DT 26965

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26965

Hints and tips by Gazza

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ****

This is a very enjoyable puzzle. If Tuesday’s puzzle had me scratching around for picture opportunities then today’s more than makes up for it – I’m spoilt for choice.
Let us know how you got on and how you liked it.

Across Clues

1a  One looking for clues left in houses? (6)
{HOLMES} – the name of a fictional sleuth appears when you insert L(eft) in places of residence.

5a  Funny play deficient, now sadly a disappointment (8)
{COMEDOWN} – a play that’s meant to make you laugh is missing its last letter, i.e. it’s deficient, and that’s followed by an anagram (sadly) of NOW.

9a  Actor‘s headline portrayal of Saul’s conversion (4,6)
{PAUL NEWMAN} – this (4,3,3) is how the headline might have appeared in the Damascus Chronicle (had it existed and been written in English) when news broke of the conversion of Saul of Tarsus. The conversion occurred both spiritually and nominally.

10a  Something on meal table in lounge (4)
{LOAF} – double definition. Lounge is a verb here.

11a  Mum carrying antique through part of Europe (8)
{MOLDAVIA} – this is the name of a one-time principality in Eastern Europe (since broken up, but part of it is now a country with a very similar name). An affectionate word for mother contains (carrying) an adjective meaning antique or ancient, then add a preposition meaning through or by way of.

12a  State unfortunately having a king overthrown (6)
{ALASKA} – an interjection meaning unfortunately is followed by the reversal (overthrown) of A (from the clue) and the chess abbreviation for king.

13a  A female runs round for a hairdo (4)
{AFRO} – stitch together four single letters – a) A (from the clue), b) F(emale), c) the abbreviation for runs, in cricket and d) the round letter.

15a  Writer in South Africa having to hang around (8)
{SALINGER} – this is an American novelist, best known for The Catcher in the Rye. Start with an abbreviation for South Africa and follow this with a verb to be protracted or hang around.

18a  Elvis in huge theatre initially drowned by instrument (8)
{COSTELLO} – the abbreviation for huge (in clothing sizes) and the initial letter of T(heatre) are contained in (drowned by) a large stringed instrument.

19a  Former tennis champ put on the scales, we hear (4)
{WADE} – the name of the last British player to win a Singles Championship at Wimbledon sounds like (we hear) put on the scales.

21a  University better than the others, one having a wonderful situation (6)
{UTOPIA} – start with U(niversity) and add an adjective meaning better than the others (in a league table, say), I (one) and A (from the clue).

23a  A maiden and friend hoarding gold with no concern for ethical values (8)
{AMORALLY} – A (from the clue) and the abbreviation used for a maiden over in cricket are followed by a friend or comrade, then the heraldic tincture of gold is inserted (hoarding).

25a  Small twins, first pair to get lost (4)
{MINI} – the first pair of letters needs to be removed (lost) from the heavenly twins Castor and Pollux.

26a  Church in which the French soldiers will be given money and fruit (10)
{CLEMENTINE} – the abbreviation for the Church of England contains a) a French definite article, b) ordinary soldiers and c) a slang term for money.

27a  What may be found in school textbook, awful grey tome (8)
{GEOMETRY} – an anagram (awful) of GREY TOME.

28a  Old Greek graduate stuck within that time (6)
{THEBAN} – an arts graduate is inserted (stuck) inside an adverb meaning that time.

Down Clues

2d  Old volunteers work in region of South Island (5)
{OTAGO} – the South Island referred to is part of New Zealand. String together O(ld), the abbreviation for our volunteer army and a verb meaning to be in working order.

3d  Clumsy matador, I will get twisted round bull’s tail (9)
{MALADROIT} – an anagram (will get twisted) of MATADOR I contains (round) the tail letter of (bul)L.

4d  Put off the woman — darling not to have ring (6)
{SHELVE} – the subjective form of a feminine pronoun (the woman) is followed by a synonym for darling or sweetheart without the round-looking letter (not to have ring).

5d  Come in to pal’s, say, after accident, showing sympathy (15)
{COMPASSIONATELY} – an anagram (after accident) of COME INTO PAL’S SAY.

6d  Finish with blame flying around — not going to scrap yet? (8)
{MENDABLE} – a synonym for finish has around it an anagram (flying) of BLAME.

7d  What Euclid saw as a triangle? (5)
{DELTA} – Euclid was, of course, Greek – so which Greek letter looks like a triangle?

8d  Feeble report of Sunday-to-Saturday requirement (4-5)
{WEAK-KNEED} – this compound adjective can mean both physically feeble (having difficulty remaining upright) and feeble in the sense of showing a lack of moral fibre. It sounds like (report of) a seven day requirement.

