DT 26041 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26041

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26041

One Banana, Two Banana, Three Banana Four…….

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment: ***

Greetings from the rain-kissed paradise that is the Calder Valley.  A nice friendly puzzle  that shouldn’t cause too much trouble to newer solvers, although a couple of clues require a careful reading of the words.  I also thought there were rather a lot of anagrams (eleven actually, especially of short words and five out of the first six clues), which can suggest a little laziness on behalf of the setter, although here the surface readings of clues are generally very good.

As usual, the answers are  “hidden” inside the curly brackets.  Highlighting them will reveal all.  At the end of the blog, you can click on the star rating to show your opinion on the puzzle, and of course, you are welcome to have your say at the end and newer posters should note that their first posts sometimes take a little while to appear due to having to be moderated to check for spammers.


1a      Doctors are ultimately reluctant to get in remedy for brute (8)
{CREATURE}  Anagram (indicated by “doctors”) of ARE + T (ultimately reluctanT) inside CURE (remedy).  Brute is the definition required.

5a      Dashes off to get sunglasses (6)
{SHADES} An anagram (indicated by “off”) of DASHES gives a synonym for sunglasses.

10a    Dog breed I re-enter, becoming excited with a second in Crufts (8,7)
{ABERDEEN TERRIER}  A clever surface reading.  An anagram (becoming excited) of BREED I REENTER, plus A and R (A plus second in CRufts’)

Here’s one!

11a    Car test is on different signals (7)
{MOTIONS} M O T (Car test) + an anagram (different) of IS ON gives a word meaning signals, as in beckons.

12a    Reptiles girl found by a road with son (7)
{LIZARDS}  LIZ = girl (not Liza, otherwise the “a” would be surplus)  + A RD (road) + S for son reveals those unpopular reptiles.

13a    How meat’s cooked, to a certain extent (8)
{SOMEWHAT}   Another anagram (cooked) of HOW MEATS gives a word meaning “to a certain extent”.

15a    Peer inside piano blearily (5)
{NOBLE}  Hidden answer,  “piano blearily”

18a    Sounds like piano virtuoso’s records (5)
{LISTS}  A homophone of LIZST

20a    Heard to fib about gun with daughter (8)
{LISTENED}  STEN (gun) inside LIE (fib) + D(aughter)

23a    Secured criminal to be released (7)
{RESCUED} Anagram (indicated by criminal) of SECURED

25a    Chapter one tense in true story (7)
{RECITAL}  Bit of a woolly definition for me.   C I T (Chapter One Tense) inside REAL

26a    In the cold, where you might find chaps fashionable? (2,9,4)
{ON EVERYONE’S LIPS}  One of those double definition clues where one bit is cryptic.  Fashionable is the normal definition, and the remainder is why you carry a tube of Blisteze.

27a    Shares out sweet dishes (6)
{SPLITS}  Double definition time again.  “Shares out” and “desserts associated with bananas”.  By the way, I hate bananas.  [Me too! BD]

28a    Notes dining-room times (8)
{MESSAGES}  A word sum.    MESS (dining-room) + AGES (times)

I am just popping out to be manipulated by a nurse.  I’ll be back a bit later.  If you have a query on the Downs, and can’t wait, post a message and one of the sages will no doubt deal with it.


Apologies everyone, but I was detained at the hospital after a bit of a reaction to a jab I had.  I’m feeling Ok now, but will be having a night in front of the telly shouting at Masterchef  to make up for it.


1d      Maintains shellfish get caught in current? On the contrary (6)
{CLAIMS}  this is one of those clues you either love or hate.  The setter is saying  “shellfish getting caught in current?  The opposite!”, ie  current caught in shellfish.  Therefore I = current in physics, inside CLAMS = shellfish.  Maintains is then left as your definition.

2d      Chooses to hold boy — they’ll definitely be charged (9)
{ELECTRONS}  ELECTS is chooses and it has a boy (RON) inside.  The remainder is the definition.

3d      Swimmer gets a little stick (7)
{TADPOLE}  A little =  TAD + POLE = stick.  The whole is a swimmer that grows up hopefully to be a prince.

4d      They vibrate in the wind (5)
{REEDS}  I’m not sure this is valid as a clue.  It’s ostensibly a cryptic definition referring to the fact that they vibrate in wind instruments.  When I hear people talking about the wind section of an orchestra, I have heard of “winds”, not “wind” on its own.  However, I suppose you could have two reeds in one instrument, but I think it’s a bit tenuous.  Not happy about it.

6d      TV programme’s outlook (7)
{HORIZON}  Without looking  at the clue properly I thought of PANORAMA, but once I saw the letter count, I knew I was looking for something else.   A double definition with the answer one of BBC2’s longest running shows.

