DT 26006 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26006

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26006

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment **

As the comments on all the reviews that I’ve done have amply demonstrated, it’s very rare for everyone to agree on whether a given puzzle is “easy” or “difficult”, but I venture to suggest that we will not get many comments today from solvers complaining that this one is too difficult.
As usual the answers (should you need them) are concealed inside the curly brackets – select the white space to reveal them. Also, please take the time to vote at the bottom of the review, to indicate how much you liked this puzzle. As always your comments are welcome.

Across Clues

7a  Worried about foreign currency in the borders of Thailand (8 )
{TROUBLED} – put the Russian currency between the outside letters (borders) of ThailanD to get a synonym for worried about.

9a  Best form of defence — might be a time to change direction (6)
{ATTACK} – string together A, T(ime) and TACK (change direction when sailing) to get the best form of defence.

10a  Load of study following back massage (6)
{BURDEN} – put DEN (study) after RUB (massage) which needs to be reversed (back) to get a load.

11a  Make an effort to invest time in training slugger (8 )
{STRUGGLE} – insert (invest) T(ime) inside an anagram (training) of SLUGGER to produce a verb meaning to make an effort.

12a  Day one’s date is a letdown (14)
{DISAPPOINTMENT} – a charade of D(ay), I’S (one’s) and APPOINTMENT (date) leads to a letdown.

15a  Parrot’s speech organ, essentially (4)
{ECHO} – hidden (essentially) inside speECH Organ is a verb meaning to parrot.

17a  Good weaver of yarns in the twilight (5)
{GLOOM} – put together G(ood) and LOOM (machine for weaving yarns) to get a synonym for twilight.

19a  Head of department chasing female cast (4)
{SHED} – put D (head, i.e. first letter, of Department) after SHE (female) and you have a verb meaning to cast or discard.

20a  Food with which cook sandbags her man (7,3,4)
{BANGERS AND MASH} – a favourite British dish is produced from an anagram (cook) of SANDBAGS HER MAN.

23a  Picture one leaving for a premiere (8 )
{FILMGOER} – a partial all-in-one clue to someone who regularly visits the cinema – a charade of FILM (picture) and GOER (one leaving).

25a  Keep volunteers in check (6)
{RETAIN} – put TA (Territorial Army, volunteers) inside REIN (check) to get a synonym for keep.

27a  Things eaten such as ice-cream aboard ship (6)
{SCONES} – the definition is things eaten and these things are small flat round cakes, sometimes made with currants or sultanas – put a type of wafer holding scoops of ice-cream inside (aboard) SS (steamship).

28a  Begs the little devils to absorb knowledge (8 )
{IMPLORES} – the little devils are IMPS – put LORE (knowledge) inside to get a synonym for begs.

Down Clues

1d  Language outwardly revered in universities (4)
{URDU} – the official language of Pakistan is constructed by putting the outer letters of RevereD inside U..U (universities).

2d  Plain fish eating doctor (6)
{TUNDRA} – a flat Arctic plain is produced from TUNA (fish) holding DR (doctor).

3d  In “Soldiers” there’s no odd rhymes (4)
{ODES} – remove the odd letters (there’s no odd) from sOlDiErS to leave a word for poems or rhymes.

4d  Rust beneath vehicle providing possible incentive (6)
{CARROT} – put ROT (rust) beneath (after, in a down clue) CAR (vehicle) and you have an incentive. I’m not sure why ‘possible’ is there.

5d  Reels from famous actors, holding back urge (8 )
{STAGGERS} – a verb meaning reels or moves unsteadily is made from STARS (famous actors) with EGG (urge) reversed (back) inside.

6d  She could find work a relief (10)
{SCULPTRESS} – cryptic definition of a lady who creates works of art by carving.

8d  White meat that extended gourmand? (4,3)
{LONG PIG} – this term was used in the past among the cannibals in some Pacific islands for white man’s flesh. It is made from LONG (extended) and PIG (gourmand). I wonder if they had apple sauce?

13d  Island hopping by small degrees? (4,2,4)
{INCH BY INCH} – cryptic definition of a phrase meaning to progress in small regular steps, taking advantage of the fact that INCH means both a small distance and a Scottish island.

14d  One has arguments against religious pictures (5)
{ICONS} – put together I (one) and CONS (arguments against) to get religious pictures.

16d  Give shorthorn a mention for receiving decoration (8 )
{ORNAMENT} – a decoration can be found inside (receiving) shorthORN A MENTion.

18d  People generally leave northwards, seeing potential danger (7)
{MANTRAP} – people generally is MAN – follow this with PART (leave) which has to be reversed (northwards, in a down clue) to get a potential danger.

21d  The sort of person I get so worried about (6)
{EGOIST} – a partial all-in-one clue to a self-centred person, who is constructed from an  anagram (worried) of I GET SO.

22d  Mangy dog often outside for meat (6)
{MUTTON} – follow MUTT (mangy dog) with the outside letters of OfteN to get a sort of meat.

24d  Attack journal mostly written up (4)
{RAID} – a journal is a DIARy – drop the last letter (mostly) and reverse what remains (written up, i.e. upwards, in a down clue) to give an attack.

26d  Thing that time changes (4)
{ITEM} – an anagram (changes) of TIME gives us a thing.

I liked 9a and 22d but my clue of the day is 13d. How about you? – all comments are welcome, and please don’t forget to vote below.

57 comments on “DT 26006

  1. Excellent puzzle today. Esp liked 20a!
    Took a while to get 8d but with everything else in place it had to be LONG.
    Dave, keep up the good work.

      1. …… at the hairdressers actually, which is worse because you’re expected to sustain a conversation!

          1. I always liked this:
            Q (hairdresser) How would you like your hair cutting sir?
            A (client) In silence.

