successive figures? (3-3)
{ONE-TWO} – this is a pair of punches delivered in quick succession with alternate hands.

26a  Castle perhaps attended by top celebrities — one defending establishment? (8)
{ROYALIST} – a forename, that of the late entertainer Mr Castle perhaps, is followed by a categorisation of the most famous celebrities (1-4) to make someone who defends the principle of having an unelected head of state.

27a  Reluctant to be taken in by ravers’ excesses (6)
{AVERSE} – an adjective meaning reluctant is hidden in (taken in by) the clue.

Down Clues

1d  Escape from extremely grave swell (3,3)
{GET OFF} – a phrasal verb meaning to escape comes from the outer (extremely) letters of G(rav)E followed by a swell (i.e. a person of wealth or high social position).

2d  Broadcasting via a label — that’s handy (9) (on-line version)
A hollow area around island from the South is within reach (9) (Paper version)
{AVAILABLE} – an anagram (broadcasting) of VIA A LABEL. The surface doesn’t mean a lot. For the paper version you need A and a poetic hollow area in the ground, then inside that reverse (from the South, in a down clue) an Indonesian island.

3d  Aromatic plant, not hot, consumed in good time — or another plant? (7)
{GERBERA} – this is apparently (I’d never heard of it) a tropical plant of the sunflower family. An aromatic plant (many of which are used as flavourings) loses its initial H (not hot) and what’s left goes inside (consumed in) G(ood) and a distinct period of time.

5d  Streamlined academy in row sadly with week to go (11)
{AERODYNAMIC} – an adjective meaning streamlined (i.e. moving efficiently through the air) comes from an anagram (sadly) of ACADEMY IN RO(w) without the W(eek).

6d  Support old city and island with food on the sidelines (7)
{NOURISH} – a verb meaning to support or sustain appears when you put a slang Yiddish word for food around (on the sidelines of) the usual old Biblical city and the single-character abbreviation for island.

7d  Mild Liberal entering group (5)
{BLAND} – an adjective meaning mild or insipid appears when L(iberal) enters a musical group.

8d  English legal instruction Democrat placed at end came out (8)
{EMANATED} – start with E(nglish) and a legal instruction or written authorisation then move the central D(emocrat) in the latter to the end.

12d  Various pieces in peculiar study about hospital with discontented doctors (4,3,4)
{ODDS AND ENDS} – this is a phrase meaning various pieces. A synonym for peculiar and a study or office go round the abbreviation for a type of hospital for people who are convalescing. Finally add the outer letters (discontented, i.e. without content) of D(octor)S.

15d  Supply fittings for hotel fringed by river in part of Ireland (9)
{UPHOLSTER} – a verb meaning to supply fittings or soft furnishings comes from H(otel) inside (fringed by) an Italian river, then all that is placed inside one of the four provinces of Ireland.

16d  A soldier and sailor holding to one causing trouble? (8)
{AGITATOR} – the definition here is one causing trouble. Start with A and the abbreviation for a US soldier, then add an informal word for a sailor with TO inside (holding).

18d  Score’s halved — coach drops a line to get climber’s support (7)
{TENDRIL} – a score is twenty so halve that and then drop one of the L(ines) from a verb to coach or train. We had almost an identical clue in last Friday’s Toughie by Notabilis: Score halved with reduction of exercise that helps climbers grip (7).

19d  Old actor in American theatre’s opening soon after end of Oct? (7)
{USTINOV} – the surname of an old actor and raconteur is a charade of a) the abbreviation for American, b) the opening letter of T(heatre) and c) the date (1,3) that comes immediately after Oct(ober) has finished.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

20d  Company investing in mine mixed up earnings (6)
{INCOME} – the abbreviation for company goes inside (investing in) an anagram (mixed up) of MINE.

22  A shout recalled in narrow passage (5)
{ALLEY} – A followed by the reversal (recalled) of a shout produces a narrow passage.

My nomination for today’s best clue is 26a. What’s yours?

