DT 26094 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26094

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26094

Hints and tips by Gazza

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

I thought that this was a bit harder than the usual Ray T puzzle when I did it in the early hours (but that may have been due to a moderate intake of Shiraz!), so I’ve given it 4 stars for difficulty. I expect that you’ll all tell me now that it was the easiest puzzle all year!!

It has all the Ray T trademarks – single word answers and definitions where you keep having to ask yourself “in what sense does x mean y?”.
Let’s see if we can get a bumper crop of comments today. We particularly want to hear from those readers who have yet to introduce themselves – we’re a friendly bunch and we won’t bite – it really doesn’t matter whether you’ve been solving crosswords for sixty years or have only just started!

As always the answers are hidden inside the curly brackets to prevent your seeing them accidentally. Just drag your cursor through the white space inside the brackets to reveal.

Across Clues

1a  Pride of cats sit in a compound (12)
{SATISFACTION} – an anagram (compound) of OF CATS SIT IN A produces a word meaning gratification or pride.

8a  One or two, say, in between (7)
{INTEGER} – put EG (for example, say) inside INTER (between) to get a term for any positive whole number.

9a  Bush is reportedly popular now (7)
{CURRANT} – a shrub which produces small edible fruits sounds like CURRENT, a word popularly used to mean “now” as in “at the current time”.

11a  Difficulty accepting the French man’s top (7)
{DOUBLET} – put LE (the, in French) inside DOUBT (uncertainty, difficulty) to get a close-fitting male upper garment, popular in Elizabethan times.

12a  Open atomic crime organised by a country (7)
{AMERICA} – start with the first letter (open) of Atomic and add an anagram (organised) of CRIME to get what is more properly a continent rather than a country.

13a  Academy pupil’s grant (5)
{AWARD} – put A (academy) in front of WARD (pupil, in a legal sense).

14a  Not caring the man’s innocent (9)
{HEARTLESS} – an adjective meaning callous or not caring is constructed by putting HE (the man) before ARTLESS (naïve, innocent).

16a  Altar he’d destroyed going after Catholic Church (9)
{CATHEDRAL} – an anagram (destroyed) of ALTAR HE’D comes after C(atholic).

19a  Cried when losing relative (5)
{UNCLE} – double definition – a word used, especially in the US, as a cry for mercy  or an acknowledgement of defeat (a usage apparently unknown to Chambers!) is also a male relative.

21a  Educates where teachers are found… (7)
{INFORMS} – double definition, the second mildly cryptic.

23a  …tired out — I left poorly educated (7)
{TUTORED} – an anagram (poorly) of T(i)RED OUT (with the I left out).

24a  Classical grace in dancing (7)
{GRECIAN} – an anagram (dancing) of GRACE IN.

25a  Flipping raining around drive home (7)
{INGRAIN} – we need to reverse (flipping around) the order of the two syllables of RAINING to get a verb meaning to instil deeply or drive home. An alternative explanation, that the answer is just a straight anagram of raining, has been suggested, but Ray T has given the definitive answer which is that it’s a hidden word, signalled by around, in FlippING RAINing. LOL.

26a  Guy’s convulsions following killing (12)
{MANSLAUGHTER} – a charade of MAN’S (guy’s) and LAUGHTER (convulsions).

Down Clues

1d  ‘Orange’ settled reckoning before Anne’s start (7)
{SATSUMA} – the surface reading is presumably meant to refer to the succession of Queen Anne after the reign of William (III of England, II of Scotland) from the Dutch House of Orange, but it seems very awkward – string together SAT (settled), SUM (reckoning) and A(nne).

2d  Dressed, left inside, getting changed (7)
{TOGGLED} – put L(eft) inside TOGGED (dressed) to get a verb meaning switched between two states (changed).

3d  Support for the NHS? (9)
{STRETCHER} – cryptic definition of what medical staff might use to carry a wounded person.

