DT 27228

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27228

Hints and tips by Gazza

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

I was held up in the NE corner so I’ve given this one above average marks for difficulty, but as usual with Giovanni the clues are all very fair and the whole thing is enjoyable. Let us know how you fared.

To see an actual answer you’ll have to highlight what’s hidden between the brackets under the clue. If you’re the proud owner of a mobile device there’s some help on how to do this in the FAQ.

Across Clues

1a  A civil rector sadly becoming too judgmental (12)
{OVERCRITICAL} – an anagram (sadly) of A CIVIL RECTOR.

9a  Get rid of French author, tearing page right out (4)
{OUST} – remove (tearing … out) the P(age) and R(ight) from the start of the name of a French novelist.

10a  Make absolute assertions as scoundrel — friend is being taken in (9)
{DOGMATISE} – start with a metaphor for scoundrel and add a friend with IS inserted. We are more used to seeing the adjectival form of this verb.

12a  Socialist finding heavenly types wrong-headed (6)
{ENGELS} – change the leading letter (wrong-headed) of heavenly types to get the German socialist who was co-author of the Communist Manifesto.

13a  A little creature, one day buried, to become a fossil (8)
{AMMONITE} – this fossil that looks like a ram’s horn comes from A and a small parasite with the abbreviation for one of the days of the week inserted (buried).

15a  Stealing from employer? Naughty to grin about that (10)
{TROUSERING} – an informal word for stealing that always makes me think of P G Wodehouse comes from someone employing or utilising with an anagram (naughty) of TO GRIN around him.

16a  Monk‘s rosary component, we hear (4)
{BEDE} – this venerable monk sounds like one of the things strung on a rosary.

18a  Army needs something to give uplift, having lost heart (4)
{HOST} – a piece of equipment used to lift heavy objects without the I at its heart.

20a  Feast is meagre — Lent possibly? (10)
{REGALEMENT} – this is an old word for a lavish feast. It’s an anagram (possibly) of MEAGRE LENT.

23a  Goes on making money from enterprise (8)
{PROCEEDS} – double definition, the second can be legitimate earnings but is often used to describe what’s obtained by criminal activity.

24a  Performer in the belfryguest brought in by team? (6)
{RINGER} – another double definition, the second a top player temporarily brought into a team (often under a false name) to give that team a competitive advantage.

26a  A bishop captured by member of indigenous tribe? That’ll make a story (9)
{NARRATIVE} – insert A and the two-letter abbreviation for a bishop into a member of an indigenous tribe.

27a  Civility depleted at the core in business community (4)
{CITY} – take out the central four letters of civility to leave a shorthand way of referring to the business community in London.

28a  Piece of cloth worker presented to King and Queen first (12)
{HANDKERCHIEF} – this is a charade of a) a manual worker, b) the chess abbreviation for king, c) the cipher of our Queen and d) an adjective meaning first or primary.

Down Clues

2d  It’s alive, moving! Get going! (8)
{VITALISE} – an anagram (moving) of IT’S ALIVE.

3d  Some of our ideas for a jaunt? (4)
{RIDE} – hidden (some) in the clue.

4d  Army unit’s American soldier joining this person in charge (10)
{REGIMENTAL} – the ‘S here is an essential part of the definition, i.e. the definition is ‘belonging to an army unit’. Insert the abbreviation for an American private soldier and the objective pronoun that the setter uses for himself (this person) inside the recurring charge for the hire of something.

5d  Kid eating ‘uge pile that is on the meal table? (6)
{TEAPOT} – a very young child contains (eating) a large pile without its leading H (to match the ‘uge in the clue).

6d  Copper is at home and wife’s finishing cooking (7)
{CUISINE} – string together the chemical symbol for copper, IS (from the clue), an adverb meaning at home and the finishing letter of (wif)E.

7d  They will get at the truth — i.e. secret told after torturing (3,9)
{LIE DETECTORS} – an anagram (after torturing) of I.E. SECRET TOLD.

8d  Very keen to get muck reduced on top of house (4-2)
{GUNG-HO} – this is a slang term meaning very enthusiastic (especially about getting involved in warfare). Start with a mucky sticky substance and drop the last letter (reduced) then add (on top of, in a down clue) the abbreviation for house.

11d  Suffered financially and was uncomfortable in Oxford maybe (4,3,5)
{FELT THE PINCH} – double definition, the second cryptic. The Oxford here is a type of shoe and it would appear to be a bit tight.

14d  Drunk diner, one moving quickly around, becoming more affectionate? (10)
{FRIENDLIER} – an anagram (drunk) of DINER with someone who moves quickly around it.

