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DT 26902

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26902

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment **

It seemed to me that there were a lot of clues today where you had to insert, add on or take off individual characters so I found it all a bit fiddly and I didn’t enjoy it that much. Am I just in a bad mood? Let me know what you think.
To reveal an answer just highlight the spaces between the brackets under the clue.

Across Clues

1a  Sailors, American, pointing to a group of small bones (6)
{TARSUS} – an informal word for sailors is followed by an abbreviation meaning American to make a group of small bones in the foot. ‘Pointing to’ are just linking words.

5a  Fool, one taken in by her dressmaker? (8)
{CLOTHIER} – a slang term for a foolish person is followed by I (one) inside (taken in by) HER.

9a  Marine mammal, captain, and law he’s broken (5,5)
{PILOT WHALE} – the captain of a passenger aircraft and then an anagram (is broken) of LAW HE make a large marine mammal. What do you suppose the surface reading means?

10a  Forgotten old man on street (4)
{PAST} – an affectionate abbreviation for old man or father is followed by the abbreviation of street.

11a  Boozing from bar to bar, becoming crude in quiet club maybe (3-5)
{PUB CRAWL} – a tour of different bars with booze being taken in each comes from inserting a synonym of crude inside the musical abbreviation for quiet and an anagram (maybe) of CLUB. Strictly speaking the wordplay should become or lead to the definition, not the other way round.

12a  Clipper ship? (6)
{CUTTER} – double definition.

13a  One may find me in a casino in Oxford, say (4)
{SHOE} – another double definition. Firstly the box from which cards are dealt in a casino and secondly what an oxford is as an example of something to wear.

15a  Understudy with good reputation (8)
{STANDING} – a term for an understudy (5-2) is followed by G(ood).

18a  Exercises at Eastern inn before a riding event (8)
{GYMKHANA} – a charade of a) physical exercises, b) an inn for travellers, from Persian, and c) A (from the clue) gives us a horse-riding event.

19a  Type that is dropped from operational flight (4)
{SORT} – start with an operational flight by a military aircraft and drop the abbreviation for ‘that is’ from its end.

21a  Family butcher’s first to get into trouble (6)
{TRIBAL} – an adjective meaning family (used to describe a gathering, for example) comes from inserting the first letter of B(utcher) in a trouble or nuisance.

23a  Swing he composed, with bit of ragtime thrown in? (8)
{GERSHWIN} – a clever all-in-one. An anagram of SWING and HE with the first letter (bit) of R(agtime) thrown in produces the surname of George, the American composer who incorporated elements of swing and ragtime into his compositions.

25a  Up endlessly making wine (4)
{ASTI} – an adjective meaning awake and out of bed (up) loses its final R (endlessly) to leave Crosswordland’s favourite sparkling wine.

26a  Hot, hot fire — crackers explode! (3,3,4)
{HIT THE ROOF} – an idiomatic phrase meaning to explode with anger comes from an anagram (crackers) of HOT HOT FIRE.

27a  Duke won’t now broadcast in city centre (8)
{DOWNTOWN} – the abbreviation for D(uke) followed by an anagram (broadcast) of WON’T NOW gives us a chiefly North American term for a city centre.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

28a  Buys it on the Spanish train (6)
{DIESEL} – this is a type of train. To buy it is a slang expression meaning to be killed, especially of aircrew killed in action – its derivation is uncertain but it may be short for ‘*** the farm’, indicating that the insurance payable on death would allow the family back home to pay off the amount owing on a farm. So we want another verb for ‘buys it’, then the Spanish definite article.

Down Clues

2d  A long introduction to ‘Ulysses’? So long (5)
{ADIEU} – A is followed by the same verb that was used in the previous answer, this time meaning to long, as in the expression ‘I am **ing for a pee’. Finish with the introductory letter of U(lysses) to make a word for farewell or so long.

3d  Random inspection in locality leading to arrest (4,5)
{SPOT CHECK} – a charade of a locality and a verb to arrest or stop generates a random inspection.

