DT 26084 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26084

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26084

Hints and tips by Libellule

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BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

Normal service has been resumed. The usual Thursday outing from J. With its typical mix of clue types and complexity. Not too difficult, not too easy, perhaps just right? As such I can’t find anything contentious in this crossword, but perhaps you can?

If you are a first time visitor to the blog you can find the answers by highlighting the space between the curly brackets. As usual please feel free to leave a comment.


1. A Conservative chasing work in America should research here (10)
{LABORATORY} – The American word for work is LABOR, followed by A TORY (Conservative) is a place for experimental work or research.

6. Cut speed (4)
{CLIP} – Double definition. However you will probably need the checking letters before putting it in, as there are a number of possible solutions to this.

9. Heard of row with nutcase (5)
{SKULL} – Sounds like (heard) scull (row) for the bony case that surrounds the brain (nutcase).

10. Dream of black sheep returning home at last (9)
{NIGHTMARE} – The definition is dream. NIGHT (black) RAM (sheep) reversed (returning) plus the last letter (at last) of (hom)E.

12. Terrible grief accommodating a loud one with a lot of neck (7)
{GIRAFFE} – a long necked animal can be found from an anagram (terrible) of GRIEF with A and an F (loud – forte).

13. Value put on individual showing anger (5)
{IRATE} – Put I (individual) on RATE (value).

15. Part of church left by accident (7)
{CHANCEL} – L (left) following (by) CHANCE (accident) is the eastern part of a church.

17. Puzzled, but dismissed from the field of play (7)
{STUMPED} – A cricket reference for a change… a form of dismissal in cricket where the wicket is broken when the batsman is out of his or her ground and another term for nonplussed.

19. Defer pay out across America (7)
{SUSPEND} – SPEND (pay out) around (across) US (America).

21. Foremost of royal artists invested in kiln, having exceeded production (7)
{OVERRAN} – First letters (foremost) of R(oyal) and then RA (Royal Acadamy – artists) placed within (invested) OVEN (kiln).

22. Road crossing small Scottish course (5)
{SWEET} – Put ST around (crossing) WEE (small scottish) for the dessert course.

24. Policeman with evidence of debts in abundance (7)
{COPIOUS} – COP (policeman) and IOUS (evidence of debts).

27. Worried bare arms should start to cause consternation (9)
{EMBARRASS} – First letter of S(hould) and an anagram (worried) of BARE ARMS is a word used to describe causing someone to feel self-conscious.

28. Tight finish (5)
{CLOSE} – Triple definition? Confined (tight), finish (the end of day) and perhaps a keenly contested race (tight finish).

29. Bad news gets you in stitches (4)
{SEWN} – An anagram (bad) of NEWS.

30. Offers cover for returning nurse, showing compassion (10)
{TENDERNESS} – TENDERS (offers) around (cover) SEN (State Enrolled Nurse) reversed (returning) for a term used to describe being kind or sympathetic.


1. Survive with minimum energy expended (4)
{LAST} – Remove (expended) E (energy) from LEAST for another word for to survive.

2. Unhappy shop music? (9)
{BLUEGRASS} – BLUE (unhappy) GRASS (shop – inform on ) is a form of American roots music.

3. One measures initial response following decree (5)
{RULER} – RULE (decree) followed by the first letter (initial) of R(esponse) is a measuring device.

4. Fluent play outside centre court – how does that sound? (7)
{TUNEFUL} – Take the central letter of (co)U(rt) and then place an anagram (play) of FLUENT around (outside) it, for a word that means melodious and musical.

5. Report of hardships experienced by scaffolders (7)
{RIGGERS} – Sounds like (report) RIGOURS, is also a term for scaffolders.

7. Climber finding pin up on summit of Andes (5)
{LIANA} – NAIL (pin) reversed (up) and the first letter (summit) of A(ndes) is any climbing plant found in tropical forests.

