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DT 26154

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26154

Hints and tips by Tilsit

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BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ****

Keeping up this week’s strong set of puzzles, our Wednesday Wizard has come up with an enjoyable challenge that looks easy at first, but has one of two traps to snarl the unwary solver.

As usual, feel free to leave a comment telling us what you thought. You can also add your assessment by selecting from one to five stars at the bottom of the post.


1a    Almost time to move these workers (5,5)
{NIGHT SHIFT} A word sum to start today. An old-fashioned word for almost + T (for time) + a word meaning to move or budge = a team of workers on duty at a particular time of the day.

6a    Animals found behind great mirrors (4)
{APES} Two definitions, one for a group of animals whose name can be preceded by the word “Great”, as well as a word that means mirrors or copies. One of the weaker clues, unless I am missing something and as the big-toothed woman used to say, you know better……

9a    A degree given to doctor for such scenes (5)
{DRAMA} One of the clues where the word “given” actually means “attached to”. Hence, a standard abbreviation for a doctor is followed by one for an advanced university degree. The whole is a word meaning theatrical productions.

10a    Mysterious magnetic flows around island (9)
{ENIGMATIC} An anagram of MAGNETIC with I (for island) inside produces a word meaning mysterious or puzzling. Think half of the title of the funny barred puzzle that appears in the Sunday Telegraph each week. No, not Griddler!

12a    Rule out shopping here? (8,5)
{DISCOUNT STORE} Today’s puzzle contains several of these clues that are known in the trade as “& lit”, where the clue consists of the subsidiary indications and the whole thing leads to a definition of the answer required. So here you need a word meaning “rule out” and add to a place where you can do shopping.

14a    Identify leg position on cricket field (8)
{PINPOINT} Another word sum. A slang word for leg and add to it the name for a position on the field of cricket. You’ll then get a word meaning identify exactly.

I checked my new Chambers Dictionary on my I-Pod Touch (£4.95 at the moment and well worth it, especially with the Chambers Thesaurus for an extra £2.95!) and in the 75 definitions of the word “point” it does give it as “a fielding position on the offside near the batsman on a line with the popping crease” (Stay awake, Mary, I’ll be testing you later!). So there. I’d heard of positions that were phrases such as “Cover ___”, “Silly ___” and “Backward ___”, but not on its own. Apparently it’s the place where the best fielder stands. And I thought that was as far out of the line of fire as possible, somewhere near the boundary.

15a    Gets annoyed and risks ignoring leader (6)
{ANGERS} A word for risks or hazards without its first letter (“ignoring leader”) gives you a word meaning irritates or annoys.

17a    Flippancy from Italian held in tax charge (6)
{LEVITY} “IT” is an abbreviation for Italian and here it goes inside a word meaning surcharge or tax demand. You should then have a word meaning flippancy or lightness.

19a    Bush’s lad never worried (8)
{LAVENDER} An Anagram (indicated by “worried”) of LAD NEVER gives this beautiful bush.

21a    They may help viewer cancel tests on broadcast (7,6)
{CONTACT LENSES} An anagram (indicated by “broadcast”) of CANCEL TESTS ON gives you something that helps the myopic.

24a    Ignored decent leg breaks (9)
{NEGLECTED} Another anagram (not keen on them being lumped together like this in a puzzle) of DECENT LEG to give a word meaning ignored or mistreated.

25a    Enthusiastic about nothing but duck (5)
{AVOID} A word meaning keen or eager has O (nothing) inside, and this gives a word meaning to duck or dodge.

26a    Certain to go to court about source of rumour (4)
{SURE} If you take out a legal action against someone you may do this. Place an R inside (the source / first letter of Rumour) and you’ll get a word meaning certain or definite.

27a    A dire manoeuvre accepted by ship’s officers (10)
{BRIGADIERS} You need to find a type of ship famous round the time of the old pirates (or indeed for the name of the ship’s prison!) and insert an anagram (manoeuvre) of A DIRE inside to reveal an officer rank associated with the Army than the Navy.


1d           Signify agreement and finally remove swelling (4)
{NODE}  What you do when you agree something with a shake of the head, and add to it E (the final letter) of removE.  This gives you a type of swelling.

2d           Valley welcoming a theologian to provide cheer (7)
{GLADDEN}  In Crosswordland a theologian is invariably A DD (Doctor of Divinity).  Insert this inside a type of valley often associated with Scotland.  This gives a word meaning cheer up.

3d           Meals on wheels ordered here? (9,4)
{TRANSPORT CAFÉ}  Another clue similar to 12 across.  If you were driving somewhere and needed refreshment break, where would you have gone up until the early nineties.  A phrase that is hardly heard nowadays, but was once the definition for greasy spoons and Little Chefs alike.

