DT 26102

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26102

Hints and tips by Libellule

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BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

Its Thursday and once again we have a good blanced cryptic crossword from J. The usual different types and complexity of clues, enough to get you started, and some to get you thinking. Once again no major issues just a couple of small quibbles.

The answers as usual can be found hidden between the curly brackets, you just need to highlight them to see them. All of us enjoy reading the comments so please let us know what you thought.


1. Stunning wine put into wrong glass at first (8)
{SHOCKING} – The definition is “stunning”, place HOCK (wine) into SIN (wrong) and then add the first letter of G(lass) for a word that might be used in its place.

9. Church by West Coast city to charge rent (8)
{LACERATE} – CE (Church of England) after LA (Los Angeles – west coast city), and then add RATE (to charge, as in price or cost?) for another word meaning to rip, cut, or tear.

10. Decide against revealing a personal view (4)
{IDEA} – A hidden word (revealing) can be found in (dec)IDE A(gainst) for a personal view.

11. Of South American extraction, gets very much heated (12)
{INCANDESCENT} – A nice clue, INCAN DESCENT (of South American extraction).

13. People must be mad to go off them (8)
{TROLLEYS} – Cryptic definition, if you are mad you go off them.

15. Seasonal travellers are so damn stupid (6)
{NOMADS} – An anagram (stupid) of SO DAMN for seasonal travellers.

16. Fool showing origin of Tarot card (4)
{TWIT} – First letter (origin) of T(arot) followed by WIT (card) for a fool.

17. Vehicle on which doctor pedals halfway (5)
{MOPED} – A lightweight motorcycle (vehicle) is constructed from MO (Medical Officer – doctor) and half of PED(als).

18. International leader fled country (4)
{IRAN} – I, the first letter (leader) of International followed by RAN (fled).

20. Only man to lose a grave (6)
{SOLEMN} – SOLE (only) and M(a)N i.e. MAN losing an A.

21. Have fun with egg plant (8)
{LARKSPUR} –LARK (have fun) and SPUR (egg) is any plant of the genus Delphinium.

23. Everything working fine in production of glossy metals (3,7,2)
{ALL SYSTEMS GO} – An anagram (production) of GLOSSY METALS is a phrase often used to describe that everything is in working order.

26. Common sense is almost useless (4)
{NOUS} – An informal word for common sense is nearly NO US(e).

27. People who don’t believe lies find trouble (8)
{INFIDELS} – An anagram (trouble) of LIES FIND for people who reject religion.

28. Deplore amount charged by little administrator (8)
{EXECRATE} – EXEC (short for executive – administrator? executor – administrator, see Tony’s comment below) followed by RATE (amount charged) for a word that can be used to mean detest or denounce.


2. Natural boundary providing advantage in hotel dispute (8)
{HEDGEROW} – Put EDGE (advantage) into H (hotel) and ROW (dispute).

3. Communication cords? (5,7)
{CHAIN LETTERS} – Cryptic definition for (according to Chambers) “a letter soliciting (among other things) the sending, by the recipient, of similar letters with or without a limit to other people”.

4. One depends on freezing point (6)
{ICICLE} – You won’t see one of these hanging down unless its freezing.

5. Valley of angels flying without wings (4)
{GLEN} – remove the A and S from (a)NGEL(s), and the use this as an anagram (flying?) for a Scottish valley).

6. A film is always vetted (8)
{SCREENED} – Double definition. To show a film, and to test somebody to see if they are acceptable.

7. Partners welcome a good salary (4)
{WAGE} – The two partners required here are W and E (west and east – bridge) and you need to place inside (welcome) A and G (good).

8. Cast out — joint set for surgery (8)
{JETTISON} – The definition is cast out, the anagram indicator is for surgery, and the anagram letters are JOINT SET.

12. District official is doubly confused in more vulgar surroundings (12)
{COMMISSIONER} – Put an anagram (confused) of IS and IS (doubly) inside COMMONER (more vulgar) for the representative of high authority in a district, etc.

14. Strangely pleads to cut out dead part of flower (5)
{SEPAL} – remove D (cut out dead) from PLEA(d)S, then you have an anagram (strangely) for a part of a flower or more accurately, any of the separate parts of a flower calyx.

16. Island beginning to show passion supporting volunteers (8)
{TASMANIA} – MANIA (passion) below (supporting) volunteers – usually the Territorial Army, TA and the first letter of S(how) is an Australian island and state located 125 miles south of the eastern side of the continent.

17. Politician — one embraced by church (8)
{MINISTER} – The head of a government department of state affairs is found by putting I inside (embraced) by MINSTER (church).

19. Water under the bridge means a loss for this transporter (8)
{AQUEDUCT} – Cryptic definition. This bridge carries water.

22. Engineers point to prompt delivery (6)
{RESCUE} – RE (Royal Engineers), plus S (South – point) and CUE (prompt).

24. Fellow in luck getting attic (4)
{LOFT} – Put F (fellow) in LOT (luck or fate).

25. Language needing to be regularly repressed (4)
{ERSE} – The even letters of rEpReSsEd is a word sometimes used to describe the Irish gaelic language.


