DT 26171 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

DT 26171

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26171

Hints and tips by Gazza

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ****

Today we have an entertaining puzzle from Shamus (I’m assuming that it’s by Shamus – apologies if I’m wrong). As I write, Clued Up is showing it with five stars for difficulty – I don’t think that our regular correspondents will find is as difficult as that. Let us know, via a comment, whether Clued Up is right or I’m right!
For new readers, the answer to each clue is hidden between the curly brackets under the clue; drag your cursor through the white space between the brackets to reveal it.

Across Clues

1a  Bill producing problem around back of restaurant (6)
{POSTER} – this bill is an advertisement – it’s constructed by putting a synonym for problem around the last letter (back) of restauranT.

4a  Being compliant, arranged one debit (8 )
{OBEDIENT} – an anagram (arranged) of ONE DEBIT produces an adjective meaning doing as instructed.

10a  Cheesecake and seconds in special bistro unusually much appreciated (3-2)
{PIN-UP} – the definition is cheesecake and to get it take the second letters (seconds) of the last five words. We’re used to seeing “initially” and “finally” in constructs like this, but I don’t remember seeing “seconds” before. Unfortunately the surface reading isn’t brilliant.

11a  Dreadful lawsuit lacking a purpose (9)
{DIRECTION} – the definition is purpose – put together DIRE (dreadful) and ACTION (lawsuit) and remove the A (lacking a).

12a  Deranged chap’s cycling helmet maybe (7)
{NUTCASE} – double definition, the second a cryptic description of a cycling helmet incorporating an informal word for the part of the body that it’s designed to protect.

13a  Asian and Greek character invested in money (7)
{TIBETAN} – an informal word for money is TIN – put a Greek letter inside to get the inhabitant of an Asian country.

14a  Like regular hands working 24/7? (6,3,5)
{AROUND THE CLOCK} – double definition, the first describing the route travelled by the indicators on an analogue timekeeper.

17a  Transformation of a certain calmer region (7,7)
{CENTRAL AMERICA} – an anagram (transformation) of A CERTAIN CALMER produces a region of the world.

21a  Issue with a teen getting bolshie around mother (7)
{EMANATE} – the definition is issue, as a verb meaning to emit – we want an anagram (getting bolshie) of A TEEN around MA (mother). Very smooth surface reading.

23a  Competent secretary intercepting old communication (7)
{CAPABLE} – secretary is nearly always PA – put this inside (intercepting) an old form of communication to get an adjective meaning competent.

24a  Messy desk? Remove top from seat and head off fast (9)
{SKEDADDLE} – we want an informal verb meaning to run away or scarper (head off fast) – start with an anagram (messy) of DESK and follow this with a seat from which the first letter has been dropped (remove top).

25a  Field presenting Man U’s international rival? (5)
{REALM} – if you see an unusual abbreviation like Man U (J Caesar, for example) in a clue it’s a pointer that the answer may be in a similar form. We want the name of the most famous Spanish football club, with the second word of its name truncated – that also means a field or domain of activity.

26a  Army falls out without head of army? Nothing significant (5,3)
{SMALL FRY} – an anagram (out) of ARMY FALLS without the first letter (head) of army leads to a phrase describing people or events of minimal importance (nothing significant).

27a  Plain pride could be found in this poet (6)
{DRYDEN} – string together a word meaning plain (like bread with no butter) and the lair where a family of lions (pride) may be found to get this seventeenth century English poet.

Down Clues

1d  Visit briefly Kay’s predecessor, conceited type (8 )
{POPINJAY} – start with an informal phrase meaning to make an unscheduled quick call on someone and follow this with the letter of the alphabet which precedes kay to get a conceited person.

2d  Complaint produced by a heat supplier? (9)
{SUNSTROKE} – what you may get if you go out in the heat of the day without a hat on. I like “a heat supplier” as a description of the central body of our solar system.

