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DT 26986

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26986

Hints and tips by Gazza

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

Today’s puzzle has the feel of a Petitjean (as always I could be wrong). It does contain one totally new word for me but I did find it very enjoyable. Tell us how you got on.
The answers are concealed between the curly brackets under the clues. Highlight the gap to make them visible.

Across Clues

1a  Penelope in ‘Some Like It Hot’? (5)
{KEITH} – the surname of an actress called Penelope is concealed in the clue (unfortunately it’s not Ms. Cruz).

4a  Claimant‘s ugly pet (9)
{PLAINTIFF} – a charade of an adjective meaning ugly or unattractive and a pet or display of irritation.

9a  At home with dishonest office-holder (9)
{INCUMBENT} – string together a short word meaning at home, a preposition from latin meaning combined with and a slang word for dishonest.

10a  Good German car? Spanish designer! (5)
{GAUDI} – G(ood) followed by a German car marque gives us the name of a Spanish architect whose most famous work is the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona (begun in 1886 and due to be finished mañana).

11a  Where sleeper may find overnight accommodation (7)
{EARLOBE} – cryptic definition – sleeper here is something inanimate that ladies (mainly) use at night.

12a  In retirement boxer is the opposite of romantic (7)
{REALIST} – the most famous boxer of the twentieth century goes inside overnight retirement.

13a  Wet blanket getting soggier (6)
{DAMPER} – double definition, the first being someone who spreads gloom or despondency.

15a  Magnificent woods run wild (8)
{WONDROUS} – an anagram (wild) of WOODS RUN.

18a  Ready for expedition Livingstone finally cracked (8)
{EQUIPPED} – the final letter of (Livingston)E is followed by a synonym for cracked (a joke).

20a  Whispering walls of château? (6)
{MURMUR} – … a couple of French walls.

23a  Support overwhelming single trailblazer (7)
{PIONEER} – a supporting structure (especially one projecting into the sea) contains (overwhelming) a synonym for single.

24a  Giant in fairy story (7)
{WHOPPER} – double definition, a fairy story being a fabrication.

26a  Broadcast influenced kid (5)
{SUEDE} – the definition here is a type of leather which sounds like (broadcast) a verb meaning influenced or won round.

27a  Concept records for dreamers (9)
{IDEALISTS} – a charade of a concept and tabulated records.

28a  Femme fatale needs time before perm sets in new style (9)
{TEMPTRESS} – T(ime) is followed by an anagram (in new style) of PERM SETS.

29a  Fear entry to dean’s study (5)
{DREAD} – the initial (entry) letter of D(ean) is followed by a verb to study (especially as a university subject).

Down Clues

1d  Anchor retaining unusually fine balance (5,4)
{KNIFE EDGE} – the word for anchor is a new one for me. As far as I can make out it’s a small secondary anchor used to limit the amount that an anchored yacht can swing round (I’m sure that Pommers will be able to explain it much better than I can). It contains (retaining) an anagram (unusually) of FINE.

2d  Drain curacao bottles to suffer (5)
{INCUR} – the answer is hidden (bottles) in the clue.

3d  Stock ingredient of Rambo — hard rather than right, and outwardly naive (3,4)
{HAM BONE} – start with Rambo, then replace the R(ight) with H(ard). Finally add the outer letters of N(aiv)E.

4d  Favour for each grasping judge (6)
{PREFER} – a preposition meaning for each (as in ‘you have to pay £10 for each kilo over your luggage limit’) goes round (grasping) an abbreviated sporting judge.

5d  Where waiter might be found? (8)
{ANTEROOM} – cryptic definition. Think of waiter as ‘someone waiting (for an appointment, say)’ rather than a restaurant employee.

6d  One who’s close but pullin’ back (7)
{NIGGARD} – close here means miserly or mean. Reverse (back) a present participle meaning pulling or hauling but drop the final G to match the clue.

7d  Union firm about wearing khaki or similar (2,7)
{IN UNIFORM} – an anagram (about) of UNION FIRM.

8d  Fellow is not commonly liable to lose consciousness (5)
{FAINT} – F(ellow) is followed by a common (but frowned upon by many) way of contracting ‘is not’.

14d  Gloomy place a wretched louse is held in silence (9)
{MAUSOLEUM} – this is a word for a building housing one or more tombs, but it has evolved to mean a gloomy place. A followed by an anagram (wretched) of LOUSE are held inside the sort of silence that you are urged to keep.

16d  Lost for words with dire Spurs thrashed (9)
{SURPRISED} – a clue designed to raise BD’s blood pressure? This is an anagram (thrashed) of DIRE SPURS.