4d           Dances from house heading for empty rolling hills (8)
{HOEDOWNS}  A word sum.  HO (House) + E (heading for Empty) + the name for rolling hills as in the South of England, especially ones called North and South in Kent.

5d           Assume iron signs have no cover (5)
{FEIGN}  Assume is the definition here, with the clue made up of FE (Iron) +  IGN (Signs , without cover, i.e. without its ends).

7d           Problem on the road from the polo ground (7)
{POTHOLE} An anagram (indicated by “ground”) of THE POLO, gives a topical problem for our roads following the recent snow and bad weather.

8d           Heirs’ achievement, capturing second gold (10)
{SUCCESSORS}  One of the two letter words for “gold” goes inside a word meaning “achievement”  This reveals a word for heirs.

11d         Fail to gather rudiments and confused about rules, ultimately (13)
{MISUNDERSTAND}  Fail to understand or gather is the definition, and to find it, you need to make an anagram (indicated by “confused”) of RUDIMENTS AND, adding S the last letter of ruleS inside.

13d         A power factory’s accepted one hundred jobseekers (10)
{APPLICANTS}  A P (A Power) +  PLANTS (factory’s) WITH I C  (one + hundred) inside gives a word for people applying for jobs.

16d         Wet track means one retrieves the game (5,3)
{WATER DOG}  A word sum –  A word for wet +  a word for track or follow gives the name of a breed of canine I had not heard of, that retrieves game birds.

18d         Sour grapes over food? (7)
{VINEGAR}  A cryptic definition in the style of 12 ac and 3 down.  If you let grapes ferment they could produce this stuff which goes on your chips.

20d         Undress bride, so excited (7)
{DISROBE}  An anagram (indicated by “excited”) of BRIDE SO gives a word meaning undress.  Think we may have had this identical clue recently.

22d         One teaches you in French — flipping rubbish! (5)
{TUTOR}  You (affectionately in French) + a reversal of a word for rubbish gives an alternative word for a teacher.

23d         Says more when covering dropped case (4)
{ADDS}  A short word meaning “when” and place inside the “case of DroppeD” , i.e. the outer letters.  This gives you a word meaning says more.

Thanks to our Wednesday Wizard for an enjoyable challenge.  I’ll see you for a Friday Toughie, as Anax and I have swapped this week, both of us having appointments on our normal days!

[I usually edit Tilsit’s contributions, but as I was out this afternoon the last part is a little late. BD]

59 comments on “DT 26154

  1. Although I enjoyed this I got the impression it had tons of anagrams in it – maybe it was just the proximity of them.
    22d made me smile!.
    I would echo your sentiments on the iPhone/Pod apps for chambers. V. Useful and well priced.

  2. re 6a: I was looking for GR meaning great coming off the word grapes, thus leaving ‘apes’ ie mirrors. Somehow the given clue didn’t work for me.

    Otherwise, i enjoyed the puzzle.

  3. This is turning out to be an excellent week for some fair but demanding puzzles though I hope that the CC are getting enough from them to maintain their interest and enthusiasm. Many thanks to Jay for another entertaining innings today. Favourite clues were 12a and 4d.

    1. Hi Prolixic, a good one for the CC today i think, at least i hope so, i really enjoyed it, like your last effort on COW by the way :)

  4. I found todays easy compared with Monday & Tuesdays puzzles, the reading of the clues was straightforward and easy to understand mostly, although as usual even when i can work out the definition, i don’t always know the right word and have to look it up, lots of nice anagrams. I love them :) I must have progress because when i started these last June or so I didn’t even know what a definition was, glad of a fairly easy one today as i spent all of yesterday evening in hopsital with chest pains, have been given a diagnosis of Tietzes syndrome, felt very much like a heart attack to me!!! so thank you lovely setter for a very enjoyable puzzle today :) Come on CC its a good day, also tried the toughie but gave up on my own but did it with the blog, thank you Tilsitt and Gazza

    1. I hope you are feeling better Mary, I know a little of what you are going through having had 3 stents put into my heart following severe chest pains.
      I agree, a very enjoyable puzzle with some very clever clues esp 3d (made me smile).
      Def one for the CC after the horrors of Monday and esp Tuesday (there is a man who really doesn’t like people!).

