DT 26143 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26143

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26143

Hints and tips by Libellule

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BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

A mixture of clues, some good, some ok, and a couple that are questionable. But generally a good crossword thats an enjoyable solve, and is tricky in places. Overall a marked improvement over the previous two Thursday offerings.

The answers can be found by highlighting the space between the curly brackets. If you want to share your thoughts on this crossword, please leave a comment.


1. Woodwind instruments? Or a brass one of note (8)
{CORNETTI} – You need the plural for a Renaissance period musical wind instrument. If you have never heard of it you can track it down through the checking letters and word play. The brass instrument is CORNET followed by the seventh note of the scale in sol-fa notation.

5. Native American with little time to peddle (6)
{MOHAWK} – A Native American of the Iroquois people who lived in upper New York State is put together using MO (little time) and HAWK (to peddle).

9. Artillery piece with zero problems (8)
{HOWITZER} – An anagram (problems) of WITH ZERO is a a short, squat gun, used for shelling at a steep angle.

10. Degenerate fair after inaugural Easter festival (6)
{EFFETE} – Place FETE (fair) after the first (inaugural) letters of E(aster) and F(estival) for another word that can mean degenerate or decadent.

11. Level of society where loose women turn on upper-class male (7)
{STRATUM} – Reverse (turn) TARTS (loose women) and add U (upper-class) and M (male) and you have another word for a layer, that could also be a level of society.

12. Novel cure led to being affected by open sores (7)
{ULCERED} – Another anagram (novel) this time of CURE and LED for an adjective that describes open sores that are on the skin or mucous membrane, often discharging pus. (Definitely no pictures)

13. Free from restraint, Diana’s instant messaging the jail (11)
{DISIMPRISON} – A word sum, DIS (Diana’s), IM (instant messaging) and PRISON (jail). I wondered about the IM abbreviation, but found it in Chambers.

16. Secret place for developing containers (11)
{RECEPTACLES} – An anagram (for developing) of SECRET PLACE is the plural of “that in which anything is or may be received or held”.

21. Wingers with great appetites (7)
{GANNETS} – Double definition. The winger is a large white seabird of the family Sulidae, with black-tipped wings.

22. Hide completely fixes in drugs (7)
{ECLIPSE} – Put CLIPS (fixes) inside two E’s (ecstasy – drugs).

23. Find three articles on special fruit (6)
{ANANAS} – This is also the French word for pineapple. But this “fruit” could also be the fruit of a pinguin, which shares the same name and even tastes like pineapple.

24. Got ex-pupil Edward to take adult in (8)
{OBTAINED} – The definition is got, put A (adult) and IN inside OB (old boy – ex-pupil) and TED (a familiar form of Edward).

25. On Tuesday less prepared to struggle (6)
{TUSSLE} – The shortened form of TUesday followed by an anagram (prepared) of LESS.

26. Last month a hollow appeared decaying (8)
{DECADENT} – No not decrepit – its close but the word play doesn’t quite work, nor will it fit with the checking letters from the other answers. Hands up if you thought of this first. Its actually DEC (the last month) followed by A and then DENT (hollow).


1. Company and troops entertain together (6)
{COHOST} – Ant and Dec, for example, CO (company) and HOST (an archaic word for an army, or a great multitude).

2. Remuneration when cheque writer turned up (6)
{REWARD} – Reverse (it’s a down clue so it gets turned up) a DRAWER, the person who signs a cheque or bill of exchange, but when reversed it’s a synonym for renumeration.

3. Earl declared given property (7)
{ESTATED} – E (earl) and STATED (declared). Hmm.. not a word you see very often but valid nevertheless.

4. The Royal Marines love numerical data used for keeping temperature steady (11)
{THERMOSTATS} – THE RM (Royal Marines) O (love) STATS (numerical data). Should this read keeping “temperatures steady”?

6. A policeman or a senior serviceman (7)
{OFFICER} – Double definition

7. Nurse may inadvertently cause an artery’s dilation (8)
{ANEURYSM} – An anagram (inadvertently?) of NURSE MAY is the dilatation of an artery. That’s one very dodgy anagram indicator.

8. Wanting a sound massaging (8)
{KNEADING} – Another word for massaging sounds like NEEDING.

12. A French shopping centre, opening early for expert, can’t be beaten (11)
{UNMALLEABLE} – UN (a in french) MALL (shopping centre), the first letter (opening) of E(arly), and then ABLE (export) is a term used to describe something that is difficult or impossible to shape or work.

14. Swank — crazy rag bag, right? (8)
{BRAGGART} – An anagram (crazy) of RAG BAG and RT (right) is a vain boaster.

15. Stains shoes with carbon insert (8)
{SCANDALS} – Put C (carbon) inside (insert) SANDALS (shoes).

17. Overcome quiet clergyman with worry (7)
{PREVAIL} – To be victorious, P (quiet), REV (clergyman) and then AIL (worry).

18. Ruler’s fruity wife (7)
{SULTANA} – Cryptic definition. This ruler’s wife is also a small, pale, seedless raisin.

19. Live on others’ cake (6)
{SPONGE} – Double definition. The secondary definition is a very light sweet cake of flour, eggs, and sugar.

20. Do you see the hidden jagged ditch? (6)
{GEDDIT} – A hidden word. A slang term for do you see (the joke, point, etc) is hidden in jagged ditch.

