DT 26950

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26950

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

These days I normally do enough of the Quick Crossword to work out the pun before I tackle the back-pager and today’s pun certainly put me in a good mood for this one. There aren’t any great difficulties here but it was enjoyable and (possibly influenced a bit by the excellent Quickie pun) I’ve given it 4* for enjoyment.
Let us know your thoughts on the puzzle.

Across Clues

1a  Production of Lear — the first of many in the area (5)
{REALM} – an anagram (production) of LEAR is followed by the first letter of M(any).

4a  Passionate about pub, shortly getting blurry (9)
{AMORPHOUS} – an adjective meaning passionate or lustful contains (about) the abbreviation (shortly) of a pub.

9a  Odious brother an invalid (9)
{ABHORRENT} – this is an anagram (invalid) of BROTHER AN.

10a  Plenty tested out of bounds (5)
{AMPLE} – ‘out of bounds’ here means missing the extremities, so what we want is a verb meaning tested or tried out without its first and last letters.

11a  Farthest north tenants unusually modest (7)
{ENDMOST} – N(orth) is a tenant of (i.e. is lodged inside) an anagram (unusually) of MODEST.

12a  Meantime, bury ‘er other ‘alf (7)
{INTERIM} – a verb meaning to bury is followed by the male partner (other ‘alf) of ‘er.

13a/15a Depressed and spitting feathers? (4,2,3,5)
{DOWN IN THE MOUTH} – double definition, the second cryptic.

15a  See 13a

18a  Skin disease revealed in phone call by creep (8)
{RINGWORM} – this contagious skin disease characterised by circular patches is a charade of a verb meaning to make a phone call and a verb to creep.

20a  PM not working with Coalition’s third image-maker (6)
{CAMERA} – drop an adverb meaning working or functioning from the surname of our current PM and add the third letter of coalition.

23a  This’ll slay you: a wag less than sincere! (7)
{ARSENIC} – what could kill you comes from A followed by an anagram (wag?) of all but the last letter (less than) of SINCER(e).

24a  A believer or otherwise (7)
{ATHEIST} – this is someone who rejects belief in supernatural beings, but as (1,6) he or she would be the opposite.

26a  The ultimate in vitriolic about party’s ideology (5)
{CREDO} – the last letter (ultimate) of (vitrioli)C is followed by a preposition meaning about or concerning and a festive party,

27a  Game make tracks by hilltop (9)
{PARTRIDGE} – this is the sort of game that you eat rather than play. A verb meaning to make tracks or leave is followed by a narrow hilltop.

28a  Actual model in cute hat (9)
{AUTHENTIC} – an anagram (model) of IN CUTE HAT.

29a  Raising agent up until now without a message centre (5)
{YEAST} – an adverb meaning up until now goes around (without) A and the central letter of message.

Down Clues

1d  Cream endlessly perform American smash (4-5)
{REAR-ENDER} – endlessly (or endless) can be a bit confusing; sometimes it means just drop the last letter but at other times (as here) it means without both ends. So remove the outer letters of cream and add a verb to perform (a service, say) to make the sort of American vehicle smash that we would probably call a shunt.

2d  Polygraph identified source of nuisance (5)
{APHID} – hidden (source) in the clue is the sort of nuisance that can wreak havoc in your garden.

3d  Hopelessly romantic with no time for big name in radio (7)
{MARCONI} – the name of the person credited with being the father of radio (although, in practice, he was a clever businessman who exploited the discoveries of others) comes from an anagram (hopelessly) of ROMAN(t)IC with no T(ime).

4d  River Thames is empty following bitter warnings (6)
{ALERTS} – R(iver) and the outer letters (empty) of T(hame)S all follow the type of bitter that is often served in a pint glass.

5d  Completely expose Conservatives? (8)
{OUTRIGHT} – a verb meaning to expose or make known facts about someone that they’d rather keep secret (often relating to their sexuality) is followed by the wing of political opinion occupied in this country by the Conservatives.

6d  Front of horse in Christmas show followed by James Bond character in musical? (7)
{PHANTOM} – this is a shortened form of the name of a Lloyd-Webber musical. Insert the front letter of H(orse) in an abbreviated theatrical show at Christmas and finish with the letter used to identify James Bond’s boss.

7d  Timely piano in poor composition and melody (9)
{OPPORTUNE} – insert the abbreviation used for piano or soft in musical notation inside an anagram (composition) of POOR then add a synonym for melody or air.

8d  Half past eight start in the morning creates a kind of pressure (5)
{STEAM} – the sort of pressure that was exploited by James Watt comes from half of the word ‘past’ followed by the starting letter of E(ight) and the abbreviation for in the morning.

