DT 26001 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26001

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26001

Hints and tips by Libellule

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BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

An interesting puzzle today, but thankfully it is nowhere near as difficult as yesterdays. A number of accessible clues that allows access to the rest of the crossword by providing some of the relevant checking letters. There is the usual nice mix of well defined clues, and at least two or three that raise a smile. All in all a nice pleasant ramble after yesterday’s workout. 10a is a new word for me today.


7. Fuel Norm needs to get a couple of females home (8)
{PARAFFIN} – Norm (PAR), followed by (needs) A, FF (couple of females) and then IN (home) for a type of oil.

9. Bottle supplied by garage apprentice? (6)
{CARBOY} –Simple but elegant cryptic definition, of a large glass or plastic bottle used for dangerous chemicals.

10. That man joining salvationists must follow a religious doctrine (6)
{AHIMSA} – Never seen this word before, the definition is religious doctrine and refers to the duty of sparing animal life and non-violence. The doctrine is put together by taking HIM (that man) followed by the abbreviation for Salvation Army (salvationists), and preceded by A (must follow a).

11. Club unhappy about admitting BBC boss? (8)
{BLUDGEON} – Unhappy is BLUE, and ON is about, into which you place (admitting) the boss of the BBC, Director General (DG) for another word for a short heavy club.

12. One has unusual feel for this old book (4,2,3,5)
{LORD OF THE FLIES} – An anagram of FEEL FOR THIS OLD (unusual) produces a famous William Golding novel. I love the surface reading of this clue.

15. Tramp left in seedy home (4)
{PLOD} – Seedy home is POD, now place L(eft) into it and you have a word used to describe walking heavily and laboriously.

17. Delight in the French pet? (3,2)
{LAP UP} – Smile time, LA (feminine the in French) and PUP (small dog and pet), for a phrase used to describe something or someone who might receive eagerly or greedily praise for example.

19. Deception in house, a sign of something wrong (4)
{HOAX} – HO (house) and A, plus a sign of something wrong, X (the opposite of a tick) is a deceptive trick.

20. Come, having got a word and its anagram, to show (4,2,4,4)
{TURN UP ONES NOSE} – To come is to TURN UP, then we need a word and its anagram ONES, and NOSE, now we have a phrase used to regard something with disdain or scorn….. Hmm I know it’s not just me (Gazza agrees too), does anybody else think that a word like distaste is missing from the end of the clue? (ScrewedUp problem- see comments below)

23. Angry local, one of two being horizontal at Anfield? (8)
{CROSSBAR} – A cryptic definition of what you might see on the football pitch at Liverpool F.C (Anfield) and a CROSS (angry) BAR (local).

25. Notice trade going to pot around five (6)
{ADVERT} – An anagram of TRADE (going to pot) placed around the roman numeral for five, V is a public promotion of some product or service.

27. Struggle making descent (6)
{STRAIN} – Although finding the right word here is relatively easy, I had to think a bit harder to justify the word play. This is a double definition, where struggle is obvious, but descent is less so. Think about lineage and pedigree for example.

28. In trousers torn apart reportedly (8)
{BREECHED} – Another sounds like clue (reportedly), where a word used to describe being in breeches, also sounds like what happens if a gap is opened in a fortifications defences.


1. Wood topped with black slate (4)
{BASH} – Another word for slate, in this case to criticise harshly is made up of B (black) placed above (topped) ASH (wood).

2. Obstructed and unable to escape from the pit, we hear? (6)
{DAMMED} – A homophone (we hear). The definition is obstructed and it sounds like a word used to describe what has happened to you if you are sent to hell (the pit).

3. Catch coming from writer after start of story (4)
{SNIB} – Not a word you would see outside of a crossword puzzle, but this is a word that is a small bolt, or a catch for a window sash. Put NIB (writer) after the first letter S (start of) story.

4. Untidy person with a bit of a neck (6)
{SCRUFF} – A double definition, an untidy person could also be another word for the nape (a bit of) the neck.

5. Proper greedy, eating last bit of supper (8)
{PRIGGISH} – A word for greedy (like a pig) might be PIGGISH into which we need to place an R, the last letter (bit of) supper. Once done we have a word for being somewhat straightlaced or exaggeratedly proper.

6. I con lass so wickedly in a holy letter (10)
{COLOSSIANS} – An anagram of I CON LASS SO (wickedly) is a New Testament book containing an epistle from Saint Paul to the Colossians in ancient Phrygia.

8. Loud diatribe can be frightening (7)
{FEARFUL} – The musical notation for loud F(orte) is followed by EARFUL (diatribe) for an adjective that describes causing or capable of causing fear.

13. Get rid of well-read old boy to start with (10)
{OBLITERATE} – Place O(ld) B(oy) in front (start with) of LITERATE (well read) and we have another word that can be used to mean to remove completely.

