DT 26042 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26042

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26042

Hints and tips by Libellule

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BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

I came to appreciate this crossword more when I started writing up the blog, than when I actually did it. For once I can’t really complain about anagram indicators, except for 10a where I was a little unsure which one is supposed to do the job, but eventually decided on display.  Otherwise this is a gentle work out for the grey cells, having a good mix of clue types, and clues that vary from being quite simple to others that are more complicated.

As usual feel free to comment and dicuss what you thought of today’s offering.

Across Clues

9. Stadium that took an age to make a comeback (5)
{ARENA} – AN ERA (age) reversed (to make a comeback) for a place used for the holding of sports events for example.

10. Queen offering a pectoral display (9)
{CLEOPATRA} – An anagram (display?) of A PECTORAL produces a famous Egyptian queen. Would any of you ever use the word pectoral to refer to a females chest?

11. Commit to a little coastal walk with one’s wife — finally! (7)
{PROMISE} – A little coastal walk is a PROM (enade) followed by IS (ones) and the last letter (finally) of (wif) E for an undertaking to do or not do something.

12. Places calling time, say, on non-smoker! (7)
{TAVERNS} – An good surface reading to this, considering that smoking has been banned from these places nowadays. T (time), AVER (say) and NS (non smoker).

13. Mature swan on river island (5)
{RIPEN} – R (river) I (island) is placed upon (on) PEN (female swan) for another word meaning to mature or develop fully.

14. Almost deal with it — no one backed such practice (9)
{TRADITION} – Almost deal is TRAD (e), i.e. trade with the final letter removed (almost), followed by IT and the NO I (no one) reversed (backed) is a time-honoured custom.

16. Makes strenuous efforts and leaves complete swine (4,3,5,3)
{GOES THE WHOLE HOG} – A cryptic and literal definition of makes strenuous efforts, or more accurately to do something in the most complete way possible. Plus the literal definition of “leaves complete swine”.

19. Getting the hang of exchange rates in China (9)
{MASTERING} – An anagram (exchange – an excellent anagram indicator) of RATES is placed inside of MING (a Chinese porcelain from the time of the Ming dynasty) for a word that can mean becoming proficient in the use of something.

21. Housing projection goes without starting (5)
{EAVES} – Goes is LEAVES, remove the L (without starting) for the projecting edge of a roof.

23. Our land is cultivated but lumpy (7)
{NODULAR} – An anagram (is cultivated – another well worked anagram indicator) of OUR LAND, is another word for a collection of little knots, lumps or swellings.

25. Trouble for a time in a French home (7)
{AGITATE} – Another word for trouble or disturb can be found by placing A T (time) in A GITE (French home).

27. A fine figurehead ends oddly insulted (9)
{AFFRONTED} – a synonym for insulted is derived from A F (fine – from lead pencils), FRONT (figurehead), then E (n) D (s), ends oddly.

28. Bush is an officer of the church (5)
{ELDER} – A double definition, an officer in some Protestant churches is also a shrub or tree of the genus Sambucus.


1. The sort of American who used to be quiet (4)
{WASP} – The abbreviation for White Anglo Saxon Protestant, is made up from WAS (used to be) and P (piano, quiet from music)

2. Recover from takeover by soldiers (6)
{RECOUP} – To make good a loss or recover consists of an overturn or takeover, COUP, preceded by RE (Royal Engineers – soldiers).

3. Entire moat renovated for one — with strings attached (10)
{MARIONETTE} – An anagram (renovated) of ENTIRE MOAT is another word for a puppet with jointed limbs moved by strings.

4. Take a cold mushroom and tomato starter (6)
{ACCEPT} – A C (cold) CEP (mushroom) and the first letter (starter) from T (omato) is to take something that is offered.

5. Skin disease caused by reckless passion? (4,4)
{HEAT RASH} – A double definition with the second being cryptic. Although miliaria is usually caused by sweating more than usual in a hot or humid climate that might be caused by RASH (reckless) HEAT (passion), or more than likely, probably not…

6. People of importance get a lift from such a wide boy (4)
{SPIV} – Reverse (get a lift) of VIPS is the kind of character that was portrayed by Private Joe Walker in Dad’s army. Which reminds me of this..

From the episode “The Deadly Attachment”:

“German U-boat Captain: I am making notes, Captain, and your name will go on the list; and when we win the war you will be brought to account.
Captain Mainwaring: You can write what you like, You’re not going to win the war!
U-boat Captain: Oh yes we are.
Mainwaring: Oh no you’re not.
U-boat Captain: Oh yes we are!
Pvt. Pike: [Singing] Whistle while you work, Hitler is a twerp, he’s half-barmy, so’s his army, whistle while you work!
U-boat Captain: Your name will also go on the list! What is it?
Mainwaring: Don’t tell him Pike!
U-boat Captain: Pike! “

7. Creature seen from brilliant angle (8 )
{STARFISH} – STAR (brilliant, sparking, glittering etc ?), followed by FISH (to angle).

8. Leaves to cover crime in church buildings (10)
{PARSONAGES} – Leaves are PAGES (leaves from a book for example) around (to cover) ARSON (crime) gives us residences that were originally created for parson’s.

13. Volunteers left to follow diet of army unit (10)
{REGIMENTAL} – TA (Territorial Army, volunteers) plus L (left) follows REGIMEN (diet) is “of a particular type of army unit”.

15. Sick of French and given penalty for being vague (3-7)
{ILL DEFINED} –ILL (sick), DE (French for of), FINED (given penalty).