7d      Migrant dropping newspaper that’s more boring (5)
{DRIER}  This is a subtractive clue.  A migrant is a DRIFTER and “dropping newspaper” means take away FT (Financial Times).  This leads you to a word that means more boring.

8d      Worried about puddings (8)
{STRESSED}  I have to say this clue is probably as old as the hills, but will amuse you if you haven’t seen it before.  My irritation with it is that the “about” in the middle means you could enter the answer either way and you need checking letters to get it.  That makes it unfair in my book.

9d      The least strange people on track? (8)
{ATHLETES}  An anagram (indicated by strange)  of “THE LEAST” will reveal those people who like going round in extended circles.

14d     Labour’s not working during these times (8)
{HOLIDAYS}  An echo of the famous Saatchi and Saatchi poster when Mrs T came to power. It’s basically a cryptic definition for those periods that come between weeks at work.

16d     Getting a change of air? (9)
{BREATHING}  A pretty weak clue to me, a cryptic definition to BREATHING.  Unless I am missing something.

17d     Wonderful garagiste initially oils our wheels (8)
{GLORIOUS}  G = garagiste initially, i.e. first letter, plus an anagram (indicated by wheels) of OILS OUR.  This gives a word for marvellous, superb or wonderful.  I personally think garagiste makes the clue look a bit forced.  What about “greaser or grease-monkey”?

19d     Dust off English books for pupil (7)
{STUDENT}  An anagram (off) of DUST, plus E (English) and NT (books: in Crosswordland books is frequently OT or NT, i.e. Books of the Bible ), produces a word meaning learner or pupil.

21d     Forgives former lover with profanity about end of romance (7)
{EXCUSES} EX = former lover + CUSS (profanity) with E (end of romancE) inside.  The definition is FORGIVES.

22d     Shuts cupboards after cat at last jumps out (6)
{CLOSES}   Similar to 7d  This has CLOSETS minus T  (cat at last), giving a word for shuts.

24d     Hum start of melody in shop (5)
{SMELL}   M = start of melody inside SELL = shop, as in give away secrets.  Hum is used as the definition.

25d     Dreadful anger produces row (5)
{RANGE}  An anagram (indicated by dreadful) of ANGER gives a  word meaning row or line.

Once again, apologies for being late with the downs.  Overall, I felt this wasn’t a particularly bad puzzle and I try to approach it from the point of view that many of you do.  Perhaps I should have given it an extra star for difficulty.  However occasionally, one or two things don’t quite sit well in my book.

Thanks to Big Dave for helping earlier.

See you for Thursday’s Toughie.

DT 26041 - Answers
DT 26041 - Answers

45 comments on “DT 26041

            1. As someone who is a terrier lover, and a past breeder of then King of Terriers i.e The Airedale, I must say that the term Aberdeen Terrier is alien to me.

    1. I am a vet and have never heard of it! I do not doubt that it exists but I have never heard a Scottie called this!

  1. Too many anagrams but otherwise not bad, I quite enjoyed it. My next door neighbour but one has two Aberdeen Terriers(Scotties)

  2. It was tougher than yesterday, but I managed to finish in reasonable time whilst suffering too many interruptions!!
    I found the answer to 10a Aberdeen Terrier, in advance of determining precisely where the anagram was hiding.
    17d Learnt a new word here, and like the definition in Wikipedia! …. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Garagistes
    24d Wasn’t keen on the simile for shop in this clue … does sell really equate to shop?

    Cheers (S)

    1. Sarumite

      Like you I thought this was a bit more difficult that two stars, but I did it while watching a video so maybe that was why I took longer. I thought 26a was tough as a cryptic definition, but fun when you worked it out.

      On 24d I think it was shop as in to shop someone or sell out, but yes it was a bit tricky.

  3. I enjoyed todays very much but amazes me how some people in CluedUp can do these in two minutes …awesome.
    Best clue today was 13a I thought.

    1. Nubian, if we could solve these puzzles in two minutes, would there be as much enjoyment for us?
      That said …… I maybe wish I was in that bracket!!!

    2. The silly thing about times on CluedUp is that you can do the puzzle in the newspaper and then enter it on the site. It would be much better if CluedUp had all the puzzles a day early (but I found out accidentally how to “cheat”)!

      1. What amazes me is their typing skills, I can’t type that fast that I can fill it all
        in in 2 minutes

  4. I totally missed 10ac, couldnt find that particular type at all. Also had issues with 28ac, found this one hard today.

    1. Andy

      Perhaps you can expand on the issues you have with 28 across.

      A mess is defined by Chambers in this context as follows:

      * a number of people who take their meals together, especially in the armed forces

      * a place where such a group take their meals together

      and the term Officers’ Mess is quite well known.

  5. Why can’t I see Tilsit’s down comments and answers? I can only see the across. Don’t normally have this problem! I thought today’s a bit too easy. The week before last, I was stumped most days! I just want to know WHY the answers are what they are, for 1D, 7D and 14D.

