DT 26937

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26937

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment **

Thanks to Libellule for covering for me last Friday. In return I get to blog a typically gentle introduction to the new week from Rufus. I am somewhat critical of some of the double definitions here; I do think that for a double definition to work the two definitions need to have quite distinct meanings and there are a couple in this puzzle (3d and 6d) where there are considerable overlaps. I’d value your views on this or anything else.
If you want to see an answer just highlight the gap between the curly brackets under the clue.

Across Clues

1a  Musicians’ union (8)
{ENSEMBLE} – cryptic definition of a musical group.

6a  Hint of a gloomy return East (6)
{ALLUDE} – a verb to hint or refer to indirectly comes from A, the reversal (return) of an adjective meaning gloomy and E(ast).

9a  Samuel’s teacher has turned out to be a prophet (6)
{ELISHA} – the Old Testament priest who was Samuel’s teacher is followed by an anagram (turned out) of HAS to make the name of a Hebrew prophet.

10a  Sole policy (8)
{PLATFORM} – double definition – a thick heavy sole and the publicly declared policy of a party or individual seeking election.

11a  First man to devise outlet in wrought iron (8)
{INVENTOR} – the man (or woman) who had the original idea for something new comes from inserting an outlet or opening inside an anagram (wrought) of IRON.

12a  Stop side transferring good man (6)
{DESIST} – a verb to stop or cease is an anagram (transferring) of SIDE followed by the abbreviation for a good or holy man.

13a  Volunteer and party member leading strike — one receives contributions (9,3)
{OFFERTORY BOX} – a charade of a) a verb to volunteer, b) a member of a right-wing party and c) a verb to strike or punch produces the container used for the collection of monetary contributions during a religious service.

16a  Demobbed and not working (3,2,7)
{OUT OF SERVICE} – double definition, the second a phrase meaning not available for use or possibly broken.

19a  Something like a rush on silver is accepted (6)
{AGREED} – another word for a grasslike plant growing in wet areas (something like a rush) gets appended (on) to the chemical symbol for silver.

21a  Vetted an orderly, causing relative bitterness (8)
{VENDETTA} – an anagram (orderly) of VETTED AN gives us a prolonged bitter feud between families.

23a  Masterful man I don’t upset (8)
{DOMINANT} – an anagram (upset) of MAN I DON’T.

24a  It ensures a good reception for some speakers (6)
{AERIAL} – cryptic definition. The speakers are not human beings but part of a sound system.

25a  Also a VIP (2,4)
{AS WELL} – a phrase meaning also could be, if split (1,5), a person of wealth or importance.

26a  Study, entering further exam, as a hospital doctor (8)
{RESIDENT} – this is a term (mainly used in North America) for a recently-qualified doctor working in a hospital to gain experience in a specialist field. Insert (entering) a study or retreat inside a further attempt to pass an exam.

Down Clues

2d  Lyn to rise and put on stockings first — these? (6)
{NYLONS} – reverse (to rise, in a down clue) LYN then put ON and the first letter of S(tockings).

3d  Happen to come later (5)
{ENSUE} – this is a verb meaning to follow or happen as a result of something. This is meant to be a double definition but it seems to me that it’s virtually the same definition twice.

4d  Launches reports about cricket side (5-4)
{BLAST-OFFS} – these launches take place at sites like Cape Canaveral. Put reports or explosions around one of the sides of the wicket in cricket. I always think that such plurals look wrong and that the S should come before the hyphen, but having it at the end seems to be the accepted usage. When you are measuring out sugar do you say spoonfuls or spoonsful?

5d  Penguin noted by Beethoven? (7)
{EMPEROR} – double definition – the largest breed of penguin and the popular name for one of Beethoven’s piano concertos.

6d  Present prize (5)
{AWARD} – double definition, but really it’s the verb and noun for the same thing.

7d  Existing fashion? (9)
{LIFESTYLE} – cryptic definition of the habitual way in which a person exists.

8d  Mockery is the cause of Ironside’s confusion (8)
{DERISION} – an anagram (confusion) of IRONSIDE. ‘The cause of’ is just padding to make the surface reading smooth.

13d  Reserved, but singularly partisan (2,3,4)
{ON ONE SIDE} – double definition. a) Where a shopkeeper, for example, may put something which you’ve reserved and intend to collect later and b) supporting one person or cause against another in a dispute or contest.

14d  Poor relations who live in China, say (9)
{ORIENTALS} – an anagram (poor) of RELATIONS.

15d  Impulse in boys to become doctors (8)
{SURGEONS} – put an impulse or instinct inside male children to make doctors.

