DT 26031

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26031

Hints and tips by Libellule

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BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

Back in the Friday slot, because Gazza is taking a day off and what do we have? Not an overly difficult puzzle today, but a little tricky in places. But otherwise perfectly enjoyable entertainment.

Across Clues

1. Irish writer’s college (10)
{GOLDSMITHS} – Oliver Goldsmith was an Anglo-Irish writer, poet, and physician best known for his novel The Vicar of Wakefield, and he might also have founded or attended Goldsmiths college at the University of London…… except he did neither.

9. Sailor cautious — whale lurking! (4)
{ORCA} – A killer whale is hidden in the clue.

10. Youth’s progress upwards when receiving state aid (10)
{ADOLESCENT} – Take ASCENT (progress upwards) and then place DOLE (state aid) inside (receiving) and you have another word for a youth.

11. Possible result of road rage when one’s stuck in traffic (6)
{TIRADE} – Place I (one’s) inside TRADE (traffic) for a long angry speech.

12. Conference centre being idiotic, cease going back (7)
{POTSDAM} – Take MAD (idiotic) and STOP (cease) then reverse them (going back) for a famous conference that took place in 1945 between Stalin, Churchill, and Truman.

15. Think British priest will be attracted to temptress (7)
{BELIEVE} – B (British) and ELI (biblical priest – you should be used to this one now) then EVE (the temptress) for another term for “think”.

16. Old king’s daughter, singer making return (5)
{DAVID} – You need D (daughter) and then DIVA (singer) reversed (making return) for a biblical king of Israel.

17. Bird runs ahead with wings clipped (4)
{RHEA} – A lovely surface reading to this clue. To find the bird referred to here you need R (runs in cricket) and then add (a)HEA(d), i.e. the central three letters of ahead, and remove the outer A and D (wings clipped).

18. Course of action unreasonable, heartless (4)
{STEP} – Unreasonable is STEEP, now remove the middle E (heartless) and you are left with a word that could be used to describe a course of action.

19. Female hugging the Parisian is an exceptional beauty (5)
{HELEN} – The exceptional beauty referred to here was according to Christopher Marlowe responsible for launching a thousand ships. HEN (female) needs LE (masculine french for the) putting inside (hugging).

21. Permanently resting performer seen as demanding person (7)
{EXACTOR} – Another word for an extortionist can be made up by EX (retired) and ACTOR (performer).

22. Butler deployed around back of room to offer a glass (7)
{TUMBLER} – Another word for a type of glass can be constructed from an anagram (deployed) of BUTLER and the last letter (back of ) (roo)M.

24. Awkward situation when academic room’s put next to a gym (6)
{SCRAPE} – The definition here is awkward situation. SCR (an abbreviation of Senior Common (or Combination) Room and then add (put next to) A and PE (gym).

27. Try once more to get Carol practising (10)
{REHEARSING} – REHEAR (try once more) and SING (carol) another word for practising.

28. Old stars getting a spread at the meal table (4)
{OLEO} – How many of you had to guess this from the wordplay? O (old) plus LEO (stars) gives you an abbreviated version of oleomargarine a yellow fatty substance obtained from beef tallow and used in the manufacture of margarine, soap, etc.

29. Study bids to get work from competitors (10)
{CONTENDERS} – Another word for competitors. CON (study) TENDERS (bids).


2. When bookmakers get worried they may change for the better (4)
{ODDS} – A cryptic definition that describes “The ratio of the probability of an event’s occurring to the probability of its not occurring”, usually set by a bookmaker.

3. Boy upset half the girls in US city (6)
{DALLAS} – LAD (boy) reversed upset) plus LAS(ses) is the largest city in Texas.

4. Deceive a thousand ladies naughtily (7)
{MISLEAD} – M (the Roman numeral for a thousand) and an anagram (naughtily) of LADIES for a term used when you give false information.

5. Those people taking subject, not finishing (4)
{THEM} – Those people are THEM(e), where THEME is a subject and jas the last letter E removed (not finishing).

6. Became comfortable in beast’s home, having got shown the way (7)
{SETTLED} – The beast’s home is SETT, a badgers burrow, followed by LED (shown the way) is to become established in a desired position or place.

7. Neat, normal, frightfully pretty (10)
{ORNAMENTAL} – An anagram (frightfully) of NEAT NORMAL results in word usually used to describe a plant grown for its beauty.

8. Cricket? One of the XI is a sort of warden (10)
{GAMEKEEPER} – Clue of the day for me. GAME (cricket) and KEEPER (Wicket Keeper) is indeed a sort of warden, a person employed to take care of game and wildlife.

