DT 26170

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26170

Hints and tips by Rishi

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

A gentle, pleasant start to the week.

As usual each answer is hidden within curly brackets. Please highlight the white space for it to show up.

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 Worsening annoyance (11)
{AGGRAVATION} – double definition- worsening /annoyance

9a You might say it when offering a gift — or present (4)
{HERE} – double definition – Word that may be uttered when someone hands over something to another / Word that may be uttered when you are present when attendance is taken
10a Not the end one’s prepared for (6,5)
{SUDDEN DEATH} – Cryptic definition – All of us are in one way or the other prepared for the inevitable but sometimes it may come unannounced – But this connotation may not be there at all and it’s a football term that we are looking for when the game concludes abruptly
11a Teachers’ union’s for heads (4)
{NUTS} – Word sum – ‘s added to a three-letter abbreviation for a teachers’ union gives a term for ‘heads’

14a The only luggage that one needs? (7)
{HOLDALL} – cryptic definition – alluding to the capaciousness of a piece of luggage

16a Treatment mother’s wise to have (7)
{MASSAGE} – word sum – A word that means a kind of treatment, medical treatment, comes by putting together MAS (mother’s) and a word that means ’wise’.


17a A body of gunmen turned on him (5)
{AARON} – Stringing together A (for free), AR (reversing RA for Royal Artillery, body of gunmen), and ON (also for free), we get the name of a boy. The first of some four names in this crossword.

18a Wind up drunk apparently (4)
{REEL} – double definition – [To] Wind up / how a drunk might walk – What does the surface reading of this clue suggest? I am unable to visualise!

19a Stick together in a difficult situation (4)
{BIND} – double definition – Stick together / a difficult situation

20a The “Thank you” letter one gets from Greece (5)
{THETA} – word sum – THE (the) + a two-letter word that means ‘thank-you = a Greek letter or character

22a Bows were made from it, yet were wrongly formed (3,4)
{YEW TREE} – anagram of YET WERE for the name of tree (the use of which is cleverly avoided in the clue

YET WERE formed!

23a A number making a noise during examination (7)
{ORDINAL} – word within word – A word that means ‘noise’ is inserted in a word that means ‘examination’ (‘of the mouth’, if one needs further help) for a word that means ‘number’ (e.g., first, second or third)

24a Count, first name William? (4)
{TELL} – double definition – Count (v.) / first name of William the archer

28a Criticise space in Army accommodation (7,4)
{BARRACK ROOM} – word sum – A word that means ‘criticise’ and a word that means ‘space’ = Army accommodation

29a Ones, perhaps, who vote against (4)
{NOES} – An all-in-one clue by anagrammatising ONES for a word that means those who vote ‘against ‘

30a Peter cheats badly — but he’s still the favourite (8,3)
{TEACHER’S PET} – anagram of PETER CHEATS for a phrase that means the master’s favourite – Don’t know how we are to assume that Peter’s a pupil here


2d Stick with it! (4)
{GLUE} – Don’t think cryptic! Take it as a straightforward definition!

Stick with it!

3d Uncouth number seen in French street (4)
{RUDE} – word within word – A Roman numeral placed inside a French word for street gives a word that means ‘uncouth’

4d Home accommodating an orchid (7)
{VANILLA} – The name of an orchid is derived by placing AN (picked up for free) in a word that means ‘home’. ‘Accommodating’ is the insertion indicator

An orchid

5d Secures inconclusive results (4)
{TIES} – double definition – secures / inconclusive results, as in sporting encounters

6d Seat of Empire (7)
{OTTOMAN} – double definition – Seat / Empire


7d Orders translation of rousing tale (11)
{REGULATIONS} – anagram – A word that means ‘orders’ (n.) is obtained by anagrammatising ROUSING TALE, ‘translation of’ being the anagram indicator

8d Newly leased building for sheep — or cheese (11)
{WENSLEYDALE} – anagram – A word that means ‘sheep‘ or ‘cheese’ is derived by rearranging the letters NEWLY LEASED, ‘building’ being the anagram indicator

Sheep, no 'Cheese'

12d One more may make a soldier a sailor (6,5)
{CHERRY STONE} – Allusive – Reference to a counting game that children play with cherry stones or some such things to work out what they will be when they grow up

One more...

13d An unconscious pedestrian (11)
{SLEEPWALKER} – cryptic definition

15d The bilingual machine (5)
{LATHE} – Not an English-French translator!  The term for a machine is got by putting together an article in French and an article in English.

16d A maxim Tom turns to (5)
{MOTTO} – A word that means ‘maxim’ is derived easily by reversing Tom and putting TO next to it.