17d  This person cried stupidly about love being ‘ordinary’ (8)
{MEDIOCRE} – start with ‘this person’ (the same one who made an appearance in 4d) and follow this with an anagram (stupidly) of CRIED containing the letter resembling zero or love in tennis.

19d  Short recreational activity organised? See it at Highland Games (7)
{SPORRAN} – a recreational activity without its final T (short) is followed by a verb meaning organised or managed.

21d  Important? Not leader getting pretty old (6)
{EIGHTY} – this is pretty old for a human being (but not for a giant tortoise). An adjective meaning important or serious loses its initial letter (not leader).

22d  Comment when singer Billy J. gets upset? (6)
{REMARK} – reverse (gets upset) the surname of the English pop singer who had some fame in the 1960s with his band The Dakotas.

25d  Rachel’s sister in meadow lying on top of hay (4)
{LEAH} – this is Rachel’s elder sister in the Old Testament. They were both (at the same time) married to Jacob (I suppose if you want to have two wives there is some advantage in marrying sisters because you only get one mother-in-law). A poetic word for a meadow precedes (lying on, in a down clue) the top letter of H(ay).

The clues I liked most today were 9a, 7d and 11d. Do reveal which ones topped your charts.

Today’s Quickie Pun: {PLAGUE} + {ROUND} = {PLAYGROUND}


49 Comments

  1. Jezza
    Posted July 12, 2013 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    My last couple of answers (24a and then 21d) pulled this from an otherwise 2* to 4* time for me.
    Very enjoyable – thanks to Giovanni, and to Gazza.

    I didn’t find the toughie too tricky today, and got through it quicker than this one.

  2. Zeet Scooter
    Posted July 12, 2013 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    Struggled a bit today as wife kept interrupting complaining about the heat here in Cyprus. Of course, it’s the same every year and its not even peak season yet!!! Never mind soon got going again and managed to scrape home eventually. Really enjoyed today’s puzzle

    • Wayne
      Posted July 12, 2013 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

      As a matter of interest ZS, which part of Cyprus do you live in. We recently spent 3 weeks in Pissouri Bay (mid- june) and it was hot and humid then.

  3. Paul Smith
    Posted July 12, 2013 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    Have to confess I found another four letter word that fitted 9a (DUCT), so thanks for the tips as always, and the explanation.

  4. Rabbit Dave
    Posted July 12, 2013 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    Unlike Gazza (and unlike yesterday) I found the NE corner straightforward today, but I got held up by the NW – perhaps having Proust and Engels so close together threw me?

    I am going for ***/*** for this very enjoyable Friday puzzle, with lots of excellent and amusing clues. Many thanks to Giovanni and to Gazza.

    • Rabbit Dave
      Posted July 12, 2013 at 11:36 am | Permalink

      P.S. Gazza – loved your pic for 24a :smile: England could have done with Fiery Fred yesterday!

  5. Graham
    Posted July 12, 2013 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    I had the wrong tense for 11D which made 15A impossible to get. This was a stiffer offering but thoroughly enjoyable, many thanks to gazza for the review which was needed today

    • Merusa
      Posted July 12, 2013 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

      Me, too. By the time I realised my error, it made 15a my last one in

  6. skempie
    Posted July 12, 2013 at 11:45 am | Permalink

    I got held up on 25D as I had Narration in for 26A (seemed perfectly reasonable to me) and not being a scholar of the OT really had to look long and hard at all my answers down there. The embarrassing bit is that 25D is my youngest niece’s name. D’Oh.

  7. 2Kiwis
    Posted July 12, 2013 at 11:51 am | Permalink

    A top puzzle that we really appreciated. We had noted 4/4 beside the grid. Quite a hard solve but one of those where results came steadily rather than in “log jams”, (if that makes sense). Too many good ones to pick a favourite.
    Thanks Giovanni and Gazza.

  8. njm
    Posted July 12, 2013 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    Plugged away at this amongst other things throughout the morning, finished without Gazza’s help (BIG improvement on yesterday!!). I was held up on 19d in the SW corner, so ***/*** for me, ignoring the protracted time, which was my fault as much as the compiler’s. BTW is 10a a made up word??
    Thanks to Gazza and Giovanni.

    • gazza
      Posted July 12, 2013 at 11:57 am | Permalink

      Dogmatise is a valid verb, but we don’t come across it much (unlike dogmatic).

  9. Colmce
    Posted July 12, 2013 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

    Wrong tense for 11d…clearly clued!…made 15a impossible, apart from that no problems on an enjoyable puzzle.

    Thanks for the review, needed to sort out the above.

    Thanks to the setter.

  10. neveracrossword
    Posted July 12, 2013 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

    I found this much easier than yesterday’s. Very enjoyable – it helped to distract me from the cricket.

