DT 26048 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26048

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26048

Hints and tips by Libellule

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** and a half Enjoyment ***

Not quite two stars, but I don’t think this is worth three stars for difficulty either. But there’s still a lot of fun to be had and depressingly I can’t even complain about the anagram indicators.

Did the setter deliberately juxtapose 1d and 17d and also 21d and 8d? I am not sure, but I like the effect.


1. Situation after most recent call for retirement (4,4)
{LAST POST} – A simple charade, if I give you the solution to the defintion, you should be able to work out the wordplay. The call for retirement is in fact “the second of two bugle-calls denoting the time for retiring for the night” or “the farewell bugle-call at military funerals”.

5. A cold continent reportedly providing growth (6)
{ACACIA} – A C (cold) sounds like (reportedly) ASIA (continent) is also a genus of shrubs and trees belonging to the subfamily Mimosoideae of the family Fabaceae, first described in Africa by the Swedish botanist Carolus Linnaeus in 1773.

9. Posh chap accepts a sovereign for going (6,3)
{TAKING OFF} – Put TOFF (posh chap) around A KING (sovereign) is also a phrase that can be used for going, i.e. departing on an aeroplane for example.

11. A day married – one has time to confess! (5)
{ADMIT} – A word sum consisting of single letters. A D (day) M (married) I and T (time).

12. Cleopatra’s call to seize rogue (6)
{RASCAL} – A word within Cleopatra’s call conceals the rogue.

13. New diet many find explosive (8 )
{DYNAMITE} – An anagram (new) of DIET MANY reveals an explosive invented by Alfred Nobel in 1866.

15. Relaxation provided for professors of heavy metal music? (7,6)
{ROCKING CHAIRS} – A cryptic definition for a chair placed on curving supports so that the sitter may move backwards and forwards.

18. Mass accusation against restaurant practice (7,6)
{SERVICE CHARGE} – SERVICE (mass) CHARGE (accusation) is a percentage added to a bill in a hotel or restaurant to pay for service

22. One rakes it in when the chips are down (8 )
{CROUPIER} – Think casino and someone who collects and pays bets.

23. Miserable face, taking in the outskirts of Stockholm (6)
{DISMAL} – DIAL (face) around the first and last letters (outskirts) of S (tockhol) M, for another word meaning unhappy.

26. National institution started by old valet (5)
{OMANI} – O (old), then MAN (valet) and finally the first letter of (started) I (nstitution) is a foreign national from the Sultanate of Oman. I did wonder if valet might be pushing the definition of man a bit, but Chambers has the following “a male attendant or servant”.

27. Building trust, cure drunk (9)
{STRUCTURE} – An anagram (drunk) of TRUST and CURE is for example a thing that is built eg. a house (noun), and it can also be used to describe the act of putting something together (verb).

28. Put down crew as non-professional (6)
{LAYMAN} – LAY (put down) and another definition of MAN (as in manage a ship) is a man who is a non-professional, or not a cleric.

29. Betrayed partners felt an urge (8 )
{SNITCHED} – A synonym for “to inform or sneak” is made up of S and N (bridge partners) and ITCHED (felt an urge).


1. Illuminated lines about age of books (8 )
{LITERARY} – LIT (illuminated) and RY (railway lines) is placed around ERA (age) for a word that is “related to books”.

2. Hears of searches for religious adherents (5)
{SIKHS} – Sounds like (hears) SEEKS for the “adherents of a monotheistic religion established in the 15th Century by former Hindus who rejected the authority of the Vedas.” (How many of you knew that?).

3. Language resulting in broken jaw in pub, losing wife (7)
{PUNJABI} – An anagram (broken) of JAW IN PUB minus W (losing wife) is the Indic language spoken by most people in a particular area in northwestern India.

4. Denounce retail outlet (4)
{SHOP} – A simple double definition.

6. Indian bread man with a note (7)
{CHAPATI} – CHAP (its that man again), with A and TI (the seventh note of the scale in sol-fa notation).

7. Party official who organised Oscars around 2001 (9)
{COMMISSAR} – An anagram (organised) of OSCARS around MMI (Roman numerals for 2001) is usually associated with a Communist Party official from the old Soviet Union.

8. Song from worker on edge (6)
{ANTHEM} – ANT (worker) and HEM (edge).

10. Circular advertising tent cover (8 )
{FLYSHEET} – Another double definition. According to Chambers – “a piece of canvas that can be fitted to the roof of a tent to give additional protection from rain” is also a “handbill”.

14. Unattractive quality of American adopting single lunatic (8)
{UGLINESS} – An anagram (lunatic) of SINGLE placed inside US (American) for a word that can be used to describe the qualities of appearance that do not give pleasure to the senses.

16. Usual copper’s to spoil end of day (9)
{CUSTOMARY} – Commonly or usual is made up of CUS (coppers) TO MAR (spoil) and the last letter (end of) (da) Y.

