DT 26160 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26160

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26160

Container, contents and charades

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment **

Tilsit is back at the hospital this morning, but this time as the courier not the patient.  On hearing this Prolixic made an offer that was difficult for me to refuse – and one that by now he might be regretting – and has written today’s blog.  BD

Today’s crossword is brought to you courtesy of the letter C. Most of the clues are charades (add two words together) or container and content clues (put one word inside another) with very little other variety in the clues. Those looking for lots of full blown anagrams will be disappointed. This lack of variety reduced the enjoyment of the puzzle for me.

Although there is a lot of repetition, our Wednesday Wizard is, as ever, fair in his cluing and there are some nice surface readings.

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    Start to doubt one’s heart is put off (10)
{DISCOURAGE} – The definition is PUT OFF (deter rather than delay) made up from a charade of D (start to doubt) + IS (one’s) + a word for heart {COURAGE}.

6a    Book registering parliamentary output (4)
{ACTS} – Double definition giving the fifth book of the New Testament and those things that Parliament passes into law.

10a    Lesson learnt from end of term exam (5)
{MORAL} – The definition is LESSON LEARNT (the …. of this story is) made up from a charade M (end term) + a type of unwritten exam {ORAL}.

11a    Pub at liberty to provide accommodation (4,5)
{FREE HOUSE} – The definition is PUB (one that is not tied to a particular brewery) made up from a charade of at liberty {FREE} + provide accommodation {HOUSE}.

12a    Remits covering list for salaries (8)
{STIPENDS} – The definition is SALARIES (of the type usually paid to clergy) made up from a container of remits {SENDS} containing a word for list (in the sense of heel over) {TIP}.

13a    One in the eye for one in form (5)
{PUPIL} – Double definition giving one in the eye (part of the eye) and one in form (a student in the classroom).

15a    Guided in part through consensus, he redesigned (7)
{USHERED} – The definition is GUIDED with the answer hidden inside (in part through) consensus he redesigned. The setter has tried to mislead us with a possible anagram indicator at the end of the clue but there is no anagram fodder from which a 7 letter answer can be created. This clue does not quite work for me as the comma between ‘consensus’ and ‘he’ breaks the hidden word to my mind.

17a    Exhausted artist had dinner outside (7)
{DRAINED} – The definition is EXHAUSTED made up from a container of ‘had dinner’ {DINED} outside an artist (one who is a member of the Royal Academy) {RA}.

19a    State country (not applicable) (7)
{INDIANA} – The definition is STATE (one of the states in the USA) made up from a charade of a country (famed for its curries) {INDIA} + an abbreviation for not applicable {NA}.

21a    One in order may have it for nurse to change (7)
{TONSURE} – The definition is a cryptic one to something (a type of haircut) that ‘one in order may have’ (order being a monastery). The answer is made up from an anagram (change) of ‘nurse to’.

22a    Run down outside a place regularly visited (5)
{HAUNT} – The definition is PLACE REGULARLY VISITED (an old stomping ground) made up from a container of run down (looking for) {HUNT} outside “a”. I love the surface reading of this clue and the fact that it disguises the container and contents for the answer.

24a    Foreigner called to interrupt rest, unfortunately (8)
{STRANGER} – The definition is FOREIGNER made up from a word for called (as in telephoned) {RANG} inside (to interrupt) an anagram (unfortunately) of  REST.

27a    Complex work in America accepted by consumer – mostly! (9)
{ELABORATE} – The definition is COMPLEX made up from a word that means work in America {LABOR} inside (accepted by) part of a word (mostly) that means consumer (someone who consumes something rather than buys something) {EATE[R]}.

28a    Provide food for a couple of queens (5)
{CATER} – The definition is PROVIDE FOOD FOR made up from a charade of two words for queens, one not of the royal variety (it is a word for an adult female domestic pet according to Chambers) and the other being the occupant of Buckingham Palace {CAT} + {ER}.

29a    Before year’s end, draw level (4)
{TIER} – The definition is LEVEL (in the sense of a particular layer) made up from a charade (has our setter been watching reruns of Give us a Clue?) of a word for draw (in the sense of a game of football) {TIE} before the letter R (year’s end).

