DT 26164 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26164

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26164

Hints and tips by Rishi

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

None-too-difficult crossword.

Of the clues that may hold you for a while are 9a, 18a and 21a and 3d, 4d and 23d.  Did I say ‘hold you for a while’?  Sorry, I should have said they were the latter ones that I solved.  For, the experience of each solver differs according to his/her interests and I daresay RU fans would have got 4d quicker than I did.  Do tell us in the Comments section whether the final answers of yours were different from those mentioned above.

If newcomers wonder where the answers are, they are within the curly brackets underneath the respective clue. Highlight the white space within to behold the answers, whether you say Lo or not.

You can also add your assessment by selecting from one to five stars at the bottom of the post.


1a Does he take a chance, or just think about it? (10)
{SPECULATOR} – A double definition. We are looking for a word that means “one who takes a chance” and also “one who thinks”. These two different meanings are coalesced beautifully in a meaningful senetence.

9a Peas and carrots are given a star (4)
{VEGA} – The name of a star is aggregated by a word sum, a word for ‘peas and carrots’ plus A (given for free). What do you make of the surface reading? That in a menu somewhere these vegetables were worthy of receiving commendation compared to other items on demand?  Do put in a comment how you view this.  Also, does “peas and carrots” without a qualification such as ‘for example’, yield VEG?  Veg, I just now learn by looking up, is recorded in Chambers as an abbreviation for ‘vegetable’ or ‘vegetables’. In India, “veg” and non-veg” are well-accepted abbreviations/terms in themselves in the sense of ‘vegetarian’ or ‘non-vegetarian’ food offered in restaurants.  I have nostalgic memories of a restaurant known as Vega in Madras, since closed down. [A traditional English meal is often described as “meat and two veg”.  BD]

10a Point to one duke or another (10)
{WELLINGTON} – The name of a Duke is got by adding W, a ‘point’ of the compass, to the name of an American jazz composer and performer who was known as ‘Duke’.

11a Cut by a quarter? That’s serious (6)
{SEVERE} – A word that means ‘cut’ plus a single-letter abbreviation for a ‘quarter’ or point of the compass = a word that means ‘serious’.

12a It could be disastrous when I.O.U runs out (7)
{RUINOUS} – Rearranging the letters of IOURUNS (‘out’ being the anagram indicator), we get a word that means ‘disastrous’ (the -OUS termination making it easy to obtain the anagram in a jiffy)

15a Aunt Sal unexpectedly seen in harem (7)
{SULTANA} – Anagram after anagram but it tripped me a little and I must confess that I got it only after some moments of thought, for I looked at the anagram fodder AUNT SAL and as synonyms for ‘harem’ passed though my mind – such as ZENANA, SERAGLIO – the answer would not fall into place – until I realised that we want is not a synonym for a harem but one who is seen in the women’s quarters especially in a Muslim household.

16a Persuade an agency girl to start typing (5)
{TEMPT} – A word that means ‘persuade’ is derived by putting together a four-letter word that means ‘an agency girl’ or a temporary worker and T, which is the starting or initial letter of ‘typing

17a Intervals quietly employed in empty talk (4)
{GAPS} – A word that means ‘intervals’ is arrived at by putting P (‘pianissimo’ ‘piano’, softly, quietly) in a word that means ‘empty talk’.

18a Animal quarters, perhaps (4)
{HIND} – Double definition. One meaning is ‘animal’, for the answer word also means ‘the female of the red deer’ (remember Shakespeare: “If a hart do lack a [the answer word], Let him seek out Rosalind”) . The other meaning is “quarters” or certain parts of any animal. “the quarters” means the rear parts of an animal but whether the answer word by itself means the rear parts of an animal, I am not sure. One might classify this as a double cum cryptic definition. You are misled into thinking that it could be LAIR, CAVE or any similar word that means ‘animal quarters’.

19a Jacket cut in style (5)
{TUNIC} – Anagram of CUT IN (‘style’ being the anagram indicator) fetches you a ‘jacket’.

