DT 26182 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26182

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26182

Hints and tips by Rishi

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

In this neat and gentle crossword by our Monday Maestro I first secured bottom left corner and then bottom right.  The very last to go in were 9a, 10a, 3d and 7d.  For excellent surface reading I like 31a and 20a.  If there is a clue that I don’t like it’s 10a.  Please see comment at appropriate place below.

If you are wondering where my answers are, please highlight the white space within the curly brackets under any clue.

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 Consider changing gear on the road (6)
{REGARD} – Anagram of GEAR plus a two-letter abbreviation for road. Definition: Consider

4a A diet put out for fitness (8)
{APTITUDE} – Anagram of A DIET PUT; ‘out’ is anagram indicator. Definition: fitness

9a Head dancer? (6)
{SALOME} – Name of a dancer – Woman whose dancing beguiled Herod into giving her the head of John the Baptist

Head dancer?

10a Passing place (8)
{DEATHBED} – Cryptic definition for a place when one “passes” (away) – US cryptic crosswords avoid not only offensive words, vulgar words, words relating to bodily functions but even words that might make the solver uncomfortable. I don’t think they have even words pertaining to diseases. However, in my experience UK cryptics are not too squeamish. I think we are mature people who can accept the realities of life. In this light, what is your opinion of the answer-word here?

12a One has a lot of fun with it (4)
{UNIT} – Word sum of most of the word FUN + IT. Definition: one  – Here ‘a lot of fun’ yields not FU but UN. ‘Lot’ here is two letters out of three, so no problem. But do you think that it could be either FU or UN? Or it could only be FU?

13a Has an inclination for debauched men (5)
{RAKES} – double definition – Has an inclination/debauched men

14a Where lies our responsibility (4)
{ ONUS} – Where does our responsibility lie?  Not on him, not on her but … … Fill in the blanks and you get a word that means ‘responsibility’

17a Something bound to appeal to the less affluent readers (5,7)
{CHEAP EDITION} – Cryptic definition; ‘bound’ glancing at book and ‘less affluent’ at financial capability of readers who might buy what comes for a lesser price

20a Way painter treats sitter in a different pose (6,6)
{STREET ARTIST} – Anagram of TREATS SITTER, for someone who is a roadside painter

23a Whaler’s cry of surprise touches sailor (4)
{AHAB} – Word sum of a two-letter word that is a cry of surprise + a two-letter abbreviation for a sailor. The whaler in question is the main character in Melville’s novel Moby Dick.

24a A seat to put in the sun (5)
{STOOL} – Insertion of TO in a name for Sun-God. Definition: ‘a seat’. This sun-god is the same as the one who “through white curtains shot a timorous ray, / And oped those eyes that must eclipse the day” in Pope’s poem ‘The Rape of the Lock.’

A seat

25a Strip off on the Manx shore (4)
{PEEL} – Double definition – Strip off / town on the Isle of Man (Manx) coast

28a Measure appropriate for East Enders (4-4)
{HALF-INCH} – Double definition – A measure / to appropriate or pinch in Cockney rhyming slang

29a Set of six texts put out around the East (6)
{SEXTET} – A single-letter abbreviation for East inserted in an anagram of TEXTS Definition: set of six

30a Suspicion of corrosion after condensation (8)
{MISTRUST} – A word that means ‘condensation’ plus a word that means ‘corrosion’ = a word that means ‘suspicion’

31a I ring boss before arriving at the work-room (6)
{STUDIO} – A word that means ‘boss’ plus I (I) plus O(ring) = a word that means ‘work-room’ which, alas, 20a doesn’t boast of


1d Distribute or secure aid (8)
{RESOURCE} – Anagram of OR SECURE. ‘Distribute’ is the anagram indicator, while the definition is ‘aid’

2d Swift traveller (8)
{GULLIVER} – Reference to the name of the character in a novel by Jonathan Swift. The book is about the person’s travels. – ‘Swift traveller’ – Though I had no difficulty in getting the answer, I am not quite happy with this clue. “Rapid writer (5)” can lead to SWIFT. But I am afraid “Swift traveller” cannot lead to GULLIVER; only “Swift’s traveller” can.

Swift traveller?

3d It is a swindle to put a penny on farm butter (4)
{RAMP} – Word sum of a word for a farm animal, one that ‘butts’ + an abbreviation for ‘penny’. Definition: swindle. – As per conventions, in a Down clue when you put A on B, it is AB So I am not sure if “a penny on farm butter” can give RAMP.

5d Nearest point at sea for the launch (12)
{PRESENTATION} – Anagram of NEAREST POINT; anagram indicator is ‘at sea’; definition: launch

6d A preposition — one not out of order (4)
{INTO} – I (one) + anagram of NOT = an example of a preposition

7d Straighten things out and become more friendly (6)
{UNBEND} – double definition – Straighten things out / become more friendly

8d The son most likely to succeed? (6)
{ELDEST} – There is an order where each second stands heir to the first, to use a Shakespearean phrase; an order in succession in which this son is most likely to succeed.

11d Supporters of wicked things (12)
{CANDLESTICKS} – ‘wicked things’ here are not ‘evil things’. Each of them has a wick. And we need a word for holders of these things.

Supporters of the 'wicked'

15d Turn taps a quarter and get a flood (5)
{SPATE} – Anagram of TAPS + a compass point = a flood

16d Meals provided for the directors (5)
{BOARD} – Double definition – (provision of) meals / (group of) directors

18d Governed, having been shown the way (8)
{DIRECTED} – Double definition – Governed / having been shown the way

19d Such ladies’ shoes were impressive (8)
{STILETTO} – ‘Impressive’ meaning ‘making an impression on’. The answer word is a kind of shoes whose heels, pointed as they are, could make a dent on loose soil.