4d  African capital city reaches Atlantic, initially (5)
{ACCRA} – a clever attempt at an all-in-one uses the first letters (initially) of the first five words to form the name of the capital of Ghana which is, indeed, on the Atlantic coastline.

5d  Harry’s wrong holding hands (7)
{TORMENT} – a verb meaning to harry or harass is formed by putting MEN (hands, crew) inside TORT (wrong).

6d  Suggest swallowing a large glass (7)
{OPALINE} – to suggest or express is OPINE – put A L(arge) inside to get a decorative style of opaque or semi-translucent glass made in France in the nineteenth century.

7d  Following an eagle, an albatross…? (12)
{BIRDWATCHING} – this clue is probably easier if you know nothing about golf! – it’s what you like doing if you are a twitcher.

10d  Supreme Tory leader led downfall, in essence (12)
{TRANSCENDENT} – a synonym for supreme is made up of T (first letter of Tory), RAN (led) and SCENT (essence) with END (downfall) inside.

15d  Dispensing tall gin to drunk (9)
{ALLOTTING} – another word for dispensing is manufactured from an anagram (drunk) of TALL GIN TO.

17d  Substantial returns on cheese cloth (7)
{TAFFETA} – the definition is cloth, and we start with FAT (substantial) which has to be reversed (returns), followed by FETA (type of cheese).

18d  Bugs or creepy-crawlies (7)
{EARWIGS} – double definition – the first a slang usage meaning eavesdrops on the conversation of others.

19d  Nervy, higher and stoned (7)
{UPTIGHT} – put together UP (higher) and TIGHT (drunk, stoned).

20d  Pirate sounds like rough character (7)
{CORSAIR} – this pirate sounds like COARSE (rough) AIR (bearing, character).

22d  Present-day man? (5)
{SANTA} – and we end with a nice cryptic definition of the man in red.

The clues I liked today included 19a and 7d, but my clue of the day is 5d. Agree or disagree? – leave a comment, and please remember to grade the puzzle by clicking on one of the stars below.

75 comments on “DT 26094

      1. Thank you for your welcome. I do visit the site very regularly and very much appreciate the great effort that you put into it. I must linger to make comments more often!!However,I have much to learn and little to offer!!Thanks once again.

  1. Morning Gazza, thanks for the tips.
    I thought 1a was a fantastic clue to get started and the rest didn’t disappoint. This is turning into a feel good week !

  2. I must agree, gazza.
    I stared at this for a good 45 minutes with about 7 answers filled in. I was almost giving up and waiting for the block when a switch went in my head and I started writing answers in.
    Ultimately I found this very satisfying and enjoyable.
    I also agree with your favourites but would also mention 17d which I liked.

  3. I found this testing, but not too difficult; therefore, enjoyable.

    25a. I took “flipping … around” to be an anagram indicator. If you take it to mean “reversing”, you end up with a nonsense word. There’s nothing there thats suggests to me that the syllables of “raining” should be “flipped”.

    I agree that 5d is the clue of the day. I also liked 7d and 10d.

    1. Vince
      On 25a what I mean is reverse the order of the syllables, so instead of rain-ing you get ing-rain.

      1. Gazza,

        I understand what you’re saying, but what made you decide that the syllables had to be changed around? I can’t see anything in the clue to suggest that. I arrived at the answer by assuming it was an anagram.

        1. Vince
          You could be right – both methods arrive at the correct answer. I thought that “flipping” and “around” which bracketed “raining” suggested switching around rather than an anagram (which would not have needed two anagram indicators). Also (from reading the article by Anax) I know that setters don’t like to exceed their “quota” of anagrams, and this method avoided one (I may be barking up the wrong tree completely – if we’re lucky Ray will visit and put us right!).

          1. Gazza,
            Having now had the time to do this – when I did the crossword I treated it simply as an anagram, but on closer inspection I think you are right. Otherwise you effectively have two anagram indicators around raining.