  1. Nubian
    Posted December 3, 2009 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    7d I read the clue as wives and girlfriends..WAGS as the clue says partners and the following words first letters spell WAGS !. Are we sure the setter hasn’t messed up here ?

    • Libellule
      Posted December 3, 2009 at 11:04 am | Permalink

      I don’t think so – where in the clue does it tell you to take the first letters of the words following partners?

      • Rishi
        Posted December 3, 2009 at 11:14 am | Permalink

        I think W, E are from bridge where W and E are partners.

        Partners could also be NS, SN, EW.

        Opponents are EN, ES, NE, NW, Se, SW, WN, WS. take your pick!

        • Franny
          Posted December 3, 2009 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

          Alas, I’m as ignorant of bridge as I am of cricket — really clueless :-(

      • Nubian
        Posted December 3, 2009 at 11:15 am | Permalink

        Libellule. Partners seems a bit of a stretch to get to W and E, I wonder if the setter either spotted the conection or was thinking of something else, was it just luck that the first letter of each word following happened to spell out the particular letters.Partners to me suggested partnering each of the letters to get wags, like a double clue. I accept your breakdown, I just found it funny. Off to Carcassonne at the weekend so I can recharge my batteries.

        • Libellule
          Posted December 3, 2009 at 11:22 am | Permalink

          If you see “partners” in a crossword, you do have to consider NS and or WE. Its quite a commonly used construct. BTW bon voyage.

        • gnomethang
          Posted December 3, 2009 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

          Nubian, just to add to Libellule’s comment the partners are from the game of Bridge (North South East West). Its not as rich a seam as cricket for abbreviations but is well established!.
          Have a great break.

  2. gnomethang
    Posted December 3, 2009 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    I have been really enjoying Thursdays with J and today is no exception. This was fun to solve and very accessible even though there are some clues to make you think.
    Hopefully the CC will have more fun with this today!.

    Many good clues here – 3d, 21a, 11a but my favourite has to be 23a.

  3. LB
    Posted December 3, 2009 at 11:10 am | Permalink

    Would probably have fallen for the same error but managed 11a first.
    Must be a time zone problem as the W side took a lot longer to complete.
    Not sure about Exec as an adminstrator or the two versions of achieving rate
    Favourites 11a and 21a

    • gnomethang
      Posted December 3, 2009 at 11:35 am | Permalink

      The Exec is just about my only (small) quibble with this crossword although a purist might not like the rate rate!

      • Bondini
        Posted December 3, 2009 at 11:52 am | Permalink

        Yes a nice crossword but I’m glad you say that. I didn’t know the word in 28a and was thwarted by it alone so also thought it a bit of a stretch.

        Chambers however does describe an executive as “concerned with management or administration”. I can’t say that describes too many of the executives I know!

        • Tony
          Posted December 3, 2009 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

          28a Exec – Executor rather than Executive?

          • gnomethang
            Posted December 3, 2009 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

            Not a bad shout in my opinion

            • Libellule
              Posted December 3, 2009 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

              Chambers does show exec as the abbreviation for
              executive and executor – so take your pick.

          • Posted December 3, 2009 at 9:43 pm | Permalink


            A somewhat belated welcome to the blog – I hadn’t done the puzzle at the time I moderated your comment and didn;t want to see the discusion at that stage!

  4. Prolixix
    Posted December 3, 2009 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    Jolly good stuff this morning keeping me sane whilst Christmas shopping. Have had to do this in dribs and drabs. Favourite clues were 8d and 23a. Richer for the crossword but poorer for the shopping!

  5. mary
    Posted December 3, 2009 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

    cords in 3d? where or how does this come into the answer???

    • gnomethang
      Posted December 3, 2009 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

      mary, a cord is a length of rope or chain (think ‘cordon off’). This led me to think of communications that might be ‘chained together’

      • mary
        Posted December 3, 2009 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

        Thank you gnomething, i understand what you are saying but nowhere can i find chain to mean cord or vice versa? Libellule what do you think?

        • Libellule
          Posted December 3, 2009 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

          True strictly speaking a cord isn’t a chain and vice versa, but if you take a look at the synonyms for cord and chain they show similar attributes. Next you also have to bear in mind that this is a cryptic definition and its asking you to show some lateral thought. Hence the ? at the end of the clue.

        • Prolixix
          Posted December 3, 2009 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

          The clue reminded me of the old commuter trains that had a coomunication cord above each door to pull in an emergency. The cords were a length of metal chain that you had to yank if you wanted the driver to know that there was an emergency.

          • Libellule
            Posted December 3, 2009 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

            I also got the same mental image, but I believe nowadays, communication cords on trains etc are either true cords or even handles etc.

