DT 26148 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26148

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26148

Of Riddles and Pots

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BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

Our Wednesday Wizard took us for a pleasant stroll down Crossword Boulevard this morning with a fairly friendly set of teasing clues. And, by the looks of it, one of the days when the Daily puzzle is actually tougher than the Toughie! Particularly liked 8 down which was clever and a new cryptic definition on me.

The answers, should you need to see them, are hidden between the curly brackets beneath the relevant clues – just slide your cursor through the white space between the brackets to highlight them. Have your say on the board and rate the puzzle with the star system, which to me is much more credible than Clued Up. The Clued Up rating system is very ambiguous and really doesn’t say anything.


1a    Knowing about mediaeval instruments of torture jokes (10)
{WISECRACKS} A word-sum to start with today. A word meaning Knowing + C (about) + medieval instruments of torture that stretch one’s mind = a word for jokes.

6a    Drug bill said to be cut by half (4)
{ACID} Another word-sum An abbreviation for bill or account + ID (“said”, cut by half)

9a    Standing to attention, free soldier inside (5)
{RIGID} A word meaning free or release with the abbreviation for an American soldier inside it.

10a    Rock offering shade on beach (9)
{SANDSTONE} This is one of those clues where to make it work, you have to read the clue carefully. A word meaning “shade” needs to be tacked on to a word for beach, which can be deduced from this pop gem……

ARVE Error: need id and provider

12a    Rush for gold buried in river (7)
{TORRENT} In Crosswordland, gold is invariably OR or AU and one of the se should be placed inside the name of a river in Nottingham to describe how it rushes.

13a    Girls losing head become such animals (5)
{ASSES} You need a word for girls and remove its first letter to get animals that could be donkeys.

15a    Childish pauses oddly cause annoyance (7)
{PUERILE} Another Crosswordland stand-by. “Oddly” usually means to take the odd letters from a word, in this case from PAUSES and add to this a word meaning irritate or annoy.

17a    Flowers droop in centre (7)
{CORSAGE} Here you need the name for a cluster of flowers, rather than a particular one. A word meaning droop needs to go inside one for the centre of something like a fruit.

19a    About faces and calls again (7)
{REDIALS} One of the weaker clues for me. A word-sum comprising a word meaning about or on (as in a subject) + A word for faces of a clock.

21a    Puzzles full of holes? (7)
{RIDDLES} When I were nobbut a lad, I went to work for a business that sold catering equipment and one day, just after I had started a voice rang up and asked if they could have the price of a riddle. Assuming this was akin to asking me for a tin of tartan paint or a glass hammer and nails, I advised the person that they were a pound each, with an extra fifty pence if it was rude. I was dragged off to the boss’s office and accused of being rude to one of their long-standing customers! A riddle is another name for a sieve, but I didn’t know it at the time. Here’s another appearance.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

22a    Telegraph’s lead? (5)
{CABLE} Double definition. A word that can mean a telegraph in the states, as well as a wire, usually one that carries power.

24a    Thieving flyer’s card and roll of cash returned (7)
{JACKDAW} Here you are looking for a bird famous for its habit of theft. Take the name of a playing card; the knave and add to it a word meaning a roll of pound notes in Cockney films, but here it is reversed.

27a    Columnist shot in a city in front of relative (5,4)
{AGONY AUNT} The definition here refers to someone who has a newspaper columnist and is a job, rather than a specific person. Shot (GO) inside a city (A NY) and then add the name of a relative, once defined by Keith Waterhouse by the strength of their piano playing:-

“When you visited an aunt, she played Come into the Garden Maud on the piano. When you visited an auntie, she played Don’t Go Down the Coalhole, Dad, There’s Enough Slack in Your Pants.”

28a    Organised church spread (5)
{RANCH} A word-sum. A word meaning organised + CH (church) = a word for a spread as in a homestead.

29a    Letters read out loud provide comfort (4)
{EASE} Homophone corner. Some vowels that you might use on Countdown, can sound like a word for comfort.

30a    Fighting that might lead to union? (10)
{ENGAGEMENT} Two definitions that are almost poles apart. A word meaning a fight, and also the time preceding a wedding.


1d        Promise news (4)
{WORD}  Double definition.  I wonder if any of you managed to work this out without crossing letters.

2d        What a musician may do is express relief and walk (5-4)
{SIGHT-READ}  Here our setter has split the word in another place to show the subsidiary indications.  The first half of the clue is the true definition.  The remainder is a word-sum.  Good clue.

3d        Density found in sort of rice beverage (5)
{CIDER}  An anagram (indicated by sort of) of RICE with D (for Density) inside gives the alcoholic drink associated with Somerset.

