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DT 26917

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26917

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

It’s Friday the Thirteenth but there’s nothing too frightening in today’s puzzle by Giovanni. Getting the three long anagrams quickly provides a good base for the rest of the puzzle. Let us know what you thought.
To reveal an answer just highlight the space between the curly brackets under the clue.

Across Clues

6a  Can Syrian lads rebuild an autonomous community? (6,7)
{CANARY ISLANDS} – an anagram (rebuild) of CAN SYRIAN LADS gives us an autonomous region of Spain situated off the north-west coast of Africa.

8a  University anger about politician as decision-maker (6)
{UMPIRE} – U(niversity) and another word for anger contain (about) the abbreviation for an elected politician to make a decision-maker in sport.

9a  View about pictures put back to front? Not funny! (8)
{STRAIGHT} – this adjective is often applied to a non-comedic role in a play or film, so not funny. A synonym of view contains pictures reversed (put back to front).

10a  Service affected by interruption (3)
{LET} – .. in tennis.

11a  Seasoned food? I am unfortunately churning over (6)
{SALAMI} – reverse (churning over) the contracted form of ‘I am’ and an exclamation meaning unfortunately.

12a  Ghastly adult tie? You must make allowance (8)
{LATITUDE} – an anagram (ghastly) of ADULT TIE produces an allowance or free rein.

14a  Bishop you had once found to be agog (3-4)
{POP-EYED} – a charade of one specific bishop, the one of Rome, and an archaic (once) and contracted form of ‘you had’ makes an adjective meaning agog.

16a  A learner tucking into a dog’s dinner or some seafood? (7)
{ABALONE} – this is an edible shellfish. Insert (tucking) A and the letter used for a learner driver into what a dog may have for dinner (1,4).

20a  What you may see on computer — domestic servant? (4,4)
{HOME PAGE} – the starting point for exploration of a website is a charade of an adjective meaning domestic and a boy attendant.

23a  Wall in river? One millimetre to the left of it (6)
{IMMURE} – a verb meaning to wall in or confine comes from a North Yorkshire river preceded (to the left of it, in an across clue) by I (one) and the abbreviation for millimetre.

24a  Drink making contribution to imagination (3)
{GIN} – hidden (making contribution) in the clue is a not-too-difficult-to-find alcoholic drink.

25a  Character next to whiskey, one that’s a wag? (8)
{VICTORIA} – the codeword for the character immediately preceding that of whiskey in the Nato Phonetic Alphabet is followed by I (one) and A (‘that’s’ being expanded in the wordplay to ‘that has’) to make probably the most prominent wag. The term wags was coined by the tabloid press for the Wives And GirlfriendS accompanying the travelling English football team and the singular form is now used for just one (even though, logically, just one lady should be a wife or girlfriend, unless of course she’s the wife of one player and the girlfriend of another).

26a  Use 24 possibly as spirit (6)
{GENIUS} – an anagram (possibly) of USE and the answer to 24a produces a spirit. I’ll give you the definition from Chambers ‘a good or evil spirit, supposed to preside over every person, place and thing, and especially to preside over a person’s destiny from his or her birth’.

27a  Tim felt gauche, out of place in opera (3,5,5)
{THE MAGIC FLUTE} – one of Mozart’s operas is an anagram (out of place) of TIM FELT GAUCHE.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

Down Clues

1d  Imagine endless feeling of discontent is coming with maturity (8)
{ENVISAGE} – a verb meaning to imagine or conceive is a charade of a) a feeling of discontent or resentment without its final Y (endless), b) IS (from the clue) and c) a synonym for maturity or advancing years.

2d  The upper limit for growth of a certain kind (4,4)
{TREE LINE} – cryptic definition of the highest level at which certain things can grow in mountainous regions.

3d  I run on street bumping into old carriage to start with (7)
{FIRSTLY} – the definition here is ‘to start with’. I and R(un) (cricketing abbreviation) precede (on, in a down clue) the abbreviation for street, then all that goes inside (bumping into) an old one-horse carriage.

4d  Wine in litres — there’s a written sign outside (6)
{CLARET} – the single-character abbreviation for litres goes inside a mark in a text (^) to indicate the need for something to be inserted.

5d  Characters from holy island turning up with holy books to consecrate (6)
{ANOINT} – reverse (turning up) the characters of the name of a holy island (a short boat trip from Mull) and follow this with the abbreviation for the holy books forming the second part of the Bible to make a verb to consecrate.

6d  One with pulling power to attract worshippers? (13)
{CAMPANOLOGIST} – cryptic definition of someone making a loud noise to attract worshippers to church.

7d  Fun has receded sadly, pleasure being somewhat perverse? (13)
{SCHADENFREUDE} – an anagram (sadly) of FUN HAS RECEDED for a word, from German, for the perverse pleasure felt at the discomfiture of others.

13d  There’s a princess turning up here (3)
{IDA} – here is a mountain in Crete. It’s a reversal (turning up, in a down clue) of A and name of a popular princess who is no longer with us.

