DT 26027 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

DT 26027

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26027

Hints and tips by Big Dave

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

Rufus usually gives us a fairly easy start to the week, but I’m sure I’m not the only one that found today’s puzzle to be a little more difficult. The usual excellent cryptic definitions from our Monday Maestro are to be found amongst today’s clues.

Leave a comment telling us what you thought. You can also add your assessment by selecting from one to five stars at the bottom of the post.


1a Stays away? (11)
{UNSUPPORTED} – a wonderful cryptic definition from the Maestro – the condition after the stays are taken away, as any lady might know!

9a For this pudding turn gas to zero (4)
{SAGO} – just follow the instructions – reverse (turn) GAS and add O (zero) to get this pudding

10a Weapon used to liquidate people (5,6)
{WATER PISTOL} – not quite what it appears to be, this children’s toy squirts liquid at people!

11a Lincoln died sleeping? Apparently (4)
{ABED} – a charade of ABE (Abraham Lincoln) and D(ied) gives a word meaning sleeping (or in bed at least, hence the “apparently”)

14a Shun ale that’s distributed free (7)
{UNLEASH} – an anagram (that’s distributed) of SHUN ALE gives a word meaning to free

16a Paints and embroiders (7)
{COLOURS} – a double definition, the second part being embroiders as in adds ornament or fictitious detail to a story

17a Like courses finished in college, we hear (5)
{EATEN} – having finished the courses at the dinner table, sounds like (we hear) Eton (college)

18a Yet it may be sweet (4)
{TART} – a cryptic definition of a dessert dish (sweet) that as an adjective means sharp or biting

19a Duck on the German river (4)
{ODER} – put together O (duck in cricket) and DER (the in German) for a German river – nice surface reading

20a It’s even reversible (5)
{LEVEL} – reversible indicates that this is a palindromic word meaning even

22a Turn one out, though it’s free of charge (7)
{NEUTRON} – an anagram (out) of TURN ONE gives a particle that has no charge

23a Epicure finally comes in to assess jam (5,2)
{SEIZE UP} – put the final letter of epicurE inside SIZE UP (assess) to get a phrasal verb meaning to jam

24a The last piece of music to be accepted by disco dancers? (4)
{CODA} – a passage forming the completion of a piece, rounding it off to a satisfactory conclusion (last piece of music) is hidden inside (to be accepted by) disCO DAncers

28a Well off? (5,6)
{SOUND ASLEEP} – a cryptic definition of being in the Land of Nod

29a Eight in a row (4)
{OARS} – Oxford and Cambridge each have eight of these in order to row in the Boat Race – maybe this one should have a question mark at the end as well?

30a Exact monies may be needed for these (6,5)
{INCOME TAXES} – this anagram (may be) of EXACT MONIES is almost a cryptic definition in its own right! – you pay these on your earnings


2d Ham was presumably served at his table (4)
{NOAH} – Ham was one of his sons – once again note how the required capitalisation of Ham as a name is concealed by being the first word in the clue

3d Spent American notes (4)
{USED} – a word meaning spent that is a charade of US (American) and E D (notes)

4d One who grows up to be brave (7)
{PAPOOSE} – a cryptic definition of a child that will grow up to become an Indian brave

5d Trick about to take us in (4)
{RUSE} – a synonym for a trick is created by taking RE (about) and putting US inside

6d Note proposal of love, for example (7)
{EMOTION} – combine E (note) and MOTION (proposal) to get a sensation of which love is an example

7d Charge for port nurse used to get drunk (7,4)
{HARBOUR DUES} – a charge for using a port is a combination of HARBOUR (nurse) and an anagram (to get drunk) of USED

8d Second print-out is lacking in character (11)
{NONDESCRIPT} – an anagram (out) of SECOND PRINT gives a word meaning lacking in character

12d Looking for short cut for riders to use (7,4)
{HUNTING CROP} – a charade of HUNTING (looking for) and CROP (short cut) gives something that horse riders use

13d Confined to one game — though good at others? (3-8)
{ALL-ROUNDERS} – a cryptic double definition of people who are good at many games, not just the one that is part of the answer

15d Not quite paradise, though sea-sick sailors might think so! (5)
{HAVEN} – not quite H(E)AVEN (paradise) gives this place that is a welcome sight for sea-sick sailors

16d Hands over the church keys (5)
{CEDES} – a synonym for hands over is a combination of CE (Church of England) and DES (D and E, musical keys) – notes and keys are becoming a bit of a theme today

20d Data-base? (3-4)
{LOW-DOWN} – a double definition in a single word! – with the hyphen the answer means data, without it means base or worthless

21d Unofficial news of an escape (7)
{LEAKAGE} – a double definition of unofficial news and an escape reads well as a cryptic definition as well

25d Ruin a French party (4)
{UNDO} – a word meaning to ruin is a charade of UN (a in French) and DO (party)

26d Kind of leaf insect (4)
{FLEA} – an anagram (kind of ) of LEAF gives this jumping insect

27d He’s on about being present (4)
{HERE} – put HE on RE (about) for a word meaning being present

18 comments on “DT 26027

  1. Nice review, and good crossword.
    Not too sure about using nurse = harbour though!
    Maybe haven might have been better?

  2. Liked todays, but only got 28a after staring at the lights. I put HEAVE in for 15d initially, which I still think fits better!

    1. bigmacsub,
      Interesting, I also thought heave might have been a more appropriate answer :-) But unfortunately 20a made it impossible.

  3. Got stuck for a while, as I jumped in with both feet and put “water cannon” for 10a, and wanted to put “crew” for 29a.

    Didn’t like 16d. If D & E are the musical keys, then the S is unnecessary, except to complete the answer.

    Favourite clue was 8d.

  4. Agree, BigD!! this was a touch more taxing than the usual Monday offering, but very satisfying. Liked 28a, and am not sure what all the controversy about 15d is as it reads quite straightforwardly in the printed version. Does the screen version say different? Anyway, very glad to be back on line today after our computer had worms or something, yesterday!!

  5. On holiday but just had time to have a look. Re first comment, I used “nurse” as one would “nurse a grievance etc”, i.e. “harbour a grievance”. Many thanks for comprehensive blog, Big Dave! Ah well, back to the sun!

  6. A clever crossword although I did fall into the trap of “crew” for 29a and the knock-on results of this that had me stumped for ages.

  7. I also thought it was quite tough today and also struggled with 29a for quite a while. I see the point re 16d but I have seen a lot worse! Overall I thought it was pretty fair and enjoyable and I particularly liked 1a!


  8. Hi Big Dave

    I agree with you that this was a little more difficult than previous Monday puzzles. I did finish it in my lunch hour but only just! I enjoyed it though as I always appreciate the clever clues from the Monday Maestro.

    I also did the Rufus puzzle in the Guardian and I finished that more quickly than this one so the Telegraph puzzle was harder.

    Thanks for your review. There was a couple of clues where I did not fully understand the word-play but once I read your review I was able to understand and appreciate the word-plays.

    Thanks also to Rufus for an enjoyable and challenging puzzle.

  9. BD – Thanks for the review. Was out all day yesterday so only did it this morning and enjoyed it. Particularly liked 1a and 4d – they appealed to my sense of humour and wordplay. Got stuck on 2d and had to look at your hint – thanks. Now on to today’s after I have a cup of tea.

Comments are closed.