17d  Air needs to be recycled where passenger sits (8)
{NEARSIDE} – this relates specifically to a front-seat passenger in a motor vehicle. It’s an anagram (to be recycled) of AIR NEEDS.

19d  Excuse message before starting (7)
{PRETEXT} – a short message delivered to a mobile device is preceded (starting) by a prefix meaning before.

21d  Squeaky clean? (7)
{UNOILED} – double definition, clean in the sense of not stained with grease.

22d  Cute plainclothes officer in country attire (6)
{TWEEDS} – an adjective meaning cute or quaint is followed by the abbreviation for a CID officer who’s reached the first rung on the promotion ladder.

23d  Job to admit one put forward (5)
{POSIT} – a job or position has I (one) inserted to make a verb meaning to put forward something as the basis of an argument.

25d  No longer fashionable to scrape through finals with poor grade (5)
{PASSÉ} – a verb meaning to achieve a university degree without honours is followed by a low academic mark.

My top clues today were 11a, 26a and 22d. Let me know what you liked.

Today’s Quickie Pun: {TURNIP} + {RISE} = {TURNER PRIZE}

60 comments on “DT 26986

  1. I struggled a bit in places but got there in the end. I enjoyed doing it very much. Thanks to setter & to Gazza for the review.

  2. I enjoyed this one very much. 3.5*/4* for me.
    Many thanks to setter, and to gazza.

    I wondered whether the second definition of 21d was alluding to clean (from alcohol or drugs).

    1. 21d Quite possibly – I hadn’t thought of that meaning of oiled, being a very clean-living person. :D

  3. This was a real struggle for me, but eventually ground it out.
    Good clean fun though.

    Thanks for the review, needed to sort out some of the word play.

    Thanks to the setter.

    Quickie pun, is it just me or is the shortlist a load of pretentious rubbish with very little merit?

  4. Good morning Gazza, I’m wondering which was the new word for you? I agree a three star for me today, I found 3/4 relatively straight forward but struggled with the last few, last in for me were 23d and 26a, lots of clues I liked but fav for me was 18a today, didn’t need the blog today but needed my usual ‘help’ to finish, thanks once again to Gazza

  5. I know this isn’t relevant but we used to call anyone who lived more than a mile outside Carmarthen town and came into town especially on Saturday nights ‘hambones’ !

  6. I enjoyed this one very much but thought that it put up quite a fight. Probably nearer a 4* for difficulty for me.
    I hadn’t heard of the Spanish designer but, luckily for me, I could only think of one German car with four letters. I was slow to understand 12a – always forget that boxer. I was also slow to get 20a and 21d.
    I’ve got SO many little red splodges (clues that I particularly liked) that I’ll just choose a few at random – 18 and 24a and 21 and 22d.
    I’m not good at spotting which setter it is (unless it’s Ray T) but I vaguely thought about Petitjean too.
    With thanks to Petitjean, or Mr Ron, and to Gazza.

  7. Too hard for me. I dont speak French, and hadn’t come across the words niggard or sleeper in that context. If only they were my only challenges! 4*/2*. Perhaps one for the middle pages I think

    Thanks to both.


  8. This was more of a 2* for me, with one exception: 26a. No idea what took me so long to get it.

    Other comments:
    11a Being an ageing hippy I guessed this one fairly easily, because I used to have to wear one
    20a Didn’t know the French for walls, but it was what it had to be when the cross letters were in
    5d Knew the word, but only got it when all the cross letters were in
    6d Although I knew the word, I didn’t know the meaning but worked it out because of the word play

    I enjoyed it but feel a bit cheated. Yesterday and today have been a bit of a breeze, and I like a bit more of a challenge. Now hoping the toughie is a little harder.

  9. Very enjoyable harder than I thought as first few clues fell into place easily but then got more intricate, ***/***

  10. Found this very difficult today – and therefore pleased to finish without hints, took me ages – but need help please with 11a. Put the answer in – as the electronic device said it could not be anything else, and I am afraid your hint hasn’t helped Gazza ! Being a bit thick today.

    Thank you setter for the enjoyable challenge and Gazza for your review and forthcoming explanation of 11a !!

  11. I too thought must be Petitjean after I had solved a couple of clues. Definitely 4* fun, thank you Petitjean.

    The Beam Toughie requires a chapeau (or even onion seller’s beret) but is both tough enough and gettable with a bit of d’oh-ing.

    The greatest fun today has to be Arachne in the Graun.

