DT 26179 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26179

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26179

Hints and tips by Libellule

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment **

I don’t expect much use of my hints today as this is certainly the easiest crossword of the week by far.
One of the stars for enjoyment is for 17a. One of the stars not given for enjoyment belongs to 16d.

If you disagree of agree with some of my thoughts, please leave a comment.

As usual if you wish to see the answer rather than the hint, all you have to do is highlight the space between the curly brackets.


1. Frantically fan the heir of a German physicist (10)
{FAHRENHEIT} – An anagram (frantically) of FAN THE HEIR is a German physicist and engineer who determined a temperature scale that is now named after him.

6. The ‘flower’ of my eye (4)
{IRIS} – Double definition.

9. Chemical firm’s no good in the cake-topping business (5)
{ICING} – Imperial Chemical Industries and N (no) G (good).

10. Discard policeman with sound descendants … (9)
{SUPERSEDE} – Another word for to set aside in favour of another (for example) is constructed from the informal short form of Superintendent (policeman) and is then followed by a word that sounds like seed (descendants)

12. …or an exceptional constable (7)
{SPECIAL} – A part-time volunteer constable could also be exceptional.

13. Nuclear reaction after ruthenium is extracted, unpolluted (5)
{CLEAN} – Remove the chemical symbol for ruthenium from nuclear, and then anagram (reaction) it to find another word for unpolluted.

15. Perhaps one of the eight soars Manchester for a while (7)
{OARSMAN} – One of the eight in this case is one in a rowing crew. You can find the answer hidden between the words soars and Manchester. Not the best surface reading.

17. Doctor starting at Cambridge University locates a bloodsucker (7)
{DRACULA} – Best clue in the crossword for me – I loved the surface reading. DR (Doctor), the first letters (starting) of Cambridge University, locates and then A, is a famous bloodsucker first created by Bram Stoker. I wonder if Dr. John Seward went to Cambridge University?

19. Amenity creates a ‘whenever’ moment (7)
{ANYTIME} – The definition is “a whenever moment”, and the answer is an anagram (creates) of AMENITY.

21. Order military leader with gallantry award a new date (7)
{COMMAND} – The abbreviation for Commanding Officer, then the abbreviation for Military Medal, A, and then finally the abbreviations for new and date. When put together you should find another word for order.

22. Soldier very nearly became a donor (5)
{GIVER} – The common term for an American soldier is followed by VER(y) with the Y removed (nearly).

24. Resemble audibly the anchorman (7)
{COMPARE} – Another word for to liken or represent as similar sounds like (audibly) compere (anchorman).

27. However, began leaving Orient by road south (9)
{LEASTWAYS} – An uncommon or dialect word for however is made up from the first letter (began) of L(eaving), followed by another word for the Orient, then WAY (road) and finally S (south).

28. Extinguished and ran out (5)
{ENDED} – Double definition.

29. Subsidiary angle (4)
{SIDE} – Another double definition (but only just, angle is a synonym of side), as an adjective it can mean subsidiary, but as a noun it can mean a line or surface forming part of a boundary, so if a side was at an oblique I guess it would be at an angle.

30. Think again since order re-established (10)
{RECONSIDER} – An anagram (re-established) of SINCE ORDER for a word that can mean to have second thoughts.


1. Honest blonde! (4)
{FAIR} – Double definition.

2. Pelt with wet lacquer (9)
{HAIRSPRAY}- Pelt here is actually referring to an animal skin, follow this SPRAY (wet) and you have something usually used by women to hold in place something found on the tops of their heads.

3. National emblem well under par of course (5)
{EAGLE} – This American symbol is also a score of two strokes less than par on a hole at golf.

4. She is an eccentric in cloth (7)
{HESSIAN} – An anagram (eccentric) of SHE IS AN is a cloth made of jute.

5. Rascal and two other boys ran through (7)
{IMPALED} – IMP (rascal) followed by two shortened boys names provides a word that means to pierce with something pointed.

7. Bailiff partook in sombre evening (5)
{REEVE} – You can find a old word for a bailiff or steward between the words sombre and evening. This person is also the teller of the third story in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales.

