DT 26167 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26167

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26167

Hints and tips by Libellule

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BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment **

Its general knowledge cryptic crossword time again. An interesting, if not overly complicated puzzle which on reflection wasn’t too bad, but I can’t get excited about it. There are as usual a few issues which I have highlighted in the blog.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought of todays crossword.

If you highlight the area between the curly brackets you can reveal the full answer.


1. Knock over tin? Leave Charlie a brandy (6)
{COGNAC} – A reversal clue (knock over) of CAN (tin), GO (leave) and C (charlie the international radio communication code for C) is a famous french brandy distilled from white wine.

4. In the direction of remote Scottish town (6)
{FORFAR} – FOR (“in the direction of “ – according to Chambers) and FAR (remote) is the county town of Angus.

8. Said after skin cream comes from castle (8)
{BALMORAL} – Place ORAL (said) after BALM (skin cream? I suppose so) for a Scottish royal residence.

10. Settle a score against English in outskirts of Airdrie (6)
{AVENGE} – You need the outside letters (outskirts) of A(irdri)E, into which you need to place V (versus) and ENG (English) for a word that means to inflict a punishment in retaliation for something. Hmm a bit of a Scottish theme so far.

11. Leave out some from Italy (4)
{OMIT} – A hidden word for leave out can be found between from and Italy.

12. Chap married in lodge back here in Cornwall (6,4)
{BODMIN MOOR} – BOD (chap), then M (married), plus IN, and finally a reversed (back) ROOM (lodge) is the name of a moorland that can be found in northeastern Cornwall.

13. Soldier intends to get an income from investments (7,5)
{PRIVATE MEANS} – No its not Corporal Punishment, Major Disaster etc. Think of another one.

16. Fully functional, like an athlete in training first thing? (2,3,7)
{UP AND RUNNING} – I assume this is an attempt at a cryptic definition – except it doesn’t work for me.

20. Wearing them, one close to royalty must be rich (2,3,5)
{IN THE MONEY} – The definition is “must be rich” and a phrase meaning this is made up from the following IN (wearing) then THEM followed by ONE, and finally the last (close to) letter of (royalt)Y.

21. Gunpowder, for one, left in container (4)
{PLOT} – The gunpowder (for example) referred to here is something that gets celebrated every 5th November. Put L (left) into POT (container).

22. Popular expression? Nonsense (3,3)
{HOT AIR} – HOT (popular) and a synonym for “expression” is a phrase used to describe loud, confused and empty talk. What you would expect from a politician for example.

23. Two brutes with it, hitman (8)
{ASSASSIN} – Two brutes? Hmm – actually two donkeys, followed by another word for popular, were originally members of a secret order (founded in the 12th century) who terrorised and killed Crusaders usually while high on hash.

24. US playwright, single, not in good health (6)
{ONEILL} – An American Nobel Laureate for literature famous for a number of plays including “The Iceman Cometh” can be found simply by putting another word for single, and another word for being sick next to each other. Shouldn’t this read (1’5) rather than (6)?

25. Behind a US violinist, Isaac (6)
{ASTERN} – Put the second name of a Ukrainian-born violinist after (behind) A for a nautical term meaning to the rear of a vessel.


1. With head in clouds, put down a larger sum for a sword (8)
{CLAYMORE} – A large, double-edged Scottish broadsword comes from the first letter (head) of C(louds), followed by LAY (put down) and then MORE (a larger sum).

2. Georgia, with upset stomach, gets the full range (5)
{GAMUT} – The abbreviation for Georgia, followed by a reversed (upset) TUM (stomach) is indeed a complete range or extent.

3. Turn, holding mug and a tumbler (7)
{ACROBAT} – I liked this clue for its neatness. ACT (turn) with ROB (mug) and A inside (holding) is a performer of gymnastic feats or a tumbler.

5. Instrument with blade in adult carries around (7)
{OCARINA} – Yes its that “small terra-cotta or plastic wind instrument with finger holes, a mouthpiece, and an elongated ovoid shape” instrument again. OAR (blade) followed by IN A (adult) with C (circa – about) inside (carries).

6. Lodge member, generous male when working (9)
{FREEMASON} – FREE (generous), M (male), AS (when), ON (working).

7. Ignore foggy district (6)
{REGION} – An anagram (foggy) of IGNORE is an area or a district.

9. Day an old man ordered a Beatles record (4,7)
{LADY MADONNA} – Another anagram (ordered) this time of DAY AN OLD MAN is a Beatles single that was released in 1968.