45 comments on “DT 26143

  1. I liked 14d but favourite was 9a.
    I agree with the dodgy anagrind at 7d and scratched my head a bit at 3d but as you say it is in Chambers!.
    The rest wasn’t too tricky – I had both this and the Toughie done before I got off the train and this was the ‘Hi-Speed’ line today so either I was on form or the puzzles were on the benign side!

    Thanks for the review.

  2. Fair assessment puzzle of in summary that was (sorry, just finished solving Excalibur’s Toughie and need to get out of Yoda Mode).

    I agree this was trickier than recent Thursdays. Favourite clue was 9a.

    1. Prolixic,
      I haven’t done the Toughie yet for obvious reasons, but thanks for the comment. It made me laugh!

        1. Welcome to the blog Basil.

          You have a good point – other answers (not in this puzzle) that grate are obscure phrases and even more obscure places..

        2. Personally, I don’t mind the occasional bit of slang but the clue should somehow reflect the slangy/jokey nature of the word – I don’t think that this really happened here.

        3. Basil,
          First of all, a word can start as slang, and then become an acceptable word over time. Remember that English is a living language and changes all the time. Secondly its not exactly a difficult clue – even if you haven’t seen the “slang” term before. Its a simple hidden word that even uses “hidden” as its indicator.

  3. Not the best of puzzles, but not the worst.

    Will I think tax the CC members.

    23a is also the same word for a pineapple in Russian – ananas

    1. Same word in French. Don’t get me started.
      This was a little more difficult than usual but enjoyable non the less

  4. Many thanks for the review.

    Re. your comment on 4d – I can see what you mean but in fact it’s not unusual to use multiple (answers) to control a single temperature – I’m a heating engineer!!

  5. I think this was the worst puzzle i’ve done for a while.

    12d. Unmalleable means, as you say, can’t be shaped, formed or manipulated. But that doesn’t mean can’t be beaten.

    13a. I couldn’t find “IM” as an abbreviation for instant messaging in my Chambers..

    8d. To me, this reads as the definition is “wanting” and is a homonym of a word meaning “massaging”.

    I could go on….!

  6. Vince

    Re your comment about 13a – IM is in my Chambers – abbrev: instant messaging; Institute of Management (now known as CMI) so it is there.

      1. Gazza,

        Yes, but that means beaten into a new shape, but you can beat something (eg. a drum; an opponent) without changing its shape. I feel the clue is too vague.

        1. Malleable means, literally, able to be beaten into shape by a hammer ( Latin – malleus), as is pure gold, so the clue is spot on.

    1. Lea,

      Thanks. I suppose we have to accept that we can’t keep all our reference books bang up to date!

      1. Vince,
        Did you notice via the blog, that I also looked up IM in my copy of Chambers? I use the online (and therefore I hope) the most upto date version.

        1. I tried the free online Chambers, which I didn’t know was free until this afternoon, and it gives only intermuscular or intermuscularity for the abreviation IM.

  7. I must need a new Chambers! IM is not in mine and I spent ages trying to fit SMS which is the abbreviation I know! Duh. I had a slow start but did almost all of it on my own which is good for a RCC member.

  8. At last! my internet connection went off this morning as i was posting this comment and i have just managed to get it back with the help of a very patient young man on the customer helpline! I think for us CC members this crossword was a case of working very hard or giving up, I failed completely on the top left corner, have never heard of something being ulcered, 12a, ulcerated, yes but…..? liked 7d & 8d but on the whole hard work, for me
    Also could someone please tell me what an anagrind is??

            1. The line underneath where it says “Big Dave’s Telegraph Crossword Blog”

              It is a statement of intent for the blog – “Putting the words to lights – crossword clues explained in plain English”

              Before you ask, the lights are the light squares on the crossword grid, i.e. the answers.

        1. I found this very hard to start. Still paying my dues, I suppose. Too many “add together” clues, and little indication (for those of us still learning all the abbreviations) of what the real answer is. The whole word definitions were too obscure to allow those who don’t have “the knowledge” to work the answers out. Elitist, rather than witty.

  9. lliked this on the whole 9a and 20d were fun.
    As a nit-pick the usual tonic sol fa has “te” for the seventh of the scale not “ti”, which made 1ac tricky.
    I expect that Chambers has it as an alternative…..

  10. I enjoyed this.

    23 across I started with BANANA but realised that the compiler was not thinking of the B Specials

  11. B****y X-words. Stared and stared at 7d for what seemed like days, did the Toughie, came back to it tonight and the penny finally dropped it was an anagram ! Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrr!

    :-) Hahaha

  12. Very satisfying. Though we got coronets for 1A and notated 3d initially – then realised they didn’t really fit the clues! Favourites today 4d, 14d & 15d. Didn’t like 13a (can’t think of any way I – or anyone – would use that word when release is so much more pleasing!) or 20d

  13. This was the best Thursday puzzle so far in 2010. My favourite clue was 9a.

    Thanks to Libellule for the review and thanks also to the setter.

  14. Enjoyed this one! Also enjoyed reading the comments re ananas! We certainly have a polyglot group of solvers!
    I like ananas au kirsch and years ago went to a restaurant on the Ile in Paris for it (and other food). One day the head waiter apologised that he was out of kirsch (Swiss of course) so I suggested calvados instead. He tried it also and put it on the menu as analternative!
    I get my kirsch when in Geneva – but a reasonable variety is made here in Schiedam!

  15. Ananas nog een keer! It is also Dutch! The kirsch that is made in Schiedam is kirsch – the firm alss makes gallons of jenever (genever). Or should I say litres?
    Very nice extra clue for ananas BD!

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