17d  A hot-rod driver (7)
{RIVETER} – cryptic definition of someone whose job involves joining together plates of metal.

18d  Make an effort in race (6)
{STRAIN} – double definition – a verb to struggle or make an effort and a synonym for race or line of descent.

20d  Utter protracted speech (5)
{DRAWL} – cryptic definition. It’s not an oration that’s protracted but a manner of speaking.

22d  Hesitation over colour was wrong (5)
{ERRED} – the short word expressing hesitation precedes (over, in a down clue) a primary colour.

The clues I liked best were 19a and 17d. Let us know which ones you liked.

Today’s Quickie Pun: {QUEUE} + {TICKLE} = {CUTICLE}



  1. crypticsue
    Posted August 6, 2012 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    Not as much fun as Rufus can be, but as straightforward as ever. My favourite was 17d too. Thanks to Rufus and Gazza.

    With regard to puns, or rather non-puns there is the following apology in the paper with regard to Saturday : “Apologies for the pun, lost in editing: it should have been Buccaneering).

  2. gnomethang
    Posted August 6, 2012 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    An enjoyable start to the week but I must agree with gazza regarding those two double definitions – My nose wrinkled on both of them. Thans to Rufus and to gazza for the review.

  3. toadson
    Posted August 6, 2012 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    Yes, liked 17d – not sure about 20d though. Thanks to all involved today.

    • Vorkorsigan
      Posted August 6, 2012 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

      Agree about 20d, didn’t like that one at all.

  4. Brian
    Posted August 6, 2012 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    Not much fun today I thought. The left side was very tricky and it didn’t help that I had no idea what an offertory box is or who taught Samuel. No favourites today. Seems the trend at the moment is to put a tricky puzzle on a Monday rather than something nice to get the week going.

  5. Brenda Reding
    Posted August 6, 2012 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    For some reason I was not on the same wave-length and struggled with a comparatively easy crossword, had to use quite a few hints. Liked 13, 16 and 26A, 14 and 20D Hope I’m more awake tomorrow! Thanks to Rufus and Gazza

  6. Sweet William
    Posted August 6, 2012 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    Thank you Rufus and Gazza. Enjoyed it – possibly because I finished it without help for a change !

  7. Jezza
    Posted August 6, 2012 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

    This one took me longer than normal, partly due to other things going on around me at the time, and partly due to the Monday morning lack of concentration.
    I did want to put ancestor momentarily for 11a, because it fitted the checking letters, and possibly the first two words of the clue, but that was where it ended!
    Thanks to Rufus, and to Gazza.

  8. Kath
    Posted August 6, 2012 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    Oh good – I thought it was me! I also found this a bit more difficult and a bit less enjoyable than is usual for a Rufus puzzle. Until I read the comments I put it down to general grumpiness.
    I couldn’t do 1a or the last word of 16a for ages – don’t know why! 4d looked a bit funny – I still think it does. I was slow with lots of the others too. Just not my day, I think – on a totally different wavelength.
    No particular favourites today.
    Thanks to Rufus and Gazza.

  9. Senf
    Posted August 6, 2012 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

    I agree with the **/** rating. A little bit tricky in places, and I had 5 left to complete at lights out last night. I thought that this might be because Inspector Lewis was absent from PBS. Particularly, I needed some help on 3 (6a, 10a, and 7d) in the NE corner. I got the structure for 6a correct, but I could not come up with the gloomy word to be reversed. When I got 7d from Gazza’s hints, it was obvious. Favouriteswere 13a and 16a. Thanks to Rufus and Gazza.

  10. Beaver
    Posted August 6, 2012 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

    I found it difficult today and a *** /**, i was a bit slow on the uptake like Kath, probably a touch of olympicitis, would’nt get out of the heats on this form.Thought 3 and 6d were ok; never heard of 13a and to make matters worse the stray cat that’s adopted us is looking very fat !

    • Kath
      Posted August 6, 2012 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

      Many years ago we rescued three five week old kittens all from the same litter – two girls and their brother. One had four kittens when she was 8 months old and her sister had five a month later!! One “batch” was born on eldest daughter’s bed the night before her first GCSE!!

  11. The Buffer
    Posted August 6, 2012 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

    13a seems to have baffled some. Pop into your local C of E Church and it will be found just inside the door on the left; mainly. This is the fixed box, as opposed to the plate or bag passed round during the offertory hymn. Very nice puzzle. Thanks Rufus and Gazza. I always thought Samuel risked being awarded a hundred lines by 9a, for disturbing his sleep three times in one night.

