DT 26166 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26166

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26166

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

Jay’s puzzles are probably those that fit the Telegraph genus best. Seldom difficult, often amusing, occasionally irritating, but always fair.  As Libellule has commented previously, each one does precisely what it says on the can!

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    Film advice to all touring (2,5,4)
{LA DOLCE VITA} – this seminal 1960 Federico Fellini film (The Sweet Life, in Italian) is an anagram (touring) of ADVICE TO ALL

9a    The logic behind share sales excluding outsiders (9)
{RATIONALE} – to get this word meaning logic start with a share and then put (s)ALE(s) behind it

10a    Gone to start art course in Italy (5)
{PASTA} – a word meaning gone is followed by the start of Art to get a course in an Italian meal

11a    Grounds for cutting height, initially, in fireplaces (6)
{EARTHS} – a word meaning grounds, as in grounds an electrical appliance, is derived by removing H (height, initially) from some fireplaces

12a    Individual working in Lords breaks new ground (8)
{PIONEERS} – put I (individual) and ON (working) inside those present in the House of Lords to get a word meaning breaks new ground

13a    Mars, or the rewards of victory in war (6)
{SPOILS} – a double definition – don’t be fooled by the clever capitalisation, mars here is a verb

15a    Bugs one group sent back after school period (8)
{TERMITES} – to get these bugs put I (one) and then a synonym for group reversed (sent back) after one of three school periods

18a    Agreeable politicians begin renting (8)
{PLEASING} – this word meaning agreeable is simply P (Politicians, begin) and a synonym for renting

19a    Declines viewing projections (6)
{SLIDES} – another double definition – there was a time when these were the only way of projecting photographs!

21a    Neat sort of knitwear craft (8)
{TRIMARAN} – a charade of a word meaning neat and knitwear from an island in the mouth of Galway Bay (not the similarly named Scottish island which is spelt with a double R) gives a multihulled boat consisting of a main hull and two smaller outrigger hulls

23a    Amble along for some bread on the way (6)
{STROLL} – to amble along is built up from ST(reet) (way) and a small, individually-baked portion of bread

26a    Relative peace finally, in amenable surroundings (5)
{NIECE} – this female relative is created by inserting E (peacE, finally), inside a word meaning amenable

27a    All he does must break tenure (9)
{LEASEHOLD} – an anagram (must break) of ALL HE DOES gives a type of tenure

28a    One works hard confronting equine virus (6,5)
{TROJAN HORSE} – a hard-worker and an equine combine to give a computer virus (a gift from Greece, perhaps)


1d           Fat fryers lose half from stores (7)
{LARDERS} – a type of fat is followed by the latter half of (FRY)ERS to get these food stores

2d           Put off by venison – about time! (5)
{DETER} – a word meaning to put off is created by placing the animal from which venison comes around T(ime)

3d           Look on work difficulties as opportunities in law (9)
{LOOPHOLES} – I hope that by now many of you would have written this in as you read it – LO (look) OP (work) and finally some difficulties that you may need to dig yourself out of resulting in opportunities to circumvent the law

4d           Cut up over end of term test (4)
{EXAM} – a word meaning to cut or chop is reversed (up) and then placed over (down clue construct!) M (end of terM) to get a test that is often carried out at the end of term – simple and elegant, my favourite today

5d           Mercury’s first in order of deities listed (8)
{ITEMISED} – put M (Mercury’s first) inside an anagram (order) of DEITIES to get a word meaning listed

6d           Swan-like type of tree? (5)
{ASPEN} – just a little tricky, split this tree as (2,3) and it says like a female swan

7d           Increases given to born cooks (7)
{BRAISES} – put increases in salaries after B(orn) and you get a word meaning stews slowly in a closed pan

8d           Agreed to end asset distribution (8)
{ASSENTED} – a word meaning agreed is a fairly easy anagram (distribution) of END ASSET

14d         Biased, like a Möbius strip (3-5)
{ONE-SIDED} – this word meaning biased also describes a Möbius strip – or a Mbius strip if you are doing this on ScrewdUp; after nearly eighteen months the online site still can’t cope with accented letters

16d         Dairy product with bite – the things kids lose! (4,5)
{MILK TEETH} – a weak charade of a dairy product and what you use to bite leads to those the things kids lose as they grow up.

17d         The sort of art representing oil giant? (8)
{INTAGLIO} – this method of printing in which the image area is sunk into the surface of the plate (sort of art) is an anagram (re-presenting) of OIL GIANT

18d         Protection rights for sick people missing one (7)
{PATENTS} – to get these protection rights  remove (missing) I (one) from the sick people usually found in hospital

20d         Mark starts to save pounds on deposit (7)
{SPLODGE} – this big splash, spot, or stain is created from the initial letters of (starts to) Save Pounds over a word meaning to deposit something for safekeeping

22d         Warning to have beer on right temperature (5)
{ALERT} – the setter avoided using beer for the last three letters of 9a, probably because he has used it here; add R(ight) and T(emperature) to get a warning

24d         Smell that’s nothing serious (5)
{ODOUR} – this smell is such a simple but neat charade of O (nothing) and a synonym for serious

25d         American lawyer volunteers information (4)
{DATA} – put together two of Crosswordland’s favourite abbreviations (District Attorney and Territorial Army) to get a type of information, typically fed into a computer

As Tilsit has a number of Wednesday appointments over the coming weeks I will be occupying this slot for a while.  But don’t worry, he’ll be back tomorrow for the Toughie. Tilsit was admitted to hospital today in the hope that they might be able to resolve some of his ongoing problems.