4d  Criminal was almost shot — does it matter? (2,4)
{SO WHAT} – an anagram (criminal) of WA(s) and SHOT gives us an informal phrase casting doubt on whether something matters. I don’t like almost being used to indicate the dropping of the first rather than last letter – what do you think? Or is your response the same as the answer? Ignore my ramblings – Jezza has pointed out that ‘almost’ applies to ‘was’ not ‘shot’.

5d  Big old British-born actor makes one chuckle during dance (7,8)
{CHARLES LAUGHTON} – insert a synonym for a chuckle inside a lively old dance to get this actor.

6d  Closed small company at Inverness, for example (8)
{OVERCOAT} – this is a charade of a synonym for closed or done with, an abbreviated company and AT. The result is an item of clothing of which an inverness is an example.

7d  Leave work in the course of strike (3,2)
{HOP IT} – a slang expression meaning to leave comes from inserting the abbreviation for an artistic work inside a verb to strike.

8d  Oriental Queen engaging a novelist from Ireland (9)
{EASTERNER} – the definition here is an oriental. The letters used to identify our Queen go round (engaging) A and the surname of the author of The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman.

14d  The osprey materialised suddenly, as if by magic (3,6)
{HEY PRESTO} – an anagram (materialised) of THE OSPREY produces a conjuror’s stock expression.

16d  Cashier let off (9)
{DISCHARGE} – two different types of firing – to fire someone from the armed forces and to fire a weapon.

17d  Blatant publicity by band nearly takes everyone in (8)
{BALLYHOO} – this is a slang term for noisy publicity (like the hype surrounding the Olympic torch). Place BY and a circular band without its final P (nearly) round a synonym for everyone.

20d  Bloomer over getting child in free (6)
{ORCHID} – the cricketing abbreviation for over is followed by a verb meaning to free containing the abbreviation for child.

22d  Child and I must go into farm building (5)
{BAIRN} – insert I in a farm building to make a Scottish child.

24d  United at home, supported by everyone initially (2,3)
{IN ONE} – this phrase means united or as a single unit. The usual adverb meaning at home is followed a preposition meaning supported by or on top of. Finally we need the initial letter of E(veryone).

The clue I liked best was 23a. How about you?

Today’s Quickie Pun: {BEAUNE} + {IDOL} = {BONE IDLE}

62 comments on “DT 26902

  1. A deeply dissatisfying effort today. Questions:
    1. Why forgotten for past?
    2. why initially in 24d?
    3. Why band in 27d?
    4 why UP in 25a?
    Don’t understand 20d at all even with the hint other than it is a flower.
    All that taken with an obscure author, a term for an eastern inn that must be known to very few and a coat that is new to me leaves me to think this is probably not my favourite even tho I completed it.

    1. 24d is IN (at home) + ON (supported by) + E (initial letter of everyone)
      20d is O(ver) + RID (free) with CH(ild) inserted.

    2. I think it’s a little unfair to call Lawrence Sterne obscure, the band I think you refer to is in 17d and is hoop minus the last letter (nearly )

      1. I agree. Sterne is also mentioned in Dexys Midnight Runners’ gem…..”Burn It Down”….so there…heh heh…

    3. Up = the endless wine plus a letter.
      Don’t understand the problem.
      Quite a standard clue IMHO.

  2. Agree with you Brian that past does not mean forgotten, and the “initially” bit in 24d had me doubting the answer I came up with. However, on the positive side I have now learned that there is such a garment as an Inverness coat and that a khan is a Persian inn.

  3. The top right defeated me today. Didn’t know an Inverness or the author which didn’t help the others. But, I quite enjoyed it. I thought there were some nice clues. 19 probably my favourite.

    1. I couldn’t get the top right hand corner today until a very kind gazza told me about the 5 across dressmaker.
      Apart from that, quite pleasant so it’s a double 3 star for me.
      Didn’t like 28 across. Ok, it’s a train and lots of other things as well

      1. Agree about 28a. I meant to say (but forgot) that the clue ought to have some indication that train is just an example.