  2. Thanks Gazza, the only one i couldn’t get was long pig, am trying toughie now and am not doing too badly so far but 9a is annoying me :) hope the dentist wasn’t too painful

    1. sorry the hairdressers :) has to be better than the dentist, my dentist always expects a conversation lying there with mouth wide open!!

  3. thanks once againg gazza… will try to complete later…am off to take the grandchildren to Folly Farm for my sins!!! :)

  4. Thanks to all the team over the last few weeks, this is the first puzzle I’ve legitimately solved without any recourse to hints or a dictionary. This blog has helped so much – it’s invaluable. The only clue i needed explaining was 13d and my favourite was 6d.

  5. Gazza,
    Don’t you think the island reference in 13d is more likely to be a reference to “Inch Island” in Donegal?

    1. libellule
      Not really, not unless there are two of them! But I could be wrong, as so often in the past!!!

  6. Long time lurker just popping in to say hello – this is my fourth ever solo effort using but the powers of pen and mind! (I’ve previously played anagramist alongside my Dad and Gran’s extensive general knowledge). Took me about 20 minutes in total which is by a long way my personal best. Really enjoyed today’s crossword!

    1. Hi Tom and welcome to the blog.
      Well done – you’ll be amazed how quickly you improve if you attempt the crossword every day.

  7. I’m afraid I found this, like yesterdays, far too easy and not particularly enjoyable, I thought 8d was the best of a poor set of clues.

  8. Gazza

    Presumably that’s your portion of Bangers and Mash in the picture!

    While looking for this:


    I found this:


      1. BD or Gazza, I cannot open these two pictures on my computer, can you tell me what I am doing wrong? It also happens with attachments in my email. I’m a total woose whith these modern contraptions.

              1. Phil, I very rarely find the DT crosswords easy, just the last week or so, as far as computers go, my Grandkids are so far ahead of me it’s not true, I really find them difficult to understand.( computers that is, not Grandkids……….. though?)

                1. Couldn’t resist giving you a hard time. As a relative newbie, I’m grateful for easier crosswords as they help me learn. As far as technology goes, if you’re blogging then you’re ahead of most of the pack!

  9. Like Phil and Tom I was delighted that I could at long last finish without dictionary, computer or hints from the blog. Obviously that’s why I enjoyed it so much!

    1. newtocryptic
      Well done. Today there’s going to be a record set for “first time solvers”.

  10. Just wanted to say thank you for the excellent blog. I also finished a puzzle for the first time today without any help…something for which you guys should take a lot of credit!

  11. Welcome to the blog Patacake, Nubian and Edi

    We know there are a lot more of you out there, and you are all welcome to come and say hello. If you click SiteMeter in the sidebar and then select “Visits and Page views / Previous 7 Days” you will see that the average number of visitors each day now exceeds 1000, and the number of page views exceeeds 2500 (except at weekends).

  12. I loved today’s, nice easy one, just the ticket for my business trip up north. Can I ask a question to the experts….?

    I’m not sure I’m happy with 19a. I don’t think you can use the word cast to mean shed, I think it needs a preposition, like off, or away, or down. I’ve often noticed in your clue assistance that you’ve (not just you Gazza, but Dave and Tilsit as well) ignored these phrasal verb constructions and just accepted them. Any thoughts?

    By the way – I’m really falling in love with the all-in-one clues! I’ve even tried to write a few. They’re really beautiful when they’re done well.

    1. Mr B

      Chambers gives “(of animals) to shed or moult (hair, etc)” as a definition of cast as a verb, but not in cast off as a phrasal verb.

      I do, however, take your point that we may have allowed this in other contexts and will look out for it in future.

    2. Mr B
      Chambers gives one of the meanings of the transitive verb to shed as: to cast; throw (e.g. light), and it also gives one of the meanings of the transitive verb to cast as: to shed or moult (hair, etc.)
      So, I think we’re covered on that one, but I take your point generally, and I’ll try to be more careful in future.

    3. .. Dave and I were not colluding on those replies (honest).
      Why not give us an example of one of your all-in-one clues?

    1. Mr B
      It’s a nice anagram, and it satisfies the condition of the whole of the clue being the wordplay, but it’s not really an all-in-one because the clue is not really the definition of the answer, i.e. ‘enigma’ does not relate to a problem with a piece of jewellery.
      All-in-ones are terribly difficult to write, which is why you see so few good ones, and why you’ll often see phrases like “an attempt at at all-in-one” and “a partial all-in-one” in our reviews.
      Good luck!

      1. Gazza mate – surely the point is that the anagram indicator is also the answer? Doesn’t that make it all in one?

        1. Joel

          As Gazza has indicated, this class of clue is difficult to achieve. My test, as described in my Crossword Guide, is as follows:

          “The best way to check whether a clue qualifies is to cross out all of the elements of the wordplay. If nothing is left, then reread the clue to see if all of it defines the answer. Some clues fail this latter test, but that doesn’t mean they are not good clues.”

          If you run your clue against the test you will see, as Gazza has pointed out, that the whole clue does not define tthe answer, We come across quite a few like this.

          Some examples, from Wikipedia, of all-in-one, or &lit, clues:

          God incarnate, essentially! (4) (ODIN)

          Spoil vote! (4) (VETO)

          e.g. Origin of goose (3) (EGG)

          Although they seem to fit the requirements, I personally don’t like all of them.

              1. OK. I’ve got it now, but I also understand how hard these must be to do.

                Is mine worthy of the DT do you think?

  13. Yet another newbie – also my first solo success. Great blog, you appear to be encouraging many of us novices!

    1. Rufus
      Well done. We certainly had a bumper crop of ‘first time solos’ on this puzzle!

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