4d        Forbidding use at work with engineers (7)
{AUSTERE}  An anagram (indicated by Work) of AT USE added on to RE (Royal Engineers) gives a word meaning harsh or forbidding.

5d        Relations call back with regard to motion (7)
{KINETIC}  One of the tougher clues today.  KIN = relations + CITE (call) reversed leads to a type of energy.

7d        Policemen accept second of price cuts (5)
{CROPS}  A word for policemen with R (second of price) inside leads to a word meaning cut short.

8d        Sporting knowledge? (5,5)
{DRESS SENSE}  Probably my favourite clue today.  A nice misleading cryptic definition.  At first I thought it might be HORSE as the first word, but with a prod realised that Sporting referred to CLOTHES, so the answer is the sort of knowhow needed for the catwalk rather than the playing field.

11d      Runs in frightened, showing signs of injury (7)
{SCARRED}  R (runs) inside SCARED (frightened) gives you a word meaning permanently marked.

14d      A peace trip planned to grow in value (10)
{APPRECIATE)  An anagram (indicated by planned?? – a little weak, methinks, ‘designed’ would have been better) of A PEACE TRIP gives a word meaning to increase in value.

16d      Single charge put on empty lorry in anger (7)
{IRATELY}  I RATE (single charge) + LY (‘empty’ LORRY)

Here’s our Barrie after his latest Giovanni puzzle!

18d      What’s permitted when we call on a criminal? (9)
{ALLOWANCE}  An anagram (indicated by criminal) of WE CALL ON A leads you to a word meaning what’s permitted.

20d      Stay for day in Paris, accommodated by son (7)
{SOJOURN} Inside SON, you should add the French word for day (JOUR) and this gives you a word for a rest or break.

21d      A dollop of Maori cottage cheese (7)
{RICOTTA}  A hidden answer, probably one of the more obvious ones.  “Maori cottage”

23d      Bush oddly accepted depression from strikes (5)
{BLOWS}  Depression as in weather maps (LOW) inside BS (odd letters of Bush) gives a word for strikes.  Bit of a messy surface reading.

25d      Source of goodness in terrible song (5)
{DIRGE}  Source(first letter) of GOODNESS = G inside DIRE terrible gives you a miserable tune.

26d      Go and get fired (4)
{SHOT}  Double definition.  To have a go, plus fired as in a gun.

See you all tomorrow for a Thursday Toughie!

44 comments on “DT 26148

  1. I’ve done i! I’ve done it! All on my own. This is a first for me. I’m so so happy :) I’m not sure why about some so going to read the blog…..

      1. I think it’s probably too much Chablis that has atrophied my brain!! Why break the habit of a lifetime though? Thank you all for being so lovely and supportive, I’m still floating around here in deepest darkest Surrey….. Go Me!

    1. Man after my own heart!! Well done – found this more difficult than the Toughie and apart from 19a very clever clues.

  2. Very enjoyable. Thank you to setter.
    2d is brilliant. 1d 17ac 28ac and lots of other really good acccessiblecryptic clues.
    The toughie is worth a go today!

  3. I am back on track today. I don’t know what happened yesterday. Todays puzzle was most enjoyable.

  4. Oh dear, another disastrous day, only 3 clues managed today. It’s been that kind of week, roll on Saturday!

      1. The answer is “a small bouquet to be worn on the bodice or waist of a woman’s dress or elsewhere”, and (apologies) is constructed by putting SAG (droop) inside CORE (centre).

        1. Maybe I didn’t read Tilsit’s hint correctly, but for some strange reason I simply could not see that, even when I had the answer! How stupid can one get ???

      2. I think it’s part of a plot by the DT to ensure that only a select panel of people can do their crosswords. :-)

        1. don’t know what to say Barrie, it must just be one of those weeks for you, I had one last week, but didn’t find mon & tues too easy at all, this one i finished but it did take a lot of help from my chambers etc. i find that even when i can work out what is required i often don’t have the word in my vocab. thus shall remain forever in the CC :)

  5. Most enjoyable today. I was actually listening to a round on just a minute where the topic was the answer to 27a when got it lol

  6. Yep! More good stuff from Jay!
    8d a definite favourite.
    Toughie was completed in about 10 minutes less than this one!

  7. Got there eventually but it took almost all day. Not helped by trying to do it when watching tennis in the morning and my everloving husband putting it in the dustbin after lunch. By mistake he says, or should I take the hint? Enjoyed it, but 8d took a LONG time!

  8. There’s hope yet…..!
    As a novice I managed all but 6a & 16d today, yesterday’s puzzle I couldn’t get the hang of at all!
    So…. fellow novices, don’t give up hope!
    It turns out that 6a was obvious (with your help) same with 16d
    & that’s the beauty of this site, it gives people like me the confidence to have another go tomorrow.
    Once again thanks to all concerned.

