DT 26173 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26173

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26173

Hints and tips by Libellule

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BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

An interesting crossword today, I started this at a brisk gallop, and then started to slow down, and continued to slow down until the last clue went in. Some of it is very straightforward, some of it is more complicated, but all in all an enjoyable piece of entertainment.

If you have any thoughts on this crossword, you can leave a comment below.

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1. To hit hard, an advertising catchphrase (6)
{SLOGAN} – Another word for a big hit, usually used towards the end of an innings in limited overs cricket, is then followed by AN. Put together you have a phrase that is used repeatedly often in advertising. How many of you know that this word originated from a word used to describe the battle cry of a Scottish clan?

4. I can’t remember cinema as “flicks” (8)
{AMNESIAC} – This is an anagram (flicks?) of CINEMA AS and is a person suffering from a loss of memory.

9. Female performer’s agent (6)
{FACTOR} – F (female) followed by a person who appears on stage or in films is someone who acts for someone else.

10. Popular flavour available (2,6)
{IN SEASON} – IN (popular) and then SEASON (flavour) refers to a time of year when a particular fruit or vegetable is readily available.

11. See artist drunk in papers (9)
{TREATISES} – Another anagram (drunk) of SEE ARTIST are actually written compositions.

13. Prevent a check pinning rook (5)
{AVERT} – The definition is prevent, put A VET (check) with R (rook from chess) inside (pinning).

14. Film lead in ‘Pink Panther’? Treat suspiciously (3,6,4)
{THE PARENT TRAP} – This clue refers to a film that originally appeared in 1961 and was then remade in 1998. You can work out the name of the film by taking the first letter (lead in) of P(ink) and then add this to an anagram (suspiciously) of PANTHER TREAT.

17. Cartoonist husband in the bar, soon worse for wear (5,8)
{HEATH ROBINSON} – a famous cartoonist and illustrator whose name has become synonymous as a description of any unnecessarily complex and implausible contraption is made up from an H (husband) and an anagram (worse for wear) of IN THE BAR SOON.

21. Greek character, doctor, in shape (5)
{RHOMB} – Another word for an equilateral parallelogram (usually excluding the square) is simply RHO (Greek character) and MB (Medicinae Baccalaureus (Latin) for Bachelor of Medicine).

23. In the course of an illness, almost over, trouble a religious head (5,4)
{DALAI LAMA} – Not a difficult clue to get from the definition which is this case is the name of a “religious head”, but the word play is more complex. Another word for illness is A MALAD(y), then remove the Y (almost) reverse it (over) and then put AIL (trouble) inside. Phew!

24. Drug used in extremely severe case (8)
{SEDATIVE} – The two outside letters of S(ever)E followed by a word that is “a case of nouns, pronouns, and adjectives used to express the indirect object”.

25. Charm may be a quiet ringing of bells (6)
{APPEAL} – A P (quiet) and another word for the changes rung upon a set of bells is also a synonym of charm.

26. Gift tied up at resort (8)
{APTITUDE} – An anagram (resort) of TIED UP AT is an inherent ability or talent.

27. Leader of those in firm showing no interest (6)
{STOLID} – The first letter (leader of) of T(hose) put inside SOLID (firm).for someone or something that is impassive or shows little or no emotion.


1. Welfare state restricting iron tablets at first (6)
{SAFETY} – One of the more complex clues SAY (state) around FE (the symbol for iron) and the first letter (at first) of T(ablets) for a synonym for protection or safety.

2. Band playing Hart score (9)
{ORCHESTRA} – A simple anagram (playing) of HART SCORE. Interestingly enough search on google does show a few composers whose second name is Hart.

3. A job accompanying the French missionary (7)
{APOSTLE} – The word for missionary in this case, is usually associated with one of Christ’s twelve followers. A POST (job) and then the male form of the French word for the.

5. Executive on the government side (11)
{MINISTERIAL} – I thought there was more to this clue, until I checked in Chambers, when I then realised that it is simply a (not very good) double definition. A word meaning “of or relating to a minister or ministry (in any sense)” is also an “executive” or “on the government side”.

6. Top of ebony, part of table worker polished (7)
{ELEGANT} – The definition is polished, and you need to take the first letter (top of) E(bony), then the part of a table that holds it up, and a common crossword word for worker, if its not a bee then its likely to be an ???

7. Important subject for children (5)
{ISSUE} – A common double definition.

8. Monument not cheap to be rebuilt (8)
{CENOTAPH} – Another clue that seems to get a regular outing. An anagram (to be rebuilt) of NOT CHEAP will lead you to a famous monument that can be found in Whitehall.

12. A sign of faith? (4,2,5)
{STAR OF DAVID} – A cryptic (?) definition for the Jewish religious symbol.

15. Phone — who invented it? Sound familiar? (4,1,4)
{RING A BELL} – Swiftly followed by what seems at first sight to be another cryptic definition, but it.s not. “Phone — who invented it” accurately reflects another phrase for “Sound familiar”.

16. Daily, one’s mother exudes compelling charm (8)
{CHARISMA} – Another word for charm, or more accurately a “quality or gift that enables an individual to impress and influence others” is added together using CHAR (daily) IS (ones) and MA (mother).

18. Custom at home (7)
{HABITAT} – Another word for the normal abode or locality of an animal or plant is quite simply another word for custom and AT.