14. Grant UFOs have crashed round Cuba’s capital (9)
{VOUCHSAFE} – Forget Havana, you want the first letter (capital) of C(uba), and then add this to an anagram (crashed) of UFOS HAVE for an old fashioned word meaning to condescend to grant or bestow (a privilege, for example).

15. Moving home, a former Poet Laureate (2,6)
{IN MOTION} – IN (home) and the second name of the previous Poet Laureate. If you stuck poetry in front of this phrase for moving you would have another phrase that means exceedingly beautiful or harmonious.

17. Almost applaud line about a naval officer (7)
{ADMIRAL} – Almost applaud is ADMIR(e), which is then has L (line) placed about A. for the naval equivalent of a general.

18. Novel written in July’s session (7)
{ULYSSES} – A well known novel by James Joyce is hidden between July’s session. OK how many of you are prepared top admit you have read it, or even started to read it?

19. Completely enthusiastic about spinner? Not quite (2,4)
{IN TOTO} – A Latin phrase for entirely is made up from INTO (enthusiastic) around (about) TO(p) (spinner) with the final letter removed (not quite).

21. Finished the last of the dough (5)
{PASTE} – And finally a dodgy synonym for dough comes from PAST (finished) and the final (last) letter of (th)E.

77 comments on “DT 26167

  1. An OK crossword that did not overexcite me.

    18d & 19d caught me out a little but nothing taxing.

    Clearly I am a masochist having read Ulysses and Finnigan’s Wake.

  2. Hello, is anyone having difficulty with clued up today, i cant get it to open and therefore cannot get my crossword, will go buy a paper I think :)

    1. Mary,
      I meant to mention this on the blog, but will do here. CluedUp today is running very slowly, I managed to print the crossword off at 8.30am my time (7.30am UK time), then when I tried to enter the answers interactively to check them before writing the blog the interactive grid took approximately 17 minutes to load. Bearing in mind how much you pay to use this site, performance like this, is in my mind unacceptable. I do wish the Daily Telegraph could afford to buy at least a couple more hamsters plus wheels to keep it going.

    2. You are not alone! I have been waiting 20 minutes to open the Toughie. Regrettably this is an increasingly frequent occurrence, and as documented elsewhere complaints are received graciously but there is no action taken.

      1. I waited about 25 minutes to open the Toughie and then it displayed a Sudoku grid so I had to start all over again!

    3. No, it’s not just you Mary. I haven’t been able to open the interactive version at all this morning (took ages yesterday too) though I was able to print it out OK.

      I phoned the DT and was told by a very pleasant lady that they were experiencing “server problems” Nothing new there then!!

      With regard to the puzzle, a pleasant enough jaunt – agree with the comment re. 24a, otherwise no problems.

    4. Me too – I gave up, and I’m going out all day now – so chance until this evening. BD – I gave up bothering to try to contact CluedUp way back, as, despite Mr Phil McNeill’s fine words of comfort and reassurance, I never got any response at all.

    1. Managed to get mine printed ok today – must have hit the few good moments:-) Whizzed through the top left and bottom right corners then came to a grinding halt! Eventually managed all but a few – would never have got 5d or 19d without the blog so thanks again :-) Several clues I didn’t really like today – 20a, 21d, 22a and 23a (not brutes surely and why with it when it’s in on the end?) but lots I liked for their simplicity (once you were ‘in the zone’) – 8a, 12a, 13a, 16a and 14d once I’d got past Havana! Good luck Mary.

      1. Thanks Dave.
        My husband found the site yesterday & its great to see all the comments .
        Am retired and usually do it in between housework shopping & keeping old hubby fed. Today exception started 9.30 after reading paper & completed 10.30 best for awhile. Nice to check answers after finishing. Also good to hear some peoples answers to the clues..
        Hubby has reduced daily vouchers for the paper so get the news.Crosswords & all the supplements at good price.for the week.
        Good luck to all

  3. I have trouble with the site this morning and eventually telephoned ClueUp. They confirmed the situation and said they were working on it. Should be OK for Saturday then!!!!!!

    1. Welcome to the blog Ziggi

      As Libellule mentioned earlier, the site needs more power. Merely taking more and more money for subscriptions and not boosting the servers causes this kind of problem. Judging from the numbers finishing the puzzles and allowing for many people completing more than one each day, the site is probably handling less than 250 users an hour at peak (less than this blog!)

  4. I’m afraid that today’s Toughie blog may be a bit late – 45 minutes and still no puzzle so I’m off out to buy the paper (can I claim the cost back – the hell i can). Any other service this bad would extend your subscription to compensate for days like this.