            1. Libellule,

              I understand your and Gazza’s point about two anagram indicators. But, if you take the “flipping around” in the reversing sense, then that would suggest to me that the whole word is reversed, which, in this case, would make no sense. I’m struggling to see what indicates that the syllables should swap places. That doesn’t mean reversing, to me!

              Sorry to labour the point, but I would like to understand this now, in case something similar were to come up in the future.

  4. Great puzzle from Ray T this morning. Certainly a 4* affair and highly enjoyable. I would have completed this more quickly but for putting schools as the answer to 21 across and thereby throwing out the SW corner completely. When I printed this off on clued-up it originally opened the quick crossword. I was then convinced that the Toughie and Daily had been transposed on clued-up. Ray’s puzzle is certainly more challenging than the Toughie today.

    Favourite clues were 1a, 19a 26a, 5d and 6d.

    Thanks to Ray and for your notes.

    1. For the second successive day we are guilty of the same indiscretion Prolixic, I was also schooled and therefore not informed! :wink:

  5. Very similar to gnomethang i.e. took a long time to start.As a golfer I started thinking to deeply about 7d especially as I had originally put SCHOOLS in for 21a. Also had to google `cries uncle` as I hadn`t heard the phrase before.

    1. Yup, as a golfer as well I wasted some time on 7d. I briefly put Schools on but took out as soom as I saw the checking letters at the bottom would be S-G.

  6. A great crossword which has more than maintained the standard of yesterday.

    Being a golfer loved 7d but best clue was 18d as living in Russia it brought home where I live!

    This week looks like being a corker.

  7. Found today’s pretty hard I must say. I also take umbridge at 21a; could the answer ‘schools’ not fit perfectly well? Not often two answers fit the same clue. Completely messed up the bottom left corner for me as it was one of the first answers I filled in.

    1. SCHOOLS for me too. Not sure whether Alisdair’s complaint is justified – I dislike any ambiguity but I’m not sure it breaks any “rules”

  8. Another very enjoyable puzzle with some quality clueing, which I thought was slightly more difficult than yesterday’s offering. Mind you, that’s possibly because the single-malt taken as a nightcap continues to befuddle my brain somewhat!! :wink:

    Whilst 19a was not difficult, I’d never heard of the alternative meaning of “uncle”.
    Favourite clue today 17d, followed closely by 16a, 26a.

    Many thanks for another interesting review Gazza.

  9. I put ‘schools’ in for 21a. Relieved I was not the only one. Found this one a little harder than I enjoy. I needed more of your hints than usual and for 10d I had to resort to my little electronic friend. This, after sailing through yesterdays, was a bit of a let-down.

  10. I enjoyed that. I really like being able to fill in the first clue straight away. Got the bottom half quickly and then had to work harder for the top half. I also started off with schools for 21a but soon changed it when I did 17 and 18d. There were several clues I enjoyed – 14a, 19a and 26a but my clue of the day is 7d. I took a while as I looked at it from a golfing perspective as well.

    I didn’t like 5d but appreciate your description as couldn’t for the life of me figure out why the answer was torment.

    Thanks for a good review Gazza.

    Am going to try the Toughie this afternoon.

  11. I’ve become rather behind in my crossword solving lately, and have been catching up by doing the ones I’ve missed. But I thought I’d do today’s as a treat — and didn’t enjoy it much. Don’t seem to have been alone in mis-solving 21a, it took me a long time to figure out 1d, and I did try to use my newly-acquired golfing vocab to solve 7d. I agree with Lea about 5d, and have never heard of anything being ‘toggled’ except maybe a duffle coat.

    I consider myself a member of the Clueless Club :-)

    1. I tend to have many switches in control panels and also software, Franny, so I toggle them quite a lot!

  12. Thanks to ‘Gazza’ and all the ‘team’.

    I stopped attempting these crosswords as I could only find the answers and never an explanation to the clues.
    This site has got me started again.

    Thanks for all your work…..