        1. Nothing personal Ray, I should have said there’s a person who really doesn’t like the CC. I’m aware that your puzzles are very clever and take a lot of work to compile but there is no doubt that for the vast majority of us, they could just as well be written in Sanskrit :-)

          1. Barrie, i don’t know which “vast majority” you think you’re speaking for, but I believe that the overwhelming majority of people who visit this blog enjoy battling with puzzles which they find challenging, because it enables them to improve their solving skills. You, on the other hand, only like puzzles which you personally find easy and are not interested in developing your capability. Furthermore your constant sniping at individual setters who don’t produce puzzles which conform to your narrow limits is becoming tiresome and embarrassing.

            1. Whoa, the patronising attitude of peole like you is very irritating and doesn’t allow for the fact that others are trying to stretch their capabilities and learn which you can’t do when faced with a brick wall. This constant smugness of the so-called experts is extremely annoying.

    2. I hope you are feeling better Mary, I too had several stents put in some years ago after bad chest pains so I know how you feel, I wish you the best of luck. I enjoyed this crossword today and also like yourself had too many favourite clues to list.

    1. Hope you are feeling a bit better Mary, I get the impression from your recent blogs that you are gradually moving to the CC exit !

      1. just very tired today thanks, and its just a rumour about moving to CC exit, long way to go as yet :)

  5. This is certainly proving to be a good week for DT cryptics … perhaps the easiest so far, but enough meaty clues to get one’s teeth into! Favourite clues 5d, 12a and 3d .
    When solving 14a I made a mental note that the position “point” in cricket is on the “off” side, i.e. the opposite of “leg” side, but that doesn’t of course mean that the clue is incorrect! :smile:

  6. Good clues today and keeping the standard going.
    I could have sworn 14a was going to finish with oval

  7. Very disappointed in your lack of Cricketing knowledge. Afterall just like the Telegraph cryptic it is part of being British

  8. Well I’m happy again! Completed without looking at the blog, not often that happens.
    So am i right in assuming this is one of the easier one’s despite the 3* rating or am I improving?
    The only one I’m not totally happy with is 16d I put ‘water dog’ put not a term I’m familiar with (hope it’s right).
    Thanks again for a wonderful blog.
    Get well soon Mary.

    1. Last to go infor me as well (for the same reason)
      Think Gun Dog and then Water Dog makes a bit more sense. Google images gives some nice examples!

    2. The only reason I recalled this as a breed is that, if I recall correctly, Barack Obama chose this dog as the family pet for the White House.

  9. Re 15a , may just be me but I would have thought that `makes annoyed….” would have been more apt as I read the answer as a verb

  10. Barrie, you’re not the only one. I also had three stents put into my heart last month following chest pains.

        1. ‘Top of big wood post.’ I have joined the ranks of the very sad responding to my own post….

  11. Certainly the easiest of the week but not an easy puzzle. I enjoyed this tremendously, loved 12a but thought 6a poor, as with others it seems.

  12. Three stars for difficulty ??? As I had, astonishingly, done all but two clues before the blog was posted, I would have given it one star!

    Got stuck on 27a, now answered, and 16d, not answered yet. I was interested in some of the explanations as some of the constructions didn’t occur to me, eg 1a, nigh+T. And since I can barely spell ‘cricket’, I didn’t know why 14a was correct; another two words I can barely spell are ‘rugby’ and ‘football’ (I’ve lived.a sheltered life).

  13. Had all but 16d and 23d well before blog. Had put water dog which seems to be the right answer but didn’t know why (may have got it now!!!) Still not sure about 23d, have a feeling I may look foolish but someone please give me the answer….

    1. When = as
      Dropped case (outsides of the word) = dd
      covering +> put one inside the other a + dd +s

  14. Very early comment from me! Not at all difficult – finished it in record time this afternoon after I got the DT Brussels edition. Shall have to do the toughie tonight.
    Many nice clues. However, I must object to 22d : the second person singular still exists in English albeit not generally used nowadays. So “tu” is “thou” not you. Auch “du” ins deutsche. They both have special usage.
    A better clue would have been : Egyptian king with gold who teaches.

    Mary : when you are better you should download a diagram of cricket positions – being a Yorkshireman I don’t have to!

    1. Derek : You said ….

      ” Mary : when you are better you should download a diagram of cricket positions – being a Yorkshireman I don’t have to!”

      I believe your position in the 2009 Championship was third from the bottom :smile:

      Sorry, couldn’t help myself, no hard feelings!! (S)

  15. Enjoyed today more than I have for months as I completed it reasonably quickly and enjoyed unravelling almost every clue.
    Definitely my level.

  16. Thanks to Tilsit for the review and to Jay for the puzzle. The strong set of puzzles this week continues.

    My favourite clue was 12a.

  17. Setter here
    Thanks to all for the comments, and to Tilsit for the blog. Hope you’re feeling better Mary.
    See you all next week, from a happily stentless

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