14d  Snakes wailed, exposed to the elements (9)
{WINDSWEPT} – combine two verbs; the first meaning snakes or weaves and the second meaning wailed or sobbed.

16d To listen to soft material, keeping time, can be profound (9)
{HEARTFELT} – a verb meaning to listen to is followed by a soft fabric then T(ime) is inserted (keeping).

17d  Drugs can make you crazy (8)
{CRACKPOT} – a charade of two types of illegal drug makes an informal adjective meaning crazy or impractical. Bit of an old chestnut.

19d  Captivating women is tricky (7)
{WINSOME} – an anagram (tricky) of WOMEN IS.

21d  Lost without hour that used to be passed in pubs (7)
{ASHTRAY} – this is something that’s no longer needed in pubs since the change in the law which made their environment much cleaner and healthier. An adverb meaning in a lost state contains (without) H(our). I’m not sure why this thing had to be passed – was there not one per table?

22d  Structure of sporting body with British in charge (6)
{FABRIC} – a word for the structure (of a building) comes from combining three two-letter abbreviations – a) the governing body of football in England, b) British, c) in charge.

23d  Air-conditioned car crashing in capital (5)
{ACCRA} – a capital city in West Africa is the abbreviation for air-conditioned followed by an anagram (crashing) of CAR.

25d  I made clear home help’s back (5)
{INDIA} – this is how the letter I is transmitted (made clear) using the Nato Phonetic Alphabet. An adverb meaning at home is followed by a synonym for help reversed (back).

The clues I liked best today were 13/15a, 8d and 25d.

Today’s Quickie Pun: {SILL} + {HERB} + {LACK} = {CILLA BLACK}


35 Comments

  1. Sweet William
    Posted August 21, 2012 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    Thank you setter and Gazza for your review. Made a guess at 1d – last in – which proved correct – but needed your explanation.

    Many enjoyable clues.

  2. 2Kiwis
    Posted August 21, 2012 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    Enjoyable puzzle. Favourites were 4a and 25d. 25d held us up for a while until the penny dropped and we stopped seeing I as a pronoun. Was this by Petitjean? It felt a bit like his. Thanks Mr Ron and Gazza.

    • gazza
      Posted August 21, 2012 at 11:17 am | Permalink

      I agree that it felt a bit like a Petitjean.

      • Mep
        Posted August 22, 2012 at 11:10 am | Permalink

        Thanks gazza…I did see that afterwards but hadn’t appreciated it was a ‘theme’ of the quickie….shall look out for them from now on.

  3. Jezza
    Posted August 21, 2012 at 11:10 am | Permalink

    I solved this one in BA’s Business Lounge at Gatwick and thought it was a little trickier than a 2* for difficulty, but I did find it very enjoyable.
    I have another 2 hours to kill until my flight to Marrakech, so I will have to avail myself of the complimentary bar while I wait and have a look at the toughie – which I presume is another MynoT theme !

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

    Plodded through this today. Last was 25d – didn’t get the phonetic alphabet bit. Thanks for the explanation. Loved 13a.

    • Sweet William
      Posted August 21, 2012 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

      13a was my first in – but I got it wrong ! Had “dumps” instead of *****

      So held up for a while on the right hand side !!

  5. Patsy Ann
    Posted August 21, 2012 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    Enjoyed this, but needed the explanation for 25d – got the answer but couldn’t see why it was right! Didn’t much care for wag as an anagram indicator. Thanks to compiler and blogger.

  6. Mep
    Posted August 21, 2012 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

    Apologies as I expect it’s just me…………but which pun?……have completed both but must have gone over my head

    • gazza
      Posted August 21, 2012 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

      The first two (sometimes more) answers in the Quick Crossword always make a (often groanworthy) pun.
      Today’s is given above at the bottom of the review.

  7. crypticsue
    Posted August 21, 2012 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

    From the moment I solved the pun, I definitely felt this was a Petitjean, a not too difficult but very enjoyable one at that, so thank you to him and Gazza too.

    The MynoT TouGhie has a very Gettable theme as usual so why not Give it a Go.

  8. Brian
    Posted August 21, 2012 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

    Thoroughly enjoyed this one as soon as I got it started (thanks for anagrams!). Thought it was a bit trickier than 2* for difficulty but 3/4* for enjoyment. Best clue for me was 14d although 8d gets a mentioned dispatches. Last in was 19a as I had 1d ending with a D!
    Thx to all for a pleasant journey.

  9. Prolixic
    Posted August 21, 2012 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

    Back in Blighy after a very enjoyable stay in Pommer’s holiday apartment, which I can highly recommend (http://www.roda-golf.co.uk/index.html).

    Whether is was the shock of being back in England, I throught this was slightly more than a 2* for difficulty but highly enjoyable. The Toughie took about 3/4 of the time to solve than the backpage today.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Gazza for the review.

