DT 26096 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26096

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26096

Hints and tips by Libellule

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BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

Another “exactly what it says on the tin” crossword from J. Unlike last week, I can’t find anything in this to grumble about.

The answers are hidden between the curly brackets, and if you wish to leave a comment, please feel free to do so.


1. In other words, prevented a crash, given all the sources of evidence (7,3,5)
{CHAPTER AND VERSE} – An anagram (in other words) of PREVENTED A CRASH for a phrase used to describe the full, detailed information on a subject or issue.

9. Desert ship loaded with a source of raw sugar product (7)
{CARAMEL} – A burnt sugar, used for coloring and sweetening foods. Can be found from taking A and then the first letter (source) of R(aw) and then placing it inside (loaded) CAMEL (desert ship)

10. Argument against fire breaks with such a type of tree (7)
{CONIFER} – The opposite of an argument for – a pro is an argument against – a CON, follow this with an anagram (breaks) of FIRE and you have a cone bearing tree.

11. Stop by the side of the road starting to sense some wear (9)
{PULLOVERS} – What you do if you stop your car at the side of the road, plus the first letter (starting to) of S(ense) are jersey’s or sweaters.

12. One entering cross country? (5)
{SPAIN} – I is placed inside (entering) SPAN (to bridge, or cross).

13. Two bad drivers regularly ignored crawlers (7)
{TOADIES} – You need the odd letters (ignore the even – regular ones) from TwO bAd DrIvErS for an amphibian term for sycophants, or flatterers.

15. Ways of speaking about graves, for example (7)
{ACCENTS} – A mark placed above a vowel to indicate pronunciation (in french for example) can also be a way of regional speaking.

17. Love to invest time in a food such as porridge (7)
{OATMEAL} – O (love) and A MEAL (food) with T inside (invest) is a meal made of oats.

19. Began to speak of how music might be at university (5,2)
{PIPED UP} – How music might be played through a building for example and UP (university) is also phrase used to describe someone who is beginning to speak.

21. Body temperature, approximately (5)
{TORSO} – T (temperature) OR SO (approximately) is the human body excluding the head and limbs.

23. Lifeless hair matters where there’s no solution (9)
{DEADLOCKS} – DEAD (lifeless) and LOCKS (hair).

25. One shed light on strike during opening (3,4)
{GAS LAMP} – Place SLAM (strike) inside GAP (opening) for a type of lamp.

26. Radio car in accident concealed instrument (7)
{OCARINA} – Hidden word (radi)O CAR IN A(ccident) which is (for those who don’t know) a small terracotta or plastic wind instrument with finger holes, a mouthpiece, and an elongated ovoid shape.

27. I don’t care if hooter’s undamaged (2,4,3,2,4)
{NO SKIN OFF MY NOSE} – A cryptic defintion. Hooter in this case is your nose.


1. Bird on bed at pilot’s place (7)
{COCKPIT} – COCK (bird) and PIT (bed).

2. Thirty days interest on one pound? (5)
{APRIL} – a month can be made up from APR (annual or annualized percentage rate), I and L (pound – libra).

3. Delay time for music and get up (9)
{TEMPORISE} – TEMPO (time for music) and RISE (get up) is a verb used to describe using delaying tactics or behaving so as to gain time.

4. Waves from the Queen in an expensive car (7)
{ROLLERS} – Put ER (Queen) inside an expensive car, ROLLS for the kind of waves you see at the seaside.

5. Tossing coins on first-class return from capital (7)
{NICOSIA} – The capital of Cyprus is constructed from an anagram of COINS (tossing) followed by AI (first class) reversed (return).

6. Commercial vehicles carrying electronic wind instruments (5)
{VANES} – VANS (comercial vehicles) around (carrying) E (electronic) are devices that show which way the wind is blowing.

7. In elegant surroundings, artist abstained (9)
{REFRAINED} – As usual artist is RA (Royal Academician), and then place this inside REFINED (elegant) for another word for abstained.

8. Make a mistake with bearing messages (7)
{ERRANDS} – ERR (make a mistake) AND (with) S (bearing – south) is a verbal message, but is more commonly a commission to say or do something usually involving a short journey.

14. Stars gamble, filling poor seats (9)
{ASTERISKS} – RISK (gamble) inside (filling) an anagram (poor) of SEATS are star-shaped marks used as a reference to a note for example.

16. Vessel revolutionising all piracy (9)
{CAPILLARY} – An anagram (revolutionising) of ALL PIRACY for a fine-bored tube or a minute thin-walled blood vessel that forms a network connecting arteries with veins. You have to admire the anagram indicator and the surface reading.