20d Willing to try a new blend of tea (7)
{TESTATE} – A word that means ‘try’ (v.) + an anagram of TEA = a word that means ‘willing’ in the sense ready to leave a will leaving something to someone

21d Recital review may be seen in the paper (7)
{ARTICLE} – Anagram of RECITAL for what may be seen in a newspaper (‘review’ is the anagram indicator)

25d If there’s a man around, he’s from the U.S. (4)
{ERIC} – A boy’s name, familiar enough, obtained deviously! If you put the letters A MAN around the name, the extended word will mean “a person hailing from the U.S.”. Excellent surface reading.

26d Did his influence make Rose change her name? (4)
{EROS} – Another nominal clue, so to speak! The name for God of Love and a woman who comes under his influence is most likely to marry her lover and acquire a new name, or at least an addition. Suppose I say he made more love than most others, what name would spring to your mind?

27d Drink approved in the church (4)
{COKE} – A word of assent in an abbreviation of church gets the name of a drink. You know that I don’t approve of  the use of registered trademarks in the crossword. Anyway I am not the crossword editor and so my opinion does not matter!

As you may have noticed, today is Rufus’s birthday and I am sure you will all wish to join me in wishing him many happy returns.  He may tell you later how old he is, but that is up to him!  BD


  1. Prolixic
    Posted February 22, 2010 at 10:59 am | Permalink

    Many happy returns to Rufus (a quick Google shows he has his own Wikipedia entry here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roger_Squires from which his age may be deduced!)

    A nice easy start to the week, I agree. Often I find Monday’s crossword takes some time to get my brain into gear to solve but I raced through this one. Favourite clue was 12d.

  2. Rishi
    Posted February 22, 2010 at 11:03 am | Permalink

    Many Happy Returns of the Day!
    Greetings from a devoted fan of yours for forty years.
    You have given your solvers many moments of pleasure.
    Members of an Orkut community that I own and moderate love your syndicated puzzle that is published in a local paper.
    Wish you all the best.

  3. Vince
    Posted February 22, 2010 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    Found this very easy, and completed all but 12d very quickly. Eventually decided, with the checked letters, that the answer had to be “cherry stone”, but couldn’t see why. Very vague.

    Particularly liked 25d.

  4. Lea
    Posted February 22, 2010 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    Happy Birthday Rufus – hope your day is a good one. Thanks for a lovely Monday puzzle – really enjoyed it (even if there were a lot of 4 letter words which I normally hate).

    I liked 25d as best cvlue of the day – very subtle.

    Thans Rishi for the review – I had put in and ending of “ing” for 1a and so it took me longest to get 6d . One I changd the ending I was there.

    • Mike (Touchwood)
      Posted February 22, 2010 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

      Wasn’t only me then!!

  5. gnomethang
    Posted February 22, 2010 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    Many Happy Returns, Rufus!.
    A very nice start to the week here, too.
    12d and 15d were tops for me!
    Thanks for the review, Rishi

  6. Chablisdiamond
    Posted February 22, 2010 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    Lovely puzzel though I had to read the blog to find out the reasons for some of my answers, more luck than judgement for me sometimes…. 12d last to go in, I recognise it as a skipping rhyme to find out the profession of the man you are going to marry.

  7. Rishi
    Posted February 22, 2010 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    Tinker, Soldier, Sailor, Spy is the title of an espionage novel by John Le Carré that I read long ago when I had time for such pleasures as fiction reading. If I remember right, the book must have had the nursery rhyme on a front page. That’s how I must have come to know of the children’s game.

    • Vince
      Posted February 22, 2010 at 11:47 am | Permalink


      As I recall, it’s not really a game – more of a superstition. If I remember correctly, the number of stones left after eating a dessert with cherries in, would determine either what a boy would be when he grew up or what kind of man a girl would marry.

    • SmokeyNL
      Posted February 23, 2010 at 7:12 am | Permalink

      Rishi, the novel was actually “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” which relates to the “Tinker Tailor Soldier Sailor” in the childrens game.

      • Rishi
        Posted February 23, 2010 at 8:58 am | Permalink

        Thanks for correcting me!
        Senior moments are hitting me increasingly.
        This morning I had to make out a cheque for Rs 23714 but with all papers in front of me I wrote Rs 23174.
        The clerk asked me to correct the figure.

  8. the_chairman
    Posted February 22, 2010 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    Very nice smooth start to the week. Classic DT-style Cryptic Crossword.
    27d – Rishi, for those like yourself against product placement, it’s an easy swap – change drink for drug….