3d  Make clear old tool in discussion (7)
{EXPLAIN} – the definition is make clear – put together a prefix meaning old or previous and a homophone (in discussion) of a tool used to smooth wood.

5d  Chat by hut there in order to end a dispute (4,3,7)
{BURY THE HATCHET} – an anagram (in order) of CHAT BY HUT THERE produces a phrase meaning to make peace, derived from a custom of North American native tribes.

6d  Sound measure I’d associated with celeb in rehab (7)
{DECIBEL} – an anagram (in rehab) of I’D and CELEB.

7d  Hundred detained by correct law (5)
{EDICT} – put C (Roman numeral for one hundred) inside (detained by) a verb meaning to correct (a document, for example).

8d  Temporary home accommodating a new temporary dweller (6)
{TENANT} – start with a temporary home (possibly on a camp-site) and insert (accommodating) A and N(ew) to get a dweller who does not own his house. Not all such dwellers are temporary!

9d  Noel’s scheduler? (6,8 )
{ADVENT CALENDAR} – nice cryptic definition of a chart with small numbered flaps, one of which is opened each day in the lead-up to the festive season.

15d  Curtail company group? It provides backing for paper (9)
{CLIPBOARD} – the stiff backing for papers which have to be written on (as carried by all employees wandering around offices, trying to give the impression that they are doing something terribly important) is made from a synonym for curtail followed by the decision-making body (group) of a company.

16d  Commercial figure arranged meals in health farm (8 )
{SALESMAN} – an anagram (arranged) of MEALS is placed inside the abbreviation for a sanatorium (health farm).

18d  Advance publicity about a very hard work (7)
{TRAVAIL} – put the taster (advance publicity) for an upcoming film, for example, round A and V(ery) to get hard work.

19d  Roman leader restrained in temper ordinarily (7)
{EMPEROR} – this Roman leader is hidden (restrained) in the clue.

20d  Poll result incomplete in Civil Service (6)
{CENSUS} – a verb meaning to result from or follow has its last letter dropped (incomplete) and is then put inside the abbreviation for Civil Service.

22d  Trouble near a stadium (5)
{ARENA} – this crossword favourite (a synonym for stadium) is this time an anagram (trouble) of NEAR A.

The clues I liked today included 12a, 21a, 25a and 1d, but my clue of the day is 9d. How about you? – leave us a comment letting us know what you think of it!

89 comments on “DT 26171

  1. Nicely done by Shamus today. Favourite clue was 21a.

    In relation to the difficulty rating on clued up, I wonder if this is set automatically by reference to the average time that people have taken to solve the puzzle because sometimes it changes during the course of the day. You only need a few early solvers to take a little longer than usual to solve it and the difficulty rating goes up?

    1. The problem with using the CluedUp timing is that many solvers just print the puzzle out and then fill in it at their leisure. Then during the day you get people who have done the puzzle in the newspaper who delight in seeing if they can be the fastest. Added to that, there is a way of printing it out without kicking off the timer. It renders the whole assessment worthless.

      This one, if it is by Shamus, was certainly one of his easier ones.

      1. This one took me precisely 6h 56m 9s to do. As BD says, I printed it out this morning, filled in half the grid and had to go out. Got back about and hour ago, caught up with some work and then entered it when it was finished…. so definitely a 5 *’s CluedUp puzzle for me!

      2. I hope you’re not having a go at poor old me, Big Dave……. still no good internet access, so I have to type like a loony when we have solved the puzzle in the paper which we BUY every morning!!!!!! If I had a printer I could save myself a fortune by printing it out – whats the trick?
        Anyway, found this relatively quick to solve and thought some of the clues were very amusing – got 10a without knowing why.

  2. Enjoyable and not too difficult.

    10a. Got the answer from the definition. Like you, Gazza, I’ve never seen a clue like this before.

    Liked 24a, 1d, 5d and 9d, despite it being unseasonable.

