DT 26093 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26093

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26093

Hints and tips by Rishi

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BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

I enjoyed solving this crossword from our Monday Maestro. The  grid  is cyclically symmetrical, that is, the pattern is the same whichever way you turn.

Clues 1a and 31a, in symmetrical positions in the grid, belong to a type known as &lit, which I think is short for ‘and literally so’  [we also use the term all-in-one for these BD] – for definition of  the word required, we have to reread the clue in its entirety. Both these clues lead to words from the world of professions – one teaching lines to children and the other making locomotives run on lines.

For me the Clue of the Crossword is 3d – all components in this charade are from roads and “by-pass” is a noun in the surface reading but a verb as definition for word required.

The last to go in was 13a – for non-UK solvers it’s always place names that are the bugbears.

As usual the solutions are whitened; please highlight the space within the curly brackets and they will show themselves.

Please do leave a Comment to record your experience with this crossword.


1a They upset some scholars about beginning of term (13)
{SCHOOLMASTERS} –  Container involving anagram / content –   Anagram of ‘some scholars’ around T, beginning of ‘term’, gives the required word. For definition, we have to reread the clue. Both the container anagram and the content are apt.  It is quite another matter that the clue sentence is not particularly edifying to members of the noble profession.

10a Loving having a party telephone (7)
{ADORING} – Charade –  A (a),  DO (party), RING (telephone, v.). Definition is ‘loving’.

11a Prison for debt-collector who has gone astray (7)
{DUNGEON} – Charade –  Stringing together DUN (debt-collector, someone who importunes for payment), GEON (anagram of ’gone’). ‘Prison’ is the def. ‘astray’ is anagram signal.

12a The point in running is to win (4)
{GIST} – Telescopic –  Word meaning ‘point’ is hidden in runninG IS To …

13a Sailing-centre we found in Greek island (5)
{COWES} – Container / content –  WE (we) in COS, which is a Greek island. A variant spelling of this island is Kos.

14a Is half left in the water (4)
{ISLE} –  Charade – IS  (is) and LE (half of ‘left’) – “in the water” ,meaning ‘land in the water’, is the def.

17a Feature film about the Middle East? (7)
{YASHMAK} – Cryptic definition – This sounds like the title of a film is sought, but the word as such means a veil, cover (“film”?) which is worn by Muslim women when they appear in public.

A yashmak leaves only the eyes uncovered

18a Extra helpings or extras helping (7)
{SECONDS} – Double definition – One def is the second servings to which we help ourselves while dining and the other is “persons who act as assistants to a boxer or duellist”. The question is whether “extras helping” would lead to ‘seconding’. I leave it to my readers to answer this.

19a They may commemorate different battles (7)
{TABLETS} – Anagram of ‘battles’ gives the word which may carry inscriptions in celebration of an historic event.

22a She made her name in drama (7)
{MIRANDA} – Anagram of ‘in drama’ gives the name of a female character, the heroine, in The Tempest of the Bard.

24a Register for a continental breakfast? (4)
{ROLL} – Double definition – One is ‘register’ and the other is bread which is part of continental breakfast.

25a A step made quickly (5)
{APACE} – Charade – A (a) and PACE (step), the word meaning ‘quickly’.

26a First part of rust in rotten nail (4)
{BRAD} – Container / content  – R (First part of rust) in BAD (rotten), the def being ‘nail’. A word that is new to me.

29a It may make a man keen on money, and a woman on food (7)
{AVARICE} –  Charade – The word, meaning ‘greed’, makes a man keen on money. It is derived by stringing together AVA (a woman) and RICE (food). Another question: Doesn’t avarice make a woman keen on money? Suppose it had been “It may make man keen on money” I wouldn’t raise this question, for I know that man embraces woman.

30a Dad is wrong in showing contempt (7)
{DISDAIN} – Composite anagram – DISDA (anagram of ‘Dad is’) plus IN (in)

31a Changing to steam trains? He should know (7-6)
{STATION-MASTER} – Anagram of “to steam trains”. Changing from one train to another might be part of the job of station-masters. This may also be an unhyphenated  word but the compiler, I think, is particularly helpful to solvers in this ‘read again for definition’ clue.


 2d Gets over life’s burdens (7)
{CROSSES} – Double definition – “Gets over” / “life’s burdens”

3d Ring-road, junction and by-pass (4)
{OMIT} – Charade – Put together O (“ring”), MI (“road”), T (“junction”) and to by-pass, in its verb form, means to omit.

