DT 26142 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26142

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26142

Personal Demons

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment **

A reasonably enjoyable stroll from our Wednesday Wizard today with nothing terribly taxing to cause grief or stress. However a few of my personal bête noires appear in today’s grid, which causes me a little irritation. I’m not keen on clues using “artificial or contrived names” and there are a couple here today, but otherwise it’s a pleasant solve. Likewise I think the clue at 17 across has the definition and indications being too close.

For our new visitors, the answer to each clue is hidden between the curly brackets – just drag your cursor through the white space and highlight it between the brackets to reveal it.


7a    Attitude required to look after group (7)
{MINDSET} A word-sum to start today. A trendy word for “attitude” is the definition required. You need a word meaning to look after and add to this a common word for group.

8a    Taxing individual with sour disposition (7)
{ONEROUS} Another word-sum, this time a little more complicated. A word for “individual” + an anagram (indicated by disposition) of sour. This leads to a word meaning being a burden or taxing.

10a    Paper’s cue for circulation in capital (5,4)
{UPPER CASE} An anagram (indicated by circulation) of PAPER’S CUE will lead you to a word meaning capital, as in letters or printing.

11a    Sources of rum in Oman? Just any wine! (5)
{RIOJA} One of those words that is almost ubiquitous in cryptic crosswords, and hence good clues are hard to find, and this one doesn’t quite hit the mark for me. “Sources” in a clue usually is a way of telling you to take the first letters of words in the clue, and here take the first letters of five words to form a type of wine.

12a    Oliver Thomas is tough (5)
[HARDY} As I said in the preamble I dislike clues with “contrived names” and here is one. Who is Oliver Thomas? Actually the clue could be split into a “triple” definition. Find a surname that links someone called Oliver and someone called Thomas (think comedy and literature) and that word should also mean tough.

13a    List covering ethnicity can be found (9)
{TRACEABLE} A word meaning “can be found” is made up of a word for a list with a word for ethnicity inside.

15a    The Spanish invested in Scotsman’s service (7)
{ANGELUS} I’m not sure the definition is appropriate here. As a non-Catholic, I always thought that Angelus was a devotion rather than a service, using the saying of three “Hail Mary’s” to the Angelus bell, which rang three times a day. It’s EL (The Spanish) inside ANGUS (archetypal Scotsman).

17a    Sort of pet shark or other aquatic creature (7)
{CATFISH} Again, I’m not keen on clues where the definition and indications are not terribly discrete. The name for a pet needs to be added to a synonym for shark and this will give you another aquatic creature. I feel our next competition coming on…….

18a    Honouring none dressed with flashy jewellery (9)
{ENNOBLING} An anagram of NONE + the trendy word for “flashy jewellery” will lead you to a word meaning honouring as in to make a lord, or suchlike.

20a    Reckon people invited have no time (5)
{GUESS} A word meaning “people invited” needs to lose T (for time) . The residue means “reckon” or “estimate”.

21a    Subject oneself to a hot dog? (5)
{INCUR} I’m assuming here that HOT DOG = IN (as in popular / hot) + CUR (dog) with the remainder forming the definition. Bit weak really.

23a    Caretaker’s cold, working EEC rig at sea (9)
{CONCIERGE} A word sum. C = COLD + ON = working + an anagram (indicated by “at sea”) of EEC RIG = the trendy word for a caretaker of a block of flats or building.

24a    Handy expression for joke you’re listening to (7)
{GESTURE} An expression made with the hands sounds like “jest you’re”

25a    A thug hired in case of leaks in such sea areas (7)
{LAGOON} The thug is A GOON, and he needs to be inserted inside L…S (case of LeakS)


1d           Picture pain mainly under Dr Flower (10)
{SNAPDRAGON} – here we have one of those contrived names referred to in the prologue – the definition is a flower (not a river) and you get there by starting with SNAP (picture) and then putting most of AGON(Y) under DR

2d           Large seabird is duck’s victim (6)
{OSPREY} – this large seabird is O’S (duck’s) followed by a victim

3d           Island once shown by name? It is back in maps (8)
{ATLANTIS} – this legendary island is built up by putting N(ame) and IT reversed inside a book of maps

4d           Chap backing mature store selling wine (6)
{BODEGA} – this chap was in yesterday’s Toughie” – put to AGE (mature) reversed after him and you get a Spanish wine shop

5d           Most peculiar individual runs, wearing fancy tweeds (8)
{WEIRDEST} – a word meaning most peculiar is generated by putting I (individual) and R(uns) inside an anagram (fancy) of TWEEDS

6d           Game of pool? (4)
{POLO} – this game can be played in a (swimming) pool – I’m not sure that “of” can justify an anagram of POOL which is why I have opted for the cryptic definition

7d           Speaking about refreshing drink being appetising (5-8)
{MOUTH-WATERING} – put MOUTHING (speaking) around WATER (refreshing drink) and you get a closely-related word meaning appetising

9d           Foolishly greets waspish asides from an actor (5,8)
{STAGE WHISPERS} – an anagram (foolishly) of GREETS WASPISH gives these asides from an actor

14d         Man getting in touch with his feminine side in church? (10)
{BRIDEGROOM} – can’t say I thought much of this cryptic definition