  13. Good crossword today, found your site by accident after googling googling 17d then found I was so wrong on 21a “school” (glad I wasn’t the only one!) – your blog is really helpful.
    Will have a go at the Toughie when I get home

  14. Hi Gazza – found this difficult today, maybe because i had to do a 25 mile trip by eight o’clock to wait in for a furniture delivery for my son!! took the crossword with me but was just too tired, finished it off with a little help – thank you – when i got home, has anyone else from the clueless club found it hard today – Barrie??

      1. Yes Mary – I found this difficult today and I’d been on quite a good run recently.

        There is definitely something in the type of clue though. I looked for ages at 2d, 5d and 6d. I knew exactly what the clue was looking for but the correct synonym just doesn’t arrive.

        Not a lot you can do in those circumstances other than try and try again. I must confess to having lost patience both yesterday and today and simply giving up. Perhaps we’re not wired correctly for these type of puzzles.

        Did like the clues I managed to get though.

  15. Yup I was in the ‘schools’ club!! Really enoyed this one, probably because I manged to finish it without the help of this site (for once).

  16. I thought that was pretty tough- There seemed to be quite a few clues which tended to need a knowledge of crosswords rather than English! 19a – had not heard phrase before, 10d filled in the blanks but still couldn’t work out where the answer came from.
    Some really good clues – particularly liked the way anybody with any golfing knowledge had to be misled by 7d!
    I can cope with the odd toughie like this but there was no way I would have finished it without resorting to the clues above Thanks Gazza.
    Can I ask Gazza or Big Dave or any others who do the clues what you do if you dont understand a clue? (or does it never happen?)

    1. Toby
      Not understanding the wordplay at all is more likely to happen on a Toughie than a Cryptic, and we tend to say in the review “Can anyone suggest how this works?”.

  17. Did anyone else not like 14a? Surely “the man’s innocent” requires an answer that encompasses the verb “is” somewhere? HE ARTLESS loses the verb. Or am I wrong? Again? Even if “man’s” was taken as a possessive it would need to be HIS ARTLESS which of course makes no sense.

      1. Hmm – didn’t really answer it, did he? At least, he didn’t justify it – and his final statement seems maybe a little defensive!!

        A very enjoyable puzzle, however, and I’m always reluctant to quibble when I’ve enjoyed a puzzle.

  18. Evening all. Once again, thanks to Gazza for his review, and to everybody else for their observations.

    Regarding the queries about some of the clues…

    In 25a, ‘around’ is the ‘container indicator’, so it’s a hidden word rather than an anagram, and for 14a, ‘man’s’ is a contraction of ‘man has’.

    I hope this helps.

  19. Just checking in for the first time to try and boost up to 50 comments for the day. Have been referring to this website for about 6 months and am very grateful for the efforts of all who run this. Managed to get it out today but probably wouldn’t have done before I started looking at this website regularly.Thanks all.

  20. Yes 5d was good, but something about 18d and 22d brought a smile when it clicked!
    managed again today to answer all without the site so I may be moving on???? Then comes a blinder of a crossworrd and I feel I am back at the starting line.

    Thanks so much for this site! :)

  21. Found your site a few weeks again, very helpful and good, mainly do Sats crossword as I have a chance of completing, today’s good, bottom half easier (for me) and will now read posted clues and see if they help with the top half.


  22. I had schools too, and I don’t like writing wrong answers! 25a doesn’t bother me whether consecutive letters or straight anagram, because the answer in unambiguous, unlike 21a …until cross-checking! Perhaps all of us in the school school were being given a lesson?

    1. I absolutely agree!
      As stated previously, at the point one solves 24a and has ‘schools’ entered then S-G ending on the golf clue really should point to the fact that something is wrong and alternatives should be sought.
      At that point IN starts to look favourite and the rest may follow.
      One of my favourite parts of silvinv crosswords is cutting through deliberate misdirection on the part of the setter.