19. Holds up favourite? There’s a piece of news (7)
{SNIPPET} – Reverse (up) another word for holds, PINS, and then follow it with another word for favourite, PET and you have a scrap, of literature or news etc.

20. A song and dance over a daughter (6)
{BALLAD} – You are looking for another word for a slow, sentimental song. A formal gathering for dancing, and A D (daughter).

22. What conditioner contains is hearsay (2-3)
{ON-DIT} – Thankfully this is a hidden French phrase for rumour. Look carefully inside (contains) conditioner, and you will find the answer.

44 comments on “DT 26173

  1. A very good crossword except for 22d which I felt was obscure.

    I speak good French but obviously not good enough!!

    The reference to Pink Panther was superb and like so many others I suspect has brought back memories of Sellars and those delighful Goons. Those were the days!!

  2. I enjoyed this today; just about the right level of difficulty. A little disappointed by 12d, I was looking for something a little more than the rather poor cryptic definition. 22d I thought was nice – my french is not wonderful but I have come across this.

    Many thanks for the review.

  3. A very enjoyable start to the day with today’s offering. Tricky in parts, but I think the clues made them all accessible. Didn’t like 5d, but liked 24a. I think with 22d, the word ‘contains’ is enough to point one in the right direction… Thanks to the setter.

  4. Excellent balance between complex and straightforward clues.
    Got 23a but needed Dave’s explanation. Thanks.
    I knew carthorse was an anagram but never come across Hart Score (2d).

  5. Don’t know if it’s me this week but again I find todays crossword solvable with a bit of effort but not quite enjoyable, I had to look up the name of the film and the cartoonist, what is wrong with me, i am thrilled that i am finishing crosswords these days, albeit still with lots of ‘help’, i don’t ever see the day coming that i will finish one without but is that really important?? :) first to go in 22d, nearly went wrong with 15d, almost putting ‘sign of cross’ !
    always thought 11a, was treaties?? never heard treatises but then there are lots of things I’ve never heard :)

        1. I know. I grew up with five siblings, and more than half the family were Liverpool supporters. That’s why I escaped and now live “down south”.

      1. Yep, me too mary!!! Although I can now recall the original film starring Hayley Mills .. the year I left school!

  6. Although I had the satisfaction of completing it, it was, somehow, disappointing.

    I thought 5d & 12d were terrible clues. Where they even cryptic? Got 13a from the definition. Didn’t really get the rest until I read the blog.

    23a. Too contrived for such a simple answer.

    4a. I’ve given up moaning about anagram indicators. I now work on the assunption that if it looks as though it might be one, it probably is. So, accepting “flicks” as as one, I thought this was a good clue.

    Also, really liked 14a. And today wasn’t wasted, as I learnt a new phrase – in 23d.

  7. It is getting harder to critisize any of the current puzzles, Is it because :-
    a I am getting better
    b The setters are getting better
    c a combination of the two
    Todays was again enjoyable apart from the little sneaky bit of french the seyyer managed to put in
    Alors! cest toujours le meme. J’espere que une jour il y a une mots croises n’avec pas les mots etranger !
    Desole Libellule

  8. Strangely I found myself accelerating through this from what I thought was a shaky start.
    17a was gave for me and agree with the governmental and sign of faith – not the best bit hey-ho!

  9. Enjoyable, fairly standard DT fare with perhaps more than its fair share of ‘old chestnut’ clues given another airing – 8d, 16d, 19d, & 3d maybe. Clue of the day for me was 17a with the clever interplay of another well-known, but contemporary, cartoonist – Michael Heath. Still gave it 4*

  10. Liked it today but needed a nudge on 11a – never heard of it! I smiled at 24a and really struggled to work out how to get the answer from the clue for 23a – thanks for the explanation. Is 12d at all cryptic?

  11. I really enjoyed it but sadly didn’t spot flicks as anagram indicator and got in a dunce’s tiz over n w corner. :( didn’t get 22d either. Still, down in Cornwall for w/e so not all bad except doing all on I pod and fingers too big….

  12. Entirely agree with your initial impression Libellule … ” Some of it is very straightforward, some of it is more complicated, but all in all an enjoyable piece of entertainment.”
    Laughed and then groaned at 15d :SMILE:
    Other favourites, with sound surface reading … 4a, 1d, 2d and 16d.
    Solved 23a from tail of clue, not sure I would have made it from beginning?

  13. Good stuff today. After a slow start, I quickly picked up pace. Favourite clue was 14a. Many thanks to our unknown setter and to Libellule for the notes.

  14. Very average again today, 6 or so on my own, quite a few more from the hints and checking letters, leaving about 3 or 4 unfilled – including the french expression I hadn’t heard off. Might be getting a bit better at these, but still a long way to go.

    Really should browse this site a lot more; looking for the faq on avatars that someone pointed us to yesterday, I discovered where all the smiles come from … :cool:

  15. Pleased today as I finished this in record time for me – I won’t say the time it took but I was very chuffed and clearly on the same wavelength. Have just exercised, colecting the boys from cubs then a glass of nice wine. Lovely. Got stuck on the Quick Crossword though!

  16. my first visit to the blog! Did a google and up it came.
    Struggled to start but mused over a Guines or three. Got bit stuck on top rh corner but your hint for 13a helped out big time.
    Hate 5d. Wheres the cryptic?
    Oh well. Nice to join such a great blog site!!!!

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