59 comments on “DT 26166

  1. Really enjoyed todays puzzle a good one for the CC, not too easy in that a lot of working out required in some clues but none too obscure, some funny witty ones, i liked it, fav clues 10a, 6d, 7d, never heard of 17d, but apparently some kind of sculpture? might try toughie later :)

  2. A joyous day – out of the CC and completed it in 40 minutes while in the waiting area of a hospital. Hint: if anyone suggests you should have a ‘flexible cystoscopy’, decline politely but firmly!
    Last to go in was 7d as I was looking for B+cooks=increases
    Favourite was 21a – nicely deceptive : does ‘neat sort’ mean anagram of neat, then does ‘knitwear’ mean anagram of wear? Surely Arran has two Rs etc. made me smile when I got it

          1. Dave,

            The group of Islands is called Aran Islands; made up of: Inis Mór (Big Island), Inis Meáin (Middle Island) and
            Inis Oírr (East Island). I’m not being clever – I’ve just looked it up.

            1. Wikipedia also gives:

              The placename Aran may refer to:

              * The Aran Islands across the mouth of Galway Bay, Ireland or the largest island in that group

              1. does it really matter because the clue doesn’t mention the island only the knitwear which is an Aran jumper with one ‘r’ ??

                    1. I agree with mary on this one – not obvious that an alternative spelling had been used.

                      mary would never say this (not as rude as me!), but why is it that alternative spelling is used rather than wit?

                    2. It’s not an alternative spelling – the knitwear is produced in the Aran islands, but a lot of people mistakenly think that Arran, of the coast of Scotland, is the same place.

                    3. Thanks Dave – I’m still learning!

                      My Mum (67) put me right about the spelling of “swiz” too (a whinge of mine from a few crosswords ago) -:D

  3. I’m feeling there is more to be learnt from this blog combined with Big D’s help than from any of the books I’ve previously bought on the subject (dictionaries etc excepted of course). I suppose I mean there’s so much to pick up from how you have all approached the various clues. I still make the mistake too many times of reading clue as whole sentence or half sentences forgetting to really isolate the words more – but I am travelling in the right direction, fortunately on a road well-travelled by all you friendly, helpful people.

    1. The best way this has been described is by the late AF Ritchie (Afrit) in his classic book Armchair Crosswords (1949) – “You need not mean what you say, but you must say what you mean”.

      This book has recently been reprinted.

    2. For me, personally Sarah, this blog has been the best thing that could possibly happened, I started doing cryptic crossword, the telegraph, last June and I feel i have improved immensely because of the help I have had from everyone on this blog, it is amazing :) still in CC though

    3. There is indeed much to be learned from here and I’m only just scratching the surface. The few that I have finished (this wasn’t one of them!) have only been because of the blog.

      I miss the significance of hints like in 11a, removing H, 12a, no idea ON means working, 18a, simply P to begin, 26a, E in another word, 3d, wish I could remember OP for work, 20d, starts with SP, 25d, DA for American lawyer. Missed touring, order, distribution and representing as anagram indicators.

      Did get ASPEN (after ruling out HAZEL, far too unlikely 10a would begin with Z) and BRAISES quite easily, so pleased with that.

        1. Thanks Mary. I would enjoy it more if I could work them out! One of the things I need to do is read the clue more carefully. I was ok with I and SET in 15a, but didn’t take in they came AFTER another word, so I was trying to put them in the first half of the answer and it didn’t work of course. Ditto EXAM, obvious from the checking letters and ‘end of term test’, but didn’t take in the use of UP and OVER ‘end of terM’. It’s a hell of big learning curve!

          1. I’ve been at it for nine months now and I still miss them, it’s like learning another language :)

          2. Geoff, I entirely agree with you about reading the clues more carefully. Ioften dont break them up enough so – its almost as though one cant help but read it too quickly because my eye/brain is so used to doing that with pages of a book …. and of course the setters are probably aware of this! They make the sentences flow so nicely!

  4. A nice gentle and genial puzzle that was fair and fun. Favourite clues were 27 / 29 across and 5 / 14 down. Many thanks to Jay for the puzzle and thanks BD for the notes.

  5. Defeated by 21a…knew the first four letters from the clue, but had never heard of the answer. Heard of Trireme, but not this vessel.

  6. Agree with Prolixic – what I would regard as a ‘classic’ DT Cryptic crossword that represents its style and format over many years. Favourite clues 27 & 28 across and maybe 3 down. And no quibbles with any of the clues whatsoever, although I admit to just filling in 21a (had done surrounding clues) without really contemplating the knitwear aspect, as the anwer was unambiguous.
    Enjoyed the Toughie today, too.