30a    A Parisian was there, not being looked after (10)
{UNATTENDED} – The definition is NOT BEING LOOKED AFTER made up from a charade of the French (Parisian) for “a” {UN} + a word for was there {ATTENDED}.


1d    Discourage current measure supporting source of debt (4)
{DAMP} – The definition is DISCOURAGE (as this was the answer to 1a, our setter could have linked the two clues together) made up from (yes you guessed it) a charade of current measure (electrical current) {AMP} underneath (supporting – this is a down clue) the letter D (source of debt).

2d    Inflicted a minor injury and withdrew (9)
{SCRATCHED} – Double definition giving inflicted a minor injury (like a scrape) and withdrew (pulled out of a game).

3d    Deck officer’s outside, cut (5)
{ORLOP} – I suspect that this is the clue that most people will have difficulty solving. The definition is DECK (the answer is the lowest deck of a ship) made up from a charade of the outer letters of officer OR + a word for cut (what you might do to the branches of a tree) {LOP}.

4d    Having polish, Ruby eats well (7)
{REFINED} – The definition is HAVING POLISH made up from a word for well (as in I’m well thank you) {FINE} inside a word for ruby {RED}.

5d    Reckoned hotel client could be heard (7)
{GUESSED} – The definition is RECKONED (estimated). The answer sounds like (could be heard) a word for a hotel client {GUEST}.

7d    Friend with little money is a fool (5)
{CHUMP} – The definition is A FOOL made up from a charade of a word for friend {CHUM} on an abbreviation for a penny (P) (little money).

8d    Means of raising one’s pace on run? (10)
{STEPLADDER} – My favourite clue today in terms of surface reading and construction. The definition is cryptic MEANS OF RAISING ONE (you might have to climb this to raise yourself up). The answer is a charade of a word for pace {STEP} on a word for run (of the type some of you may get in tights and stockings) {LADDER}.

9d    Silent comedian accepted a man of the church (8)
{CHAPLAIN} – The definition is MAN OF THE CHURCH made up from a well known silent film comedian {CHAPLIN} with the letter A inside (accepted a).

14d    Penalty hit spun men around (10)
{PUNISHMENT} – The definition is PENALTY made up from an anagram (around) of hit spun men. At last, a full blown anagram. I thought they had taken the day off!

16d    Concerned with fighting response (8)
{REACTION} – The definition is RESPONSE made up from a charade (yawn) of concerned {RE} + fighting {ACTION}.

18d    Sickened by a nude dancing around chair (9)
{NAUSEATED} – Another lovely surface reading. The definition is SICKENED. It is made up from an anagram (dancing) of ‘a nude’ around a word for a chair {SEAT}.

20d    Stigma following sailor’s refrain (7)
{ABSTAIN} – The definition is REFRAIN made up from (wakes self up) a charade of a well known two letter abbreviation for sailor {AB} followed by a word for stigma (a blot on ones character) {STAIN}.

21d    Wrong to welcome people’s suffering (7)
{TORMENT} – The definition is SUFFERING made up from a word for wrong (a legal wrong) {TORT} containing (welcoming) a word meaning people {MEN}.

23d    Socially acceptable and wise custom (5)
{USAGE} – The definition is CUSTOM made up from a charade (can I have a new letter C for my keyboard please) U (socially acceptable) + a word for wise {SAGE}.

25d    Comfortable position for hotel in pleasant environment (5)
{NICHE} – The definition is COMFORTABLE POSITION made up from the letter H (hotel) inside a word meaning pleasant environment {NICE}.

26d    Work hard to drop new network (4)
{GRID} – The definition is NETWORK. We finish with a new (for this crossword) type of clue. We take away the letter N (drop new) from a word meaning work hard {GRIND}.

Favourite clues for me were 22a, 28a, 8d and 18d. Let us know what tickled your fancy with this puzzle.

55 comments on “DT 26160

  1. This was a puzzle which should please all, although I accept that the challenge and entertainment value was not high. It will encourage some after a few difficult puzzles and thus is welcome.

    The next two days will I suspect compensate!

    Thanks for the blog Prolixic. You may have started something now with “guest presenters”!