  9. Barrie
    Posted February 22, 2010 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    Nice puzzle, some clever clues although I must admit 12d got me well foxed for ages, never heard it called that before. Also had 1a ending in ‘ing’ rather than ‘ion’ which meant 6d was a struggle!! Learnt something as well, never knew vanilla was an orchid. Fav clue – 10a.

    • mary
      Posted February 22, 2010 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

      welcome back Barrie the CC have missing person posters up?

  10. Rishi
    Posted February 22, 2010 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    I wanted to use a pic for HOLD-ALL, but when I googled for it, I got pages and pages but I couldn’t get a single image of what I had in mind.
    My father was an IAFofficer and in our constant transfers the HOLD-ALL was a fondly remembered piece of luggage.
    Well, this was long, thick, mattress-like, and at either end there was a compartment. On the sides were flaps. You threw in all sorts of things, closed the flaps, rolled it and finally fastened the bundle with leather belts.
    Wasn’t this called HOLD-ALL?

  11. Geoff
    Posted February 22, 2010 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

    I would say more like ** for difficulty, as even I could do a lot of this – and with much less ‘research’ than usual!

    Didn’t spot ‘building’ as a anagram indicator until I had all the checking letters. Finally left with 5 down clues unfilled, so hope I’ve learned something along the way. Having ROLL instead of REEL didn’t help with 13d, which I thought was a brilliant clue.

    • mary
      Posted February 22, 2010 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

      well done Geoff

  12. Werm
    Posted February 22, 2010 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    Seems I was in good company ! Stuck on 6d for ages and then tried with a different ending for 1a and hey presto ! 12d I got but didnt know why until I googled it. Fav clue was 25d with 15d second (just a personal fave as my Dad turned these for nigh on 50 years !)

  13. sarumite
    Posted February 22, 2010 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

    A number of entertaining clues today … thanks Rufus and many happy returns.
    I initially missed the anagram indicator on 8d and also had an “ing” ending for 1a which held me up for a while.
    Thought 2d was incomplete … although straightforward?
    Favourite by a mile for its simplicity but also invention was 15d, also liked 16a and 23a.
    Thanks for your comprehensive review Rishi.

  14. Nubian
    Posted February 22, 2010 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

    Gentle start to the week.
    It was
    Tinker, Tailor,Soldier,Sailor,Rich man,Poor man,Beggarman,Thief. as far as I can remember

  15. nanaglugglug
    Posted February 22, 2010 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

    Loved this perfect for a very wet Monday morning with a hangover! Didn’t get 12d at all – maybe its not a northern thing – could have done with a little more help in the clue.

    Anyway, Happy Birthday wishes from us, Rufus, and many more of ’em!

  16. Tilsit
    Posted February 22, 2010 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

    A nice enjoyable puzzle to start the week.

    Many Happy Returns to Rufus and many more of them!

  17. droopyh
    Posted February 22, 2010 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

    Lovely crossword to start the week – got through it in unusually quick time for me. Same problem as others with the 1a ending getting in the way of 6d but worked it out finally.
    Favourite clues 12d, 15d, 25d

  18. Chris
    Posted February 22, 2010 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

    Five star start to the week…Happy birthday Rufus and keep the humour going!
    So many classy clues….great stuff and all accessible.

  19. Rishi
    Posted February 22, 2010 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

    A good therapy for killing time, says Robin Jackman:

  20. mary
    Posted February 22, 2010 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

    Finsihed nice and early today so have been out enjoying this beautiful sunny day, 12d got me stumped although it could only be that answer, I knew the rhyme but had never heard of it assiciated with cherry stones, or any other stones come to that, thank you setter a nice one for CC members today, thanks for blog Rishi

    Happy Birthday Rufus :)

    • Geoff
      Posted February 22, 2010 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

      Well done to you too.

      Sunshine? Lucky you. Woke up to more of the white stuff this morning here in Oxford and it snowed all morning. Gone now, but there could be more of it around tomorrow.

    • Sarah
      Posted February 22, 2010 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

      Sunnshine here in east of Scotland, but soooooooooooo cold! Too cold for being out very long. Long to sit in the sun and do crosswords, and watch the world go by.

      • mary
        Posted February 22, 2010 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

        sounds great :)

    • Claire
      Posted February 22, 2010 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

      I’d rather have had either sun or snow than the unrelenting rain we’ve had here in South London! Still, a very enjoyable puzzle to take the mind off the weather. Finished most without help but sadly didn’t get the significance of Eric until I looked at the blog – Thanks Rishi – once you know it is indeed a very clever clue. 12d was always to get you to eat your prunes in my world :-( !! Liked 23a and would love a 16a! Thanks Rufus and Happy Birthday.