      1. For a start off, I start early and am a very fast solver. And sometimes, it can be a case of ‘when the cat’s away’ – please don’t tell the ‘cat’! :)

  12. Bit of a struggle today, but eventually I cracked it all except for the SW corner. So I had to call upon Gazza’s excellent hints.

    I’ve stopped doing the puzzle on the Ipad and returned to the version in the newspaper. I seems easier in the paper, somehow. Or is it because I can put markers in where the answer’s two words and write in guesses very lightly?

    I wasn’t keen on “a preposition from latin meaning combined with” in 9a and I didn’t know that the answer to 14d “has evolved to mean a gloomy place”. But I thought 3d was clever. And Gazzer, I would have liked 22d if I’d understood it, despite reading lots of detective stories!

    Thanks to the setter, whoever he may be, but somehow I preferred yesterday’s Rufus

    1. 22d It’s quite tricky walking the line between giving a hint and spelling out the answer. The plainclothes officer is DS (Detective Sergeant).

    1. Have you seen the post about the workshops in Bridge? Gnomey and I are going to the first one.

  13. Not quite as enjoyable as yesterday and definitely a little trickier. Last in 22d. Bottom right hand corner held me. *** and *** from me.

    Regds to all.

    1. I think ***/**** is about right,best of week so far! yesterdays was a bit too gentle. I agree that there were some tricky clues ie 26and 5d,also 20a as i spelt the ‘second wall ‘ ‘mer ‘Very enjoyable anyway.I had heard of kedge and thought it must be an anchor to give the solution to 1d . Had a vague memory that a sleeper was a kind of earring, unlike Piglet above,i never wore one!Thanks all.

      1. I tend to agree. I like to add my rating because I think it adds to the overall debate. Ratings can be influenced by many external factors. For some reason I find a puzzle a bit easier if I’ve not done one for a day or two. Obviously they can be harder if I’m a bit under the weather, etc.

        Don’t get me wrong I enjoyed today’s puzzle but no clue was as good as yesterday’s 1984 clue.

        So I have to disagree, yesterday was better because of that one clue… For me anyway.

  14. Many thanks to the setter for a most enjoyable and quite tricky crossword and to Gazza for a most entertaining review.

    1. Heh! – very unfortunate timing as I am pretty sure that the puzzle was submitted before that amusing result ;-)

  15. Good afternoon Gazza and thanks for the hints, although I only made scant reference to them today. One or two nice clues but I think 1d caught my fancy. There are three principle types of anchor: Kedge being the one most people would be familiar with, used on all modern warships, where the head rocks on a shaft to dig into the seabed. When tucked up into the holes either side of the bow (hawses), all we see is the two blades. The second is the Plough – self explanatory – and used on smaller craft. Finally we have the Admiralty Pattern. Think of Victory; the blades are at ninety degrees to the yoke.
    Lecture over – sorry – most enjoyable puzzle, thanks to setter.

  16. Wow that was tough! Surely a 4 star or at least it was for me. Got lots of answers without fully understanding the clue. Don’t get 20a at all, what has it to do with a Chateau or walls? Never heard of 23d, new one on me. Still don’t get 11a, sleeper – earlobe? Did like 18a and 12a, good excuse to show the great man again. Thx to Gazza for the explanations and to the setter for providing a real challenge.

    1. 20 across in the french language a mur is a wall, so walls =murmur. (I did have to look it up – my french not that good!)

    2. Hi Brian a ‘sleeper’ was or is a small gold hoop put into the hole in ones earlob,e made my getting ones ears pierced, they are used during the night to stop the hole closing up for the first few weeks after piercing, don’t think they are used so much anymore :-D

      1. I think that they are no longer used immediately after piercing because they are supposed to be turned round frequently to stop them sticking. With sleepers that means parts of the sleeper that have been exposed to the air go inside so increasing the risk of infection. Studs are used now so that the only bit inside the new piercing is always the same bit – that’s not very clear and I rather wish that I’d never started!!

    3. A simple gold ring which those with pierced ears use overnight to stop the hole healing up is a sleeper.

    4. I always think it is brave of the solvers to give a rating as people think on many different wavelengths. For example I know when BD give a 3* it’s going to be a four for me. Yet despite most people rating it as difficult, today was a 2* for me. Despite the odd words it all just slotted into place. That’s not to say I’m feeling smug or clever, it’s just the way we grapple with different setters and sometimes get on “their wavelength”..
      Ray T used to be my nightmare….yet I simply kept persevering and persevering, got frustrated a few (okay many) times….but got their in the end. Now come Thursday I’m disappointed if it’s not a RayT.
      As an interesting aside my wife and I run a micro business making quality country jams and preserves which we mainly sell from our front gate with an honesty box. Almost every thursday someone would “steal” a jar of our piccalilli, needless to say he was christened RayT……..then one morning an envelope was pushed through our letter box with all the missing money. So RayT all was forgiven :-). And no that wasn’t the day when I “got” on RayT’s wavelength. Getting the money back was enough of a fairy story.
      In along winded way what I’m trying to say Brian, is keep at it, it will come. Just don’t expect to “get it” overnight.