'CUT IN style'

21a A place of current conflict (4,3)
{TIDE RIP} – Cryptic definition for a word that means ‘disturbed sea due to currents’ – Answer put in after I got all the crossings T?D???IP; the enumeration 4,3 and the last two consecutive crossings helping me in the process. The phrase itself was new to me.

22a Bitterness associated with an age old craft (7)
{GALLEON} – A word that means ‘old craft’ (in the sense ‘ship’) is attained by putting together a word that means ‘bitterness’ and another that means ‘an age’. I would expect ‘age-old’ to be hyphenated when in surface reading it is an adjective qualifying craft.

Old craft

24a Quick, the doctor’s in the river! (6)
{NIMBLE} – A two-letter abbreviation for doctor (not DR, not MO, not GP, not BM, not MD but … I leave that to you!) inserted in the name of a river, not an English river, gives the answer-word that means ‘quick’.

27a Their union offers security (4,3,3)
{LOCK AND KEY} – Cryptic definition – A combination of two things that offers security (except that you are supposed to keep the latter safely so that it doesn’t fall into the hands of unauthorised persons)

These offer security

28a Property to come down (4)
{LAND} – Double definition – property / come down (as an airplane would do on the tarmac or an acrobat on the mat after his/her tumble)

29a Going for acquittal (7,3)
{GETTING OFF} – Double definition – going/ acquittal


2d Aristocrat always preceded by a page (4)
{PEER} – A word that means ‘aristocrat’ got by putting together a single-letter abbreviation for ‘page’ and a three-letter poetic word (with an an apostrophe that you must ignore) that means ‘always’

3d Pillar of the press? (6)
{COLUMN} – What may be called a cryptic double definition. A word for ‘pillar’ which is also used to mean ‘a vertical section of a page in a newspaper.’

Pillar of the press?

4d It results in a certain jumpiness among rugby players (4-3)
{LINE-OUT} – a sporting term from RU for a method of restarting play when the ball has gone out of touch; as for ‘jumpiness’ what is implied seems to be what someone does when they jump the line. Do tell me if your interpretation was different.

5d Child has a point to convey (4)
{TOTE} – A word that means ‘to convey’ comes by a word-sum: a word  that means ‘child’ plus a single-letter abbreviation for a point of the compass

6d Becomes exhausted and exits hurriedly (4,3)
{RUNS OUT} – Double definition – A two-word phrase that means ‘becomes exhausted’ and ‘exits hurriedly’. ‘Becomes exhausted ‘ in the sense ‘becomes emptied, depletes’

7d Davies seen playing a form of Rugby (5-1-4)
{SEVEN-A-SIDE} – Anagram of DAVIES SEEN (‘playing’ being the anagram indicator) for a form of Rugby. A new word for me but as this was an anagram I was able to solve this. The lengths of words within phrase help a lot. 1 can only be A; 4 could give SIDE. Then it’s a question of dealing with the remaining letters.

8d Manager we’d ordered to run the wild life reserve (4,6)
{GAME WARDEN} – Anagram of MANAGER WE’D gives a two-word phrase that means ‘[one who is ordered] to run the wild life reserve’. ‘Ordered’ is the anagram indicator. For definition, we have to reread the clue. Thus it is an all-in-one clue.

12d Corner at 90 (5,5)
{RIGHT ANGLE} – The mathematical term for the distance between two lines diverging from the same point, measured in degrees, which in this case is 90. I felt we could have had a better clue here.  [The surface reading is trying to suggest driving round a corner at 90mph! BD]

Corner at 90

13d I’m in prison without money, that’s the snag (10)
{IMPEDIMENT} – A word that means ‘snag’ is derived by a couple of operations. Take IM (which we just pick up) and then put a four-letter word that means ‘in prison’ around (‘without’ or the outside of) a four-letter word that means ‘money’ and you hit a snag – no, you get the answer!