  9. Great news “chablisdiamond” and well done! I thinks it’s worthy of mention that I’ve been doing the crossword religiously for about 17 years and struggled a lot today. A tough one in my view and not finished. It just goes to show that these crosswords continue to confound and challenge even those of us with a few miles on the crossword odometer. Never under-estimate!!!!

    1. Thank you so much. It just seemed to flow for me today though i have to say I got some without knowing why until I read the blog, notably 10a!!!!

  10. It took a while – I was distracted by Goldsmith – but I got there. 8d was the last to go in and my favourite clue.

  11. 8d was the last to go in for me although i thought it was correct i couldnt see why until Gazza explained it to me, i thought it was really clever but on reflection and a little research i cannot find sense to mean knowledge or vice versa anywhere and am wondering if, as i was told on COW it is not a clue leading to a clue and thus not correct, please advise as i am rapidly sinking in this quagmire of trying to see through it!!

    18d, i failed completely to see the anagram indicator and solved it by totally incorrect deduction i.e.permitted – allow – on – a criminal – a nce thinking totally wrongly that nce might be short for nonce ( a type of criminal) thus allowance!! answer correct reasoning wrong totally!! :)

    liked 2d & 28a

    1. Mary,
      The nearest explanation I could find that came close was ‘ moral discernment; understanding a sense of right and wrong’. Sense being knowledge.
      Hope it helps

    2. I think that you’re making 8d a lot more complicated than it is. One of the meanings of to sport is to wear. So we have “wearing knowledge”, i.e. knowing what to wear, i.e. dress sense.

  12. Agree that 8 down was a piece of puzzling majesty.Huge satisfaction when the answer finally flashed into my brain. Great stuff.

  13. Setter here
    Many thanks to Tilsit for the blog, and for all your comments. As a setter it is impossible to please all of the people all of the time, tho’ we do try!
    Congrats to Chablisdiamond – may it be the first of many you complete unaided.
    Mary – Re 8d – If you have “Sporting knowledge” then you always know what to wear! It’s just a cryptic definition, no breakdown required.
    until next week

  14. Tilsit,

    What does the date and time refer to, at the bottom of your comments? It obviously can’t be the time your blog appeared on the website, as it wasn’t here by noon. I wanted to check a couple of answers, before leaving the office. I’ve been busy most of the afternoon and evening, and this is the first opportunity I’ve had to revisit.

    My comments are irrelevant, now, as everything’s been covered.

    Please don’t take this as criticism – I’m just curious??

        1. Vince.

          Firstly the invalid email meant that your original comment needed to be moderated.

          Secondly, the times on the blogs mean nothing. They are set to 8.00am for the Daily puzzle, 10.00am for the Toughie and 12.00am for the Prize puzzle reviews. This is in order to keep them in the same sequence. The original theme that I used did not display times and I am trying to find a way of hiding them on this theme.

          This blog was late today because Tilsit had a hospital appointment this morning which took up more of his time than he had anticipated.

          1. Dave,

            Thanks. As I said, I wasn’t complaining – just curious about the time as it’s shown.

  15. Very enjoyable puzzle and yes I did struggle with 8d, the only clue for which I required help, ie the crossword completer. To Barrie, I completely understand your frustration- why is it that some days you complete the crossword with little or no help and others you struggle to get 6 clues and every answer is a major effort, especially when the setters are constant?

  16. A number of good clues today, nothing too heavy.
    Most enjoyable, and a welcome relief after the usual struggle with the Saga crossword!
    Favourites, probably 24a, 2d and 20d.

  17. I thought this was quite a good puzzle. I couldn’t get 6a and 8d but thanks to some kind help from Gazza (see Comments) I eventually got there.

    Although I needed help to solve it, my favourite clue was 8d. Once I understood it I realised what a clever cryptic definition it was.

    Thanks to Jay for a good challenge.

  18. After thinking I wouldn’t get a single clue I managed most without help – and found them very enjoyable to solve! Favourites today 2d, 5d, 21a (largely cos I knew it – I think we had something similar nor so long ago). Not keen on 18a – didn’t really understand it. Yesterdays much more tricky. Keep going Barrie – sometimes you just need to let the clues ferment a bit in the brain …. or is that just me?

  19. Very enjoyable puzzle Jay – many thanks! Was too tired to do it last night but woke up in the early hours and got cracking. Clues I liked were 1a, 17a, 24a & 27a. Also 1d, 2d, 8d & 21d.
    !7a was my last one – 8d helped me to get away from rivers and think about flowers!
    Congrats to the Chablis bibbler – my trouble last evening was too much Crozes Hermitage!

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