4d A record? Yes, of course (7)
{LOGBOOK} – Cryptic definition – This is a record “of course” – that is, events during a journey

5d Speech gets publicity coverage (7)
{ADDRESS} – Charade – AD (advertisement, “publicity”), DRESS (“coverage” in the sense of ‘covering’)

6d Fuel container in military vehicle (4)
{TANK} – Double definition – “Fuel container” / “military vehicle”

A military tank

7d Catches, as one comes drunkenly home (5,2)
{REELS IN} – Double definition –  “Catches”/ “comes drunkenly home”

8d Be in a fine state of suspense (4,2,1,6)
{HANG BY A THREAD} – Straightforward definition, unless you see some cryptic element in the use of ‘suspense’ instead of ‘suspension’

9d Sympathetic interpretation (13)
{UNDERSTANDING} – Double definition – “Sympathetic” as in “I have an understanding partner” (You may give an interpretation to this!)

15d Project that is captivating politician supported by Left (5)
{IMPEL} – Charade cum container/contained – IE (that is) around MP (“politician”) plus L (“Left”). “captivating” is c/c ind and “Project” is noun in the surface reading but it is a verb as the def. for word reqd.

16d Points gained from scratch (5)
{SCORE} – Double definition –  “Points gained” in a game / “scratch” in the sense of “mark a line into a surface”

20d It helps a tramp to settle down (7)
{BALLAST} – Cryptic definition – Ballast is heavy material used to weigh down and steady a ship. ‘Tramp’ here means ‘boat’, not a nomadic person.

21d Drink with more merry C-in-C (7)
{ SUPREMO} – Charade with anagram – SUP (“drink”) plus REMO (anag. of ‘more’, ‘merry’ being the AInd). The definitionis C-in-C.

22d Pitch of the road (7)
{MACADAM} – Cryptic definition – This is the surface of a road which is macadamised or  covered with small broken stones so as to form a hard surface. From John Loudon McAdam (1756-1836), Scottish engineer. Pitch is actually ‘tar’ but it also means “to pave (a road) with stones”.

The word ‘macadam’ is derived from John Loudon McAdam

23d Hastened up with speed to tell the tale (7)
{NARRATE} – Charade – NAR, reversal of ‘ran’ (“hastened”), ‘up’ being the reversal indicator in this Down clue, plus RATE (speed). The def is “to tell the tale”. The question is: In the surface reading of the clue, isn’t “with speed” redundant when we say “hastened up”? Or is it that we can sometimes hasten slowly in an oxymoronic situation?

27d Young pig is a good investment (4)
{GILT} – Double definition – “Gilt” or “gilt-edged stock” is a safe means of investment. Another meaning is “a young pig”.

28d Divinity is a course at Oxford (4)
{ISIS} – Double definition – One is the name of a god (“Divinity”) and the other that of a river that runs its course in Oxford.

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BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ****

51 comments on “DT 26093

  1. Good morning Rishi and many thanks for the review.

    Another excellent Monday crossword to start the week off with flourish, and so many well constructed clues.

    I fully agree that 3d was an absolute pearl of a clue and was my favourite by a mile, but so many others were also from the top drawer … particularly 1a, 17a, 19a and 31a in my view.

    My only real setback, (self imposed), was that initially I’d put “on” instead of “by” for the second word in 8d which of course held me back with a solution for 17a. :smile:

        1. A quick search on Google reveals the following:

          hang on a thread – 1,340,000 matches
          hang by a thread – 149,000
          hang on by a thread – 46,100

          For once I failed to fall into this trap.

          1. Thanks Big Dave … that’s interesting, even though it probably proves I have no imagination! :smile:

  2. What a great crossword puzzle, my fingers were burning when I finished it was so good. There will be a skip in my step today !

  3. Maybe it was me, but I found this one to be a bit trickier than I normally expect on a Monday? Does anyone else think the same way?

      1. Can’t disagree with you on that one Dave… if last mondays was ***/*** I think this one deserves at last another half a star at least…

        1. I am pleased to hear that I wasn’t alone in not enjoying this one as much as normal. I got the outside edge fairly quickly so was off to a good start but didn’t actually like some of the clues. Probably just me but 17a left me cold and I did not like (nor appreciate) 28d nor 21d. My favourite was 10a.

          Once again there were 8 four letter words!!!

          13a would be known to the international sailing fraternity but took me a while as forgot the alternate spelling to Kos.

          Good review Rishi – thanks

      2. I’m finding this one tough but as I am now into my 4th day of being confined to the house with a sick six year old who has control of the remote, a nine year old with too much energy and a dog chewing everything in sight I wasn’t sure if it was just me! I’ll plough on with it and avoid the hints for now…..