17. Slowed down for facility west of Dover — no longer available! (5,3)
{EASED OFF} – The definition for this clue is “slowed down”. Facility in this case does not mean something like a factory, but instead means EASE in performance or action. Follow this with the western letter of D (over), then add OFF (no longer available).

18. Leave for golf in Middle Eastern ruler’s land (8 )
{EMIGRATE} – G (golf, the radio code letter for G) is placed in EMIRATE a Middle Eastern ruler’s land for a synonym to leave, or to describe it properly a word that is used to describe what happens when you “move from one country or state and settle permanently in another”.

20. Household troops get watches (6)
{GUARDS} – A double definition of the kind of troops that look after the Queen, and to also to keep watch over.

22. Food obtained by way of initial discussions between partners (6)
{VIANDS} – VIA (by way of), then the first letter (initial) of D (iscussions) needs to be placed between N (north) and S (south), bridge partners. Hopefully if you manage to understand the explanation you should be left with a word used to describe an article of food.

24. Spoils luck, accepting nothing (4)
{LOOT} – Another word for swag is made up from LOT (luck) with an additional O (nothing) inside (accepting).

26. Long to start late and make a living (4)
{EARN} – Long to is YEARN, remove the Y (start late) and now you can make a living.

24 comments on “DT 26042

  1. Wow, you were quick of the mark today getting the hints up. I guess that hour’s time difference help though.

    I thought today’s puzzle was a good workmanlike one with nothing nasty though perhaps merited a *** for difficulty – the last three mornings’ crossword have all been rated as Twickenhams by my scale (the station that I have reached when I have completed the crossword).

    In relation to 10a I am coming to the conclusion that setters are taking the approach that any word that relates to setting something (programme) or displaying something (display) or hints however indirectly at an anagram is fair game even if the indicator has little to do with rearranging something. Are they becoming a little 15d!

    1. Prolixic,
      Yes the having an extra hour does help. I have taken on board your comment re. difficulty and upped it to ***, I wasn’t sure about either, since I thought it was in between. Re. the anagram indicators, you may be right, but 3d and 19a seem to show a reversal of the trend.

  2. My brain was in reverse today, I must have looked at 18d for 10 minutes before the penny dropped, I almost fell asleep.
    Too much roti de porc and vin rose last night
    I enjoyed 8d but 22d was a new one on me, I kept putting in viande (the pork again!) being in France so the answer when it came was new to me, I didn’t know it was an english word

  3. I was feeling particularly smug this morning having apparently finished this one in under 10 minutes, until I read the comments of Nubian above; I too had entered ‘viande’ for 22d…more haste, less speed……!

  4. Very enjoyable today. Didn’t have any problems with anagram indicators. Learnt two new words: “cep” (although I knew “porcino”, which is another name for it) and “miliaria”. Not happy about “brilliant” for “star” in 7d. A star may be described as such, but it doesn’t mean brilliant! Best clues, I think, were 16a and 17d.

    1. Vince,
      I guess you also noticed the ? mark I used in 7d when I tried to explain the answer. If anybody can come up with a better explanation it would be appreciated.

  5. Very enjoyable puzzle for me today, particularly as I’m afflicted with either swine (or is it man?) flu. All fell into place except 21a and 22d which I had to come back to. I thought 15d and 8d were the best clues.

  6. I enjoyed the puzzle today too. My only gripe is the big black advert to the right of the puzzle. I do wish the advertisers who book this space could be a bit more thoughtful and provide lots of white space for me to scribble out my anagrams. It’s not too much to ask is it? Gripe over :)

  7. Gosh! I see that you posted this before I’d finished breakfast Libellule.
    Not too many problems this morning, although the term WASP eluded me initially.
    Thanks for the “Dad’s Army” insert .. they don’t make ’em like that any more! :smile:
    Favourite clues probably 8d and 15d.

  8. Enjoyed it a lot today, 1d was my only problem which was because I failed to read it properly. Learned a new word today 22d.

  9. Always thought 22a was a French word? Must have really on this setters wavelength as we fully enjoyed it and had it done in no time.

    1. Nanaglugglug
      Although the word is derived from viande according to Chambers and other dictionaries, it seems to be derived from an older french form of viande thats seems to indicate that the meaning is not as current (i.e. the french word for meat), but an older meaning (Middle English/Middle French?) for a dish or an item of prepared food. So if you put viande in for 22d rather than viands, I am afraid you were mistaken.

  10. very enjoyable today. took my time with it though. always nice to learn new words – 1d and 22d. might have a go at the toughie.

  11. Not bad but hated 22d – viandes indeed!! Ghastly. WASP had been scratching my head, never heard the phrase White Anglo Saxon President before. I agree about the very annoying black adverts.

    1. Barrie,
      The word you had never heard of was VIANDS, and WASP is an acronym for White Anglo Saxon PROTESTANT. I suspect President Obama would be mortified to be called a WASP.

  12. it must be me cos everyone seems to have enjoyed todays puzzle but i only got half way through before i had to go to the blog for help :) I got wasp 1d from the clue but had never heard this before

    1. Take comfort Mary from knowing that this was my worst day’s effort for a long time. I needed help on several clues, certainly more than usual. Clearly we react to the same crosswords in different ways – one man’s meat is another man’s poison as they say. Annoyingly the answers seem all to obvious when you see them. Was cross with myself for not thinking to use G for Golf in 18d – I use the phonetic alphabet every day in my job!

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