Today’s Quickie Pun: {TAN} + {SIR} + {NEAR} = {TANZANIA}

63 comments on “DT 26896

  1. I waited a long time before writing in 9a – my spider sense was tingling!. I found this quite tricky in places. Thanks for the picture of the lovely Ms Friel and thanks to you and the setter for the blog and puzzle.

  2. My only minor hold up was in parsing 8d, which I stared at for a few minutes before the penny dropped.
    Thanks to setter, and to gazza.

    Back to finish off the last handful in the toughie which I am enjoying.

  3. We struggled with 9a , 3d too. First attempt at 9a was CUP for the second word. Looked plausible at the time.
    Enjoyed it nevertheless, although needed Mrs M’s gardening expertise for 3d. Thanks to setter and to Gazza.

  4. just right level of difficulty and enjoyment for me. Nice variety of clues. Thanks setter and Gazza.

  5. I thought this a very good puzzle – just the right challenge and some good clues – 3*/3*.

    i didn’t get an email alert today, it seems to be somewhat intermittent. is it me or is there a system problem?



  6. Enjoyed this offering and gave it ***/**** . Pontificated over 9a ,cup,mug, set etc’ till i finally ended up with the correct answer, but was’nt too sure if it really was a homophone for gain ?eventually got 3d by a convoluted route as the ‘H’ bit eluded me and i thought that there was a an 8 lettered plant from which H had to be removed before using the rest of the clue to get the solution-ie another plant.The answer(correct by chance) was the only one i could conjour up-thanks to the blog for the wordplay-dooh.Hope England see the picture more clearly tonight.

    1. If Barbarians North are no better than Barbarians South England shouldn’t have any problems tonight.

  7. Have to confess I too went down the BAG route, D’oh! Seemed reasonable to me anyway, OBTAIN = BAG, it sort of works!
    Also never heard of 3d but the clue was fairly straightforward and so put me right on 9a (I’m never surprised when I haven’t heard of a horticultural reference :grin:).

    Agree about 26a but also quite liked 23a.

    Thanks to setter and Gazza.

  8. I was going like a train, until the NE corner. Guess I don’t know my ditches, so the joke’s on me. Found today’s clue constructions a little convoluted, but Gazza’s explanations cleared them all up.

  9. Double pig’s ear for me in top left corner – made it almost impossible. I also had tea bag but, as if that didn’t make things difficult enough, I had get out for 1d. I didn’t really think a tout was a swell – suppose I just didn’t think! I eventually spotted the 1d boob but not the 9a one so eventually went for the hints. Apart from my own stupid mistakes I enjoyed this.
    I liked lots of these but specially 4, 14 and 26a and 8 and 19d. By the way the clue in the paper for 2d is completely different.
    With thanks to whoever set this one and to Gazza for sorting out my muddles!

      1. The clue in the paper for 2d is “A hollow area around island from the South is within reach”. Sorry – should have said in original comment.

        1. Presumably the clue was changed when it was realised it didn’t work?
          i.e a hollow area is ‘a vale’ not ‘a vail”

            1. d’oh of the day for me Jezza, was i thought (paper version) the usual island elba reversal needed. Yay, 1968 indeed, i’m not the youngest, at 1966. I enjoyed the petitjean today but really need to know how to spell the french for heart. All the right letters, but not in the right order. Previn, Morecambe and Wise……

  10. Even with mistaking a cup for an urn, this all got sorted out in 2* difficulty time. I agree with Gazza’s enjoyment rating and his favourite clue too.

    The Petitjean Toughie needs you to wear a chapeau today – I thought it verged on the boot-wearing but my friend P thought it pink and fluffy slippered. It will be interesting to learn what others think in due course.

    1. Petitjean… that makes sense (I thought it was Micawber, but apparently that is tomorrow). Not pink and fluffy for me, but I did enjoy it.

