DT 26090 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26090

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26090

Hints and tips by Libellule

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BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

Another normal Thursday offering from J. Except this time I have a couple of quibbles over the quality of a a few of the clues. 11a, 21a and 5d for example. What did you think?

If you can’t work out the answers from the hint, then you can reveal them by highlighting the space between the curly brackets.


1. Newly designed homes more apt to take another form (12)
{METAMORPHOSE} – An anagram (newly designed) of HOMES MORE APT is a word used to describe changing completely the nature or appearance of something or someone. Just like one of Kafka’s stories.

8. Beginning climb after hearty lunch (7)
{NASCENT} – Take the central (hearty) letter of (lu)N(ch) and add ASCENT (climb) for a word meaning being born or beginning.

9. Everybody in associations counts (7)
{TALLIES} – Another word for scoring is made up of TIES (associations) with ALL (everybody) inside.

11. Engraving? (7)
{EPITAPH} – Cryptic? An inscription on a tombstone in memory of the person buried there.

12. One bargains for goods in healthier surroundings (7)
{HAGGLER} – HALER (healthier) around GG (goods) is someone who wrangles over a better price.

13. Looks for people of one’s own standing (5)
{PEERS} – Double definition, “looks for”, and a group of people who are equal.

14. Unusual European community coin starting to rise in circulation (9)
{ECCENTRIC} – E (European) C (community) CENT (coin) and then the first letters (starting to) of
R(ise) I(n) C(irculation) describes a person or something that has odd or unconventional behaviour.

16. Dreamers are inclined to be trapped by thoughts (9)
{IDEALISTS} – LIST (inclined) inside (trapped) IDEAS (thoughts) are people who are unrealistic and impractical .

19. Dish from southern States — hot one (5)
{SUSHI} – S (southern) US (United States) H (hot) I (one) is actually a dish from Japan.

21. Vivid impressions at first on new future, for example (7)
{INTENSE} – The first letter of Impressions then N (new) and future is a verb TENSE for example could give a word that is used to describe something that was “vivid”.

23. A universal right to embrace partner’s status in sport (7)
{AMATEUR} – A U (universal) R (right) around (embrace) MATE (partner) is a person who takes part in sport for pleasure, the opposite of a professional. Hmm who liked the England Rugby Teams new purple strip? The price of professionalism and merchandising?

24. Not doing so much to chase good tradesman (7)
{GLAZIER} – G (good) followed by (chase) LAZIER for a person who sets glass in window frames etc.

25. Mournful English adopted by version of Gaelic (7)
{ELEGIAC} – E (English) plus (adopted) an anagram of GAELIC is a poetic term for expressing sorrow often for something past. Wilfred Owen’s poem “Futility” would be an example.

26. Supposes and hopes his stye gets treated (12)
{HYPOTHESISES} – An anagram (gets treated) of HOPES HIS STYE is another word for speculating scientifically.


1. Huge area for international leader in written communication (7)
{MASSIVE} – The written communication referred to is a MISSIVE, now swap the first letter (leader) of International for an A (area) and you should have another word for huge.

2. In Oxford they’re on two feet (7)
{TOECAPS} – What you would find on the front of a type of low-heeled laced shoe.

3. Can’t be beaten — no game to play! (9)
{MATCHLESS} – A word that means having no equal, but if split into two smaller words it could also mean not having a game to play.

4. Be sick, seeing the poor devil executed (5)
{RETCH} – The poor devil is WRETCH, now remove the W (executed) for another word for vomit.

5. A look into hotel information could be a source of illumination (7)
{HALOGEN} – Put A LO (look) inside H (hotel) and GEN (information) is strictly speaking any of the elements in the seventh group of the periodic table, however if you add the word lamp you “could” have a “source of illumation”. Technically speaking a halogen lamp is a lamp “in which a tungsten filament is sealed into a compact transparent envelope filled with an inert gas and a small amount of halogen such as iodine or bromine”.