  3. Very enjoyable puzzle today. There were a couple of oddballs that got me stuck (including 10a as I was not aware of the definition – beefcake for a bloke yes but not cheesecake!)
    Loved 24a – one of my favourite words. Also thought that 9d and 15d were good clues.
    Thanks gazza and Shamus.

  4. An above average puzzle.

    Like 12a and had to really think on 1d. Have not seen or used that word in many a long mile.

    Difficulty – not too great – enjoyment level excellent.

  5. I’m about half way through this one and resisting looking at the answers so far.
    I just wanted to add that yesterday I found it interesting hearing where in the country everyone lived and what the weather was like. I wondered if we could add our own little regional update to our comments.
    I’m in Rushyford, a little village in County Durham 2′ above today, hazy blue sky and a slight covering of snow.
    Back to the crossword……

  6. I thought the setter was struggling to finish the bottom right hand corner,
    25a, the setter lokked like he was working out the clue at the paper went to print and did’t quite get there, I was shouting ,all right I get it !
    16d using ‘san’ as an abbreviation for health club was a stretch, as it is hardly a sanitorium as I assumed the abbr was meant to represent
    27a den for pride was like saying a nest of worms is the same as a can of worms
    I rest my case
    Apart from the fact I enjoyed sloving the rest of the puzzle

    1. Nubian
      I don’t see anything wrong with 27a. “Pride could be found (living) in this” is certainly a den.

    2. I agree realm was a stretch but have to disagree with 27a. Pride could be found in this….Lions’ Den, seems very fair to me. I loved that clue. Horses for courses I guess.

  7. Most enjoyable. Particularly liked 1d and 25a. One query, i always thought that sanatorium, as in 16d, referred to somewhere where people go to recover from ill health etc., whilst a health farm is more like a spa, where people go for enjoyment, exercise etc.

    1. Tilly, as ususal – “Chambers gives both”!!. I think that the sick place is probably more common and possibly older (but I am guessing)

  8. Sitting in a grey and miserable Canary Wharf ! ! Found the puzzle relatively straightforward with only 27a holding me up really. I would also say it was my favourite clue along with 24a.
    12a just made me groan, trying to be funny I suppose but it felt like a tumbleweed moment from Shooting Stars :-(

  9. Enjoyed todays and finished quickly but not without help from my trusty Bradford… I have never heard of ‘cheesecake’ (nor in fact ‘beefcake’ gnomethang!) for a you know what and even when I had the answer didn’t realise why until I read the blog!!!! . I also spent a while trying to put ‘meals’ in ‘spa’ thinking it must be the real name of a famous commercial figure. Still a very very long way to go….. I do have a slight problem with 25a, being a Man U supporter (I used to go to school with Bobby Charlton’s daughters and Georgie Best used to come to the convent gates with him sometimes) Manchester United is often referred to as Man U but Real are NEVER referred to as Real M, I have read the blog but it still doesn’t seem right to me.

      1. Thank you Mary. We football supporters must stick together, forget all this cricket malarky that seems to crop up so often. LOL

        1. Hey .. what’s wrong with cricket Chablisdiamond …. and as a follower of Portsmouth, you can perhaps understand my disillusion with football in favour of rugby union?

            1. Oooh what have I started … I disappeared soon after posting ref my allegiance to Portsmouth!

              In all honesty I’ve not been to Fratton Park for many a year, but remember in my youth travelling by train from Salisbury to Portsmouth in the late 1950’s to watch them in their last years in Division 1 (as it was then). If I remember rightly it cost me the princely sum of 2/9d for a return ticket and 1/6d entrance to the standing area. I continued travelling to a number of home matches throughout the 1960’s (gosh didn’t we suffer), but my main interest then changed towards watching rugby union. Having said that I still continue to follow the fortunes of Portsmouth week by week.

