DT 26080 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26080

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26080

A full analysis by Big Dave

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ****

This prize puzzle turned out to be very popular. It was easy enough for the newer solvers and generated a few smiles among those more experienced. I think the message to Cephas is quite clear – “Please Sir, can we have some more?”


1a Betting before and afterwards (4-4)
ANTE-POST – a type of betting before the runners’ numbers are given is a charade of ANTE (before) and POST (afterwards)

5a Man on whom success depends gets an honour, gold (6)
ANCHOR – this charade seems to have fooled many – a man on whom success depends is derived from AN CH (Companion of Honour) and OR (gold)

9a Plant hairs as you might say (5)
FURZE – This plant sounds like (as you might say) FURS( the thick, soft, fine hair of certain animals)

10a Big hit when one doesn’t miss a trick (5,4)
GRAND SLAM – the second part of this double definition is a bridge term for winning all 13 tricks

12a Is able to record Louise getting stuck into melon (10)
CANTALOUPE – take CAN (is able) and TAPE (to record) and put them around (getting stuck into) LOU(ISE) to get a type of melon

13a Jonathan, about one, to meet and become member (4)
JOIN – another shortened forename, this time JON is put around I (one) to give a word meaning to become a member

15a Fly, one of ten suspended (11)
GREENBOTTLE – a double definition – a type of fly, or one of ten hanging on the wall in the children’s’ song

16a Character appearing in Chapter One (3)
CHI – before I had any checking letters I thought it might be Ron that was hiding in Chapter One, but it turned out to be the Greek character CHI that was made up from CH(apter) and I (one)

17a Amphibian remaining headless (3)
EFT – this friend of Ken Livingston is derived from (L)EFT (remaining)!

18a Not one playing second fiddle? (5,6)
FIRST VIOLIN – only just a cryptic definition of this member of the orchestra

20a Say about husband going in pale (4)
ASHY – put an anagram (about) of SAY around H(usband) and the result is a word meaning pale

21a Barker travelling round bay to emerge into the open (5,5)
BREAK COVER – an anagram (travelling) of BARKER is placed around COVE (bay) to get a phrase meaning to emerge into the open

24a Paper producing report? (9)
CARTRIDGE – a double definition – a light-coloured, strong paper for drawing on, originally manufactured for making cartridges, and a case containing the charge for a gun, which makes a noise (report) when fired – ironic that the two definitions are so closely related

26a Second pound needed for seafood (5)
SQUID – here’s one to fool the overseas solvers – combine S(econd) and QUID (a slang expression for a pound in money) and you get any large-headed cephalopod mollusc with a long tapering body, ten tentacles and triangular tail fins … and a chance to tell a shortened form of a terrible joke!

An elderly squid was laying on the seabed nearing the end of his life when a shark, looking for dinner, swam over to him. “Please don’t eat me”, said the squid, “I’ve been sick for weeks now, and haven’t got long to go”. So the shark said, “Ok, as you’re so sick, climb onto my back and I’ll take you for a little ride”. So the squid climbed on and the shark swam across the seabed until they came to some rocks where another shark was lurking. “Hello”, said the second shark, “What brings you over here?”. “Hello mate”, said the first shark. “Here’s that sick squid I owe you”

27a Score five boundaries (6)
TWENTY – a double definition – five fours (boundaries in cricket) gives you 20

28a It beats pal’s tour round (8)
PULSATOR – this machine that throbs is an anagram of PAL’S TOUR


1d Pretend to touch another’s feelings (6)
AFFECT – a double definition – to make a show or pretence of on the one hand and to touch another’s feelings on the other

2d City I go round (5)
TURIN – an Italian city is created from I with a TURN (go) around

3d Frenchman’s engagement in secondary lodging (4-1-5)
PIED À TERRE – put DATE (an engagement or assignation) insidePIERRE ( a common forename for a Frenchman) to get this secondary lodging

4d Jack co-starring in part (3)
TAR – Jack is a slang term for a sailor, as is tar, and both are combined in the expression Jolly Jack Tar – by the way it is hidden inside (in part) co-starring

6d Out of gear (4)
NUDE – a cryptic definition

7d Lone whale swimming at the end of last month (9)
HALLOWEEN – an anagram (swimming) of LONE WHALE gives this event which occurs on the last day of October (at the end of last month) – I bet this will cause trouble when it appears in syndicated form in a few months time!

8d Animal that’s strange at home with hill-dweller (8)
RUMINANT – this animal that chews the cud is a charade of RUM (strange) IN (at home) and ANT (hill-dweller) – this synonym for an ant makes a refreshing change from “worker” and “soldier”

10d Benevolent, suitable character, head of department (4-7)
GOOD-NATURED – a word meaning benevolent is a charade of GOOD (suitable) NATURE (character) and D (head of Department

11d Approach that’s fairly correct (11)
APPROXIMATE – a double definition

14d Class total disrupted regardless of the consequences (2,3,5)
AT ALL COSTS – an anagram (disrupted) of CLASS TOTAL gives a phrase meaning regardless of the consequences

15d Present stallion shouldn’t be taken to dentist (4,5)
GIFT HORSE – a charade of GIFT (present) and HORSE (stallion) gives something you should never look in the mouth!

16d Neat gash free from infection at the start (5-3)
CLEAN CUT – an expression that means neati s built up from CUT (gash) preceded by (at the start) CLEAN (free from infection)

19d Scurry back to Queen’s merchant (6)
TRADER – take DART (scurry) reversed (back) and add ER (the Queen) and you get a merchant

22d Bound for the cellar (5)
VAULT – a double definition

23d Regularly fervent with worry (4)
FRET – take the odd letters (regularly) of FeRvEnT and the result is a synonym for to worry

25d Stare endlessly into space (3)
GAP – drop the last letter (endlessly) from GAP(E) (to stare) to get an unfilled space

1 comment on “DT 26080

  1. Hi Big Dave

    I agree with your comments totally. If we continue to get Saturday puzzles like these we will all be happy. I voted to give it four stars for enjoyment – very enjoyable.

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