  11. Michael
    Posted July 12, 2013 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    I put MEAGRE LENT into my anagram program and it came up with ?????????? amongst others but I dismissed it because I had never heard of it – it was the last clue to go in!

    Very enjoyable!

  12. Brian
    Posted July 12, 2013 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

    Superb puzzle, needed a bit of thinking but surely not 4* for difficulty.
    4* for enjoyment though.
    Thx to the Don and to Gazza.

  13. BigBoab
    Posted July 12, 2013 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Giovanni for a thoroughly enjoyable puzzle and to Gazza for an equally enjoyable review.

  14. una
    Posted July 12, 2013 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

    It was the north- west corner that did for me.One minor ailment cleared up and one to go soon I hope.Slightly more concentration available and therefore enjoyed it more than yesterday.Thanks to both Gs.Favourite : 11d.

  15. angel
    Posted July 12, 2013 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

    Yesssss!…. this one beats the unamusing grind of recent puzzles. **/****. Look forward to more similar entertainment.

  16. Expat Chris
    Posted July 12, 2013 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    I made heavy weather of this and needed hints for 10A and 13A and the explanation for 4D. Very pleased to have worked out 15A, another of those peculiarly British slang words that have appeared since I moved over the pond. Loved 5D 28A. Thanks to Giovanni and Gazza.

    • skempie
      Posted July 12, 2013 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

      Its a peculiarly British slang word that seems to have appeared only in crossword land I’m afraid (despite it being in the BRB)

  17. Catherine
    Posted July 12, 2013 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

    As always a very enjoyable Friday puzzle from Giovanni. Could not finish either puzzle yesterday so was happy to have this one today. Did have to ask my geologist husband for help on 13a. Thanks for the picture of it Gazza. I believe we even have one or two around the house!
    Many thanks again to Giovanni and to gazza.

    • skempie
      Posted July 12, 2013 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

      We have two built into out fireplace (built by my father). The area I live in is renowned for them, the old folk law being that a Welsh or Irish witch/wise woman came over and put a spell on the area which had been overrun by snakes, all the snakes then curled up and died and what we have are their skeletons. The Witch/wise woman was known as Keyna and was canonised for her work on the snake. The town is named after her – Keynsham

      • gazza
        Posted July 12, 2013 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

        Keynsham, for me, will forever be associated with Horace Batchelor who used to advertise his ‘infra-draw’ method for winning the football pools on Radio Luxembourg. On each of his many adverts he would spell out the name of his town as K-E-Y-N-S-H-A-M.

        • crypticsue
          Posted July 12, 2013 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

          Oh that takes me back. Hiding a transistor radio under the pillow in order to listen to Radio Luxembourg late at night while my parents thought I was fast asleep :)

          • Kath
            Posted July 12, 2013 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

            Couldn’t have put it differently, or any better, myself. :smile:

            • Annidrum
              Posted July 12, 2013 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

              Me too. Loved it and on a Sunday we really had to make sure our parents were sleeping as we weren’t allowed to listen to the raidio on a Sunday!

              • Bluebird
                Posted July 12, 2013 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

                Didn’t you love those tiny little trannies?
                Friday night was 208 night.
                Use the word nowadays and it means something entirely other!

                • Kath
                  Posted July 12, 2013 at 11:19 pm | Permalink

                  I almost don’t dare to ask but what DOES it mean now? Do hope that it’s not another thing that I wished I hadn’t asked! :smile:

                  • KiwiColin
                    Posted July 12, 2013 at 11:28 pm | Permalink

                    Suspect there is some clever misdirection there with “tiny little trannies” being the clue for “diminutive cross-dressers”.
                    Cheers

        • skempie
          Posted July 12, 2013 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

          His old house is on the main A4 between Keynsham and Saltford (it is now actually in Saltford parish boundary). It has had a few uses since dear old Horace left us – a hotel, a nursing home and currently a set of apartments.
          Keynsham was also the name of an album by The Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band and is the birthplace of Judd Trump and Marcus Trescothick. Bill Bailey also spent much of his childhood here.
          Anything else you need to know?

          • skempie
            Posted July 12, 2013 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

            Oh, nearly forgot, we also had a brewery here called the Nursery Brewing Co who named most of their beers after nursery rhyme characters (Jack Horner, Oat King Cole and the such) but also produced one special brew called That’s Keynsham spelled K.E.Y.N.S.H.A.M.

  18. Only fools
    Posted July 12, 2013 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

    Quality puzzle which I enjoyed .I too liked 13a as I live near some Jurassic cliffs where there are thousands of them , many of which are preserved in iron pyrite ,plus it was a lovely clue .

