DT 26991

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26991

Hints and tips by Gazza

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Libellule and I have done a swap this week and he’ll be along tomorrow. Before I started to solve this Rufus puzzle I vowed not to use the words gentle and smooth, but having done it I can only describe it as gentle with many beautifully simple yet smooth clues, an excellent start to the week. Do give us a comment with your thoughts.
To reveal an answer just highlight the gap between the curly brackets under the clue.

Across Clues

1a  Paying for yourself twice — it’s incomprehensible (6,5)
{DOUBLE DUTCH} – something that sounds like gibberish could, cryptically, be paying your own share of the bill twice.

9a  When a fight should start? Not a moment too soon (5,4)
{ABOUT TIME} – split as (1,4,4) this could inform you when a contest in the ring is due to start.

10a  Live and prosper, lacking nothing (5)
{DWELL} – start with a phrase meaning to prosper (2,4) and take out (lacking) the letter that looks like zero or nothing.

11a  Angle of density? (6)
{OBTUSE} – double definition – an angle between 90 and 180 degrees and an adjective meaning dense or slow to understand.

12a  Writer’s addition that may be removed when it gets to the theatre (8)
{APPENDIX} – another double definition, this theatre being in a hospital.

13a  Group of soldiers in particular (6)
{DETAIL} – double definition, the second a noun meaning particular as in the phrase ‘you are correct in every particular’.

15a  Receiving regular payments, disposed to give lad a rise (8)
{SALARIED} – an anagram (disposed to give) of LAD A RISE.

18a  Production of Haydn’s oratorio (8)
{CREATION} – double definition, the second the title of an oratorio by Haydn.

19a  Learned person makes witticism, spoken in French (6)
{PUNDIT} – a charade of a witticism or play on words and the French past participle meaning spoken. Although we’ve seen it several times before it’s worth reproducing the BRB’s witty definition of this learned person: Someone who considers himself or herself an authority.

21a  They are paid by formal visitors (8)
{RESPECTS} – … who call to deliver polite greetings.

23a  Boy and girl being pretentious (2-2-2)
{LA-DI-DA} – a charade of a synonym for boy and a girl’s name.

26a  Some overseas lines (5)
{VERSE} – hidden (some) in the clue.

27a  A bloomer he made, being too fond of his image (9)
{NARCISSUS} – cryptic definition of the beautiful youth in Greek mythology who became infatuated with his own image in a pool of water, pined away and was turned into a flower.

28a  Minds centre around intelligence (11)
{DISCERNMENT} – an anagram (around) of MINDS CENTRE.

Down Clues

1d  Area inside American bases (7)
{DIAMOND} – cryptic definition of the area inside the four bases in an American sport.

2d  Vessel about to break up (1-4)
{U-BOAT} – an anagram (to break up) of ABOUT.

3d  Former habit of night work? (4,5)
{LATE SHIFT} – a charade of an adjective meaning former or deceased and a habit or garment.

4d  Having party at home is murder (2,2)
{DO IN} – combine a party (the festive rather than political sort) and an adverb meaning at home.

5d  He paints badly but he can act (8)
{THESPIAN} – an anagram (badly) of HE PAINTS.

6d  Avoid commitment that’s about agricultural land, perhaps (5)
{HEDGE} – double definition, the first a verb meaning to be evasive or avoid making a definitive statement.

7d  Slackened, becoming loose in a rush (7)
{RELAXED} – an adjective meaning loose or negligent goes inside a rush (a plant that grows on marshy ground).

8d  It’s a blow that has to be faced (8)
{HEADWIND} – cryptic definition of something blowing towards you and slowing you down.

14d  Worship money (8)
{TREASURE} – double definition.

16d  To laud in a new excess of flattery (9)
{ADULATION} – an anagram (new) of TO LAUD IN A.

17d  Satisfies all within (8)
{CONTENTS} – double definition, the first a verb meaning satisfies or makes happy.

18d  Two vehicles joined by a third one (7)
{CARAVAN} – two vehicles with A between them.

20d  Start in winding passage (7)
{TRANSIT} – an anagram (winding) of START IN produces a noun meaning passage or the carrying of goods or passengers from one place to another.

22d  Troops invading England’s boundaries? Correct (5)
{EMEND} – troops (ordinary soldiers) go inside the boundaries of E(nglan)D.

24d  Problem children (5)
{ISSUE} – double definition.

25d  Charge is about right on the house (4)
{FREE} – a charge, for professional services say, contains R(ight).

Four clues which I liked a lot (all seeming very simple, but beautifully constructed) were 10a, 1d, 18d and 24d.

Today’s Quickie Pun: {NOES} + {FAWN} + {EWES} = {NOSE FOR NEWS}



  1. Posted October 8, 2012 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    Nice straightforward puzzle today. Had a doh moment when I realised 20d was an anagram.. 23a is one we have had before wasn’t sure if it was Ida or Eda at first. Very enjoyable start to the week can’t argue with the BD rating of ** and ****.

