DT 26011

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26011

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment **

This is an easy puzzle, which should leave you plenty of time to tackle today’s Toughie from Cephas, our regular Saturday setter.  This week there is no surfeit of cryptic definitions, but you do find yourself expecting that if it isn’t an anagram then it might be a hidden word!

You can add your assessment by selecting from one to five stars at the bottom of the post.


1a Huge service endlessly wicked to return (7)
{MASSIVE} – a word meaning huge is built up from MASS (church service) and EVI(L) (endlessly wicked) reversed (to return)

5a Breaking glass in indicators (7)
{SIGNALS} – an anagram (breaking) of GLASS IN gives these indicators

9a Doctor with invalid — one likely to be boring (5)
{DRILL} – DR (Doctor) and ILL (invalid) combine for something that is likely to be boring holes

10a Kill Asiatic bird caught by gentry (9)
{ELIMINATE} – a synonym for to kill is derived by putting MINA (Asiatic bird) inside (caught by) ELITE (gentry)

11a Productive meeting (10)
{SATISFYING} – a double definition, but the good surface reading is achieved by stretching the definition of productive a bit

12a Coloured in untidy edges (4)
{DYED} – there are very few words that fit the checking letters, so you probably new what the answer was even before seeing that this word meaning coloured is hidden inside untiDY EDges

14a Assembly speech in which I sang out (12)
{ORGANISATION} – to get this synonym for an assembly put ORATION (speech) around an anagram (out) of I SANG

18a Government guidelines for health (12)
{CONSTITUTION} – a double definition with a system of laws and customs established by the sovereign power of a state for its own guidance on the one hand and a health lifestyle on the other

21a Eggs initially likely to be this? (4)
{OVAL} – combine OVA (eggs) and L (initially Likely) to get a description of the shape of an egg in cross-section

22a Plug for tv? (10)
{COMMERCIAL} – a cryptic definition of an advertisement on TV

25a Statesmen perhaps in car with same reforms (9)
{AMERICANS} – a cryptically defined anagram (reforms) of IN CAR and SAME

26a Twisted elbow downstairs (5)
{BELOW} – an anagram (twisted) of ELBOW gives the downstairs of Upstairs Downstairs!

27a Dissenting body holds “unique selling point” in doubt (7)
{SUSPECT} – SECT (a dissenting body) is put around USP (Unique Selling Point) to get a word meaning to doubt

28a Big ones are usually important dairy products (7)
{CHEESES} – a part-cryptic double definition

1d Shy means timid at first (6)
{MODEST} – a word meaning shy is a charade of MODES (means) and T (Timid at first)

2d Avoids female clothing (6)
{SKIRTS} – a double definition

3d Draw turtle’s tail badly — lack of time (10)
{ILLUSTRATE} – a word meaning to draw is an anagram (badly) of TURTLE’S TAIL without one of the Ts (lack of Time) – the subtractive element is a bit detached, but then almost invariably you need to ignore any punctuation

4d All clever youths captured (5)
{EVERY} – a word meaning all is hidden (captured) inside clEVER Youths

5d CSI sent it to be analysed — by one of these? (9)
{SCIENTIST} – an anagram (analysed) of CSI SENT IT gives someone who might appear on CSI – I’m not very enthusiastic about definitions like “one of these”

6d Unpleasant dirt finally removed (4)
{GRIM} – a synonym for unpleasant is GRIM(E) (dirt) without the last letter (finally removed)

7d Nails, say, hammered for research (8)
{ANALYSIS} – an anagram (hammered) of NAILS SAY gives a word meaning research

8d Excited pigs need moving fast (8)
{SPEEDING} – another anagram (excited) of PIGS NEED gives a word meaning moving fast

13d Promising a flavour mixed with hints of blackcurrant and elderberry (10)
{FAVOURABLE} – a word meaning promising is an anagram (mixed) of A FLAVOUR with B and E (hints of Blackcurrant and Elderberry) – four anagrams in the last five clues, that would be enough for the whole puzzle

15d His job might bring him back to earth (9)
{ASTRONAUT} – a cryptic definition where the uncertainty of his return would be pretty worrying for this chap – if I were him I would prefer “will bring him back”!