14d Arrangement not laid down? (3-2)
{SET-UP} – A word for arrangement is obtained by what could be a literal antonym of ‘laid down’. ‘not’ being the indicator that it’s ‘just the opposite’

15d Twig a starting price swindle (5)
{SPRIG} – A term for ‘twig’ (not as a verb but as a noun} by putting together SP (the abbrviation for ‘starting price’ and a word that means ‘swindle’ (as a noun or even as a verb)


19d Interval elapsing before giving sentence to a convict (4,3)
{TIME LAG} – A phrase that means ‘interval’ derived by putting together two words, one meaning ‘sentence to a convict’ and another that means ‘elapsing’. Is there any problem in determining which comes first and which later? Let me know what you think!

20d Drink in the fresh air next to tents (7)
{CAMPARI} – The word for a ‘drink’ (an Italian apéritif, to be more specific)
is by placing ARI (an angram of AIR, ‘fresh’ being the anagram indicator) after a word that means ‘tents’, rather these pitched in a single arrangement)

23d Pet greyhound? (6)
{LAPDOG} – Double definition – pet/ greyhound – One sense is a dog small enough to be petted on the lap, the other is a dog that races around laps.

25d Tax which makes a difference to cost (4)
{SCOT} – Anagram (“makes a difference to” being the anagram indicator) of COST gives us an old word that means ‘tax’

26d Grouse meat (4)
{BEEF} – A concise two-definition clue, each of the two words leading to the answer that means grouse (in the sense of ‘complain’, not ‘bird’).

53 comments on “DT 26164

  1. Scratched my head a bit on 21a – I am used to the compound word the other way round.
    Favourites were 8d and 10a.
    Thanks for the review!.

    1. agree gnomething i have never heard 21a that way round?? so far i am stuck on top left corner but not going to look for help yet!! see one of your favs is one i’m stuck on :)

      1. sorry correction that was under ‘rip’ but under ‘tide’ it also shows ‘tide rip’ sorry setter :( “disturbed sea due to current conditions”

    1. Initially I had time OUT for 19d – i.e. time outside of jail but actually the second word is a word for a convict.

  2. Rishi – in your review you have given the answer to 16a instead of the definition!! Easy done…..

    For 4d my interpretation differs slightly – the “answer” involves jumping for the ball by those involved – simple as that!

    A shade too easy I thought today – 20 minutes is a record for me. Some nice clues though, and nothing to displease.

    1. Mike,
      Re 4d you are correct. At a line out, players jump, and then are lifted into the air to catch the ball.
      Was it just me, or was the Wales v. Scotland ending one of the most exciting ever, and was the Italy v. England one of the most boring – ever :-)

      1. I thought that the Welsh game plan (i.e. giving Scotland a good start before starting to play) made for a very exciting game.
        I can’t comment on the Italy v England game as I fell asleep!

        1. Was that after a big lunch or just on an empty stomach?. Very low quality game. I know “a win is a win” but we cant afford to do that sort of thing again.

            1. Gazza,
              I managed to watch all of it – but wish I hadn’t. Why England insisted on kicking possession back to Italy is beyond me. But maybe Martin Johnson knows something I don’t.

  3. ok finished but i will have to go through the blog now because there are one or two i don’t understand, i thought it was quite difficult today and wouldn’t have finished without chambers crossword dictionary or electronic friend, but do i ever, this is why although my understanding of the clues has improved i will always be in the CC, never mind its nice and friendly there :) 21a confused me because i have never ever heard it this way round?????

    1. Mary… I’m sure that once you celebrate your first year on this site, you’ll be well and truly out of the CC, and rattling through Elgar Toughies in record breaking speed!!!

  4. Flew through this today, but guessed 21 a like everyone else. Only ever heard the expression used the other way round. Favourite clues 23d and 10a

  5. Well I liked it – because I could do it without the blog though I will now have to go and check why I got some of the answers that Idid!!!!! Nice one for we in the CC :)

  6. re 21a are perhaps a tide rip and a rip tide two different things? a tide rip being an area of disturbed sea due to underlying currents but a rip tide a certain strong flow of water near to a shore??