14. Cool river for animal who’ll like it? (5)
{HIPPO} – One of the clues that raised a smile, cool is HIP and the river is PO (a river in northern Italy), put the two together and you have a semi aquatic animal.

16. US actress, one overtaken by our Diana over time? (5,3)
{DORIS DAY} – Our Diana is a reference to Diana DORS (a famous English actress), into which we then need to place (overtaken) I (one) and then add (over) DAY (time) and we now have a very famous US actress and singer.

18. Introduce walk, having grabbed man on field (7)
{PREFACE} – Another word for an introduction is put together by PACE (walk) and placing inside (grabbed) a man seen on a football or rugby field for example (REF).

21. Refined stuff that could have poisoned Abraham? (6)
{URBANE} – A cryptic definition, put together as follows, according to Genesis Abraham’s original home was UR, to this we need to add a deadly poison – BANE, now you have something that is polite, refined, and often elegant in manner.

22. New monk in number overcoming wickedness (6)
{NOVICE} – Take NO (number) and place it over (overcoming) VICE (wickedness) and you have a new monk, or a person who has entered a religious order but has not yet taken their final vows (a novitiate is another word for this).

24. Girl no good in what is predominantly male sport (4)
{RUBY} – Take RUGBY (a predominantly male sport) and remove G (no good) for a red gem or a girl’s name.

26. Revolutionary losing heart gets to falter (4)
{REEL} – The revolutionary is a REBEL, now remove the B from the centre (losing heart) and you have a word that can be used to describe what happens if you are thrown off balance or fall back.

24 comments on “DT 26001

  1. The puzzle re. 20a has been resolved by Big Dave. Seems the printed version of the crossword (in the paper) has the word disdain at the end. So what we can do is quietly put the blame on ScrewedUp for the problem with the clue online.

    1. If the infamous puzzle_tester had done this by resolving the clues instead of just keying in the answers then he/she might have noticed this. But then they would not have been able to do the puzzle in 2 minutes and 50 seconds!

      1. A really sad human that does this, where is the enjoyment and excitement that the normal solver feels at solving good clues and the total puzzle.

        1. Since the tester started, errors in the puzzle construction have almost entirely disappeared. At one time we would have wrong grids, or blank letters in the middle of answers.

    2. We also received the following just to confirm
      “Obviously a slip up at the local printers as the merseyside version does have the word ….disdain ….at the end of the clue.
      Cheers ….Eric”

    1. Gerry
      I’m still trying to stop laughing from Kram’s reply :D
      ‘Car Boy’ is a cryptic description of a garage attendant.

      1. Gazza
        Me being a thick Geordie and all and not living in the south of our green and pleasant land, I wonder how much thought the compilers put into clues dependant on regional understanding. I have never heard of a car boy, let alone a carboy !
        Mind you, UR I thought was always used when the clue ‘old city’ was involved so education is a wonderful thing.
        I still think todays clues were the most obscure I have seen in a while.

        1. Gerry
          I don’t think that you’ll find anyone with the official title of “car boy” anywhere in the country – it’s just a cryptic way of referring to an apprentice in a garage, one of whose jobs may be polishing the cars.
          As you say, UR is a popular “old city” in crosswords – in the bible UR is where Abraham lived, though there were apparently several places called UR and biblical scholars can’t agree on which one he lived in (if he existed at all!).

  2. although I worked out ahimsa for 10a, i would never have put it in if not for your help Libellule, never heard of it, also I didn’t consider Lord Of the Flies 12a, an ‘old’ book as such or am I missing something? managed about 3/4 today but needed your help for the rest, thanks once more

  3. Thanks for the feedback, as ever. Mary : old is part of the anagram; the definition is book

  4. Mary,
    First of all I would like to welcome Giovanni, today’s setter to the blog, and thank him for answering your question. The fact that you are asking about “Old Book” shows just how good the surface reading of this clue is :-)

  5. As a relative newbie I thank you for the explanations. There is no way – other than guessing – I would have got 9a or 3d. A couple I got but until I read the blog couldn’t work out why. My education is increasing and I thank you.
    Never mind Gerry being a thick Geordie – I live south and have never heard of car boy.
    Loved Kram’s comment!!!
    My favourite was 11a – even though I got it I need it explained to realise why I got it….

    1. Thanks for that Lea, What frustrated me today was the clues didn’t seem to take into consideration the time limit.This blog is brilliant for showing how much of a nugget I sometimes am but I like to use it when all else fails.
      I agree with Big Dave’s comments on puzzle_tester these people spoil the time test.
      God I am getting shirty today.
      Sorry everyone, I am normally quite demurral (of the wall in France before the right ganster becomes objectionable)

  6. Most enjoyable this week!! Took us about an hour (doing it in the paper, BD) and learnt a couple of new words 10a particularly and 17a gave us a smile. Just about to have a go at the Toughie!

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