17. Pain mainly comes after month’s figure (7)
{OCTAGON} – An eight sided figure comes from OCT (October, month) followed by nearly all (mainly) AGON(y).

18. What preceding events did was cause badly polluted lake to disappear (3,2,2)
{LED UP TO} – An anagram (badly) of POLLUTED, minus a single L (lake to disappear) describes a simple phrase for “what preceding events did”.

19. Quietly hedge a bet on decisive match (4-3)
{PLAY OFF} – P (quietly) LAY OFF (hedge a bet).

20. The cost of letters after a long time (7)
{POSTAGE} – The cost of sending letters is derived from POST (after) and AGE (a long time).

22. One supports old chap from a Gulf state (5)
{OMANI} – I (supports – following) O (old) and MAN (chap) is a native or citizen of Oman.

24. Firm importing music from North African city (5)
{CAIRO} – CO (firm) – company) taking in (importing) AIR (music) is the capital of Egypt.

36 comments on “DT 26096

  1. An excellent crossword from J this morning. I found it fair, witty, well clued and a treat to solve. Favourite clues included 15a, 21a, 14d and by a short nose, 27a.

    Difficulty levels are hard to assess, but I thought that this was more a **/**1/2 star puzzle but it may be that I was on the right wavelength with J’s cluing this morning.

    Many thanks to J for today’s puzzle and thank you Libellule for the blog.

    1. Prolixic,
      Agreed, this was a good straightforward cryptic crossword. Exactly what I would expect from J on a Thursday. I gave this the same stars for difficulty/enjoyment as I normally do, unlike some other setters, J tends to produce crosswords at very much the same level just about all of the time. This took me as long to solve as last weeks, the week before etc etc :-)

  2. Liked this one but didnt find it too tricky.
    Great anagram to kick off with at 1a and 13a made me grin.
    Thanks for the review and ta to J.

  3. Morning Libellule, I must say when I first looked at this I could only solve two clues, i didn’t think it was particularly easy for us ‘C C’ members and came across a word i had never heard before 26a, i particularly liked 21a, and 27a, thanks once again

    1. I agree Mary, 21a was a quality clue, simple but extremely satisfying solving it and enjoying the word play.

    2. Felt the same Mary – really struggled at first but got there eventually – fortunately my daughter used to play the ocarina so got that straight away!

      Thought 13a was a good clue and would not have got that before I started reading this column. Liked 27a.

      Had “Asteroids” for 14 down which stopped me from finishing.

  4. This has been a signature week for crosswords. From Monday onwards we have been supplied with quality. Has the DT had a board meeting to review the output or has Big Dave used his good offices to give them a “Now look here, this just isn’t good enough ” . Whichever it may be, I hope this blog and all its reviewers and posters and commenters have had an influence in it.
    Thanks for the continuing quality of this blog Big Dave and all the other reviewers

    Todays was the cerise sur le gateau as Libellule might say

  5. Sorry didn’t enjoy this one at all, too obscure for my liking. managed the bottom half but the top is a closed shop. Not at all keen on those clues (17d) which require you to charade a word then only take bits of it then add it to an abbreviation, lifes just too short! Perhaps tomorrows Giovanni will be better :-)

    1. Hiah Barrie, I agree, the bottom left hand side i found particularly difficult and had never heard of 26a, i don’t know about you but i use my chambers crossword dictionary and my electronic friend A LOT otherwise i would never get there, as i said previously half the fun and enjoyment for me at this stage is understanding what the setter wants and often when getting the answer by whatever means working the clue backwards, i don’t know if i’ll ever progress beyond this but most days i am enjoying it especially with this marvellous blog, so chin up, tomorrow’s another day :)

      1. Hi Mary, I think you and I are at about the same stage of crossword nascence (Oh God, I am beginning to sound like a Giovanni puzzle!!). I must admit though, I do get a bit hot under the collar with some of the smugger contributors who think this is some form of competition rather than a pleasant diversion.If those who want a real challenge would do the Toughie and leave the rest of us to enjoy the back page I for one would be happier. Defining the ‘challenge and toughess’ of a crossword is a bit like answering the questions on Mastermind – easy if the know the answers! I do agree though that this blog is a godsend and in many ways more enjoyable reading than the DT! Ah well I suppose we are going to have to rely on Chambers and the electronic friend for a while yet. Keep up the good work.

    2. I know what you mean Barrie! I think I had a similar rant a while back on clues like that. Even if you guess the right word you still have to do something more to it. I think we are in the minority as everyone else seems to have no difficulty with such clues. I console myself with the fact that there must be hundreds who read the blog, feel like we do but don’t say anything for fear of being stupid!