              PS … it is so easy to claim to be a supporter of teams such as Man utd, but those who follow and support teams such as Portsmouth are perhaps true supporters! :smile:

              1. Hey now!!!! If you watched Man U (or as I prefer to call them United, as there is only one United) at the weekend you will see we are being given an opportunity to show real allegiance (we lost to Everton :( and hence waved goodbye to the Premiership ). I have been a supporter since childhood so have seen good and bad times. I have also been to Fratton Park more recently than you and had the dubious pleasure of seeing Ronaldo (may he rot in hell) get sent off for headbutting one of your players…..
                I do come from the Manchester area too!!!!!

                1. As you come from the Manchester area Chablis, you are perfectly entitled to wear the red and white as a true United supporter.
                  It’s the so called fans of United living at the other ends of the country, who simply jump on the bandwagon of a successful club who get my goat!

          1. Perhaps not a follower for much longer, though!? Isn’t it all over, bar the shouting – and kicking and screaming?

            1. We will rise from the ashes. We must, we cannot let those red and white fairies down the road get the better of us.

              1. Oh Mary! Just as I was beginning to think that I could get to like you! I grew up supporting the Toffees. I can’t call myself a true supporter now, as I live near Southampton, but I still follow their fortunes. And they’re not doing bad, currently, are they?

                1. I quite like them myself Vince, so I won’t hold that against you, just don’t support them, but they come way above Man Utd in my estimation, sorry Chablis :) my partner is a Man U supporter, one of my sons is a Liverpool suporter along with one of my grandsons, the other is Arsenal along with another of my grandsons, my other gradson supports Chelsea, so it is all go in our house right now :)

                2. Vince

                  You live near Southampton. You should wash your mouth out and repent in sackcloth and ashes. It is after all the period of Lent, so forgiveness in the sense of metanoya is at hand.

                  To even live there is a sin. When in UK my home is Winchester, but I would never cross the borders of Southampton!

                    1. Metanoya is the Greek word for repentance which strictly speaking should be interpreted as “turning away from sin” as opposed to repenting. The theological approach is that one turns away from sin and changes one’s approach to life. Repentance alone is seeking God’s forgiveness for a sin(s), but does not of necessity imply a “change of life”.

    1. Chablis, you are correct in your observation on Real Madrid, but the setter is trying to get us to treat Real Madrid in the same way as Man U. There have been other examples of this e.g. referring to B Pitt’s wife to give AJOLIE (in some wordplay or other)

      1. I did understand that much but to me it’s like creating a new word and seems a stretch too far.

  10. Enjoyed todays, quite a nice one for CC, not too easy but attainable with a little effort ( and help ) :) liked 10a, 2d today in West Wales it is cold, with the snow doing its best with huge white flakes but not sticking so far, thank goodness

    1. Hi Mary, thought it was good to be back yesterday but having seen todays I am not so sure. Thought the 5* rating was right, finished about 1/2 but overall I didn’t like it all. Sorry I thought 10a was just plain stupid! Def not my favourite, far too convuluted.

    2. I agree with you Mary, a nice wee crossword and I loved 10a, you should try up here in Kirkcaldy, the weather is beautiful, sun shining if a wee bitty cool at the sea front.

      1. “wee bitty cool” – Heh! I played St Andrews last summer. On the New Course in the morning the wind was 10 mph gusting 15, on the Jubilee in the afternoon it was 15 mph gusting 30. One of the local caddies crossed paths with us on our 5th/his 14th. He Declared:
        “It’s a wee bit breezy round the turn fellas!”, winked then walked off.

  11. In my humble view, the quality of DT cryptics has improved immeasurably in recent times.
    Whilst not necessarily difficult, they are almost always enjoyable, and I wonder if the presence of this site has contributed to this trend in some small way?
    Another entertaining romp today … favourites 1d, 2d and 21a.

  12. Agree with Gazza’s rating – definitely not a 5* Degree of Difficulty. I must belong to a genre where cheesecakes weren’t just something enjoyable and fattening. Enjoyable, yes……….!