          • mary
            Posted December 3, 2009 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

            Thank you all

            • Libellule
              Posted December 3, 2009 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

              Just to backup the comment from Prolixix, I found this on Wikipedia.
              “When the use of the automatic brakes was made compulsory in the Regulation of Railways Act 1889, the equipment was modified so that it operated the brakes, but the name communication cord has survived to the present day. Up until the 1970s, a “cord” (although by that time it was chain) was still used. This ran the length of the carriage and connected to a valve at one end which opened the brake pipe.”

              • Prolixix
                Posted December 3, 2009 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

                Into the 1970’s! We had them well into the mid-1990s until the old slam door stock was finally retired.

          • Libellule
            Posted December 3, 2009 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

            Amusingly a quick google, shows that the “The Communication Cord” is the newsletter of The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust ….

            • mary
              Posted December 3, 2009 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

              i remember communication cords well, thankfully never had to pull one :)

  6. Toby
    Posted December 3, 2009 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

    Thought this was very fair. solved it without too many problems had to check 28a as had never heard of it but no complaints from me.

    Small point :- 6a why “always” – I would have thought the clue would have been better phrased ” A film could be vetted”.

    Liked 11a.

    When I found the letters J, Q, X assumed that all letters of the alphabet were going to be used – Where’s Z?

    • mary
      Posted December 3, 2009 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

      don’t think there’s a b either Toby or v

  7. mary
    Posted December 3, 2009 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

    For me this was a tough one to get into today once i got started with 14d and 17a things fell slowly into place, did not like 3d (see above reasons ) had never heard of 28a and 4d – isn’t ‘depend’ also an old fashioned term of sorts for ‘hang’ or am i completely wrong here?
    another tough one for us CC members :(

    • mary
      Posted December 3, 2009 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

      rather hang on as in depend on??

      • Libellule
        Posted December 3, 2009 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

        For this clue depends is used in the sense of hangs.

        • mary
          Posted December 3, 2009 at 2:04 pm | Permalink


  8. Franny
    Posted December 3, 2009 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

    For me, this was a good puzzle, although it confirmed my clueless status. I couldn’t do nearly as much as usual even going back several times, and got many more down than across. For 10a I had ‘gape’ instead of ‘idea’ and that threw me, also I looked for nonexistant anagrams all over the place. Oh well, better luck next time.

  9. Pixie
    Posted December 3, 2009 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

    I didn’t get 19d but very much like the clue now I know the answer. I found today much harder than yesterday’s 5 * difficulty rated crossword.

    But if we were all the same this would be a boring world.

  10. gus
    Posted December 3, 2009 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

    Does the “exec” not come from “executor/trix”, the administrator of an estate under a will?

    • Libellule
      Posted December 3, 2009 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

      Yes it probably does and I have changed the blog accordingly. Did you see Tony’s earlier comment?

      • gus
        Posted December 3, 2009 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

        I can see that i’m going to have to type a lot quicker and get a better internet connection around here!

        • Libellule
          Posted December 3, 2009 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

          Er yes :-) There are some clever people around. (I do not include myself in that list)

  11. Mike Kent
    Posted December 3, 2009 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

    Got stuck in the top left corner. I thought my 1A COR(stunning)biere (beer) was the answer ie Corbiere
    Couldn’t get 3D, or 13A which I thought very good
    Loved 11A and my favourite 21A

    Thanks again for the explanations – always welcome

    • Libellule
      Posted December 3, 2009 at 5:06 pm | Permalink


  12. Derek
    Posted December 4, 2009 at 7:39 am | Permalink

    Did this puzzle in the early hours of this morning after a long session with my ophthalmologist yesterday (good outcome).
    Couldn’t get started at first, then after a few of the four letter clues, got cracking on the NE corner. Started to warm up thereafter and finished it.
    My favourite was 11a followed by 19d.
    Had a bit of trouble with 13a for a while – stuck on “rockers” – but then it came back.
    Being a permanent expat leads to loss of idiomatic usage!

  13. Claire
    Posted December 4, 2009 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    Oh dear – I think the shock of going back to work affected my brain – found this one really tricky, but thanks very much Libellule for the great analysis. Returned to the bottom of the CC class!

    • mary
      Posted December 4, 2009 at 8:53 am | Permalink

      lots of people after that place Claire :)

  14. philbro
    Posted December 4, 2009 at 9:47 am | Permalink

    Started at 11pm last night and just finished.Brain not totally up to scratch but also had WAGS for 7d. I knew 11a was incandescent, so arrived at the right answer by default. I can see how the answer was constructed but feel that the reference to a good salary equally suggests WAGS as an answer, especially the way they are portrayed , not necessarily fairly, as money-grabbers. Otherwise v. enjoyable and enjoyed 20a.

  15. Posted December 10, 2009 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

    As a narrow-boater I particularly liked 19D (Aquaduct).

    • Posted December 10, 2009 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

      Not wanting to be picky – both myself & Mrs BD fell into the same trap – but it is spelt AQUEDUCT. Don’t ask me why !!

  16. Posted January 7, 2010 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    Had a chuckle at 13a and enjoyed 11a. I was left hanging with four or five clues to go so thanks for the explanations. I would never have got 25 down !!