DT 26121 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26121

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26121

A full analysis by Big Dave

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

On balance a reasonable puzzle, in spite of a few not-very-cryptic clues.


1a    Judges inquire before one’s second act of treachery (5,4)
JUDAS KISS – JUD is the abbreviation for the Book of Judges in the Bible and follow that with ASK (inquire) I’S (one’s) and S(econd) and the result is an act of treachery under the guise of kindness – note how Judges requires a capital J in this context and this is disguised by placing it as the first word in the clue

6a    Common sense, very very little for instance outside (5)
SAVVY – basic common-sense comes from VV (very very little) with SAY (for instance) outside

9a    Thomas taking said hat from draw! (7)
TOMBOLA – TOM with BOLA which sounds like BOWLER (said hat)

10a    Fully equipped spring discovered (4-5)
WELL-FOUND – a word meaning fully equipped is a charade of WELL (spring) and FOUND (discovered)

11a    Ex-allowance (7)
ALIMONY – an allowance paid to a former partner

12a    Rules for language school (7)
GRAMMAR – a double definition, rules for language and a school at which you are taught the rules for the English language

13a    Most important building to see in Devon (6,9)
EXETER CATHEDRAL – a see is a diocese, and this is the most important building in this Devon diocese

18a    Lot giving support to melody (7)
FORTUNE – whatever comes by lot or chance is a charade of FOR (giving support to) and TUNE (melody)

20a    Instrument used by one getting 200 during game (7)
PICCOLO – this musical Instrument is constructed by putting CC (200 in Roman numerals) inside POLO (game)

22a    Waver coming from local site (9)
OSCILLATE – this word meaning to waver is an anagram (coming from) of LOCAL SITE

23a    Nothing taken from extraordinary response from poet (7)
SPENSER – an anagram (extraordinary) of RESP(O)NSE without the O (nothing taken from) gives this English poet

24a    Mentally unhinged like Hazel? (5)
NUTTY – a double definition about which the least said the better

25a    Consider what hostess should do (9)
ENTERTAIN – another double definition – to consider and what a hostess should do


1d    First person in France included extraterrestrial chart for high flier (3,5)
JET PLANE – put JE (first person in French) around ET (everyone’s favourite Extra Terrestrial) and PLAN (chart) for something that flies high

2d    I am up in easily managed abode (8)
DOMICILE – I’M (I am) reversed inside DOCILE (easily managed) gives an abode

3d    Old penniless top dogs arranging economic policy (4-2)
STOP-GO – an anagram (arranging) of TOP (D)OGS without the D (old penny) gives this economic policy

4d    At home yet not at home to some extent (2,1,3)
IN A WAY – put together IN (at home) and AWAY (not at home)to get a phrase meaning to some extent

5d    Star in the roof? (8)
SKYLIGHT – a sort of part-cryptic double definition

6d    Personality, a medium in London area has the very thing (8)
SELFSAME – word sum time – SELF (personality) then A and M(edium) inside SE (South East / London area) gives a word meaning the very thing

7d    There’s absolutely nothing in it (6)
VACUUM – a (cryptIc?) definition

8d    Rodney floundering in the distance (6)
YONDER – an anagram (floundering) of RODNEY gives a word meaning in the distance

14d    Sameness of nearly everybody in union (8)
EQUALITY – a word meaning sameness is derived by putting AL(L) (nearly everybody) inside EQUITY (the actors’ union)

15d    Crack made by vicar accepting a vessel in church (8)
CREVASSE – a crack or split, especially applied to a cleft in a glacier is built up from REV (vicar) A SS (A Steam Ship / vessel) inside CE (Church of England)

16d    Cecilia’s former country in Africa? (8)
RHODESIA – this slightly unusual construct tells you to take Cecil RHODES and then add IA to get the country in Africa that he founded

17d    Spectator found lone rook circling (6-2)
LOOKER-ON – this spectator is an anagram (circling?) of LONE ROOK

18d    Hardly cold (6)
FROZEN – say no more!

19d    Scheme for obtaining money dishonestly causes uproar (6)
RACKET – a double definition

20d    Peter’s prepared to decide beforehand (6)
PRESET – an anagram (prepared) of PETER’S gives a word meaning to decide beforehand

21d    Mad rush that starts after finishing one’s education (6)
CAREER – this double definition can be either a mad rush or what you take up after finishing your education

If you haven’t come across the term before, a pangram is a puzzle in which all 26 letters of the alphabet are present in the answers, like this one.