  13. Enjoyed today’s crossword. Liked 21a, 1d and 20d. Not convinced by ‘san’ in 16d but that is probably because I thought too long about ‘meals & spa’

  14. I completed three quarters quite quickly depite falling into the spa trap in 16d but the 6 clues in the NW corner took me as long as the rest put together.

    i liked 12a and 9d best.

    In 25a I have no objection to RealM, as the clue is given by ManU, but I would have preferred a different word than Field to define the answer.

  15. I also was held up trying to fit an anagram of meals into spa.is the health farm sanatarium rather than sanotorium? A few months ago I would never have got 10a but thanks to BD and his blog it was one of the first to go in today.

    1d and 24a were faves today,24a is regularly heard in the tricky household!

  16. Hi – I’m new to all this and unlike all of you who found this easy and polished it off in minutes, I struggled a bit only managed to complete the top left hand corner with your help explaining the clues. However as far as enjoyment goes i loved it. I’m off work having chemotherapy just now (completed six out of eight sessions and have got the finish line in sight) and doing crosswords and sudokus really help pass the time and keep my brain active so thank you for this site as it is brilliant for the likes of me.
    My favourite clue was 24a I think and generally I love anagrams so I liked the Central America one and the Obedient one.
    Thanks for your help with the ones I struggled on.
    Helen x

    1. Hi Helen welcome, you can always join us in the CC section of the site :) stands for Clueless Club! Just a laugh really, those of us who are ‘not quite as bright’ belong to the imaginary Clueless Club you are more than welcome!!

    2. Helen – as long as you enjoyed it that is without doubt the main thing – i tend not too get all the clues most days but actually enjoy seeing how the answers have been arrived at – the help given by everyone on the blog makes it an even better experience than slogging away on one’s own. Good luck with the treatment.

  17. Hopeless day for me. Found it really tough. Popinjay? Well, you learn something every day. And 10 across? That was beyond me.

  18. Ref 10a – the pin-up/cheesecake thing was one of the many things I’ve learnt from the DT Cryptic in the past, so I was ready for it, which is good, since I missed the second letter pointer in the clue. 3 stars from me today, since I thought there were one or two more rather cheesy clues. 16d – san for health farm – yuk! 25a – fairly obvious where it was leading, but more yuk!
    Last 2 in for me were 27a (no quibbles with the pride and den bit, I struggled with plain and dry), and 2d – if you don’t see it straightaway, there’s no more help in the clue. So, a few extra minutes there….
    And for those on here interested in things meteorological, the barometric pressure in my kitchen in the Lincolnshire Wolds is currently 29.64 inches of mercury.

      1. A lot warmer than yesterday, anyway…and nice that someone occasionally reads my ramblings on here!

        1. Part of the entertainment of the day for me is reading the various ramblings. I don’t always respond but I enjoy reading them. Always interesting the information that comes out. From an old skiing accident my bones always tell me when the barometric pressure changes!!

  19. Not such a hopeless day for me. I got 8 or so with no ‘research’ at all, so maybe I’m beginning to understand it a bit. Got another ten or so from the hints, so more than halfway without looking in the brackets.

    I usually scroll down the blog one clue at a time, so didn’t reveal the pic for 10a, worked it out from the hint and thought, what? Actually had to look up ‘cheesecake’ to see the connection! No idea about the rival in 25a, so hopeless on that. Isn’t the advance publicity of 18d more usually known as a ‘trailer’? Annoyed to have missed the point of ‘in’ and ‘trouble’ in 19d/22, so back in the corner again today.

    1. Geoff
      I think that trail and trailer mean the same thing in this context. Chambers has for trail: a television or cinema trailer.

  20. Obviously another one I should have looked up … thanks. Chambers online has it as a verb: to advertise (a forthcoming programme, film, etc) by showing chosen extracts.