  2. 3d and 13a gave me a bit of trouble but otherwise OK. I did notice the number of charades but still enjoyed it. I thinkmaybe we were particularly spoiled in the last couple of weeks – Wednesday included.
    I wasn’t too impresed with 8d but did like 21a, 2d and 14d
    Thanks for the review!.

    1. Sorry, Thanks for the review Prolixic! – I didn’t read the blurb carefully!
      I like the idea of hiding some of the wordplay that might make a giveaway.

  3. Five stars from me. The setter has done something pretty remarkable here in producing a puzzle with no obscurities, simple wordplay, and beautifully smooth surfaces. I can say with all honesty that as a pro setter I wish I could do this – when I deliberately set out to make an easy puzzle it always ends up with one or two answers which aren’t everyday words, and a couple of clues that are just a bit harder than I wanted.

    I reckon a few commenters here may say it was too easy and was somehow “weak” because of that. Not me. For newer solvers, this crossword is as close to perfection as you’ll find anywhere.

    1. Anax

      You have expounded on my thinking in my earlier post, and I am absolute agreement. No bad clues, not extremely difficult clues, just a thoroughly good puzzle.

      1. I tend to agree, after struggling with the Toughie in the past week or so I think I am guilty of automatically jumping to the conclusion that the regular must be easy just because I have finished it on the train.
        This was a fair challenge and yes I do think I was challenged. I had 3d from the wordplay but needed to check it once i got to work, never heard of the word.

        So here’s to not feeling guilty in future because I finish !

    2. Yes, I agree it was a good puzzle for beginners, but after the Toughie I found it a gentle solve. ORLOP I knew from seafaring novels; 2d was a clue that seems to me to be getting a bit long in the tooth; I’ve seen the same idea several times before, I’m sure.

      Harry Shipley

  4. I had never heard of an orlop deck. but we worked it out form the clue. Other than that, everything was perfectly fair. It did seem somewhat bland though. Nothing to fault in the clues, but nothing in them to raise much of a smile.

    1. ORLOP tends to get used far more in crosswordland than in humanland. If the setter has the patterns O-L–, O—P or –L-P to fill there are very few possibilties. Without a trawl (notice the nautical ref there? Gosh, I amaze even myself sometimes) through the dictionaries I couldn’t tell you a single thing about an orlop deck – it’s only through crosswords that I’m familiar with it.

  5. A good day for me. I had solved 20-odd clues before the blog was available. As usual, I didn’t understand why some were right! TORT (21d, which I had right) cropped up recently, but I hadn’t remembered the word.

    Think I’m missing something in 28a; CAT = queen?

    My favourites were 21a and 9d. Failed to get 8d, but if I had, it would have been a favourite too.

    1. Yes, Chambers lists a female adult cat as one of the definitions of queen (yes – I had to look this up to confirm it too).

      1. Thank you, Mary, but it was quite easy today. Tomorrow could be very different! I did stay away from the anagram solvers, well there weren’t many, but needed a fair amount of help from the online thesaurus. I find it hard to move on from ‘original thoughts’; eg. I was stuck for ages on the idea of ‘refrain’ being a noun, part of a song. I suppose it comes with experience.

        1. me too, refrain automatically suggests song, we are new at this, so as said before, it will take time, it is a learning curve as with all new things, so all of us ‘newbies’ and CC members should not be too hard on ourselves :)

  6. I agree entirely with Anax, this was the perfect puzzle. Being an old salt, I was heading for Poop deck in the first instance but soon had the correct word.
    I am waiting to see words like ‘bridgewing’,starboard waist and tiller flat to enter the lexicon, that would give Chambers a run for its money.
    Ah what a great day
    Sun is out, good crossword, your God is in his heaven and all is right with the world. Bliss !

  7. Thanks to young Prolixic and I hope you got over your day with those nasty corrupting influences last Saturday :)

    I thought this was not as good as other recent Wednesday offerings. I didn’t particularly like 30 across. It struck me as being a little lazy. A couple of other clues were very hackneyed, but I accept that many of you may not have seen them before.

    I am going to plug today’s Grauniad puzzle again, as it is quite a stunning piece of work from our very own Sunday setter.. I marvelled at the construction of the clues and how everything links in. Briilliant. stuff. if you have an hour to spare, try it.