  10. BigBoab
    Posted August 21, 2012 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

    Good fun with no particular problems or highlights, thanks to the setter and to Gazza.

  11. Ian
    Posted August 21, 2012 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    Probably 3*/4* for me. Had RUBRIC for 22d -RU for rugby union -seemed to make sense but made 24a impossible! Thanks to all

  12. Bob
    Posted August 21, 2012 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

    Found this quite difficult today. However I learnt a bit more crosswordspeak (Out of bounds, endlessly) even though I thought it was just a tad too clever. (Made clear for phonetic alphabet, make tracks)
    I had Unhappy for 21 down. It fitted for me anyway. Although it did complicate the issue
    Whats has Cilla Black got to do with anything ?
    – Ok, just spotted the QC

  13. spindrift
    Posted August 21, 2012 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

    Whatever did happen to all of the ashtrays from all of the pubs when the nanny government stepped in and decreed a
    total non smoking ban?

    That’s right I’m one of those you see in the cold trying to get a recalcitrant Rizla around a plug of Golden Virginia as I pursue my right not to be told what to do by a bunch of millionaires who persist in telling us what’s good for the rest of us. My arse!

  14. stanXYZ
    Posted August 21, 2012 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

    A really enjoyable puzzle today! Nice ‘n’ easy start with 13 & 15 – but very amusing. However, a bit more diificult than a 2* after that.

    I guessed it was Petitjean – doesn’t he sometimes / always / occasionally include a reference to Eric Clapton?

    Today – 1d – Cream…

    Also, thanks to gazza for actually explaining 1d.

  15. williamus
    Posted August 21, 2012 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

    Thanks Gazza

    I’m definitely in the camp that thought this was rather more than a ** difficulty! A little short for time today so needed a little help towards the end (that’s my excuse anyway). Nevertheless very enjoyable. 25d was my favourite, though could have been even better without the last three words of the clue…. hmm… perhaps.

    Sun’s just come out in Birmingham.

    Cheers!

  16. Crucial Verbalist
    Posted August 21, 2012 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

    Leftside, not a problem. Top right harder, bottom left had me scratching my head. Liked 17d and 12a

  17. Crucial Verbalist
    Posted August 21, 2012 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

    Doh. Meant bottom right had me scratching.

  18. Collywobbles
    Posted August 21, 2012 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

    Very entertaining puzzle so many thanks to the setter (do we know who he/she is) and many thanks to Gazza for some fine hints

    • Collywobbles
      Posted August 21, 2012 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

      If it was Petitjean, no wonder I found it hard – about 3* I’d say

  19. Heno
    Posted August 21, 2012 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Petitjean & to Gazza for the review and hints. My worst ever attempt on a back-pager. I was 15 answers short before resorting to the hints, which were excellent. I couldn’t get on the setter’s wavelenght at all. It was just like trying to do a Toughie, so I would give it 4* for difficulty & 2* for entertainment, but that’s all my fault, as everything was fairly clued. Did enjoy 13 & 15 across though, one of the few I solved. May look at the Toughie later if my mood lifts :-)

    • Sweet William
      Posted August 21, 2012 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

      I had a look and tried , got a few and then…………………………!

      • Heno
        Posted August 21, 2012 at 11:47 pm | Permalink

        MynoT has puzzles where a particular letter features in every answer, today’s is “g”.

  20. Collywobbles
    Posted August 21, 2012 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

    4a. What is the abbreviation of a pub?

    • stanXYZ
      Posted August 21, 2012 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

      PH – Public House – on Ordnance Survey Maps! If you ever need a drink when out walking………

      • stanXYZ
        Posted August 21, 2012 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

        PH – But not in Chambers? Unless you know better.

        • gazza
          Posted August 21, 2012 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

          You’re right – it doesn’t appear to be in the BRB, but it is in Chambers Dictionary of Crossword Abbreviations.

          • Collywobbles
            Posted August 22, 2012 at 9:15 am | Permalink

            Thanks stanXYZ & Gazza

  21. Hrothgar
    Posted August 21, 2012 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

    Very enjoyable.
    Liked 19d, very cheeky.
    Thanks the setter and Gazza.

  22. Grumpy Andrew
    Posted August 21, 2012 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

    Too hard for me to enjoy. Clues I least liked? Lots to choose from but 23a, 1d and 6d are up there. Not a good Tuesday.

  23. Tordy
    Posted August 21, 2012 at 11:09 pm | Permalink

    Enjoyed todays crossword but like others felt it was a tad more than a 2*. At any rate it kept me interested as my flight today was delayed!

  24. Collywobbles
    Posted August 22, 2012 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    A very enjoyable puzzle if a little difficult in places where Gazzas’ help was needed and welcomed