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DT 26003

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26003

The Return of the Native

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

Back from my short stay in Stalag Luft Calderdale Hospital, where I staged a daring escape by making a small but serviceable glider from pee pots that were stashed in my secret store there.  With a good wind I was able to launch myself off the roof and soar majestically down the Calder Valley and landed safe and sound back in Hebden Bridge.

And after a weekend  allegedly recuperating, we have the Monday Maestro to tackle.  After last week’s plethora of double definition clues, we seem to have an abundance of cryptic definitions which you either love or hate.

I found today’s puzzle pleasant and the usual fine warm-up to the week, but I do have an issue that the answer to one of the clues is almost handed to you on a plate by the clue to the intersecting answer.  The answer is at 23 across and the clue at 21 down.  I just think it looks untidy and would it have made the puzzle ultra-difficult by letting 21 down read  “23 across-ed sheep tear about”?  The expression at 10 across is new to me, and there could have been an ambiguity at 8 down, but it is resolved by the subsidiary indications.  There are also issues with the use of “a”, which in some clues is essential, but in others is padding and would affect the clue’s surface reading if left out.

Let’s go……


1a Held to be some cause for apprehension (5,6)
{UNDER ARREST}  A cryptic definition  – “apprehension” here refers to being caught by The Fuzz which can be terribly painful!

9a A credit note for some land (4)
{ACRE} A word-sum.  A + CR (credit) +E (note) = a measurement of land.

10a Shriek at cat when upset and despondent (4,2,5)
{SICK AT HEART}  Not an expression I had heard of, sounds terribly Victorian.  It’s an anagram (indicated by “when upset”) of SHRIEK AT CAT to give an expression for being down or despondent.

11a Ignores economies (4)
{CUTS}  Double definition.  “Ignores” = as in the expression “cuts one dead”.

14a Gets off or puts on the line (5,2)
{HANGS UP}  This clue has to be read as “Gets off the line” or “puts on  the line” which will give you the two definitions needed to solve this clue.

16a Plot developer (7)
{SCHEMER} A cryptic definition for someone who plots against someone.  I was looking for a gardener at first feeling plot was a bit more cryptic than it was!

17a One taking fresh step around ski course (5)
{PISTE} I (one) inside an anagram (fresh) of STEP gives this ski course

18a Old town subject to inflation (4)
{TYRE}  The old biblical town provides the location here,

19a Drink it as a cocktail (4)
{ASTI} An anagram (cocktail) of  IT AS gives you a drink that is in crosswords as much as it is drunk.

20a His performance may set people reeling (5)
{PIPER}  Cryptic definition for a man with bagpipes.

22a Sympathise with a number drawing unemployment benefit (7)
{CONDOLE}  Not Condone or Console.  A number = C (100) + ON DOLE ( drawing Unemployment Benefit)

23a Umpire about to call for silence gets cheer (7)
{REFRESH)  Umpire (REF) +  about (RE) + SH (to call for silence) provides the word sum for this.

24a The song told a story (4)
{LIED} Another outing for this double definition.

28a Tropical disease that may make one feel very low (6,5)
{YELLOW FEVER}  Probably the best clue today.  An anagram(may make) of  FEEL VERY LOW gives this well-known tropical illness.

29a An imbibing of French port (4)
{ADEN}  DE (of French) inside AN is the Middle Eastern port.

30a Kind enough to study team and make an assessment (11)
{CONSIDERATE}  Word Sum. Study (CON) + team (SIDE) + make an assessment (RATE) = kind enough.


2d A love outwardly secure (4)
{NAIL} Here again the A is crucial to the clue.  NIL = love (as in tennis) around (outwardly) A leads you to a word for secure.

3d Creatures obtained from a whelk-stall (4)
{ELKS} Not the sort of thing to get from Molly Malone, but a hidden answer.  WhELK Stall

4d Caused trouble, getting Bill and Edward out of bed (5,2)
{ACTED UP}  Bill = AC (account) + TED (Edward) + UP (out of bed) = Caused trouble.

5d Knot sailors try to avoid (4)
{REEF}  A double definition.  If you are a 7 down, you may know this type of knot that causes sailors to watch their bottoms (of their boats, Mrs!).