    1. Hi Wend and welcome to the blog.
      The down hints are not yet there, because Tilsit has a medical appointment, so I’ll see what I can do for your problem clues:
      1d. Maintains shellfish get caught in current? On the contrary (6)
      Abbreviation for current is I – so put this inside CLAMS (shellfish)

      7d. Migrant dropping newspaper that’s more boring (5)
      Take FT (Financial Times) out of DRIFTER

      14d. Labour’s not working during these times (8)
      Cryptic definition of the times when people are off work.

        1. Wend

          Tilsit has ongoing medical problems that require constant care. I will post the completed grid soon, and he will add the rest of the review later.

  6. An excellent crossword today. I think it merits a *** for difficulty rather than the ** that you have given it. My favourite was 26a if only for that ah! moment when the penny dropped.

    I had come across Aberdeen Terrier before – the fact that the KC has the breed listed by a different name does not invalidate the clue. I was walking my dog in the park and got chatting with a fellow dog owner whose new puppy was a cross between a Jack Russell and a Poodle. He was chuffed with his new pet but disliked the name that had been given to the cross. It seems that they are known as Jackapoos. He should have been thankful the sire was not a Shih Tzu!

  7. I enjoyed today, tricky, but a good head scratcher. As usual needed a few hints from the site, but all seemed to fit in nicely. 10a didn’t bother me too much, 26a was a bit odd, 27a my favourite as i completely overlooked it. Unsure on 8d, if anyone can point the way?

        1. Edi
          We’ve all done it. It’s not as easy as all that because the word to be reversed is not actually in the clue.

  8. Never a two star difficult more like **** but nevertheless *** enjoyable with a couple of good clues and one top-class in 26a.

  9. didn’t like 24d, i can’t find sell to mean shop or vice versa anywhere or am i just once again being ‘thick’ !? had to have help with 28a – still din’t like it, for myself i think it was a 3 star :)

    1. I made the same observation above mary :-

      24d Wasn’t keen on the simile for shop in this clue, does sell really equate to shop?

      1. Basically shop is as in the context of betraying secrets, and therefore selling as well. Bit tenuous to a certain extent, if that’s not an oxymoron.

  10. For me this was 4star material and nowhere near 2 star . For example
    20a you have to pick sten for gun out of the possibilities for gun.
    28a mess=dining room.
    Never got near 26a

  11. Thought this was quite tricky- did not like 25 down – couldn’t quite match row with the anagram of anger – I can sort of see it. Am I missiing something? (don’t answer brain cells please.) 26 across was clever had to get nearly all of down clues before I got it!

  12. Thanks everyone and I have passed the second half over to that nice big Dave chap to work his magic.

    Unfortunately I have a number of hospital and clinic appointments I have to keep and these sometimes get in the way of things.

  13. Thanks to Tilsit who gamely carried on despite being poorly! Your help is always appreciated… Loved 26a though side-tracked for a while thinking it related horse riding…

    1. My heart went out at this late hour,9:30 in France, I can relate to your annoyance Marian and Joanne, I get very upset and shout at the screen wondering why I can’t find the answer and then some smart**** comes up with a different tack completely.
      The only thing I can say is we are all in the boat and that’s what makes crosswords so enjoyable.
      I hope you are well Tilsit and are able to resume soon, my best wishes go to you, I don’t know if Big Dave is still up but can he find some words of encouragement for our two girls ?
      Bon nuit

    2. Having problems with the RSS feed tonight, so did not get my usual timely notification of comments until now.

      I did comment earlier about the difficulty solving 26 across. One of the benefits that comes with experience is that you stop reading a clue as anything other than a word puzzle, and as a consequence have no set ideas on the answer. The key to this particular clue is finding the definition – fashionable – and using the available checking letters to guess at possible answers.

      @Nubian – don’t forget that our clock is an hour behind yours!

  14. Referring to the 4d’s comment “However, I suppose you could have two reeds in one instrument” the oboe is that instrument with two reeds. I rated this as a three star’ish!

      1. Is an orchestra not made up of (the) strings, (the) wind and (the) percussion? For me it’s acceptable, but can see this could well be one of those cases that polarise people. Tis why we like doing them, I guess!

  15. Can’t agree that 26041 was as easy as you say. I am not in your league, but I finish it two days out of three. Didn’t manage this one. Bottom left hand corner beat me, as I never spotted “glorious” was an anagram and just could not get “On everyones lips” as I never thought of that kind of chap. (thought of “men” and the item of leg wear.) As for “splits” I was nowhere near. Although I got “Claims” at 1d, did not know where the “i” came from till I read your explanation.
    So even though I may have had a slight off day I definitely rate it more than ** difficulty.

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