  21. Thanks as ever to Gazza for his very thorough blog and everyone for comments. In response to Sarumite, yes, this site is most helpful as a setter in providing detailed feedback and I do try to bear in mind how clues may be received when working on formulating them!

  22. Enjoyable puzzle – hit the 100k points on clued up today. Enjoyed 1d – liked the word play in it.

    1. Lea – if you’re interested in the points total on CluedUp, and you do past/archive crosswords, then you can exploit the bug on the site which allows bonus points on them (200 up to 600 for cryptic and 400 to 1200 for Toughies). Everyone does it, which makes a nonsense of the points thing (which is nonsense anyway), and it’s about time they fixed it.
      Here’s how – open up an old crossword, fill one clue in, then use your browser to open a new site on the same tab. Then use the browser back arrow to return to the puzzle – the grid will be blank, but your 200 points is now 600 with the clock running. Hey presto, off you go and fill it in. I found this by accident, but had long seen on the ‘Online now’ section users with bonus/time points for archive crosswords and wondered how it was done……
      Maybe BD will censor this anyway.

      1. Why would I? As you say, everyone does it except people like me who can’t be arsed to do old puzzles just to climb up a table full of nerds.

        1. Indeed so, BD – and it must be a rather tiresome full-time job for some people to accumulate their 10-20,000 per day in order to do so. Maybe they’re in jail somewhere.
          I quite like to go back to the older cryptics occasionally, because if I’d ever done them in the newspaper it’s so long ago they’re now like a fresh crossword. Interesting too, sometimes to see how styles and compilers change over a few years.
          Before I found your blog I used to like to look at the list of times taken by regulars as the only comparator for the difficulty (or not) I may have had with that day’s puzzle. Their server is so pathetic now that it usually locks up ‘loading’ and sometimes I’ve had to shut down IE completely to recover. Just read the blog now…..

        2. I agree with you Dave – can’t be bothered. Only noticed today what my total had got to – don’t work towards anything as I know it is meaningless but 100k seemed a good point. I don’t even bother sending my prize puzzles off as that’s not why I do them.

          The_Chairman – thanks for the info – might try it sometime just for curiosity.

  23. Wrote in the NE & SW without a pause but struggled with NW & SE which two of us failed to fully crack.
    I never know the names of composers,artists, biblical books or poets so would never have got 27a. To me a clue like that should be banished to a general knowledge quiz.

    1. lots of people think like you Greenhorn, personally I wouldn’t be able to do them without ref to Chambers crossword dictionary :)

  24. This lulled me into a false sense of security and it was all done quickly apart from the NW corner that had me stumped all day. Missed 1d – new one on me; 10a vague and poor in my view; 12a a “kick myself” moment. Liked 2d a lot. 25a is obscure in the extreme.

    A mixed bag – enjoyable but a couple of dodgy clues in my opinion.

  25. A day off work, and an afternoon in the pub resulted in a late kick-off for me today.
    Rattled through it quite rapidly, but defeated by 2d… no excuses, blame it on Wetherspoons!

    1. Damned lush, you’re making me jealous!
      “A man who can’t complete the Telegraph Cossword after 11 pints of Theakstone’s XB is no man at all!”
      Let me know when you throw the next sickie!

  26. Usually only do Saturday’s crossword as don’t get a chance to look at it until after work but had a go at today’s this evening and really enjoyed it, loved 1d. Got within 2 clues of finish and have just come onto site to help me finish it before bedtime. Thanks to the blog I will be able to get to sleep!

  27. Only started this after I got home at 9.30 and want to thank you Shamus for a very enjoyable crossword. It was a good one for this member of the CC who, for once, managed all but 4 clues without resorting to ‘research’ of any kind! :-) Whew! Mind you, I didn’t understand them all til I looked at the blog! Favourites today were 1d, 9d and 24a

      1. VERY unusual for me! Must have been on the same wavelength for once. Am basking in the feelgood factor ;-) it’ll probably be ages before I do so well again…..

Comments are closed.