14d  Severe bodily condition — what could be best for it? (9)
{FROSTBITE} – an anagram (what could be) of BEST FOR IT.

16d  City that may be built when the incoming waves have been destructive? (9)
{NEWCASTLE} – this (3,6) may be built on the beach to replace a previous structure which  the incoming waves have destroyed.

17d  Smart, having washed wound? (5-3)
{CLEAN-CUT} – smart here means neat and respectable. It’s a charade of an adjective meaning washed or unsoiled and a type of wound (possibly a self-inflicted one, caused by a moment of carelessness when preparing the vegetables?).

20d  Look towards the setting sun, being most depressed (6)
{LOWEST} – an exclamation meaning look (which you tend to see only in crosswords these days) followed by the direction in which you look to see the setting sun.

22d  King and his son maybe half cut before noon (5)
{PRIAM} – this is the mythical King of Troy. He reputedly had over fifty sons so I was all prepared to trawl through a list of names when I realised that what we want is the first half (half cut) of a title usually given to all the sons of a king. Add to this the abbreviation for before noon.

24d  Woman in peril, in danger (5)
{LINDA} – concealed in the clue is a woman’s name. Here’s a rather attractive one with Johnny Cash.


The clues I liked best were 9a, 18a, 7d and 16d. Tell us what appealed to you.

Today’s Quickie Pun: {FUR} + {MANNER} = {FERMANAGH}

50 Comments

  1. Stuart
    Posted September 7, 2012 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    Too reliant on proper nouns. It’s an analytical exercise, not a general knowledge quiz. I’ve never heard of the chap in 15a. That’s just a personal view and perhaps I should read more widely!

    • gazza
      Posted September 7, 2012 at 11:10 am | Permalink

      Stuart,
      Your comment went into moderation because you’ve changed your alias. Both old and new should work from now on.

    • Posted September 7, 2012 at 11:27 am | Permalink

      In my humble opinion JD Salinger’s book is grossly overrated.

      • Qix
        Posted September 7, 2012 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

        Nonetheless it’s a very famous work indeed, and that makes the equally famous author’s surname absolutely fair game for a mass-market crossword, IMO.

    • mary
      Posted September 7, 2012 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

      I agree Stuart too much general knowledge needed!

    • Weekend Wanda
      Posted September 8, 2012 at 8:57 am | Permalink

      I agree

    • Mike Simpson
      Posted October 6, 2012 at 4:31 am | Permalink

      Especially for a New Zealand who can’t keep up with so many British references (although I did like the Otago one).

      • gazza
        Posted October 6, 2012 at 7:45 am | Permalink

        Hi Mike – welcome to the blog.

  2. 2Kiwis
    Posted September 7, 2012 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    Thank you Giovanni for 2d. One glance at the grid and we were able to write in the answer immediately. With a start like that, we were able to work steadily and enjoyably through the rest of the clues until we stalled for a bit in the SW corner before it relented. Lots of favourites but the standout for us had to be 2d. Revenge for all those times we have struggled with obscure English villages in remote counties. Thanks Giovanni and Gazza. PS. Hope lots of entries flooding in for your cracker monthly prize puzzle Gazza.

    • gazza
      Posted September 7, 2012 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

      Thanks, 2Kiwis. I too hope that entries for the prize puzzle are flooding in. Just a reminder to those who haven’t yet entered – you still have plenty of time and your chances of winning are an order of magnitude better than those of winning the DT Saturday Prize Puzzle (and you don’t have to buy a stamp!).

      • stanXYZ
        Posted September 7, 2012 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

        gazza, the DT Saturday Prize Puzzle.

        Someone pointed out recently that a stamp is no longer required. Scanned entries from the paper can now be submitted by email. (Well, it was possible last week).

        Will they be able to differentiate between “pencil” & “pen”?

        • gazza
          Posted September 7, 2012 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

          Ah, in that case you don’t need to buy a stamp for either, but you still stand a much better chance of winning with our puzzle.

          • crypticsue
            Posted September 7, 2012 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

            And you wouldn’t want to miss the chance of solving such a splendid puzzle either.

            • stanXYZ
              Posted September 8, 2012 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

              I’ve already submitted my entry – but it seems that the Prize Puzzle by gazza can no longer be found in the “Recent Posts” column.

  3. Jezza
    Posted September 7, 2012 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    Despite what seemed like a plethora of proper nouns, I did enjoy this one.
    Last couple in for me, 7d and 10a.
    Thanks to Giovanni, and to Gazza.

    I also enjoyed the toughie today, which I found quite tricky in parts.