      1. Toby and Barrie

        I think everyone has some type of clue that they don’t like – but probably don’t express it. I am getting used to this type of clue so am okay with it.

        What I don’t like are the grids where there are lots of four letter words – they drive me nuts.

        For me completing the puzzle is the main thing and beating my own time for solving one. I don’t bother with competing with anyone else – what is the point – we are not in competition.

        Saturdays are usually the only day that I do it quickly.

        The blog is fun and all the comments worth reading – good bad and indifferent.

        1. I agree Lee, we are not competing with anyone but some days it does feel like it, i think most days we are our own worst enemy :)

      2. I just love reading your posts Mary, Barrie and Toby – makes me feel much less stupid. I think you’re absolutely right there are loads of us CCs around – just aiming to get a little more ‘clued up’! I always feel miles behind the rest of you though as I can’t usually even begin the crosswords until the evening :(

  6. My brain was slow to wake up this morning and thought for about 10 minutes it was going to be a horrible day but once I got 1a it all started to fall in to place and I got my bonus points on clued up.

    Contrary to other bloggers I didn’t particularly like 13a but enjoyed 11a and 7d as my two favourites.

    I worked 26a from the clue but confirmed it by looking up the definition in the dictionary.

    Good Thursday but roll on tomorrow and usually (not always) I am in tune with Giovanni’s clues.

  7. Well as much as I struggled on Monday and Tuesday today and yesterday have been right in my slot.

    I think it must be that my mental thesaurus runs out after 3 words. I racked my brains for a word meaning “dressed” in which to insert an “l” earlier in the week but I can get “agony” to mean “pain”. This must be the “being in tune with” to which you refer.

    Agree, it has been a great week thus far!

  8. Must admit I enjoyed it ,probably due to the fact that I finished quite quickly ( must be on the same wavelength )Moved on to the toughie and finished NW and SE corners then ground to halt.
    21a and 27a were the pick for me.

    Good Blog as per usual.

  9. desperate for the answers to the top r/h corner of the toughie – anyone – my brother and i have done it between us today – mostly him, with a little input from yours truly, but are really struggling with 4 clues here :( comes to something when HE needs MY help :)

      1. Dave

        Did you see the debate on the Digital Economy Bill today in the DT? Was going to get at it but didn’t – just wondered how it went as I know you like to keep up with your IT changes.

  10. It just goes to show how different we all are. First completed xwrd for me in a long while. I enjoyed this immensely. Thought our “CC” chairwoman would have agreed with me. :smile:
    Barrie… if you’re looking forward to a Giovanni xwrd after this you’re a braver man than i. I wonder how Toby got on today?. Gonna have another crack at yesterday’s toughie, and another glass of wine.

    1. Hi Edi, sorry I have put my comments as replies to Mary and Barrie above. I got one wrong and failed to complete it!

  11. I enjoyed this one although I got a bit stuck in the bottom left corner. Needed the hint on 13a but after that the rest fell in to place.

  12. Enjoyed this one, really liked 13a and 7d. Still don’t get 15a. Where does ‘graves’ come in to it?
    Great blog again!!

    1. A grave is an accent used in French to indicate an e is pronounced as in fresh and not as in Pete – it is pronounced grarve

  13. Whizzed through for the first time in yonks – nice puzzle save 13a that was a tad vague for me. Otherwise a good ‘un.

  14. I thought it was great even though I found the answer to 26 Across almost by accident and had to check it was a real word. Never will I understand how sometimes I can stare all day and barely do half of it and sometimes it can be finished. I guess thats why I still keept trying every day. Once again thank you Big dave for your website. x

  15. Looks like we have acquired another Paul, so I am reverting to my more usual online name (no need to google it, all you will find is a lot of criminal law and videogames).

    Nice enjoyable one today – or at least so I am assured by Mrs P who did the honours. Couldn’t get started myself.

    phisheep (previously known as Paul)

  16. For the first time in quite a while I managed to finish this without any help from my Chambers dictionary. At first glance it looked quite tricky but as I solved each clue everything fell into place.

    My favourite clue was 27a – great cryptic definition.

    I agree with the other comments on this blog that this has been a good week so far, particularly Ray T’s excellent Tuesday puzzle. Happy times.

  17. Relatively easy puzzle but with some nice clues; e.g.1a & 27a.
    I laughed at 14d – I class “asterisks for stars” in the same category as ” Ur of the Chaldees for old city” – potboilers for old hands!

    I have not done Friday’s yet due to other commitments yesterday – it is already Saturday here
    00:20AM so I’ll do it when I get up later on.

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