    1. Corrupted – no, just slightly sozzled! In a beer drinking contest between rugby fans and crossword addicts, I don’t think that the rugby fans would stand a chance on the basis of last Saturday’s performance.

      1. Welcome to the blog Eimi

        For those who don’t know, as well as being a setter in his own right, Eimi is the Crossword Editor for the Independent (and a Spurs supporter which makes him especially welcome!)

  8. An early comment from me today!
    I liked 13a, 21a, 27a & 28a. Also 3d, 8d & 9d (a proper Charlie).
    In 21d, people should not have been genitive case!

    1. 21d – ah, but it isn’t. The apostrophe is one of those devious devices setters use to mislead, and in this case it represents a shortening of “people is”, so we have the word for “wrong” to welcome (contain) the word for “people”, which IS the answer.

  9. Loads of interruptions for me today with builders in, but managed to work around them.
    Have to admit to referring to “Bradford’s” for Orlop, but will remember it in future (or maybe not!) :smile:
    8d was my last, possibly because I visualise Stepladder as either Step Ladder or Step-ladder? Perhaps it should have been obvious with the buliders here!
    Favourites 9d and 18d …. thanks for the review Prolixic.

  10. To Anax : I accept your reasoning re 21d but I still think the clue was OK without the ‘s!!
    One has always to be on the lookout for delusion in a clue at all times. Setter’s red herrings!

    1. Derek,

      The clue would have been fine without the ‘s, bit I think the point is that it made it slightly misleading and was still a good clue. The puzzle was easy enough. We needed something to test us!!!

  11. Most enjoyable!
    I liked 8d and 21ac and all clues read well with possible exception of 3d. Probably sour grapes as I had to look up orlop!

  12. Interesting puzzle today, some nice clues although must admit to having been well stuck on 8d and 21a. Best clue – 13a obvious when you know but took me a little while. On the whole most enjoyable.

  13. enjoyed this one today, had quite a few clues solved before using help and didn’t need to use the blog, well done to Prolixic, I am very impressed :)

  14. Setter here
    many thanks to Prolixic for blog, and for all comments. I must confess that the Discourage in 1D is an oversight of mine, and shouldn’t have appeared. As setters we try to avoid using solution words anywhere in the clues!
    Till next week

      1. I had noticed the DISCOURAGE thing, but it wasn’t an issue – in fact I rather liked it. For a puzzle at the easier end of the scale, I think it’s nice that a nearby clue can have the answer you’re looking for staring you in the face; all a question of whether or not your eyes pick up on it.

    1. Thanks for a good and enjoyable puzzle which I’ve just done at 6am this morning! After struggling with a puzzle out of a Times book, this one was a great relief to me.

  15. Busy day today but had an hour waiting to collect my sons from school and managed it all save two – 3d is a new word for me and 12a only when I had 3d. Liked 8d and 27a a lot. I actually found this the toughest xword of the week so far and I agree it was a nicely crafted one and thoroughly enjoyable too.

    Hats off to the setter in my view. Difficulty 2.5* enjoyment 4*.

  16. Enjoyed this and enjoyed the review Prolixic – well done. I am sure we will be seeing more of you.

  17. I really found this one annoying – didn’t enjoy it at all. Only 3 to 4 clues on this one. Left me cold, I’m afraid.

    1. I have to echo Lea’s comment, though. It was the excellent hints and review that kept me going. Many thanks!

  18. Enjoyed today’s offering and feeling smug that I finished it without reference to any reference books etc. Orlop was not a problem since Nelson is one of my heroes and he died on the Orlop deck of the Victory. Enjoyed 1a and 22a although only solved 27a due to checking letters and definition.

  19. Prolixic
    Welcome as a co-reviewer!
    Someone has said above, ” I am sure we will be seeing more of you.”
    That’s my wish too {only, be fully and properly dressed).

  20. I agree with Anax – five stars – very enjoyable. My favourite clue was 18d.

    Well done to Prolixic for his first review on this blog. I hope there will be many more reviews to come.

    Thanks also to Jay for an enjoyable puzzle.

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