      • Jezza
        Posted February 22, 2010 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

        You’re not wrong about the rain in London. Wimbledon is one big puddle!!

  21. fran rhodes
    Posted February 22, 2010 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

    Happy Birthday Rufus and everyone else whose birthday it may be

    ‘ion’ v ‘ing’ just a matter of chance???

    • gazza
      Posted February 22, 2010 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

      Both words can mean aggravation, e.g. “aggravation of a previous injury” means worsening, but annoyance cannot mean aggravating.

      • Lea
        Posted February 22, 2010 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

        Thanks Gazza – just shows we should always read ALL of the clue before anything goes in. Otherwise it wouldn’t have resulted in the wrong ending to start with and fouling up other answers.

        • Geoff
          Posted February 22, 2010 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

          I left the final two blank until I had 6d, then the ending was obvious. Gazza’s comment is helpful.

  22. Sarah
    Posted February 22, 2010 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

    Lovely elegant puzzle, Rufus. Just the dab to start my week.

    Many thanks, and Happy Birthday!

  23. shrike1313
    Posted February 22, 2010 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

    Spent a huge amount of time stuck trying to get something with prunes to fit 12down. Ironic, I suppose.

  24. Sarah
    Posted February 22, 2010 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

    I really enjoyed this one and only had to peek at the brackets half-a-dozen times. I console myself that its always useful to know how they were arrived at – for another time. Perfect antidote to a hard day at work. Happy Birthday from me too.

  25. Michael
    Posted February 22, 2010 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

    I could not complete the last 3 letters of 1a until I had solved 6d because they could either have been a charged particle or a Dutch bank. Is there any way I could deduce the part of speech from the clue? Only two word clue, one a verb and the other a noun.

    I liked 25d best.

  26. tonyp17
    Posted February 22, 2010 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

    Just my level. First time I have finished during our evening meal for months.
    8d favourite clue.
    Happy birthday Rufus – you make compiling seem so easy. Plan to take a look at your birthday offering in the Guardian now.

  27. Little Dave
    Posted February 22, 2010 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

    All done save 12d which was a new one on me. I also missed 25d.

  28. Peter
    Posted February 22, 2010 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

    Nearly finished but 12d and 25d are offensive.

    • gnomethang
      Posted February 22, 2010 at 10:31 pm | Permalink

      Um, Offensive in that they offend your sensiblities of what the Crossword should be? Pray tell!.

  29. Mattparry7
    Posted February 22, 2010 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

    Easy yet fun crossword today. I have been done by wrong endings of answers before so I managed to dodge that bullet by checking 6d first. And I feel so much cleverer than you all for doing so! :P

    • gnomethang
      Posted February 22, 2010 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

      //And I feel so much cleverer than you all for doing so! //
      “Why I orta!” – Guilty too!

      • Mattparry7
        Posted February 23, 2010 at 1:19 am | Permalink

        Well usually you skilled players whittle through the crossword and rarely leave it unfinished, while I will struggle a bit more and tend to come to a halt with a couple I can’t do. So it’s nice to get one over the more experienced amongst you lol!

  30. Posted February 22, 2010 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

    Not sure that we need to know that Peter’s a pupil in 30a – the clue seems to be that we have to work out a favourite derived from an anagram of Peter cheats.

  31. Derek
    Posted February 23, 2010 at 4:23 am | Permalink

    A pleasant start to the week.
    Rishi – I remember “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Sailor” as the words we said when playing with the cherry stones.
    Best clues for me were :22a & 24a. 4d, 6d, 8d, 12d & 20d.
    10a is also a golfing term!
    Birthday wishes to Rufus.

  32. Rufus
    Posted February 23, 2010 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    Tried to thank all the bloggers for my birthday greetings yesterday but the computer went on the blink – it is a community one – and we were booked for an evening meal. Hence today, Tuesday, is the time to try again!
    78 is an odd birthday, neither here nor there, but your kind thoughts are very much appreciated.
    The surgeon who implanted my pacemaker only four weeks ago told me I could fly, so we are out in Lanzarote this week, enjoying the 25 degree sunshine, back on Thursday. I am not allowed to use my left arm vigorously so swim like a wallowing whale, but still leave the 80-year olds in my rather large wake.
    Best wishes to all! Roger

  33. Posted February 28, 2010 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    Coming to this very late, but I thought in 17a the ‘Body of gunmen’ was the ‘Rifle Association of America’ in reverse.