15d  Certainly you’ll experience pain initially (3)
{YEP} – an informal exclamation meaning certainly is made up of the initial letters of three words in the clue.

17d  Manage to end phone conversation after first hint of boorishness (5,3)
{BRING OFF} – a phrasal verb meaning to manage or achieve something a bit tricky comes from a phrase to hang up following the first letter (hint) of B(oorishness).

18d  Bright soul, I’m nut wasting time puzzling! (8)
{LUMINOUS} – an anagram (puzzling) of SOUL I’M NU(t), having wasted the T(ime), produces an adjective meaning bright or shining.

19d  Lots of information came across, one sack being carried up (7)
{MEGABIT} – lots of information (a unit of data size, used in the calculation of line or network speed) is a verb meaning came across or encountered with I (one) and a sack being reversed inside (carried up, in a down clue).

21d  Eastern saint, that woman is given a biblical name (6)
{ESTHER} – this is the name of a woman in the Bible. The abbreviations for Eastern and saint are followed by a female pronoun (that woman).

22d  A legal procedure of a court (6)
{ATRIAL} – what could be a legal procedure (1,5) is actually an adjective relating to the sort of court or courtyard that you can walk in.

The clues that I liked best today were 5d, 6d and 17d. How about you?

Today’s Quickie Pun: {APPOINT} + {A FEW} = {A POINT OF VIEW}

50 comments on “DT 26917

  1. Really enjoyed this puzzle today, but then I like anagrams, I always find that Fridays puzzles always put up a struggle but eventually yield to a bit of thought.

    Thanks Gazza for the review and Giovanni for a good intro to the day.

  2. Thanks for the review Gazza. Ref 25a, I guess the media would stir up a bit of a storm if they used the acronym for “wife or girlfriend” as opposed to WAG!

  3. I always have to think a little harder on a Friday, but Giovanni always words the clues very precisely, and fairly.
    13d is also the name of a G&S opera, Princess Ida.
    Thanks to setter, and to Gazza.

    The toughie is good fun too.

  4. Hi gazza, I’m afraid this was a bit of a toughie in parts for me, I would never have got 7d without my little friends even though I knew it was an anagram, never heard it before, never heard the expression at 14a either even though I got it, once again forgot that ‘s can mean has as well as is so couldn’t understand what ‘that’s’ was doing in 25a! one clue I liked today 24a, I like ‘making contribution’ as the inclusive indicator also liked the linked clue26a, although I didn’t know a genius was a spirit, got 2d wrong, couldn’t fit anything except ‘true love’ in there which made 11a impossible, a 1* for enjoyment a 3 to 4 star for difficulty personally, a crossword almost completely workable with perservation but could have been one of the easier toughies perhaps????

    1. That’s what I thought about yesterday’s. Sorry to disagree but found this very enjoyable and not too tricky. Agree with you about 7d, I only got it because we has a university lecturer who was fond of the concept.

    1. On Friday the 13th, the naughty step is replaced with the flogging post :-)

  5. I found this one really hard to get into this morning and would definitely give it 3.5 at least for difficulty. No idea why I struggled – perhaps all this rain has made the cryptic grey matter soggy. Thanks to Giovanni and gazza too. My favourites – 25a because it made me smile and 6d because I am one :)

    The Toughie put up a fight and I don’t enitrely agree with Jezza as you will find out shortly, once I have fnished my lunch.

    1. Ah. I understand your comment now. The first time I read it I thought that you were saying that you are a 25a. :D

  6. Many thanks to Giovanni for a thoroughly enjoyable crossword and to Gazza for the very entertaining review.

  7. This is the second day in a row that I’ve found the crossword really difficult – I almost gave up and resorted to the hints when I’d only done about half of it but went and had another cup of coffee instead which seemed to help, but not much!
    I don’t know why I thought it was difficult – looking at it again now it all seems pretty reasonable, as Giovanni always is. I couldn’t do two of the three long anagrams (6a and 7d) for ages which didn’t exactly get me off to a flying start. I wasn’t too sure about 26a being spirit so didn’t put that in for a while, although it was fairly clear that it had to be what it was. Just not on the right wave length today and made a real pig’s ear out of the whole thing.
    I did like 25 and 27a and 6 and 17d.
    With thanks to Giovanni and gazza.

    1. Kath – I have had the same experience the last 2 days. It took me 1 hour to get 6 clues in today and for the first time in 50 years I actually gave up on a crossword and used the blog to help me and when I did get the answers I thought several of them very poor clues. Sorry Gaza but the explanation for 25 across just lost me. I got as far a VI and didn’t understand how the rest of the word came about.

      1. In the Nato Alphabet W=Whiskey and the adjacent letter V=Victor. Add I and A to make Victoria (Beckham) an example of a Wag.