8. Severe ward sister’s first to the rear (10)
{STERNWARDS} – STERN (severe), then WARD, and the first letter of S(isters) is a word usually used to mean to the rear of a ship. Its very rare that you actually see the same word used in the answer also in the clue as part of the wordplay, and usually when you do it’s a mistake. But here it looks deliberate because of the surface reading.

11. Recall staggering miracle (7)
{RECLAIM} – An anagram (staggering) of MIRACLE.

14. Louisiana location in California (3,7)
{LOS ANGELES} – The abbreviation for Louisiana is also an abbreviation for a large city in California.

16. ‘Was May grey’, asked the detective? (7)
{MAIGRET} – A sounds like clue (asked) of ‘Was May Grey’ is the famous detective in Georges Simenon’s novels.

18. A French Assembly Member stopped and left it as it was (9)
{UNAMENDED} – The French masculine form of A followed by AM (an Assembly Member of the National Assembly for Wales) and then ENDED (stopped) for a word usually associated with not changing legislation.

20. Territory for 150 in Eastern part of church (7)
{ENCLAVE} – Put the Roman numerals for 150 inside E (eastern) and another word for the main part of a church and you have a piece of territory that is entirely enclosed within a foreign territory.

21. Revives hits (5,2)
{COMES TO} – A double definition, to awaken, or to arrive at.

23. Found item of food by way of starting new dish (5)
{VIAND} – If you add an extra E to the answer you would have the French word for meat. The word in English just means an article of food. You can derive the answer from the word play by putting the first (starting) letters of N(ew) and D(ish) after another word that means through or by way of. Why does this clue start with Found? Not only is it unecessary, but it actually moves the definition “item of food” into the middle of the clue.

25. Declares a verse is shortened (5)
{AVERS} – The definition is “declares”, remove the final E (shorten) from A VERSE.

26. American perfume’s socially unacceptable smell (4)
{ODOR} – For this to work, you need to know that U is a commonly used adjective for socially acceptable in crosswords. Chambers defines it as follows – “(of words, behaviour, etc) as used by or found among the upper classes, hence socially acceptable. So if something was socially unacceptable one would assume that it is non U. So you need to remove U from another word for smell, and you are left with the American spelling for the original word.

48 comments on “DT 26179

  1. It didn’t do much for me i’m sorry to say… I found it somewhat lackluster and unexciting. Maybe others will derive some pleasure from it. Hopefully the Toughie today is better!

  2. Have to agree with you Libellule, not the zenith of DT cryptic crosswords. There were a handful of nice clues (17a being the best), but it was let down by some scrappy ones with poor surface readings (15a) and some lazy cluing (8d).

  3. Sorry folks today for me was a good day nearly qualified to leave the CC but not quite got stuck on 8d!! never mind, 9 mths ago I wouldn’t have been able to get halway through this, so progress indeed :)

  4. Thanks for blog Libellule it is always good to read the explainations afterwards, I still don’t understand why the ‘hits’ is in 21d?

    1. Mary,
      21d is a double definition. The answer can mean both to awaken, and to arrive at e.g. A thought came to me. In the second definition it could be the same as if a thought hit you….

      1. Ah, I can see it like that ………thanks Libellule, off out to enjoy the sunshine once more, it has been an amazing week here in West Wales, how about your part of the world?

  5. Hi Libellule

    Yes, an easy puzzle today but after some tough ones (Sunday, Monday and Tuesday) it was nice to have an easy one to complete before tomorrow’s weekly challenge from Giovanni (which I always look forward to).

    I agree with you about 17a – what a great clue!

  6. Ditto those above. Nothing scintillating.
    17a was favourite for me.
    I didn’t really like the ended crossing with ended in the SE corner.

  7. I realized this was an easy one early on and completed all but five. That in itself was satisfying, but I wouldn’t say it was enjoyable, as some of the clues struck me as poor.

    Thanks for explaining some of my guesses, Libellule! Have to agree with your views of 17a and 16d. Didn’t get 23d as I supposed ‘dish’ or ‘new dish’ was the definition.