12. Pair holding English translation to be a misrepresentation (10)
{PERVERSION} – PR (an abbreviation for pair) with E (English) inside (holding) plus VERSION (translation) is a word that can be used to describe a distortion or misrepresentation (among other things).

13. Women fix heaters all over the shop (3,4,3)
{THE FAIR SEX} – An Anagram (all over the shop) of FIX HEATERS. Is another term used to describe women.

14. Mum, right friend to begin with (5)
{MATER} – The latin term for mother can be constructed from MATE (friend) and R (right).

15. Operatic composer in film business to start with (5)
{BIZET} – BIZ (business) comes first (to start with) and then add ET (a famous film about an extraterrestrial) for the composer of Carmen.

19. Place of residence that’s sumptuous – in short, grand (7)
{HOMERIC} – An adjective that means in the heroic or epic manner can be constructed from HOME (place of residence) and RIC(h), another word for sumptuous with the last letter removed (in short).

20. Mad person’s shell? (7)
{NUTCASE} – A simple but enjoyable double definition.

23. Coloured bead is broken (6)
{BIASED} – An anagram (broken) of BEAD IS a particular way of thinking that favours one side rather than another.

25. Silk handkerchief shows an Eastern inn (4)
{KHAN} – An Eastern inn, or a caravanserai is hidden in the clue. (Sil)K HAN(dkerchief).

26. Remarkable person one on the way out? No good (4)
{ONER} – A person or a thing that is unique or outstanding in any way is made from (g)ONER, where goner is a person on the way out, and the G is removed (no good).



  1. Barrie
    Posted September 11, 2009 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    Thanks Giovanni for producing a Friday puzzle that hasn’t left me depressed! Not sure about 12d – version for translation mmm? Love 17a but not 28d, had to look up oleo. Still I have learned that an academics room is the scr, wasn’t called that at my uni!

    • Libellule
      Posted September 11, 2009 at 10:29 am | Permalink

      It was at mine – SCR (Senior Common Room) for the “Lecturers, Professors etc” and JCR (Junior Common Room) for the students.

    • Jezza
      Posted September 11, 2009 at 10:48 am | Permalink

      I2d – I am assuming ‘version’ for ‘translation’ with reference to the Bible, which has over 50 versions, or translations in English.

      • Libellule
        Posted September 11, 2009 at 11:07 am | Permalink

        Chambers has translation = version.

        • Yoshik
          Posted September 11, 2009 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

          In all 3 of my universities SCR was for Profs. etc.

          Eventually occupied 2 myself.

          Trouble is that background still means I struggle with DT crosswords.

          Always grateful for some help!

  2. Ali P
    Posted September 11, 2009 at 1:14 pm | Permalink


    Wasn’t the Potsdam conference held at Cecilienhof Palace in the Berlin suburb of Potsdam? So the word “centre” makes the clue a bit misleading? Or am I being slow and/or pernickety?


  3. Lea
    Posted September 11, 2009 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

    A very pleasant one for Friday – enjoyed it very much. Especially liked 21a. Thanks for the hints – I got the answer for a couple but couldn’t figure out why until I read your hints – in particular 11a – the answer could only be what it is but I wasn’t sure why.

  4. Edi
    Posted September 11, 2009 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

    fantastic friday wrestle with the setter. 28a was very very naughty. 20d my favourite always nice to have a giggle. 21a wasnt in any of my books but enjoyed anyway. I thought the 12a conference was signed by Chamberlain as the UK leadership was altered. Dont worry Ali P, im picky too. See you all bright and early tomorrow.

    • Libellule
      Posted September 11, 2009 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

      It wasn’t Chamberlain, but Clement Attlee. The results of the British election became known during the conference. So Atlee assumed the Prime Minister’s role at the conference.

  5. bigboab
    Posted September 11, 2009 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

    Great crossword by a great setter!

  6. Posted September 15, 2009 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

    I’m always late with comments because we do them very slowly! However, I don’t think ‘ONER’ is a word at all, and as for ‘OLEO’, I’ve only ever come across it as a form of aircraft suspension (Oleo leg). But I suppose it all derives from olefaction, and a margerine is oil-based……

    • Libellule
      Posted September 15, 2009 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

      Andy B,

      According to the gospel according to Chambers:

      oner, one-er or wunner =
      – a person or thing unique or outstanding in any way
      – an expert
      – a single, uninterrupted action, process or operation (as in in a oner)
      – a £1 note
      -a heavy blow
      -a big lie

      Re. the reference to the aircraft leg you are correct Chambers defines oleo as the following:
      – short form of oleograph or oleomargarine
      – an oil-containing telescopic part of the landing gear of an aircraft, acting as a shock absorber on landing (also oleo leg)