        1. Thanks Gazza, I finally figured out that the Nato Alphabet is what I know as the Phonetic Alphabet that I used in communications for radio signals when sailing and the penny finally dropped. Hopefully I will be brighter next week:)

      2. Oh good – thought it was me! I have struggled with the crosswords SO badly the last couple of days – I’m pleased to find someone else who has too. I am blaming the rubbish weather and being generally grumpy and fed-up. Need some sun, just like everyone else does!

        1. I struggled today as well, but I was putting it down to the extreme heat. We have the reverse of English weather – I know it sometimes irritates people in soggy Britain when we Spanish expats talk of the heat but it has its downsides – the worst forest fires for two decades have blighted the last 3 weeks in Valencia. If only we could do a swop – some of your rain for some of our sun!

  8. I’m with Jezza on this. I had to work at it, which I do enjoy more than having a run through. Really enjoyed it. Thanks to Gazza and setter.

  9. Harder than yesterday’s toughie,which was very skillfully composed -you needed to be a Sir Mick fan to enjoy it’- slowly got stoned and ended up in Nirvana!
    I give today’s ****/****, difficult grid with very few easy clues-is’nt 7d a wonderful word-if you can spell it! Anyway really enjoyed the solve which came in several visits to the table, never heard of 23a, but seemed to remember muir being a wall in french?Friday beer and curry to look forward to.

  10. Re 25a I presume Victoria Beckham is a member of the so called WAGS. She is surely not a wife and a girlfriend. The WAGS should really be the Wives or Girlfriends – but that would be unacceptable. To be honest I struggled with this clue but I accept it is clever.

    Maybe I need a holiday – at least **** and *** from me.

  11. Agree 3/3*. 14a led me a merry dance. Put bug-eyed in at first, using the b for bishop, even though I couldn’t fully justify the rest of the answer. Then realised the ‘u’ was wrong, so changed it to dog-eyed, using ‘doge’ as the justication, even though couldn’t find dog eyed in dictionary! Penny finally dropped when I read the hints. D’oh!

    1. Yes – I had real trouble with 14a. I had about three different versions – all wrong, even the one that I ended up with!! I couldn’t justify any of them. Started off with “all-eyes”, then I got 6d and had another think. Came up with “dog-eyed” even though it wasn’t in the dictionary – at least it vaguely made sense. THEN thought of “doe-eyed” which, although that IS in the dictionary it didn’t even vaguely make sense. Oh dear – definitely not my day today (and yesterday wasn’t much better!)

      1. I had bug-eyed then bog-eyed. I got distracted by the bishop, which made me convinced it began with B

  12. Right enjoyed this one – thanks Messrs G.
    The Quickie (13a) became a little easier once I realised that it is a pangram

  13. I suspect “here” in 13D is a reference to the eponymous Gilbert and Sullivan comic opera.

    Found this much tougher than normal but got there in the end.

    Thanks to the 2 “G”‘s.

    1. You may be right about 13d but I took the opposite view, thinking that ‘here’ as the definition was more likely to be the geographical place.

      1. Is “here” really an acceptable definition? I wrote in the answer based on 2/3 letters and my G&S knowledge. I didnt know it was a place at all. But I guess you have to be right as Princess can only be used once unless it’s an all-in-one clue which I don’t think it can be.

  14. Not too bad for a Friday. Completed about two thirds before lights out last night. The three big anagrams went in easily and helped a lot, and 6d came to me on the drive to the office this morning. Thought I had 25a, but I couldn’t understand why until I saw Gazza’s (almost exploding) picture insert above (and the discussion on “wag”). I had missed the fact that “wag” was being used as a compound collective noun (if there is such a thing). Completed the rest this morning needing Gazza’s help on about half of those – thanks. Now it’s back to the final clue in the MPP.

  15. Usual excellent Friday offering as we have come to expect. Thought this was a damn sight easier than yesterdays, not that it was that straightforward but I found yesterday’s horrid. Best clue for me by a million miles was 25a, last in but so clever. Many thx to Giovanni.

  16. After 6 dropped straight out, I thought I was onto a real speedy one….oh how wrong can you get! Too many gaps and found it a real struggle. Reading the hints I also still could not see 9a ….and had to read the comments to get it. Thought some of the clues a bit contrived…and not helped by the use of words I knew not!

  17. Great crossword – lot to challenge I thought with some clever clues. Best of the week for me.

  18. Enjoyed this very much – quite a tussle at first, but eventually managed all except 3d, 5d and 14a (for which I had ‘bog-eyed’).

    It may be just my imagination, but I found quite a few words/clues with religious associations in there – 14a, 23a (a medieval practice for anchorite nuns), 5d, 6d,18d (the new, fourth decade of the Rosary proclaimed by Pope[!] John Paul II), 22d – and by ironic or masonic extension, 27a.
    Btw, there’s also a connection between 26a and 27a – the Three Boys in Mozart’s opera are described as ‘Genii’.
    I even started to wonder if the rh downward NINA ‘TEEES’ was a homophone for “tease”! :-) But then I calmed down and had a cup of tea.

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