16d         Love to leave work on miners’ plant (8)
{LABURNUM} – a charade of LAB(O)UR (work without the O / love) and the National Union of Mineworkers results in this small poisonous papilionaceous tree or shrub

17d         Softly supporting company in a convincing way (8)
{COGENTLY} – GENTLY (softly) is under (supporting) CO(mpany) in this down clue, giving a word meaning in a convincing way

19d         Makes slow progress at home, not finishing game (6)
{INCHES} – makes very slow progress – IN (home) is followed by most of (not finishing) a board game

20d         Foreigner’s broad smile on exit (6)
{GRINGO} – this name for a foreigner, whose language is not Spanish,  in Spanish-speaking America is seldom heard these days outside of old movies – it is built from GRIN (broad smile) and GO (exit)

22d         The expense of beginning to sleep in bed (4)
{COST} – a synonym for expense is derived by putting S (beginning to Sleep)  inside a child’s bed

Tilsit has had to attend a hospital appointment that he had forgotten about until his transport arrived – I have filled in the downs for him. BD

36 comments on “DT 26142

  1. This was gentle but, personally, I felt that lacked the fun and flair that I usually associate with our Wednesday Wizard. Favourite clue was 9d. In relation to 15a, I think service can mean an act of personal duty or homage. it is not necessarily a corporate act of worship so the definition just about works.

  2. I’m probably wrong but got 15 across as Argyles, this being the name of the Argyl & Sutherland Highlanders army service.

    1. Welcome to the blog

      The answer can be revealed by selecting the space between the curly brackets. Tilsit and I use CluedUp to solve the puzzles, so the answers given are confirmed as correct.

  3. Quite enjoyable if gentle workout today. I liked 1d and 7d. I actually quite liked 14d too (sorry Werm)

  4. A so-so crossword with some not so good clues.

    In particular 15a is liturgically incorrect. The Angelus is a prayer of intercession the Mary the Mother of God, and might just in some circles be called a rite. A service never!

    There speaks a man with a theology degree from a Jesuit college.

    1. If the setter was relying on Chambers, then I can see why it was described this way.
      a short devotional exercise in honour of the Incarnation, repeated three times daily
      the bell rung in Roman Catholic countries at morning, noon, and sunset, to invite the faithful to recite the angelus
      a performance of religious worship
      duty or homage ceremonially offered

      1. I did check this with Tilsit before the blog was published.

        In Chambers 11th edition, and online, the entry is

        * a short devotional exercise in honour of the Incarnation, repeated three times daily
        * the bell rung in Roman Catholic countries at morning, noon, and sunset, to invite the faithful to recite the angelus
        Etymology: From the introductory words, ‘Angelus Domini nuntiavit Mariae’

        It looks as if the entry has already been corrected.

  5. I actually thought this was a bit harder than some have suggested – I was expecting 3 and 3 for the two votes off the top of my head. I really enjoyed 1d, 16d and 7a.

    1. Almost clueless on this one (only got 2) – couldn’t get my head round it and am kicking myself going through the hints…

      1. I think it was a difficult puzzle to understand but then as u say once u know the answers you can’t understand why you didn’t get them!!

  6. Pretty enjoyable all round, nothing to get heated about. I am a bit concerned Mary hasn’t said anything yet, is she resting on her laurels after a couple of good days ?
    1d 7d 9d my favs

    1. No Nubian, i am late starting today, will be ‘setting off’ soon, don’t know if i will enjoy at this time of day though, nice to be missed :)

  7. Somewhat lacking in humour today….didn’t like 17ac much but 1d ad 5d and 24 ac were my favourites.

  8. You’re all much better at the crossword solving than I am, but you need to check your spelling of ‘weirdest’ in 5d. (It’s another exception to the i before e rule, but easy to remember for obvious reasons!)

  9. I found this one really hard to get into , for myself as a CC member I think it was much tougher than two stars, went totally wrong on 17a by putting dog as the first part!! really like 14d though it was the last one i did, needed help believe it or not for 20a and 20d :( , though it is now finished i didn’t think it was strightforward today :)

  10. Absolutely agree, I though it was pretty fiendish today. I would love to know what the criteria are for deciding if it is easy or difficult. I found this one very tough indeed. Very diificult to sort out exactly what is the clue.

    1. Eventually finished (with help from wife) but can anybody explain to me what 16d has to do with laburnum?

      1. Sure: Definition is plant.
        Take ‘love’ (zero = O) out of ‘work’ (LABOUR) and add National Union of Mineworkers (NUM):

        LAB UR NUM

    1. Emma,
      Cryptic Definition of a man who is meeting his (soon-to-be) better half (i.e. Feminine Side!) in a church.
      2nd last in for me!

  11. A quote from the Times blog today ” agree with Lennyco that there is a Guardian flavour about this (even the slightly loose use of Ravel’s) although the difficulty level is barely Daily Telegraph. I don’t think there’s a stretching clue in the whole puzzle and much of it can be solved from definition alone. We are surely due a hard one.”

  12. Not at all difficult this time, Had a good laugh at 12a. Favourites were 15a, 25a, 7d, 8d, & 20d.
    Good mix of clues.

    Tilsit – sorry not to have met you in AMS but the weather was atrocious anyhow!

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