  11. Couldn’t get the top left hand corner today because I had bar as the second word in 9 across – it seemed logical to me. And 3down foxed me as well.
    I never look forward to Tuesday’s puzzle, it always seems a bit obscure. So it’s a 4* for difficulty and 2* for enjoyment I’m afraid

  12. Didn’t fall into the “bag” trap as I got 3d from the wordplay and filled it in (although I had to look up the plant in the dictionary to be certain).

  13. I suffered all the same mistakes and difficulties (1d, 3d, 9a) as many previous colleagues encountered, and even managed to get AISLE to work at 22d.
    There were about 6 clues where the answer was fairly obvious from the checking letters, but which then took a while to work out the wordplay. That somewhat spoiled the enjoyment level for me, but thanks anyway to our setter, and of course to Gazza for the illustrations (and hints)

  14. Many thanks to the setter for a most enjoyable puzzle and to Gazza for the review.

  15. Why have I got a different clue for 2d in my paper to that given in the blog? Both have the same answer. Very strange.

  16. I don’t know why, but I found this one extremely difficult and would not have completed it without your tips – thank you. Some of the answers I arrived at were guesses from the letters I aleady and it was good to see the explanatiion as to why they were correct. Amongst many other problems I had, I had not seen “burst” used before as an indicator that the answer is inside the clue. Thanks.

    1. I think that ‘burst’ is being used to mean a finite amount, as in a burst of activity or a burst of sound.

  17. I seem to be the only one who put ‘pot’ in 3d… seemed to work from the golf viewpoint :( I liked this puzzle so thanks to the setter and Gaza for explaining 3d!

  18. Thanks Gazza and setter.
    My only problem was 3d.
    I sussed out the rationale of the clue correctly and, having only two letters to get, would have got, eventually, the correct answer meself, instead of accidently spotting it.
    Very annoying.
    Never, though, heard of GERBERA
    Memo to self – learn plants beginning with G
    T’otherwise **/***

  19. Thanks to Gazza for his blog and all for their comments. Re 2d, there seems to have been a change of clue – I was responsible for the paper version.

    1. Thanks for the puzzle, Shamus and for letting us know that it was one of yours. Your clue for 2d was much better than the one on-line.

      1. I agree, although I did have difficulty explaining my answer (ie I couldn’t) as I had “Elba” as the “island from the south” so needed gazza to sort that one out – thanks to him.

    1. Brian – I think you need a dog! Why spoil a good walk with a few silly sticks with funny names and a ball?

  20. Me too Brian, and some I got even though I didn’t know why, such as 24a, 26a and 5d. Castle gives us Roy, good grief, some passing very minor celeb of yesteryear. Very little fun for me I’m afraid.

  21. I didn’t like it much either, but perhaps I was a tad knackered from MY game of golf when I finally sat down with it. Thanks for hints Gazza or would never have finished.

  22. I thought this was a rather mundane puzzle -in fact I fell asleep after finishing it!

    Faves ; 4a, 10a, 17a, 8d, 16d & 19d.

  23. I didn’t do the crossword today (didn’t have time), but I just wanted to thank you for posting the clip of Peter Usitinov. It’s nice to be reminded of his sadly missed talents. Such a great raconteur!

    1. Well done England! Thanks to the setter & Gazza for the review & hints. Needed them for 3d, a Toughie clue & 17a, got the Great, but would never have got the Yarmouth. A very difficult puzzle, but enjoyable. Pigeon spikes going up tomorrow to protect the paintwork. Favourites were 26a & 19d.

  24. 4 across. The word Wannabe has been misspelt as Wannabee,that is according to the Oxford Concise.Was anyone else confused by that?

        1. Kevin,
          The reason that your comment took a long time to appear was that you’ve changed your alias, which means that it required moderation. In the past you’ve used ‘Kevin’ and KDL. All three should work from now on.

  25. No time to comment yesterday, definitely a 3 to 4 star for me, thanks for hints Gazza, I needed at least 3 of them to finish, I also went with tea bag, several clues I didn’t like 4a being one of them, I would say I enjoyed about 3/4 of this puzzle :-)

  26. Never heard of jolly meaning a Royal Marine – even in crosswordland – does anyone know “why”?

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