  8. I quite enjoyed doing the crossword, not sure why everyone gets so pent up.

    However, I always feel a little confused with clues like 26a. The answer could either be with the the 5th letter as an ‘a’ or an ‘e’. It wasnt until I got 25d that it was solved.

  9. Agree with all the comments . I hope Jezza is faring better with the toughie than I am.It was like moving from the Sun quickie to the Telegraph .So far have managed about half so could do with some help please.

    1. LB
      I too am waiting to see the Toughie blog… By no means easy today, and still have a few voids in the grid!!

  10. Without doubt the easiest for many a week, but is that necessarily a bad thing?
    At times it’s a welcome change to be able to sail through a puzzle without over exciting the little grey cells.
    Agreed some of the clues were indifferent, but generally a pleasant solve, and one for the CC to enjoy?

  11. Shouldn’t moan really, but that has to be 1* for difficulty. There is no logic to the CluedUp ratings sometimes, which had this one at 4* in both categories. I would have to say too easy for any ‘broadsheet’-style Cryptic by some distance.
    Plus some poorish clues. 15a – as you say, Libuelle, very poor surface reading. Doesn’t make sense. 16d – terrible.
    Maybe the DT crossword has been contracted out to the public sector, hopefully for 1 day only……..

  12. I disagree, Libellule, with your comment on 23d. I think ‘Found’ in the surface reading works very well. An easy crossword today, not always a bad thing for us middling amateurs!

    1. Weetie,
      It might improve the surface reading, but the addition of it moves the definition into the middle of the clue, and it is normal for a clue definition to be either at the start or the end. Perhaps you missed that?

      1. I didn’t miss it, Libellule, I didn’t know it!
        That’s why I love this blog…I learn something new everyday.

    2. exactly Weetie, we need encouragement now and again, a good day for us we can feel a liitle more confident going into tomorrows Giovanni! :)

  13. I understand the comments of the more experienced crossword solvers but for newbies, this sort of crossword now and then is really encouraging. I’ve struggled all week (especially on Monday, of which I only managed half) so it was refreshing not to feel like the dunce of the class today!

    1. Totally agree – whilst it’s good to stretch the mind on the tougher ones it’s great to have one that I have a chance of finishing (I did – all but one!) The last two days were really tough for me! Must agree with some of the comments though, the surface reading of 15a was terrible – made no sense at all. :-/

    1. Wasn’t Jack Seward a character in Dracula who carried a Bowie knife? Bowie as in David Bowie perhaps?

      1. He studied asylum patients close to Dracula’s uk home.
        I think he recorded them on a new-fangled gramaphone contrivance, pop pickers!

        1. Cheers gnomethang, I had forgotten the details, it must be 30 or 40 years since I last read Stoker, I must dig a copy out and read it again.

      2. Bigboab,
        He is – think Lucy Westenra, and all is obvious :-) I don’t think the setter considered this when the clue was set – but this is why its so good!

  14. Appalling.

    Los Angeles is NOT an abbreviation for Louisiana and this clue is a disgrace.

    Who on earth compiled this one?

    1. Peter
      LA is the official abbreviation for the state of Louisiana and is the unofficial way of referring to the city of Los Angeles.

  15. Found 28a and 26d rather weak but overall pretty mundane. 2* and finished quicker than the Quickie.

  16. Quickly done today in under 40 minutes!
    Best clues for me were 17a , 3d, 8d & 16d.
    Incidentally, Libellule, anyone who has played billiards or snooker knows that side leads to an angle – 29a.

  17. I’ve noticed on the traffic feed that there are lots of American visitors to this site. Are these ex-pats that get the crossword via the internet? Do cryptic crosswords follow the same style in the US- i’m only asking because I thought this style was particular to the UK.

    1. Jo

      There is a lot of interest in British puzzles in the US. One enthusiast told me that he had learned about cricket just to be able to cope with the large number of clues that involve the terminology.

      I am also very pleased at the amount of interest from India, particularly since Rishi, who lives in Chennai, started blogging the Monday puzzles.

  18. Quite often, I struggle to finish a crossword so maybe I should learn about cricket too!

    1. I know about cricket and still can’t finish the puzzles. The answer lies elsewhere, alas!

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