8. Acting quietly, get dinner served (10)
{PRETENDING} – P (piano – quietly) and an anagram (served) of GET DINNER is a synonym of acting, or make believe.

11. Family accommodating a French officer in Rome (7)
{TRIBUNE} – UN (a in French) inside (accommodating) TRIBE (family) is a senior officer in a Roman legion and is also an elected ancient Roman magistrate.

14. Environments which might see my costs spiralling (10)
{ECOSYSTEMS} – An anagram (spiralling) of SEE MY COSTS are communities of organisms and their environments.

16. City linking Man to field? (7)
{CHESTER} – Nice clue and its exactly that, a city that can be added to MAN to create a city, and the same city can also be placed in front of FIELD to create another city.

18. One’s always up for a sea view (9)
{PERISCOPE} – An amusing cryptic definition of what you need to use to see around you when submerged in a submarine.

20. Order plain clothes men to be put up on gallery (7)
{DICTATE} – CID (Criminal Investigation Department, i.e. plain clothes police men) reversed (put up) followed by (on) TATE (gallery).

21. Fought against surgical intervention, and set a problem (7)
{OPPOSED} – OP (operation – surgical intervention) and POSED (set a problem).

23. Joint effort left British overseas without leaders (5)
{ELBOW} – The definition is joint, now take the first letters (leaders) of the remaining words for a joint in the arm.

25. Self-contained during row at annual award ceremony (5)
{OSCAR} – SC (self-contained, yes the abbreviation is in Chambers as s/c) is placed in (during) OAR (row) is an American film award and ceremony for luvvies.

26. Requirements for opening bars? (4)
{KEYS} – A double cryptic definition, an instrument for locking or unlocking a door for example, or the system of tones related to one another in a musical scale.

46 comments on “DT 26084

  1. Nice and straightforward; and I agree, nothing contentious (though “spiralling” as an anagram lead is a new one to me)

    Needed help only for 7d; I had LLAMA – climber (of sorts) but of course couldn’t find the link between MALL and PIN. Always difficult when one gets an answer that part fits. Also 9a caused me a small problem, at first sight the links between “row” and “nutcase” evaded me and this was the last one I got. Toughie at lunchtime!!


    1. ……Glad I wasn’t the only one trying to reason with LLAMA… I too looked for a link between MALL and PIN !!

  2. What a pleasure this was to solve. Smooth cluing, good surface readings and fair with flair. Almost too many good clues to chose a favourite but 12a, 2d and 4d brought a smile to my lips. Many thanks J for entertaining us today.

  3. We seem to be having a fairly easy week. Only contentious issue for me was yet another cricket term (17a), although, I have to admit that it was a good clue.

    I think, in your explanation of 27a, you should have said “caused” rather than “causing”, as the answer is in the past tense.

    Liked 1a, 12a and 18d.

      1. Libellule,

        Sorry. I’ve just re-read my comment and I think I was talking rubbish. At the time, I was trying to do what we men are told we’re not good at – multi-tasking! Your amendment is fine, but I’m not sure it was required? Anyway, sorry again.

  4. Morning Libellule – soooo glad the blog is early today because 17a really had me……dare I say it -stumped – I hate all these cricket clues, why are there so many, though I have to admit it was a relative easy one :) – also struggled with 7d and have never heard of it, I too was thinking of llama but couldn’t get it to fit the clue, thanks once again

    1. I had trouble with 17a too, but finally got it thinking of old detective stories where the Gifted Amateur is called in, because the police are …?

      Then I thought, “I bet it’s cricket!” :-(

  5. Good Crossword. Like Touchwood had Llama for 7d, which didn’t make any sense apart from being Andean. Particularly liked 18d, 22a & 26d

  6. Good crossword today – enjoyed 1a, 7d and 18d in particular.

    Thanks for an excellent analysis of the clues Libellule – good descriptions.

    1. That should have been 16d not 18d – but 18d was good as well. I partiularly liked the word play for 16d – very clever as far as I was concerned.