6d Dishes provided by a waiter (7)
{SERVICE}  Double definition.  A set of dishes means the same as the art practised by a waiter.

7d Band-leader waves at customers (11)
{SCOUTMASTER}  A sort of cryptic definition with an anagram (waves) of AT CUSTOMERS to help you.  Still stuck?  Think of the sort of people who help grannies across the road.

8d Don’t get confused when you notice you have a good hand (3,8)
{SEE STRAIGHT}  At first I had “Get straight”, but on checking realised it was wrong.  Noticing the word “notice” helped me rectify my mistake.  In poker, a straight is a run of five cards.

12d Tied sort of worker? (5-6)
{WHITE-COLLAR}  This week’s clue that makes you go hmmm….  A white collar worker would wear a tie as opposed to a blue collar worker.

13d A charge that is not way out? (8,3)
{ENTRANCE FEE}  A cryptic definition of an admission charge.

15d Small fairy that is found at the bottom of page nine (5)
{PIXIE}  Page Nine =  P IX followed by I.E., that is to say.

16d A way always short and direct (5)
{STEER} Redundant A time.  Way = ST + E’ER (a poetic way to say always / ever)

20d Locate unpleasant smell, but this won’t cure it (7)
{PLACEBO}  Locate = PLACE +  B.O. (offensive smell) = medication that has no physical effect.

21d Refreshed sheep tear about (7)
{RENEWED} Refreshed = definition.  Sheep = EWE inside tear = REND

Here is Britain’s favourite sheep:-

25d A girl finally loses direction, sad to say (4)
{ALAS}  A LASS =   a girl minus S (loses direction)

26d Fruit for two, we hear (4)
{PEAR}  A homophone for a word meaning two of something gives you a fruit.

27d Outstanding collector’s item (4)
{DEBT} We finish with a cryptic definition.     What sort of collector stands outside and knocks on your door?

Thanks to the Monday Maestro for an entertaining start to the week.

19 comments on “DT 26003

  1. welcome home Tilsit, hope all is ok, very enterprising of you, wish I could have seen the landing!! :)

    1. Yes indeed Tilsit, I hope your stay at home will be a long one, I personally would have preferred to see the ‘flight up to the landing’!

  2. Do you mean 23A in your introduction; otherwise I’m having difficulty with it. It didn’t worry me, though. As always for me the double definitions don’t do a lot because it’s a double dose of the same approach and they lose their amusing quality if repeated often enough.

    Good to see you’re back home.


  3. Finished… thanks for the help all, my brother finished his ages ago and told me it was easy today……he always was the clever one!! :)

      1. if you like Shaun, you should check out Timmy (Shaun’s nephew – a little lamb) and he has a new series of his own. Guess who has a grandson…

        Good to have Tilsit back!

  4. Hi folks. I liked this one and my favourite clue of the day was 20d which I thought was very clever. I must confess to still being stumped by 1A – first word only. I know the answer will be obvious but I am having brain seizure so am resorting to a glass of wine to oil the cogs. A good crossword to start the week and to get my mind of the Headingly debacle.

  5. Fun puzzle today – just perfect level for me and got them all! Although 10a not really an expression that we ‘kids’ are down with…. :)

    16a I don’t like at all, I don’t see how it’s cryptic – can anyone fill me in?

    1. Welcome to the blog Mr B

      I’m not sure that any of us a that familiar with 10 across.

      16 across is meant to misdirect you into thinking of property developers, but obviously it didn’t work with you!

  6. I so hope you are ok.. I hate hospitals too- why are they so clinical!!
    I liked 27d best! Short but sweet! Hope you are home for a long stay.. ;)

  7. In a reversal I have just arrived in hospital and am starting out on the DT Cryptics for the first time. Quite pleased that I managed about half of it… A way to go – great site and thanks.

      1. Welcome to the boards Matt, I can lend you my Big Book of Escape Methods if you need.

        Thanks to everyone for your kind wishes and I send mine to Matt as well. What a rum bunch we are!

        Apologies for missing out a clue and a half, I am definitely feeling a bit fuzzy.

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