    • Peter
      Posted October 8, 2012 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

      Strangely I didn’t find today’s as straightforward as normal for a Rufus, my favourite setter. Perhaps it was 3.5 hours out in the rain this morning which dampened my thought processes.
      Still, a pleasant start to the week. Thanks to Rufus and Gazza for the puzzle and hints.
      I liked 1a, possibly because it was the first clue in

  2. Colmce
    Posted October 8, 2012 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    Nothing wrong with smooth and gentle in my book, just what I needed on a dreary Monday morning.

    Finished with only one recourse to google, for the oratorio.

    Thanks to Gazza for the review and to Rufus for a pleasant interlude.

    Oh well, back to reality, washing and ironing day.

  3. Attila Thehun
    Posted October 8, 2012 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    Not enough balance between clue types for me, too many double definitions. But a simple start to the week for all that … and perhaps because of it.

  4. bifield
    Posted October 8, 2012 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    A gentle start to the week for me. Too many nice clues to pick a favourite. Definitely **/*** today. Thanks to Rufus & to Gazza for the review.

  5. Beaver
    Posted October 8, 2012 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    I have to score this enjoyable crossword ***/**** as i got stuck on 1d and 13a before ‘the base ball field ‘dawned and the remaining clues then slotted in, probably too much Robbies bitter ,last night!

    • Fred43
      Posted October 9, 2012 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

      Like you 1d was the last to go in. I eventually filled in Diamond as the only possible but needed this blog to explain why. However, the real reason for this reply is your closing comment. As an ex Stockport man now living in France, the thought of a pint of Robbie’s bitter makes me drool!!

  6. Jezza
    Posted October 8, 2012 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    A pleasant start to the week. 1a made me smile.
    Thanks to Rufus, and to Gazza.

  7. Domus
    Posted October 8, 2012 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    Perfecr puzzle for me – **/**** . Funny how in nearly all crosswords there is one word which I don’t know (pop star, plant, Greek god, actor). Today it was 1down.

    • Kath
      Posted October 8, 2012 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

      It’s how we learn things – great ammunition if someone tries to tell you that doing crosswords is SUCH a waste of time! :smile:

  8. Kath
    Posted October 8, 2012 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

    Like Beaver I got completely stuck with 1d, which I’m sure we must have had before, and 13a. Apart from my problems with those I agree that this was both gentle and smooth.
    I liked 1, 10 and 18a and 4, 18 and 24d.
    With thanks to Rufus and Gazza.
    Miserable day here – grey and drizzly.

  9. Tim C
    Posted October 8, 2012 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    I found it very enjoyable but had to revert to this blog to finish it. 19a and 8d both beat me. Still nearly finishing it is not bad for me when sometimes I can only just start it! ****/**** from me.

  10. crypticsue
    Posted October 8, 2012 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

    Smooth gentle straightforward – all those things – thank you to Rufus and to Gazza too.

    Fans of gentle with a smile might like to look at the Guardian Quiptic today. Available free on line – this one is by Arachne whose crosswords are always great fun.

    • gazza
      Posted October 8, 2012 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

      I agree that the Arachne is great fun and, by one of those weird coincidences, it has an alternative clue for 1a in this puzzle.

      • crypticsue
        Posted October 8, 2012 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

        I did wonder if it was ‘word of the week’ but haven’t found it anywhere else today :)

        • Franco
          Posted October 8, 2012 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

          Arachne on Twitter says “It’s Coincidence”. Hmmm? I believe her!

  11. mary
    Posted October 8, 2012 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

    Afternoon Gazza, what a great crossword, so many sharp, short funny clues (didn’t use smooth or gentle :-) ), thank you Rufus for a lovely start to Monday,although I did get stuck on the bottom Left corner for a bit, thanks for hints as usual Gazza, not needed today, too many nice clues to pick one favourite, oh go on then… 1a, 2d, 10a, 12a, 4d etc. etc. etc. :-D, enjoy this one everyone, who knows what comes tomorrow! ;-) , mild grey day here today

    • mary
      Posted October 8, 2012 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

      Just one thing 15a, ‘disposed to give’ is a very unusual anagram indicator isn’t it?

      • gazza
        Posted October 8, 2012 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

        I think you can see it as ‘arranged to provide’.

        • mary
          Posted October 8, 2012 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

          Yes but then Gazza doesn’t it sound as though it applies to the first part of the clue?

          • gazza
            Posted October 8, 2012 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

            Yes – I think it’s working backwards, i.e. the answer (salaried) can be arranged to produce ‘lad a rise’.