    • Hrothgar
      Posted August 6, 2012 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

      No one goes to church these days. :)

      • gnomethang
        Posted August 6, 2012 at 6:58 pm | Permalink


      • andy
        Posted August 6, 2012 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

        Some of us do

  12. Hrothgar
    Posted August 6, 2012 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

    Thanks Rufus and Gazza.
    Harder than usual, I thought.
    Not too happy about a riveter being a hot rod etc.
    A lucky guess on my part.

    • Senf
      Posted August 6, 2012 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

      It may be a little tenuous, but my take on the riveter is as follows. Using the term rod for a rivet is perhaps a stretch. But, if you can accept that, in shipbuilding for example, the rivets were (and maybe still are) heated up before being driven – hence the rivets were “hot rods.”

      • Hrothgar
        Posted August 6, 2012 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

        Thanks Senf.
        I would not have known.

  13. Heno
    Posted August 6, 2012 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Rufus and to Gazza for the review and hints. I normally enjoy Rufus’ puzzles, but not this one. Found it no fun at all. Didn’t like the double definitions, of which there were a lot. 10&13a and 18d, I had never heard of that context, but I live and learn.

  14. Little Dave
    Posted August 6, 2012 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

    Really enjoyed this and did it quite easily. 13a was my favourite. Plea to the DT – PLEASE PUT THE CROSSWORD ONTO THE BACK PAGE!!!!!!!

  15. Grumpy Andrew
    Posted August 6, 2012 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

    Despite the crossing letters and your hints still can’t get 7 and 13 (not having any imaginary friends I don’t go to church). On a different point, I want to say what a rip-off today’s Telegraph front page was, filling it all up with a single picture. Any chance the Telegraph could tell us some news in return for one pound twenty? I was away last week, has the paper been this bad all through the Olympics?

    • gazza
      Posted August 6, 2012 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

      13a Offertory box
      7d Lifestyle

      • Grumpy Andrew
        Posted August 6, 2012 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

        Thanks for the answers Gazza.
        In reply to gnomethang, no I don’t just buy a paper for the front page, but it would be nice (even traditional) to have some sort of news on the front page of a newspaper that costs £1.20. It would also be nice to get some sort of news before reaching – what was it today? – page 9. All I’m quietly suggesting is that not everyone is interesting in people running around in circles, jumping into water and throwing stuff. Stanxyz, I think you’ve hit the nail on the head: Olympic coverage is cheap coverage.

    • gnomethang
      Posted August 6, 2012 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

      Do you just buy it for the front page then G.A.?

    • stanXYZ
      Posted August 6, 2012 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

      “A picture is worth a thousand words” – and most probably less expensive! :grin:

  16. andy
    Posted August 6, 2012 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

    Not one of my favourites, maybe for the reasons stated in posts. Mary may you get well soon, your comments are sorely missed

    • Kath
      Posted August 6, 2012 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

      Ditto to all of that.

  17. Pilot mvj
    Posted August 6, 2012 at 11:42 pm | Permalink

    Enjoyable with a few trickier ones, must remember not to take the easy options. Had 11a as Ancestor and 16a as out of uniform. Thanks Rufus and Gazza. 10a probably my favourite clue.

  18. asterix
    Posted August 7, 2012 at 12:33 am | Permalink

    I enjoyed this more as it went on (or rather as I did). I particularly relished 6a, 9a, 21a, 25a,14d, 15d. I agree with others here that some of the double-meanings seemed a bit too samey (3d, 6d, 20a) and I stumbled over 18d because of the word ‘in’ in the clue. (I still wonder if the effort might not be ‘train’ as an Olympic reference, which would justify the ‘in’.) 17d I guessed but it was so close to ‘driver’ I was looking for an anagram.
    I liked the slyness of the ‘launch’ (4d), when actually today we had the landing (on the Red Planet).
    I don’t follow cricket, but not to know any of its parlance would be narrow-minded. And regardless whether ‘some of us go to church’ (and many do) the OT and the architecture and culture of the Church belongs to our history and philosophic traditions, and without it we’d be poorer of names, words, knowledge and word-associations. I hope e.g. Caesar and Harold could still be used as answers or clues, although we don’t fight Gauls or Normans any longer. (OK, bad example: we still do….:-)

  19. DavidJay
    Posted August 8, 2012 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

    Most often I use your excellent guides to the stinker clues I can’t solve. I very rarely have to check the answers in the wiggly brackets, so that’s good!
    I did enjoy your guide to 2d even though I’d already got the answer.
    Where DID you get that photo?!

    • gazza
      Posted August 8, 2012 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

      Hi David – welcome to the blog.
      I think that the 2d photo came courtesy of Benny Hill.