6. One prepares the land by the first of September, it’s less stormy (7)
{STILLER} – Its less stormy when you take the first letter of S(eptember) and add TILLER (one who prepares the land – a cultivator).

7. Showing initiative, but regret spin in letters (12)
{ENTERPRISING} – An anagram (letters) of REGRET SPIN IN is to be adventurous.

10. Worried Turkish critic lost one, but made a lot of money (6,2,4)
{STRUCK IT RICH} – Another anagram (worried) of TURKISH CRITIC minus (lost) an I for the past tense of a phrase that means to make a sudden large financial gain. For example winning the lottery.

15. Players’ profit swallowed in a second by instruments (9)
{CASTANETS} – CAST (players) and NET (profit) inside (swallowed) A S (second) for small hand held Spanish percussion instruments.

17. Form of English developing as true unknown quantity (7)
{ESTUARY} – An anagram (developing) of AS TRUE and Y (an unknown quantity), is a form of English influenced by Cockney, spoken in the Thames Estuary and surrounding areas.

18. Gave one leave due to skin blemishes (7)
{LENTIGO} – LENT (gave), I (one), GO (leave) – a technical term for a freckle.

19. In the main, they provide support (3,4)
{SEA LEGS} – A cryptic definition of what you need to have to be a good sailor.

20. Paces around at home — what to wear? (4-3)
{STEP-INS} – STEPS (paces) around IN (home) is according to Chambers “a garment that is put on by being stepped into, especially one that needs no fastening”, whilst the Oxford Dictionary of English defines this as simply a pair of slip-on shoes or (dated, chiefly North American) a pair of women’s briefs. Take your pick.

22. The world needs courage, start to finish (5)
{EARTH} – Courage is HEART, now move the first letter H, to be the last letter (start to finish) is the “Third rock from the sun”.

40 comments on “DT 26090

  1. Libellule

    I must admit in 1d I exchanged the I for A of missive in order to get something huge i.e. massive ?

      1. I agree with Jezza. The infinitiveof the verb is “to list”, therefore the past tense should be “listed”.

  2. I enjoyed J’s puzzle but agree with you about 11a and 5d.

    I did not have an issue with 21a. 11a seems to me a slightly clumsy reference to something on a grave, but the link between engraving and grave is perhaps too tenuous. In relation to 5d, my limited understanding is that the halogen is not itself a source of illumination. The presence of the halogen in the bulb reduces the loss of tungsten from the filament and enable the filament to operate at a higher temperature giving a brigher light.

    My favourites were 17d and 22d.

  3. 11a. I initially had the same misgivings about this, but the more I thought about it, it made sense. If it’s on a grave, then it’s “engraved”. I don’t like the clue, but I think it is acceptable.

    18d. I din’t like this, as I can’t see “gave” and “lent” as meaning the same.

    I thought the best clue was 10d.

    1. I took this as meaning gave one leave = let go ………..but no I can see the rest of the clue doesn’t fir this way :(

      1. Libellule could it possibly be this way…….. gave one leave = let go and ‘due to’ in a very loose sense meaning ‘in’ e.g. ‘in for’ meaning ‘due to’ recieve???? I know – the answer is no but that is the way I got it but my brother always says I make my answers fit the clues instead of the other way round, what do you think?? :)

        1. No, I don’t think so. I think its simply LENT (gave) I (one) GO (leave), and I am going to add this clue to my not happy list. Lentigo is a singular form for freckle or skin blemish, the plural would be lentigines and if I am not mistaken the clue refers to skin blemishes (plural).

          1. Libellule,

            I thought, like you, that the plural should be “lentigines”, but Chambers, confusingly gives that as the plural, but also says that lentigo can mean “freckle” or “freckles”.

            I still don’t like this clue because of the gave/lent issue. If you lend something, you expect it to be returned. If you giveit, you don’t.