  7. My favourite crossword for some time. Elegant clues and just the right amount of head-scratching required to solve it.

    Favourite clues 16d, 9a and 17a.

  8. Found it easier than usual for Thursday. Favourite clues 9a, 2d and 5d. There seem to be a lot of references to meal couses in recent puzzles as in 22a, so time for lunch now!

  9. Didn’t like 25d. ‘Oscar’ is not an annual award ceremony. It is what is presented at an annual award ceremony.

    1. I agree Icarus; noted at the time but forgot to raise as contentious. The ceremony is known colloquially as “The Oscars” but this in my opinion isn’t quite close enough.

      1. I saw it – noted it – and decided not to comment on it – as I personally didn’t think it was a problem, but I am not surprised to see others (like yourselves) comment on it.

        1. Perhaps this clue (25d) might read better if it was:
          “Self contained during row at annual academy award”.

  10. Please admit me to the ‘Llama Club’ at 7d. I thought this looked too tough for me but managed all except 7d and 26d which to my shame is very nearly my surname!! Terry Key

  11. I quite enjoyed this one and unlike most of the correspondents I got 7d right away, but then I’m probably the only one old or daft enough to remember Tarzan swinging through the jungle on a rope of l….a with Nkita, or as he later became known, Cheeta on his back.

  12. Another enjoyable puzzle, and unlike some of you my cup overflows following the inclusion of yet another cricketing reference :wink:
    I was able to avoid the llama’s and found liana, but admit to using Bradford’s to unearth it.
    Thanks Libellule for your in depth analysis of the clues/answers, I always attempt to complete the puzzle before looking in, but still find it very worthwhile in case I’ve missed any salient wordplay. Whilst I had Chester for 16d as it could hardly be anything else with the other letters in play, I completely missed the reason. Had it read “City linking Man and field” I think it would have been more obvious to me.
    Favourite clue 26d .. a clever play on words.

  13. Thanks for the review, I have just looked in to check that 7d was a climbing plant.
    Still havn’t got 6a.

  14. Oh dear, after the Lords Mayors Show!! Very tricky today, only managed 4 answers. Much prefered yesterdays.

    1. I didn’t mind it but I do have the occasional sneaky look at a crossword solver and an anagram solver site! perhaps you just don’t cheat as much as me Barrie. I enjoyed it – thought there were some good clues. First glance I found a struggle but got 6 or 7 spread all over and from them got most of the rest.

    2. Hi Barrie me again- just looked at the Toughie struggled to see how the clues worked even with Tilsit’s excellent explanations. I would advise you to do like me and not venture there again.

  15. Found this straightforward but agree that 25d was weak. Liked 16d and 17a. I quite enjoy the cricket terms and am looking forward to “cow corner” at some future time.

  16. Did this by myself today (my co-solver is suffering from a bout of flu) and really enjoyed it. I also had a bit of a dispute over 25d, but other than that, very good and liked 12a. The Toughie is a different story – have needed Soooooooooooo much help!

  17. Like every other blogger I thoroughly enjoyed today’s offering. On initial run through nothing stood out but then on second look began to complete bottom l/h corner and it all flowed from there. Got stuck on 17a for a while and favourite clue was 18d.

  18. Thanks yet again, Libellule this time, for the explanations. Finished the thing in bed last night (all but 7d which, as many others noted, seemed to be Llama) but had no idea why for a few – esp 1d, 11d. It’s so easy when explained!! Pleased to be getting the charades at last – don’t give up Barrie!

  19. Enjoyed todays offering. However, I got 6a in the end but still dont know the connection with “speed”. Can anyone explain?

    1. alymac42
      To go quickly is to go “at a fair clip”. Chambers has one of the definitions of clip as “a high speed”.

  20. alymac42,
    The word used also a synonym for speed, as Chambers states “to go at a high speed, esp when this is sustained over a distance” – to go at a “clip”.
    The reason I mentioned the need for checking letters, was that I wondered if the answer was initially tear…

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