  4. Sweet William
    Posted September 7, 2012 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    Needed not just 2 hints but 2 answers to finish ! Even the hints didn’t help ! and have never heard of the answers – So in need of a break ! off next week – going birdwatching on the Isle of Mull. Almost certainly involving a trip to “One on a Scottish Island” ( Not Jura ! )

    Thank you Giovanni for the torture and Gazza for your review – all of which leaves me totally dejected after a reasonabe week !

    • Posted September 7, 2012 at 11:37 am | Permalink

      A rogue letter in your email address (now corrected) sent your comment into moderation.

  5. pommers
    Posted September 7, 2012 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    Agree about the number of proper nouns being a bit OTT but an enjoyable puzzle nevertheless. 2*/4* for me.
    Last in and favourite was 7d.

    Thanks to Giovanni and Gazza.

  6. Beaver
    Posted September 7, 2012 at 11:45 am | Permalink

    Certainly a different mindset today for the setter, the sort of crossword John Cleese might write!Howeaver very witty and enjoyable***/*** for me . Struggled with 7d until i thought of the vulcan bomber and it’s wing shape and hey presto the Greek connection-i was as usual making things too complicated. Also 9a which i wanted to be Paul Beaman then realised the actor’s identity ,which i should have twigged earlier as we share the same birthday! unfortunately nothing else.

  7. Franny
    Posted September 7, 2012 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    I needed your hints to finish today, Gazza — couldn’t find 18a or 2d and didn’t see the anagram at 14d. Best for me were 9a and 16d. I’ve been distracted all week trying to cast a production of “As you Like It”, so haven’t been on the blog. Once I actually start rehearsals I hope to be more present.
    Thanks to G&G for the fun. :-)

  8. Kath
    Posted September 7, 2012 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    That was good fun – it’s successfully kept me out of mischief for much longer that usual. I found it really difficult – at least 4* from me.
    Like Jezza my last two were 10a and 7d, mainly because I’d absent-mindedly spelt the first word of 8d with a double “E”. 18a took a while too – thinking of the wrong Elvis, as I’m sure we were supposed to.
    Lots of clues that I liked today – 1, 11 and 18a and 5, 7, 14 and 16d.
    With thanks to Giovanni and Gazza.
    Beautiful day – off to the garden. Muntjacs like sunflowers! :sad:

  9. Brenda Reding
    Posted September 7, 2012 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

    Took longer than usual over this — I wasn’t concentrating properly but found it quite amusing particularly 9A. and I liked 26A because it is so logical, all-in-all a good puzzle, thanks to setter and Gazza, just needed verification for 7D as I don’t know the Greek alphabet very well.

  10. crypticsue
    Posted September 7, 2012 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

    I was ‘helped’ by the boss with this one, well he thought he was helping, I just ignored him and carried on regardless. Agree with Gazza’s star ratings and his favourite clues so thank you to him and to Giovanni too.

  11. Captain Lethargy
    Posted September 7, 2012 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

    I found this hard today – simply because it was not a run of the mill crossword. Once I realised I had to think a bit more then it became enjoyable. Good fun and some definite doh moments (esp 7d and 15a). Thanks to all.

  12. Steve_the_beard
    Posted September 7, 2012 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

    Very enjoyable, and I certainly agree with the star ratings.

    Last two were 7D and then 10A. I think I knew too much for 7D (BSc Maths, MSc Maths…) but fortunately I starting drawing triangles and labelling the angles with Greek letters… Yes, the revelation was indeed Damascene :-)

    My favourites were 9A and 7D, with 1A and 3D close behind.

    Thanks to Giovanni and Gazza

  13. BigBoab
    Posted September 7, 2012 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

    Many thanks to Giovanni for a very enjoyable crossword, (perhaps a little more GK than cryptic in parts). Thanks to Gazza for the usual super review.

  14. Digby
    Posted September 7, 2012 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    When a setter uses proper nouns I feel that they should stand the test of time, such that someone doing the crossword 50 years hence can still make sense of it.
    1a, 9a, 22d would qualify, with 15a marginally acceptable.
    Not so sure about 18 and 19a however.
    Thanks Gazza & The Don.

    • gazza
      Posted September 7, 2012 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

      In 50 years time 19a will probably still be well-known as the most recent British Wimbledon champion. :D

      • Digby
        Posted September 7, 2012 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

        But she only won because no-one else entered!
        And she’s as British as half the England cricket team.

    • stanXYZ
      Posted September 7, 2012 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

      That’s what they were saying about Euclid in 300 BC!

  15. AlisonS
    Posted September 7, 2012 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

    Catcher in the Rye may be a famous book, but I have to admit to not knowing who wrote it, however I did work it out from the clue once I had the checkers. Also had to check 2d as my geographical knowledge of NZ is, um, how shall I put it – non-existent? I sympathise with 2Kiwis. Last in was 9a – I’d guessed that it was an actor and got his first name, but his surname was eluding me so I resorted to the hints and as soon as I saw the top of his head it clicked. Should have got that!