  4. I did quite enjoy this but perhaps not as much as some. I started off thinking that it was going to be very easy (based on getting the first few across answers fairly quickly) but then changed my mind when I got a bit further down the across clues and onto the downs. There were quite a few things that I didn’t know and had to look up – the casino bit of 13a (must have led a sheltered life, have never been into a casino in my life) – the eastern inn – the Inverness coat. My dictionary says that the “novelist from Ireland” in 8d was an English novelist and clergyman.
    I couldn’t untangle 17d at all – the answer was obvious but I got the proverbials in a right tangle by trying to make the “band” something to do with The Who! Oh dear – :roll:
    I liked 23a and 14d.
    With thanks to the setter and Gazza.

    1. The 8d novelist worked in England for most of his life but he was born in County Tipperary so he came from Ireland.

  5. I would give this just under 2* difficulty and a bit over 2* for entertainment. Not as grumpy about it as others seem to be but that could be because when I solved it, I was also trying to persuade my poorly computer that it did want to work. Thanks to the setter and Gazza.

    The Toughie won’t take long either so do give it a go.

    1. Might have to have a go at the Toughie – raining really hard here – big blobby raindrops! Was just about to go into the garden. :sad:

      1. As it is such a rare event, can I just say that here in Canterbury it is lovely and warm and blue sky all the way round. Sorry Kath. We are promised heavy showers later, if that helps.

          1. Yes but as I drive home down the Thanet Way later , if I can see you, then it is going to rain, and if I can’t see you then it will be raining :D

    1. Quasimodo in the classic Hunchback of Notre Dame (surely his name rings a bell…) but my favorite role he played was in Hobson’s Choice with a young John Mills.

        1. American spell-check on Chrome. Don’t know how to anglicise it so will wait for “The Eldest Boy”, aged 28½ to visit this weekend.

          1. Webster set out his dictionary to simplify and improve my language.

            If this is the case why if house is robbed is it burgled in England but burglarized in the USA?

            1. as a non linguist who worked in Spain for a while was horribly embarrassed when asked what is the difference between normally and usually, then I had to admit I didn’t know, and i’m not sure now i can remember!!!!

    2. You most certainly are.

      Hunchback of Notre Dame, Mutiny on the Bounty and Hobson’s Choice to name but 3. And as I’m only a mere 49 and thee quarters age is no excuse.

      I was having a beer with someone the other day who’d not heard of the Kinks as they were before his time but happily talked at length about Mozart

      1. I remember seeing Mutiny on the Bounty when I was younger and liking it. I’ll have to catch Quasimodo on repeat some time

        1. I’m afraid you will wait some time as the film is in black & white if I recall correctly and when was the last time you saw one of those on repeat?

  6. Enjoyable crossword with few difficulties, thanks to the setter and to Gazza. Toughie is a nice one for those who are not too sure about them.

  7. I agree with Crypticuse -about **/***.I suppose it was a bit ‘fragmented’. The answer to18a was obvious once the first letters were in,not sure if i’d heard of the ‘inn’ bit before, certainly had’nt heard of an ‘inverness’ but had heard of an’ ulster’-any connection? and we had ‘oxford’ for the footwear doudle definition-thought our setter may have worked ‘brogue’ in somewhere-it was that sort of crossword-anyway quite enjoyed it-quick look at the toughie,did’nt look easy to me!.

  8. Enjoyed this very much, within my time, so **/***
    Learnt a new word KHAN
    Thanks setter, and Gazza for the review.

    1. You need to look out for khan in two senses with completely different meanings:
      1) As here it is a sort of mediaeval Traveller’s Lodge (from Persian).
      2) It means lord or ruler (as in Genghis Khan) (from Turkish).

  9. Definitely a puzzle of two halves for me – so ***/***. NW and SW, including 5d (which was my favourite of the day) mostly went in last night, and no help required. Needed a lot of help on NE, particularly, and SE – thanks Gazza. It didn’t help that, once again, for 15a I was looking for two words 5, 3 – in spite of the 8 in the clue. It must be the heat getting to me, heading for 40 deg C here today.