        1. Keep at it Fi, I gave up on it once today but when i went back and perseverd it fell into place, with my electronic friend of course, what would i do without it :)

            1. Hi Yoshik, it is a ‘Seiko’ Concise Oxford Thesaurus given me by my brother when i started doing these, he of course doesn’t need them, at least not often

      3. Hi Dave as an avid member of the afore mentioned ‘Clueless Club’ I found todays really difficult to start with and picked it up and put it down several times, i am lucky that i have the time to do that on most days, eventually i did finish it without the blog help but with loaaads of help from my electronic friend and chambers dictionary however 6 months ago i couldn’t have finished it even with these so there is light at the end of the tunnel ‘sometimes’ for us C C members, so come on gang lets show them :)

      1. I was thinking of Glynis Johns dressed as a mermaid in the film of the same name, its either an age thing or I like fish,

    1. To start with I thought of Carmen Miranda but then I remembered Miranda was Prospero’s daughter in The Tempest!

  4. I thought this was beyond me so threw the towell in and checked the answers only to find I clearly wasn’t at the races today.

    A couple of references I wasn’t aware of such as tramp, young pig and nail. I had a tentative Rebecca for 22a and spate for 25a which probably demonstrates my desperation. I zipped through the bottom right hand corner once those were corrected.

    Liked 20a and 5d. Clueless Club for me. If they’ll have me!

    1. welcome Bondini :) as i said above i found it really difficult today and as normal needed all the help i could get but didn’t have to refer to the club, 24 hrs in a day so why do we tend to give up after one??

  5. A most enjoyable treat from Rufus this morning. I agree that this was a little tougher than some of his recent Monday masterpieces but I’m with BD that it was all the more fun for this. There were lots of top notch clues. I agree that 3d was a corker but also enjoyed 31a and 21d, 1a and 2d to name but a few.

    Sarumite and I must have been on the same wavelength this morning as I originally put IN in 8d which threw 17a!

    For an extra dose of Rufus, he also set today’s Guardian Cryptic which you can access on-line and print off. I would say that his two offerings today were of about the same level of difficulty.

    Many thanks for the blog Rishi and thanks to Rufus for keeping us on our toes today.

    1. Thanks for the recommendatiin Prolixic.

      I have just been on and done it. Much nicer crossword than today’s DT.

    2. Thanks Prolixic … have printed a copy this evening.
      Another enjoyable puzzle with astute clueing, loved it! (S)

  6. Rishi i have noticed that there have been a few of these grids where the grid is the same no matter which way you turn it, it is nice to know the term for it :)

      1. thanks Dave that is a really interesting site, i will print it off and take time to readit, i have noticed more about the grids recently, though i don’t know why, when i first started dong these crosswords i didn’t give the grid a thought – interesting

  7. In general I felt this was a touch better than last Monday’s. The difficulty has been upped a little and thus has set a very good standard for the rest of the week. I do hope we experience a gentle increase in the standard.

    Some excellent clues today inc. 3d. and 13a

      1. Mary

        You might like to try the Guardian puzzle by Rufus today as recommended by Prolixic. It was an enjoyable one and more I think we have had on Mondays.

  8. Struggled a bit there but managed eventually. 11a threw me – never heard of the 3 letter word for debt collector.

    I thought there were some excellent clues but would be happier starting the week on a slightly easier crossword.

  9. Excellent puzzle today, not too easy but always penetrable with work. Clue of the day for me 8d.

  10. I got myself stuck by getting 4d wrong, I had logical not logbook. I then thought 17a was ‘nostril’ and 8d ‘hang on a thread’ not by a thread!
    Oh well, lets hope I improve tomorrow.
    Thanks for the great website!

  11. There is also a puzzle by Roger Squires (using his alternative pseudonym of “Dante”) in the Monday Financial Times.

    I solved all three of the Rufus/Dante Monday puzzles (DT, FT and Guardian) and found the DT one the hardest. The other two were quite a bit easier. I don’t know why but in the last month I have found the DT puzzle by Rufus harder than his Guardian and FT ones.

    Still enjoyed it though. It doesn’t hurt to have a challenging puzzle on a Monday – it is good preparation for the rest of the week. Thanks to Rishi for the review.

  12. Well I did find it a bit tricky and, not having any electronic aids, had to resort to the blog for a few SW corner clues! Thanks Rishi! Nevertheless it was a good puzzle with some fun clues. I was surprised hang on a thread had more matches – hanging on by a thread has always been the saying as far as I know! Liked 10a and 22a & my husband very much liked 31a being a big steam fan!

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