    Thanks to Giovanni and Gazza .

  19. Sweet William
    Posted July 12, 2013 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

    Difficult, but with the help of Mrs SW managed to finish. Thank you DG for an enjoyable puzzle and Gazza for your review. Thanks also for the wonderful weather in Devon !

  20. Toni
    Posted July 12, 2013 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

    Managed to finish except for 20a like Michael google and anagram solvers were no help
    Found it quite hard, never really got into a rhythm

  21. Merusa
    Posted July 12, 2013 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

    While this was not a pushover and required a lot of “lateral thinking”, I managed to finish without any real problems. Such a change from yesterday, which I gave up on as had too much to do rather than sit around and look at blank squares! I just could not get onto the wavelength yesterday but today was great. I started out slowly, but the down clues were a lot easier and I galloped on from there. Again, I had the wrong tense in 11d and could not get 15a, then I remembered the Brit slang word from a few months ago and that completed my puzzle.

    Thank you G&G for a pleasant start to the day.

  22. Beaver
    Posted July 12, 2013 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

    Seemed to be on the wavelength today and was surprised at the****, but that’s how it goes, sometimes it’s the other way round-going for a ***/***.Thanks Gazza for the usual informative Blog; agree with Rabbit Dave that an Aussie number 11 would never have scored 98 against Fred, he would soon have had him out or spitting teeth! Oh and I too remembered the infamous ‘infra draw method’, sounds like a title of a Sherlock Holmes mystery.

  23. Rosie G
    Posted July 12, 2013 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

    Gardening took precedence today but I really enjoyed this once I settled down to it. For me **/****. Only clue I really could not get was 15a, an expression I am not familiar with. Really liked the 4 long clues and 13 a. Thanks to Giovanni and Gazza

  24. Kath
    Posted July 12, 2013 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

    I must have been on the right wave length today so was surprised to see gazza’s 4* for difficulty. It’s very rare that my number of stars is less than that of the blogger. I’d go for 2* difficulty and 4* for enjoyment.
    I don’t think I’ve heard of that meaning for 20a. I took a while to sort out why 8d was what it was – I didn’t think of ‘gunge’ – could only think of ‘gunk’ which just didn’t work. I didn’t know the second definition of 24a.
    I liked all four of the long clues round the outside plus 15a and 5 and 8d.
    With thanks to Giovanni and gazza.

    • Kath
      Posted July 12, 2013 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

      PS – Re gazza’s comment in his hint for 21d have just decided that my Mum must be a giant tortoise – she’ll be 91 on Sunday!

      • Merusa
        Posted July 12, 2013 at 10:58 pm | Permalink

        My Mum lived to be 91, also. Maybe she was a tortoise, too. Hope she’s doing well.

  25. Andrew
    Posted July 12, 2013 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

    Good puzzle, completed between balls in the test match got stuck for a while in the NW corner. Couldn’t see 15 across for ages and then when the penny dropped couldn’t see how I missed it :-) saw the answer to 4 down quickly but couldn’t work out why until the ‘charge’ clicked. thanks to Giovanni and Gazza.

  26. Derek
    Posted July 12, 2013 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

    Enjoyed solving this puzzle – I always forge on until it is complete!

    Faves : 9a, 16a, 28a, 6d, 11d & 22d.

    Re 6d, I consider that English crosswords should stick to English – you all know that I speak several languages but this is not the case for the average solver.

    • Merusa
      Posted July 12, 2013 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

      I think 6d is now pretty much a naturalised English word, such as gourmet, roux, etc.

      • Derek
        Posted July 12, 2013 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

        OK Merusa and Rosie G! If you are happy with it we’ll let it rest.

    • Rosie G
      Posted July 12, 2013 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

      I agree that cuisine is in common parlance today as are many other french words which you do not have to speak the language to know

    • Kath
      Posted July 12, 2013 at 11:23 pm | Permalink

      I agree with Merusa and Rosie G. As long as the setters steer clear of any German which some people seem to think is also in common usage – really can’t do that at all apart from ‘yes’ and ‘no’ and a couple of numbers.

  27. Annidrum
    Posted July 12, 2013 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

    I really enjoyed this today and seemed to be to on the setter’s wavelength except for 15a&20a but Mr A provided these two answers for me. Thanks to Giovanni & gazza.

  28. Bluebird
    Posted July 12, 2013 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

    Well, it was below 4* for me, but was one of those where you could fill a lot in w.o. always getting the wordplay, e.g. 8d. And got 11d eventually without understanding the Oxford connection.
    Some of the verbs 2d 10a were a bit weird, but still technically correct.

    I did enjoy 9a, 12a and 15a.