      1. Nigel – that was a wonderful analogy!
        The wavelength thing is a very good point. I have to stop myself going into ‘autopilot’ foor some setters (RayT included) as I always draw a blank and force myself to break down words in terms of synonyms (mainly in his case) to build up the solution. If I don’t I get about 3 clues on the first run through.

    5. Thx to all who took the trouble to comment on my post. Mrs B gave up in disgust with the comment that to do the DT puzzle these days you need a working knowledge of French, German, Latin and Greek together with a smattering of American! She’s not a linguist!

      1. I would expect a certain level acquaintance with all those languages in someone who was attempting a Cryptic Crossword, Brian.
        “Le chat est sur le mur” is surely something that we have all heard at school for one or two years?.

  17. Thanks to Pettijean & to Gazza for the review & hints. Enjoyed this a lot, there were a few clues to make you think. So 3* for difficulty & 4* for enjoyment. First two in were 2d & 1a, both hidden. Favourites were 6d & 22d. 6d was a word I had heard of, that caused storm when mentioned in Canada regarding budgets, and was taken as a racial slur, although that was not It’s meaning. Finished with 26a & 18a. Weather not bad in Central London.

  18. Managed to let myself get led up every blind alley possible, but enjoyed evey minute, especially 1a. Thanks to the setter and gazza for putting me back on the right track more than once.

    1. The primary aim of Petitjean (for it is he!) in his crossword workshop will apparently deal with just this sort of thing Mr Tub – not so much the recognition of clue types (as that can be picked up elsewhere at one’s leisure) but more the ways to get off the garden path when that is all that you can see. Personally I see that as more valuable – the insertion of the mental crowbar in a smooth surface reading has always been my problem!.

      In any case I had clocked this one as a Ti-Jean production so was gratified to have it confirmed. I certainly enjoyed it and was not too baffled by the unknown nautical term (my third to last in) as I shrugged my shoulders then looked it up in Chambers.

      Thanks to Petitjean and to gazza for the (as usual) excellent review.

  19. I loved this to-day,definitely ****fun but I needed the explanation for 1d. I’m surprised the setter is Petitjean as usually I find him pretty tough but I must have been on his wavelength today.Thanks to setter & Gazza. :smile:

  20. Thoroughly enjoyed this one but needed hints for 4a & d – not sure why, they just would not CLICK! Also needed Gazza for some explanations even though I did, remarkably, have the correct answers – i.e. 20a, couldn’t be anything else, but my school French was lacking! Am not too sure about 16d – is it really a synonym for “lost for words”? At a stretch, I suppose – along with lots of others. Thanks to setter for an enjoyable solve and Gazza for the help.

  21. 10a reminds me of an old advert for the Rover 800, which had dialogue in German. It featured a German guy who had bought a Rover rather than the unnamed (but clearly German) alternative, and finished outside the Staatsgalerie in Stuttgart, with the line, “Britischer Architekt”.

    …I guess you had to be there.

    1. “Vorsprung durch Technik” – That’s what the English AA man said to me every time I needed assistance with my Audi! Ok! Only once!

  22. Rushed through this one before going off to Bridge. Only now (next morning for us), going through the blog and comments, are we really appreciating how good many of the clues are. Thanks Petitjean and Gazza.

  23. Quite hard, I thought.
    Finished with wanting four in the SE corner but once I got tweeds, most of the rest came.
    Thanks Petitjean and Gazza.

  24. To Nigel et al. At the risk of repeating myself, i can’t remember who, used to post on this blog to avoid saying solving times converted it to time spent on the london underground between stations. I’d have to convert them to time on the east coast mainline between peterborough and edinburgh and Glasgow if Elgar involved. My point is a 3 * difficullty might be leeds for me, but 3 underground stops for someone else, does it matter ? Sliding scale Imho. Bravo to the bloggers who have to make those judgements, I couldn’t

  25. Like many others, I really enjoyed this puzzle. Several times, on the brink of giving up, I had a flash of inspiration and managed to make a little more progress. Eventually got stuck on 14d so finally stopped with 3 missing, but otherwise did ok. Thanks to Petitjean for the puzzle, to Gazza for the help and to bloggers for the banter.

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