    2. I was not one of those who fell into this trap. In defence of the setter I would point out that educates = schools = where teachers are found would be open to the criticism that the two definitions are closely related.

  23. Wow! Great crossword. As always Ray T does a sterling job.

    With 21a, I also had “schools” but it was a mistake on my part because the “informs” v “in forms” is one I have seen before but I can’t remember where. It was a silly mistake but I soon twigged and corrected it.

    With Ray T and Shamus compiling on Tuesdays this is becoming a good day for DT cryptics.

  24. Found your site very recently – really helpful and entertaining! Got 19a and 25ac but didn’t know why! Realised schools wasn’t the answer when I was trying to find a word
    T – Y! But by that time had wasted precious minutes! Going to try the toughie now. Ta muchly

  25. hiya, I’m new to crosswords (this being my second cryptic one ever – then i am only 17!) so it’s all quite new to me. I’m alright with the cryptic definitions but i never notice the words that indicate that its an anagram – certain words that i think should signify ones tend not to be and i always miss the ones that are, but i suppose it comes with practice! but for example, the other day, you said that the word ‘doctor’ meant that it was an anagram, and its completely beyond me as to how you notice these. loved 21a though – that was genious! as i said, i quite enjoy the ambiguous clues :D

    1. Hi Aysha – welcome to the blog.
      I’m sorry for the delay in your comment appearing, but we have to approve all “first comments” to filter out the spam. Any future comments you send should appear straight away. I’ve deleted the duplicate message you sent (from bananapancake!).
      You’ll get to recognise anagram indicators with practice, but you’ll find lots of discussion here about what is a valid indicator and what isn’t, because setters like to use very odd ones from time to time.
      Keep reading the blog and if there’s anything you don’t understand, just ask!

    2. 17 is a pretty good age to start – I started at about 16, though until I was 18 and at uni, I probably didn’t tackle a puzzle every day. The range of possible anagram indicators is huge, and there’s not much point in trying to spot potential anagram indicators until your brain does so from experience – if you see enough cases of “doctor” = “interfere with” as an anagram indicator, it changes from being hard to spot to being very easy. Anagrams are worth looking for, as you’ll usually get four or five in a puzzle, often including long answers which help a lot with other clues if you get them early on.

      For potential anagrams, as a beginner it can be just as good to look for possible anagram “fodder” as an anagram indicator – in 15D for example, “tall gin to” is the only set of consecutive words with the 9 letters in the clue – if you take a punt on this, dispensing and drunk might both be anagram indicators, but if you notice that the “-ing” in dispensing is also in the letters of “tall gin to”, that’s both a strong suggestion about which is the definition, and about half the anagram solving done already! But be warned that the anagram fodder doesn’t always come in one piece – you might get “Worried birds involved with duet” for DISTURBED, for example, with “involved with” as the indicator for anagramming two separated words.

      The other big tip for the moment is never to think that, for example “doctor means there’s an anagram” – “doctor might suggest an anagram” is about right.

      Just keep trying, and keep reading the blogs.

  26. I had a lot of trouble with 7d having struggled with the under par golf terms for a long time.
    19a I got but did not understand it – I’ll have to check with my son who lives in the USA!
    6d was nice (no problem) and I liked 25a.

  27. Many thanks Gazza for your explanation of “say / cry uncle”.
    I have not yet been in touch with my son but have also done a bit of research since Tuesday.
    I found a paperback edition of the Random House Dictionary which I acquired when in Washington DC many years ago for some long-forgotten reason (I was probably trying a crossword while unable to sleep due to jet-lag and needed a dictionary). It mentions “say or cry uncle” as an admission of defeat especially in children’s games in the US. I have two old versions of Webster but no mention in either.
    But in our British English Collins Dictionary of Slang there is a reference!
    One in the eye for (Scottish) Chambers!

  28. Correction to my last comment – The Cassell Dictionary of Slang (Jonathon Green).
    I must be getting old – 86 in January!

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