    Thanks to the 2 Gs.

  16. Attila Thehun
    Posted September 7, 2012 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

    9a … that’s not a ‘six-pack, it’s half-a-dozen hard-boiled eggs!

  17. Peter
    Posted September 7, 2012 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

    Well, I’m back from very sunny and very hot Portugal to an almost equally hot England. I’ve enjoyed the bloggers comments over the past two weeks. Is it me, or are the crosswords getting harder and more obscure? Or is it the heat?
    As for today’s I managed 80% but got stuck in the SW corner so needed the hints.
    Thanks to the two Gs

    • mary
      Posted September 7, 2012 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

      they have been on the tougher side this week IMHO Peter

      • Sweet William
        Posted September 7, 2012 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

        SW corner was what did for me – and still does !

        • Peter
          Posted September 7, 2012 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

          What happy news for me! I’m not alone!

  18. mary
    Posted September 7, 2012 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

    Left this this morning with six blanks, came back and tried again and still had six blanks!!
    Not my favourite today, too much GK needed! dont really get 7d, now if it said what Euclid was and not saw it might make a bit of sense!!! too nice a day to go on and on, so I will say I liked 9a but needed help to get it and also liked 16d, good luck to everyone still at it, keep perservating, thanks for hints Gazza, wouldn’t have finished it without you today :-)
    A three star at least for me

  19. Wozza
    Posted September 7, 2012 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

    Lounging in a beer garden in Chester for a weekend break and waiting for mrs W to come up by train made this an excellent 2 pint puzzle to pass the time.

    Many thanks to both.

    With no disrespect to the other bloggers whose skill and contribution I greatly appreciate, gazza you are top of the class for clarity, ease of read, humour and the right amount of hint IMHO. Many thanks indeed.

  20. Posted September 7, 2012 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

    22d last in. Very much a stop start day due to sons birthday celebrations. Could have done with something a bit less time consuming. 18a was my favourite. Regds to all.

  21. Sweet William
    Posted September 7, 2012 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

    I am interested by references above to GK clues – and having had a quick look reckon that about a third of the clues might be described as GK ? Is this unusual for a back page cryptic – it certainly “thwarted” me !

    • gazza
      Posted September 7, 2012 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

      Giovanni is probably more of a ‘GK’ setter than the other regular setters, but I wouldn’t say that any of the clues today required very specialised knowledge.

      • Sweet William
        Posted September 7, 2012 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

        Thank you Gazza. Guess I am just a bit short of GK !

        • mary
          Posted September 7, 2012 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

          me too :-(

  22. Annidrum
    Posted September 7, 2012 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

    At first run through I thought I was going to get nowhere with this,but very gradually it fell into place but needed help with 7d & the d’oh moment of 10a. I agree with Gazza’s star rating . Favourite clue was 9a & thanks Gazza for the photo of the very handsome Paul. Thanks to the two G’s. :smile:

  23. Derek
    Posted September 7, 2012 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

    Not one of the Don’s more difficult puzzles.
    Faves :9a, 19a, 21a, 7d, 16d & 17d.

    Fish tonight with a drop of NZ Sauvignon Blanc. Then rasps & cream.

  24. Heno
    Posted September 7, 2012 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to the two G’s. Quite enjoyed it but needed 6 of Gazza’s excellent hints to complete. Couldn’t get on the setter’s wavelength at all. Lovely day in Central London.

  25. Brian
    Posted September 8, 2012 at 12:08 am | Permalink

    Fabulous crossword, best for a long time and certainly the best of this very poor weeks offerings. For me 7d is probably the best crossword clue I have ever come across, just brilliant! Many thx to Giovanni for rescuing my week.

    • Qix
      Posted September 8, 2012 at 12:47 am | Permalink

      If 7d is the best clue you’ve ever seen, then you need to stay in more…

      …but it is a good puzzle.

  26. Stoic Stan
    Posted September 10, 2012 at 5:39 am | Permalink

    What a splendid Sunday evening, listening to the Guy Garvey show on the radio and pitting my wits against Giovanni’s puzzle. Got 18a straight away, but struggled with 9a until I had a “road to Damascus” moment myself. 15a went in last. Personally I am more au fait with the proper nouns than with rather obscure slang words for money, so no complaints from me, but I agree it was somewhat less analytical then usual. Favourites were 5d, 8d, and 21a. Thanks to Giovanni, Gazza and to all the commenters, especially the 2Kiwis who made me smile.

    • gazza
      Posted September 10, 2012 at 7:31 am | Permalink

      Stan,
      Your puzzle went into moderation because you’ve changed your alias since your last comment. Both should work from now on.