17. Highly literate source looking embarrassed about answer (4-4)
{WELL-READ} – Highly literate could be WELL (source) with RED (embarrassed) about A (answer).

19. Quietly slipped into saint’s memorial with a copy (7)
{REPLICA} – P (quietly from piano being soft in music) is placed inside (slipped into) RELIC (saint’s memorial) and then we finally add (with) an A.

20. Action taken to diminish shock (7)
{HAIRCUT} – A cryptic definition that works for me. Shock in this case is a mass of thick, shaggy hair.

21. What might come after finishing fish? (6)
{SCHOOL} – I assume that this is a reference to a word that comes after “Finishing” and is also another word for a shoal of fish.

24. Opening that’s acceptable in night flyer (5)
{MOUTH} – The night flyer in this case is MOTH, now place U (socially acceptable) inside.

25. Cereal for a thinker doesn’t have one (4)
{BRAN} – Remove I from BRAIN (thinker) and you have the husks of grain sifted from the flour now usually eaten as a healthy breakfast food.

23 comments on “DT 26048

  1. Is it just me or are the puzzles getting easier as the week progresses? I think I must have been on the right wavelength for today’s setter this morning as I whistled through it. No complaints about the clues themselves but they simply didn’t tease me – they simply slapped me round the face with the answer. It is a really good puzzle for beginners and I did enjoy trying to speed solve today’s puzzle. I will have to see what the Toughie produces for delights on the journey home!

  2. Hi Libellule, once again thanks for a great write up, 15a missing a s at the end, but loved this clue.

  3. Thanks for write up Libellule,
    Enjoyed todays but like Prolixic it seems the clues have got easier as the week has gone on.
    I thoght 5a clue a bit wobbly and 15a is an old one.
    The cheekiest was 26a, a short 4 letters but a long thought period.

    1. Nubian,
      Re, 5a with sound like clues you often get disagreements about how good the homophone is…. in this case, I would agree that its a bit wooly, but the “continent” definition does give it away….

      1. I think this has been discussed before, but I question the use of part of a word as a homophone for another word! Also, I don’t know anybody who pronounces “Asia” the same as the last two syllables of “acacia”. Although, as you suggest, it wasn’t a difficult clue, in tis case.

        In fact, I agree with Prolixic, these puzzles do seem to be getting easier.

  4. I found this fairly straightforward today. My only gripe is 26a; do not like ‘man’ as a synonym for ‘valet’. Otherwise enjoyable..

    1. I wondered about that – but as you can see from the blog, the synonym is valid as per Chambers. So I am not going to argue about it.

  5. gosh this is the third crossword i have completed this week without help from the blog………not too easy for me…..just right i’d say….very encouraging…yeees

  6. OK – I have decided that I am thick today as it didn’t flow as easily for me as the rest of the week has. It might have been easy for most of you but I was definitely not on anyone’s wave length today. Shame as I felt so good yesterday as well. Oh well – tomorrow is another Friday and I enjoy that one having coffee after my gym session.

    1. Me also. Yesterday everything flowed but today although I got there in the end (with the help of the hint for 21d which I would never have got on my own) a number of the answers/clues disappointed me. As you say roll on Friday!

  7. My only small gripe and hence sticking point for a while was per Jezzas comment.
    3 train stops today!

  8. 1d RY = railway?!! I got the answer but I would never, ever have figured out RY for “lines”!

  9. I’m not alone then in feeling these past two days have been less than challenging and thus something of an anti-climax. I take a perverse comfort from knowing tomorrow is Friday and I am sure to be brought down to earth with a resounding thud!

  10. I got stuck with 21d and 26ac.I always use Cassell’s Finisher{my husband says it’s cheating] so I did get 21d but didn’t like the clue.I also thought some of the clues seemed familiar and had been used recently.Many thanks for the blog.

  11. A common theme here appears to be 26a and 21d and I concur they stumped me. 21d was weak in my view or am I missing something? 22a also had me perplexed for a while and I could not shake the word “jackpot” out of my head and was convinced it had something to do with the answer. Otherwise all done by the time I got to my train stop so reasonably satisfied.

    1. Bit late to comment now as it’s half way through Friday but in relation to 21d I just couldn’t associate finishing with school, maybe if it had been a capital F? I guess more experieced crossworders will have come across the combination many times before.

      For me the problem with 22a was the use of ‘One’ which I didn’t associate with a person (although I recognise that I should have) I guess if it had been ‘He’ it would have been too easy.

      1. Newtocrypric,
        Re. your first comment, no not really, when I wrote the blog, I used the words “I assume” before I answered the clue…. to indicate how weak I thought this clue really was.
        And for your second comment, one is more accurate than a he, because it could also be a she…

  12. Re 1 a. I thought that the the bugle call for ‘retirement’ should really be the beating of the retreat, rather than the Last Post. I was unaware that it was used at lights out – thought it was only funerals.

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