  4. Morning Dave, got stuck on 24a because I had entrophy for 17d!! I know it didn’t fit the clue exactly but it was the only word for beginning i could come up with beginning with en!!
    For 1d I got it the other way round and ended up with missive not massive – does it make a difference – it could be either i suppose :) Thanks once again
    Not an easy one for us ‘clueless club’ without all the aids going :)

  5. sorry Libellule, I am not with it today, I’ll start again, morning Libelulle and thanks for your help once more :)

    1. I agree with you Nubian. It took me a while to understand why I had the answer I did. Because it said only Oxford I kept thinking of colleges but of course had to discard that as soon as I got the across words.

      My favourites were 19a and 24a.

  6. I woouldnt quibble too hard myself with 11a and vivid but I take slight issue with 5d.
    Enjoyed the puzzle though

  7. I didn’t like this one- I thought the anagrams around the outside were all good though 7d I dont really understand why the word “Letters” is an anagram indicator – perhaps somebody would enlighten me?

    I felt there were too many answers where you had to take one letter from here with two from there – sorry not sure what technical word is but 8a, 12a, 14a, 19a, 21a, 23a, 24a (need I say more?) are all examples. I got bored after a while and couldn’t be bothered to struggle on.

    1. Toby,

      I suppose the anagram indicator could be part of the anagram and is really “spin in letters”, but I don’t know if this is acceptable. I bow to Big Dave and Gazza’s knowledge of things that technical. Me I am still a novice at this. If it can only be “letters” then yes it could be put down as yet another dodgy anagram indicator.

  8. Meant to say that my answer to 5a yesterday was a better one that the correct solution – shame it didn’t fit with the rest of the clues!! But I still think that ‘etudes’ – both piano works by Chopin, and the word for musical exercises – is much better than the awkward ‘opuses’!!

  9. Not a bad puzzle I would say. At least with 11a, 21a and 5d its possible to conclude the answers are correct albeit they are a little loose. I do “begrudge” having to accept “lent” for “gave”.

    With 4 key clues being anagrams perhaps it is fair to make the indicators a little less obvious. As long as there is something in there for us.

    Favourite clue was 22d.

  10. Strangely liked 11a………. but hated 21a. As a freckled one I am not sure about 18d I am covered in skin blemishes?? :(

  11. Tricky for me today. Been a while since i had time to log on. let alone solve an xwrd. too many new words for me today. The anagrind in 7d was awful! I agree with Libellule about rugby strips and sponsors, England in Purple and Wales in “Gold”. What’s wrong with traditional White and Red respectfully!!!! :evil:

  12. Hi Libellule – completed the crossword before coming on the blog – I got 17d as an anagram as you said, however I had no idea the word referred to form of English and kept on thinking I was wrong. Thanks for your info on Cockey and Thames Estuary – live and learn!

  13. I thought this was the easiest one for a while although “lentigo” is a new word for me. Very enjoyable and a good way to while the time waiting to collect my children from school.

  14. Oh dear – not good for me today! Definitely feeling ‘clueless’ and needed help with many. 7d could have taken spin or regret as anagram indicators but then the rest didn’t fit – never thought to take letters as an indicator. Never heard of 18d – definitely need those dictionaries for Christmas!

  15. i think some are a bit fussy with 5d. you dont ask for a ‘tungsten’ lamp in the hardware store and the clue is simple to work through. am i just grumpy on nights? probably. id NEVER have got 18d without resorting to the dictionary aaarggh!

  16. Struggled with today’s offering – took a long time to get started then I managed to complete the right hand side. I put it down for several hours then came back to it and finished it in 20 minutes. Its amazing how, no matter how long you look at the clues, nothing seems to jump out at you, then you leave it for a while and, all of a sudden, the answers come.

  17. No real problems although Halogen is a GROUP of inert gases . My real beef was with the semantics of the preposition in 2D – it should be “on” rather than “in”, surely.

  18. for 2d I originally put BROGUES, its a much better answer than TOECAPS for Oxford. I was confident then the whole thing went wrong!

    1. Steve, I blogged this on Nov 26 2009, and its now Feb 5 2010, where are you from? Or did this one just take a while to complete :-)

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