            • mary
              Posted October 8, 2012 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

              I see what you mean, ‘salaried’ disposed i.e. anagram of the answer which is salaried’ gives us ‘lad a rise’ very unusual I’ve never seen one like that before!?

  12. Jellybean
    Posted October 8, 2012 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

    Hi please can you tell what is meant by ‘charade’ when you are explaining the clue?

    • gazza
      Posted October 8, 2012 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

      Hi Jellybean – welcome to the blog.

      It’s explained, with examples, in BigDave’s Crossword Guide which you can reach via the FAQ or directly here.

  13. Wozza
    Posted October 8, 2012 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

    Well unusually I seem to have found this easier than others. Finished quite quickly and pleasant enough although it didnt really shine for me on a miserable wet day in Kent. 1*/3* for me.

    Thanks to both

  14. Big Boab
    Posted October 8, 2012 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

    1*/4* for me, thanks to Rufus and to Gazza.

  15. Brian
    Posted October 8, 2012 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    Very pleasant start to the week, for once I agree with the ratings :-)
    One point though, my copy of Chambers doesn’t show discernment 28a as Intelligence. Not a definition I would usually associate. But that’s just picky, my thx to Rufus for an enjoyable puzzle and to Gazza although I didn’t need his hints today.

  16. Derek
    Posted October 8, 2012 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

    The usual pleasant start to the week from Rufus,
    1a went in straight away – very understandably for me!

    Other faves : 11a, 12a, 18a, 1d, 3d, 14d & 20d.

    Weather here in NL started sunny this morning but it is now overcast and we are promised several rainy days.

    Grilled chicken for dinner this evening with a drop of Chinon!

    • andy
      Posted October 9, 2012 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

      Hi Derek, always a pleasure to hear your menu and wine choices, and of course to compare faves. Cheers

  17. phercott
    Posted October 8, 2012 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

    Lovely crossword. No peculiar words, no long rambling clues. A pleasure to solve. Thanks, Rufus

  18. Sweet William
    Posted October 8, 2012 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

    Finished, but found this more difficult to get started than the usual Rufus. Put the answers in for 1d and 18a – but had to look at the hints to make sure that they were correct. Usual problem with lack of GK !

    Weather not so good here on N Norfolk coast – more like home, and the birds don’t seem to like it either – so able to finish puzzle earlier due to rain showers. The drawback is that Mrs SW escaped to do some shopping in Burnham Market………..

    Thanks to Rufus and Gazza for your review.

    • Sweet William
      Posted October 8, 2012 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

      I have just played 18a – excellent ! which reminds me that on the way here we stopped in Cambridge and heard the Kings College Choir in concert with the Vienna Boys Choir……..brilliant !

      • andy
        Posted October 8, 2012 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

        Was that last Thursday Sweet William? If so I was there too, I recognised some of the Haydn and Purcell but am on the look out for recordings of unknown, but beautiful renditions heard there.

        • Sweet William
          Posted October 9, 2012 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

          Yes Andy ! We were there ! We had our trip to Norfolk booked ages ago and it suddenly dawned on me a couple of months ago that we could go via Cambridge and hear the choir. A bit of luck really, I think their term only started again on the previous Monday. We really enjoyed the evening, and walking up and down Trumpington Street looking through the college gates at the beautiful buildings and gardens. I think we would like to return sometime and hear the choir on their own at evensong rather than in concert. We always listen to the radio 3 Carol service on Christmas Eve and then again the televised version at 6.30 ! It is something we have always wanted to do and it was wonderful !

  19. Hrothgar
    Posted October 8, 2012 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

    So elegant, and many a chuckle eg 1a and 19a.
    And if it’s Rufus, there has to be a vessel (2d)
    Thanks Rufus and Gazza.

  20. 2Kiwis
    Posted October 8, 2012 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

    Agree with all the above comments. We had also saved the NTSPP from the weekend so we wouldn’t have the empty feeling of only one smooth, gentle puzzle on a Monday. (We know we could go to the Grauniad but that feels ‘unfaithful’). This system worked for us. Two very good puzzles. Thanks Rufus and Gazza.

  21. asterix
    Posted October 8, 2012 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

    A mercifully benevolent puzzle today, which falleth as the gentle rain from heaven.
    (And boy did it fall today…:-)

  22. Heno
    Posted October 8, 2012 at 10:57 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Rufus and to Gazza for the review & hints. I thought about 1.5* for difficulty & 3* for enjoyment. A very gentle start to the week. Favourites were 1a and 1d. Weather horrible in Central London.

  23. Bob
    Posted October 9, 2012 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    1d was a bit of a strange one. Its not even a diamond, its square. What is American football anyway. Does anyone watch it?

    • gazza
      Posted October 9, 2012 at 10:26 am | Permalink

      I’m not sure if you’re being serious, but the American sport is baseball and the baseball field is called a diamond.