  7. Hi all, new to this blog. Liked this one – not too hard. I think i am starting to get the hang of these. Liked 14d and had trouble with 7d for a while as I was trying to solve for increases rather than cooks!

  8. Amusing and none too difficult today from J.
    5d among the faves for me.
    Just got to my sisters in Holland so I’ll be crosswordless untiul Sunday when I play catchup.
    Thanks for the review!

  9. Nice puzzle today. Didn’t get 7d. I don’t think Intaglio is an art form. It’s just a printing process. That’s like saying letterpress is an art form.

    1. The printing process is derived from the art form, which is a sculpture like a relief only it goes in instead of out.

      So in intaglio printing the ink goes into holes instead of sitting on ridges

      1. … at least I think it’s that way round – maybe its the bits around the ink that get dug out …

    2. David,
      For intaglio Chambers has this as a possible meaning
      a figure cut into any substance, or a stone or gem in which the design is hollowed out, opposite to cameo and the production of such figures, stones or gems. I think thats close enough to “a sort of art” for the clue to be acceptable.

  10. Perhaps the easiest for some time.
    At least it encouraged people to seek the definition of a Mobius strip.

  11. Big D – with your advice for 3d – why does is OP signalled by the use of the word “work”? and also what suggests that we keep half of the work “look”. Thanks in advance.

    1. OP is the abbreviation for OPUS, the Latin for work – as in Beethoven’s Op. 59 – it’s regularly used in crosswords.

      LO is a word in its own right – as in “lo and behold” – and means look.

      1. Oh its sooooo obvious once you’ve explained it. I wont forget OP in a hurry – my other passion is Music Theory which I am studying for fun, a lot of which reminds me of cryptics – rules/tricks/codes etc. Thank you Big D.

      2. Nice to know Dave, thanks. Did wonder today when Gazza said OP for work if it was from OPus.

        Also into music Sarah; play the organ and think I got to gr7 in theory – long time ago!

        1. Well now we’ve just used up some possible excuses now Geoff – you have gr 7 and I am in middle of gr 6 so that should be the odd clue every now and then that we should get!

          1. I have never taken a grade but started playing flute 3 yrs ago and learning music the same time, a bit later in life than most nevertheless am up to grade 5 standard but would never pass a test just too nervous, but don’t rely too much on me for answers in this dept!! also play guitar but not classical :) so don’t think too much will come up on that

            1. That’s good progress, Mary, I’m impressed! Doesn’t matter if you don’t take the exams, the sheer enjoyment of it can be more important than passing tests.

  12. Completely off topic but very sweet and amusing. A colleague of mine who does the Saturday Crossword has just come back from holiday engaged to be married. Her fiance had created an on-line crossword for her to solve and when she had completed it, it contained the marriage proposal. Beats an engagement ring inside a fortune cookie any day.

  13. It’s such an education for me doing the xword, exposing all kinds of gaps in my knowledge! I had to look up what a Mobius strip was and also had never heard of 17d. I struggled with 20d as was trying to use sa as ‘starts to save’ and ll for pounds as I had ‘l’ from 23a. Duh! Much nicer than yesterday, at least it gives those of us in the CCs a sporting chance….

    1. Hi Chablis, a little easier on the brain today, as you say we had a good chance , I think i will not get out of the CC until I complete a crossword totally unaided, i.e. without thesaurus, electronic or otherwise and without blog, I can some days without blog but never without the others, i think that day is still a long way off :( but i really look forward to it

      1. Have now made myself my own CC – a comfortable corner to enjoy being a member of CC if I may – within reach i have all the CCC’s – crossword completing companions I might need for an evening of CC – comparative contentment even if one CC might elude me – a completed crossword – enough C’s probably – I’ll stop now!

          1. Yes Mary! As it happens I have a very cute cat called Cleo who sits on my comfy chair continually but she’s such a loving constant companion that I am lucky to have found so I just move over!

  14. I’ve been following the blog for a while now and have to say that it has drastically improved my solving skills. I thought I’d contribute today in celebration of completing Mondays and todays without resorting to outside help, electronic or otherwise. Mind you yesterday Ray T brought me back down to earth with a bump. Its usually too late in the day for me to contribute as I don’t start the cryptic until I get home from work and usually put it down feeling somewhat deflated at some ungodly hour! Great site!

  15. After yesterday’s toil normal service resumed. Thoroughly enjoyable and it helped me through the AM commute.

  16. Setter here
    Many thanks for the review BD, and to all contributors to the blog for the encouraging comments. I hope Tilsit gets sorted out at the hospital and look forward to his early return

  17. First one I have finished without books or electronics, but used what I’ve learnt from Dave’s previous explanations as to how the clues work. Thanks Dave. ( Even had a good stab at the Toughie).

    1. Welcome to the blog bedazzled

      I’d be interested to know how you got there! While guessing an answer and then finding the wordplay is a standard tactic, this one falls down on that second stage.

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