  10. Gazza, I agree with your comments about inserts, add ons or take offs. There were too many. Also, I think there should be a rule that there is only one “well-known” person per puzzle. This is not a general knowledge puzzle after all. Three was too much. Fortunately I am of the age where 5d and 23a were familiar, but younger people might not know them. I had not heard of the novelist from Ireland, thought this a bit of a stretch, and there could have been better clues for his name.

  11. Didn’t do a lot for me for today – too many iffy clues, and few ah-ha moments.
    6d was last in – thanks setter & Gazza.

  12. Thanks to the setter & to Gazza for the review & hints. Started with 3d, finished with 6d. Quite enjoyed it but agree with the comments about general knowledge although I managed to compete it. Had only heard of an Ulster, now there’s an Inverness, wonder if there’s an English equivalent? Sun’s out again in Central London.

        1. Always thought that a Chesterfield was a big squidgy sofa that had room for the entire family plus a couple of dogs – assuming that you haven’t taught your dog(s) that they’re not allowed on the sofa! Have now looked it up and will store it away in what passes for the memory!

          1. Me too re Chesterfield, there’s so many things that can be learnt from this site. Trouble is I can’t remember them all, e.g. Divers on Monday I think, learnt it some time ago, but had forgotten it when i needed it :-) Still, least I remembered that I’d forgotten it, funny thing memory !

  13. Well, I did finish it without the hints but didn’t enjoy it much at all – all a bit contrived, I thought, but then I hate having to use single letters – like D for Duke. Agree about 10a – not a word I would use for “forgotten”; didn’t know 6d was a coat, either, nor the Eastern inn in 18a. In fact, I’m wondering how on earth I DID manage to complete it?? Must just have got on the wavelength, I suppose. Liked 5d and 23a. Thanks Gazza for explanations.

  14. No grumbles from me today, I found it quite enjoyable and completed well inside the time I normally self target. 13a fell into the category of “I used to know that”., although gambling is not my thing. I never knew 12a could be described as a ship; anyone with RN experience would certainly have thought of a boat. A 12a has two banks of oars and a Whaler has one; both carry a sail erected as and when needed.
    Finally, on the subject of 6d, I have a very snappy Ulster.
    Thanks Gazza and setter.

  15. Very muggy in Hertfordshire. All done last in was actually 9a which was probably the easiest on reflection. A good distraction for the commute.

  16. Is anyone else receiving the annoying message “Your experience on this site will be improved by allowing cookies”

    I have the Cookies enabled setting – ON!

    1. It’s an EU requirement that you be informed. Yet another reason to get to hell out of this bureaucratic union. Why would anyone want to belong to a club which elected Tintin’s dad as its leader?

      1. And why should we pay billions into a fund which has no elected members to run it and there is no control over expenditure

  17. Your’e not in a bad mood Gazza. I found it fiddly as well and I’ve never heard of a 6d, 7d was absolute rubbish and I don’t think that 10a was a very good clue. Do we know the setter or have I upset one of our favourites?
    Sorry I’m late but we have the first visitors of the season
    Where’s Mary today

    1. I think Mary said that she was off in her campervan with two wet dogs and a grumpy man. Doesn’t sound like a huge amount of fun to me – think she should have left them all at home to annoy each other and gone off on her own!

  18. I solved this one rather quickly after yesterday’s mental blockage.
    The only comment I have to make is that I liked 23a as in my youth I was a fan of him and I used to play “Rhapsody In Blue” until my parents got rid of the record – but of course I eventually got another one but kept it out of sight! I’ve still got it!

      1. ELP nicked part of it for their first album, I think the track is called The Barbarian. Imitation the greatest form of flattery ?

  19. iPad version kept crashing today. Once turned off works fine. One or two helps needed today for which thanks, largely enjoyed

  20. I solved this one early this morning, before a day at London Zoo.

    Re 4d, I thought the ‘almost’ was referring to WA(s) – not s(HOT).
    Thanks to setter, and to Gazza.

    1. D’oh! Thanks Jezza. It’s taken 11 hours for someone sensible to come along and point out my silly mistake!

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