  5. Not a very satisafactory puzzle. Finished it, but had to put in some answers then work out why.

    16a. Why “first thing”?

    21a. Is “gunpowder” supposed to be a “synonym” for “plot”?

    21d. I also thought that this was a dodgy synonym, but, according to the famous red book, paste is dough for piecrust, etc.

    24a. I agree that this shouldn’t have been shown as (6).

    1. Vince,
      16a – up as in to get up, e.g. to get up out of bed I assume.
      21a – No its not a synonym, its an example.

    2. 16a. I suppose it is a reference to the athlete rising at the crack of dawn to train.

      21a. The “for one” in the clue indicates that gunpowder is a definition by example – so the gunpowder plot is one type of plot.

      24a. Agreed. A similar point arises in today’s toughie where I would have expected the answer to be (6,1’5) rather than {6,6).

      1. 16a. Do athletes only train at the crack of dawn?

        21a. I take your point. I’d overlooked “for one”.

        1. No. But many do. The clue is trying to paint a picture – the fact that athletes may train at other times does not detract from the clue. The setter has even added “first thing” as a signpost to the early morning!

  6. Apologies to all subscribers. It is being looked at but as we don’t know what has caused this problem, which we have never encountered before, I can’t say how soon it will be fixed. Hopefully very soon, of course. Many apologies again for the delay.
    Phil McNeill
    Telegraph Puzzles Editor

    1. Thanks, Phil, for the apology, at least.

      I’ve been trying to download the toughie for ages; to add insult to injury although the puzzle has not yet downloaded it looks as though the timer is running!! No chance for full points today then!

  7. An interesting puzzle with lots of clever constructions for the clues. My only feeling is that some of the surface readings felt strained to accommodate the cluing which detracted from the enjoyment. I had to do this standing on an overcrowded train filling in clues at each station so was not in the best mood to appreciate the puzzle at the time. Many thanks for the notes and thanks to the setter.

  8. Well I almost finished – just did not get 25a and I still don’t see why US is Ukrainian but perhaps someone can explain.

    I rated it poor as I got a number of correct answers without understanding how they relate fully to the clue, e.g 1d, 5d

    Thank goodness for this blog. I note use of the term “dodgy” and I agree.

  9. CluedUp is back online. As you will have guessed, it was a “server problem”. Not one we have encountered before, as far as I know, and we will of course try to prevent it happening again. Many apologies again to all subscribers.
    I enjoyed today’s puzzles when I looked at them a couple of weeks ago, so I hope you do too.
    Best wishes
    Phil McNeill
    Telegraph Puzzles Editor

      1. Must have been very annoying Mary. Are you in depths of countryside to go so far for a paper, perhaps you are blanketed in snow? Quite pleased with myself today as got 3/4 done before “going for help”. However that’s partly due to the fact that its half term for me as i work in a school and can take all day if necessary – back to reality next week with how much I can solve before I nod off – still little and often is better than nothing. The other crossword I do at the mo. is the Everyman in the Observer. This has mixed reviews as to whether its proper/serious/hard enough. I do quite often finish it but then again another time, hardly any. However I enjoy it hugely which is the main thing. Havent dared look at a Toughie – might leave that til Easter holidays and have a go then helped by all the comments/tips here.

        1. It’s such a treat to take all day isn’t it! I too work in a school and can’t usually get started until evening by which time my brain, if not the rest of me, is going to sleep! Have tried one or two toughies but I can usualy only get a clue or two :-(

          1. I’ll make the most of our last day then Claire and have a peek at the Toughie tomorrow. Are you teaching or admin if you dont mind my asking? I am Pupil Welfare Office a.k.a. Office Lady – first point of call for pupils wanting something or are ill – either way they are polite and acquiesent. Before this I was in the classroom where they werent always!!

  10. Fairly enjoyable, but I thought several of the clues were slightly overelaborate.
    For instance, (as already mentioned above), 16a would read far better if “first thing” was omitted.
    Thanks for the review Libellule.

  11. I thought 23a could have had a better clue but other than that the puzzle was farly run of the mill.
    I am now tapping my fingers waiting for the toughie to load

  12. Second day running I have completed it without recourse to books or electronics. Something from the blog must be staying in the brain. Thanks Dave and others.

  13. Perfectly enjoyable, not too taxing after a slow start.
    14d was probably favourite but I liked 19d and 1d.
    Thanks for the review and the puzzle. ;)

  14. A distinct scottish flavour to the crossword today , it’s not St Andrews day is it? hopefully on 1st March we will have a Welsh flavoured crossword :) Not one of my favourite , maybe started out on the wrong foot today with clued up not working and then having to drive to get paper, excuses, excuses, i just couldn’t do it, too many things i didn’t know completed about 3/4 without blog but then gave in easily, don’t know about rest of CC perhaps their general knowledge is better than mone?