16d They could be changing class or holding a bit of homework (8)
{SCHOLARS} – they are an anagram (changing) of CLASS OR and H (a bit of Homework)

17d Those who occupy dives ran to get drunk (8)
{INVADERS} – these unwanted occupants are an anagram (yes, another one) of DIVES RAN which is indicated by “to get drunk”

19d Holding end of barrel, fires off these? (6)
{RIFLES} – these guns come from an anagram (no comment) of FIRES around L (end of barreL)

20d Scowl changes when comedian ultimately enters — they entertain you (6)
{CLOWNS} – an anagram (changes) of SCOWL is placed around N (comediaN ultimately) to get these entertainers

23d From emus I caught pleasant sounds (5)
{MUSIC} – hidden inside eMUS I Caught are these pleasant sounds

24d Finally deliver cooked pie — it’s ready to be eaten (4)
{RIPE} – after R (finally deliveR) put an anagram (cooked) of PIE to get a word meaning ready to be eaten

The overuse of anagrams becomes irritating after a while, although newer solvers will find this one easy to complete.  Look back at the surface reading of the clues – how many of them make no sense at all?

There’s also not much inspiration for YouTube or picture links today, but 20 down reminded me of this classic, which is high in the list of my favourite rock’n’roll hits  (I couldn’t find the original single so you get two for the price of one):


  1. bigboab
    Posted August 19, 2009 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

    Poor crossword today, far too easy and not very enjoyable.

  2. Joel
    Posted August 19, 2009 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

    Easy and there weren’t really any clues that made me smile, but finished all on my own, which is satisfying….

    • newtocryptic
      Posted August 19, 2009 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

      Me too! However too many anagrams even for me, I was pleased that all the words used in the answers were already known to me which makes a change.

  3. Posted August 19, 2009 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    Perhaps the easiest Telegraph cryptic I’ve ever done. I thought there were (being the operative word) rules about the number of anagrams to a puzzle!

    Off-topic, does anyone know how to set one’s avatar?

    • Posted August 19, 2009 at 2:54 pm | Permalink
      • fatherbrian
        Posted August 19, 2009 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

        Thanks Dave, I wasn’t logged in – let’s see if it shows now!

        • Posted August 19, 2009 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

          Yes, it does!

          I ocasionally have to “approve” other bloggers if they forget to log in!

          • Father Brian
            Posted August 19, 2009 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

            To misquote W.S. Gilbert, “a blogmaster’s life is not a happy one (happy one)!”

            • Posted August 19, 2009 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

              I’m usually quite cheerful, but will have to go elsewhwere today (probably the Taupi tribute in the Guardian) to get a decent puzzle.

              • Nubian
                Posted August 19, 2009 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

                I have to admit the odd easy one now and again gives me the encourament to continue. It’s a bit like golf really,us amateurs remember the easy crozzies as opposed to the pros who remember all the bad ones. Come to think of it the best clue I ever remember was
                ggse (10,4)

                • Nubian
                  Posted August 19, 2009 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

                  ggse (9.4)

                • Posted August 19, 2009 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

                  It’s a famous clue, but does not meet with universal approval. Getting M from Maidenhead is similarly regarded as debatable.

  4. Phil
    Posted August 19, 2009 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

    Even as a neophyte I have to agree that today was one of the easier puzzles. As always for me, the flipside is that I finished my second crossword unaided. Hard not to like that on a beautiful day.

  5. Hazel
    Posted August 19, 2009 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

    Dave found me lost and helpless at crosswords three weeks ago on the crossword solver site and since then I have been improving all the time with the help of you guys. Today was magic for a beginner like me and then having completed the puzzle I see that I have been fooled as everyone thought it was so easy … oh well I’ll just keep trying. Thanks Dave.

    • Posted August 19, 2009 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

      Welcome to the blog Hazel

      There is nothing wrong with the other site, but you will learn a lot more here. Glad to have you on board.

  6. Little Dave
    Posted August 19, 2009 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

    Whizzed through this one as it seems most people did. I will have a whole day with it tomorrow at the Oval. Come on England!!