    1. “rip tide or not rip tide” that is the question??? but what is the answer? Oh dear I must have too much time on my hands today :)

  7. Think it’s two months since my first post here, so not really new now … ! Any improvement in that time? Not sure about that! I did get 13 or so quite easily before checking the blog, although 18a was wrong, thought it was ‘wild’. Good job I made myself comfy in the CC, I’ll be for a long time!

    A tiny point re 17a; one ‘p’ means ‘piano’, pianissimo is ‘pp’.

        1. three months in the CC is nothing Newbie, you are coming along nicely and will probably get a gold star at the end of term :) I have been a member now for nearly nine months

  8. I’m still confused about 19d. I originally thought that the definition was “interval elapsing” and that the wordplay was a charade of time (prison sentence) and lag (convict). But, if that’s correct, how does “before” fit in?
    If, as Rishi says, lag is elapsing, then the “before” is even more confusing.

    1. Chambers says ‘time lag’ is an interval of delay between two connected events, don’t know if that helps, i still see it the way you did Gazza

    2. I’m trying to get my head round it as well. Could be a semi&Lit where you read the ‘sentence’ as Time and the ‘convict’ as Lag then read the lot again as ‘Interval elapsing before giving …..’ .
      That’s the only way I could make sense of the ‘before’ (and possibly the ‘giving’ !)

    3. Isn’t it just for the surface reading? A time lag is an interval that elapses BEFORE something else happens. It wouldn’t read very well without it.

    4. My reading of the clue is that “Interval elapsing before” is one definition of TIME LAG, the other is “Sentence to a convict = TIME + LAG). The “giving” stands alone and links the two together as in A gives us B. It works because “before giving” and “giving sentence to” are equally valid surface readings of the clue.

      1. Technically, “time lag” is the interval of delay BETWEEN two connected events or phenomena. So, I don’t think you could define it as an “interval elapsing before”.

  9. Wizzed through this today in record time! I enjoyed the clues especially the greyhound 23d :)
    Sadly will now have to get some work done!

  10. Re TIDE RIP
    I happen to have a dB of digitised clues with my answers from hundreds of syndicated puzzle by Rufus (mostly 13×13 but also 15×15) but TIDE RIP was not among the search results when I looked for it.
    I think it’s a rare appearance in a Rufus puzzle (though I can’t claim to have the millions of clues that this prolific composer has under his belt).

  11. It has to have been easy. My first 100% correct completion in weeks and all without my eloctronic friend. 10a was a great clue, one I will long remember. Thanks for the tips but today I never needed one!!

    1. What is this ‘electronic friend’ that keeps being mentioned, please. I think I may need one!

      1. Chablis, It is an electronic hand held thesaurus mine is ‘the concise Oxford Thesaurus’ by Seiko you can get them in any good bookstores eg Smiths, Ottakers etc. my brother bought me one last year when i first started doing these cryptic crossowrds, it is really useful

      2. You can buy one if you like but there are plenty of web sites which will do the same job for free. Just do a search on something like “crossword helper”.

  12. I found this straight-forward and did it while waiting to collect Mrs Little Dave from terminal 1 at Heathrow. The easiest one for a while and less challenging than Saturday’s in my view. I agree with Tide Rip though – a new one on me.

  13. A gentle start to the week, apart from tide ripping and rip tidiing all over the place
    15d is the ‘a’ there just to help with surface reading ?

    1. maybe there is a time lag between tides ripping and ripping tides or should that be before? :) sorry!

  14. In an adjunct blog elsewhere (see link below) I have attempted an analysis of clue types in this crossword. Do drop by if you like and if you differ from me in any classification or if you have any comment, feel free to express it!

    Clue types in a DT crossword

  15. Finished it quickly by my humble standard, but I had 23d without really unerstanding why until I read the blog.

    I liked 10a best. I thought the two anagrams 12a and 8d were cleverly constructed.

  16. I enjoyed this up to a point! The tide rip sent me on to the rocks and I was then washed out to sea again because I should have had lag. I liked 23d too – once the penny dropped.

  17. Didn’t need the thesaurus today! The longer answers were made easier by being split up into more than one word, I feel.

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