    1. Same as you today Mary – completed 3/4 and am now going to refer to the blog. I appear to be one of the few who accessed clued up without any problem so no excuses for not doing it other than poor general knowledge. I do not particuarly enjoy crosswords like todays – I’d prefer if if general knowledge was kept in general knowledge crosswords and the cryptic was for those of us who cannot retain miscellaneous information such as the name of US/Ukranian violinists. I do have to disagree with those who thought “first thing” was irrelevant in 16a – that immediately gave me the “up” – especially as the whole answer is not something I ever achieve in the morning!

        1. Mary, you should have a look at the toughie, the theme there is a bit French, I know it’s my hobby horse but blimey, you need a french dictionary just to get started !
          Haven’t seen Barrie

          1. not today Nubian, haven’t got the ‘hwyl’ for it as we would say in Wales, awaiting two of the grandsons to play ‘UNO’

  15. Missing Persons alert – has anyone seen Barrie, the CC has been searched from top to bottom but there is no sign of him has he escaped? description – green triangular face, with funny smile!

  16. Oh dear, another one with constructions that were far too complex for me. Only solved 15 today, even with hints. Guessed 1a without knowing ‘knock over’ for a reversal clue. I spotted ‘foggy’ in 7d and ‘crashed’ in 14d as anagram indicators, but not ‘ordered’ in 9d! But Wiki has a list of the songs and, fortunately, google’s general knowledge is better than mine. Did remember ON for ‘working’, impressed myself with that!

    Thanks for the explanations, Libellule, and thanks for not revealing all the answers in the hints, I managed to work out a few more from those hints.

  17. Just back from monthly hospital visit, and wondering what the fuss was about, was able to enter my solution to 26,167 without any problem, However Phil McNeill should be praised for his diligence and what would seem to be the strong support of this site.

  18. Found today’s crossword much easier than yesterday. Like some others of you I had to really dissect the answers to see how they related to the clues but I think they were all fair in the end.

  19. Absolutely hated it!!! Dislike obscure general knowledge questions which is why I do not do the GK crosswords and explains why I got stuck in the bottom right corner! Not sure which clues I hated most… seemed to have so many that I got right but still could not explain without this blog!
    Why is the phrase’ for one’ in 21a??

    1. To indicate that you are not looking for another word for gunpowder but rather that gunpowder is an example of the word you are looking for.

    1. It just goes to show that it is a matter of taste as I did not like it. But be honest Sylvia you cannot possibly like 14a.

  20. I completed it without the blog but with copious use of Google and my crossword dictionary! I feel very disappointed as even when I had got many of the answers I couldn’t fathom why until I read the blog. Very frustrated with myself…. Thank you for the pointer on 21a, I had the answer but didn’t realise all the stuff about ‘for one’. Still a long long way to go….

  21. Pleasant and done on homeward commute as too busy to buy the paper until 5PM! Pleased to remember a recent Poet Laureate too.

  22. We disagreed today (but isn’t that par for the course with sisters?) Marian enjoyed the puzzle and did it reasonably quickly but I got stuck on a lot of the general knowledge clues. Like some, I got about 3/4 done before I resorted to Google! I love this site as when I started doing the crosswords about a year ago it was all a complete ‘puzzle’ to me so thanks for all of your help.

    Joanne and Marian

  23. Thank you! I’m another of the people on half-term which is probably why I did better today. I’m usually starting the crossword at 7pm. Yes, Marian is my sister. We are really competitive but she has been doing the crossword for years. I am catching up with the help of your site!

  24. Piece of cake this one! However, I thought that some clues were a wee bit weird.
    Incidentally BD, I switched on to start this comment at midnight my time 11PM your time and on pressing “read more” got a signal “wordpress.com will be back in a minute” but it took 20 minutes!
    Best clue for me was 25a. I agree that 24a should be (1’5). I also liked 14d.

    Shall now try yesterday’s cryptic.

  25. At last something good about the M25, I was stuck in a jam this morning around Junction 23 and cheerily whipped out my crossword, and finished it while creeping along and with only occasional danger to the bumper of the car in front.

    May I propose a new section for your superb site, ‘weird places I have done the crossword’, oh and hello all.

  26. Late finish even for me! I agree with comments about 23a and 24a. Must be a sign of progress when you become brave enough to be critical of clues, who’d’ve thought!

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