'Impressive' show

21d Disorder for a month on the border (6)
{MAYHEM} – Word sum – the name of a month + a word that means ‘border’ = disorder

22d Change planes in Italy (6)
{NAPLES} – Anagram of PLANES for a place name in Italy

26d A row in the amphitheatre (4)
{TIER} – ‘Row’ here is not in the sense of a fight. What is the word for a row in an amphitheatre or gallery?

27d You wouldn’t credit it! (4)
{DEBT} -It is something that you still owe someone. You are yet to settle it!

What is your view on questions that I have raised above (shown in italics)? Do leave a Comment.

61 comments on “DT 26182

  1. Very nice puzzle from Rufus today. I would have completed it a lot more quickly if my initial answer to 7d had not been “unwind” which fits both the wordplay and the definition. Favourite clue was 20a. Many thanks to Rufus for the entertainment and Rishi for the notes.

      1. You will notice that 7d was among the last of my entries. I solved it only after I got B from 10a.

      2. Thirdeded!
        It might be easier to ask who DIDN’T but unwind in!.
        Another good start to the week from Rufus. I missed the ‘wicked’ reference for ages!
        I liked 28a as well

        1. would anyone read ‘wicked’ as its meant to be in this clue? I have never heard it used liked this or read it anywhere, I am sure it must be a word but……..? a candle is wicked, naughty candle!

        2. I’ve seen this one so often that I only have to check whether the answer is candleabra or the answer in this crossword.

        3. I didn’t, but only because Chambers online thesaurus gave me ‘unbend’ instead of ‘unwind’!

    1. I wasn’t completely happy with ‘unwind’ – it means relax in oneself, not ‘get more friendly’. ‘Unbend’ is a much better fit – as in ‘he unbent towards him’

  2. Thanks for tips Rishi, must say I didn’t enjoy this one today, lots I thought obscure, need your help for at least a quarter of it, by the way the answer for 13a, is showing inside the bracket, liked 14a and 27a, not sure about rest of CC today, maybe I’m just in the wrong frame of mind today, lets get out in the fresh air and sunshine :)

    1. No i’m with you Mary, another poor one for the CC. Started off well but would never have got 11d or 17a in a month of Sundays. Personally I loved 10a, thought it was so clever. Mind you I would have got further had I put Resource instead of Recourse DOH! Finished it (with help) but not an enjoyable puzzle for me.
      I think someone at the DT has taken exception to the CC judging by the fare of recent days.

  3. Relaxing and easy after the W/E puzzles. Favourites were / are 31a, 10a and 14a

  4. One of the perils of multi-user access is that I managed to update this post at the same time that Rishi was adding some observations, which resulted in them not appearing in the originally published version. I have added them back in (in italics).

    I would like to add one further observation of my own:

    In 19d does the clue not lead to the plural of the answer – stilettos?

    1. I don’t think so!

      I believe that “Sort of”, “Kind of”, “Such” in clues allude to an adjective that qualifies a noun. So “such shoes” will be only STILETTO.

      1. I have to disagree, Rishi. “Such a shoe” would be “stiletto”, but “such shoes” must be “stilettos”.

    2. I was just about to comment on this, Dave. With LADIES’ and SHOES, the answer has to be in the plural.

      1. It depends on whether you’re using stiletto as an adjective (when stiletto is ok, as in “stiletto heels”) or a noun (in which case it has to be in the plural).
        I was curious as to why the clue is in the past tense (“were”). Surely ladies haven’t stopped wearing them?

  5. Not a happy bunny today, not only did I fall into the 7d trap, but I also put in recourse at 1d. So this took way longer than it should have done. Tant pis as they say.

    1. .. Just read your comment before finishing the crossword. Sounds like I need to delete recourse. Maybe that’s why I still have 9a and 17a left!

    2. Can I sign up to that club as well!
      Fortunately I had my eye on Cheap so u didn’t get held up for long!

  6. Favourite clues 21d and 28a – don’t want to be sound smug(not much!) but got 7d right first time!!

  7. I can’t understand why so many were fooled by 7d?? “Unwind” never occurred to me. If something needs straightened, it must be bent. “Unbent” was, therefore, the first word that came to my mind. “Unwind” means to relieve stress or relax, doesn’t it? I suppose if you relax, you may then become more friendly, but not necessarily.

    I thought tha 10a was a good clue, and didn’t make me uncomfortable!! I also thouth that 11d was very clever and the clue of the day, for me.

  8. Nothing to be affronted about at all re ‘deathbed’. They must have some boring puzzles in US if they are so restricted! Not to mention difficulties in compiling.

    ‘Wicked’ as in candles seems to recur frequently…

    I suppose ‘Swift Traveller’ can mean Swift’s Traveller q.v. Dickens heroine, Austen hero etc.

    Harder than usual today for a Monday.

  9. It seems that only Chambers recognises Ramp as meaning swindle but only as slang. Can’t help feeling that this is a poor clue. Certainly the Oxford Dict doesn’t give such a sloppy definition.

    1. My copy of The Concise Oxford Dictionary has the ‘swindle’ meaning for ‘ramp’.

  10. Just to be different, I had “unfold” for 7d – unwind never occurred to me (fortunately)

    A stiletto will do far more than make an impression on loose soil by the way! Even relatively hard vinyl floors can suffer.

  11. Does putting both unwind and recourse in first qualify me for the CC? Not sure about singular stiletto but I really liked 11d – I can’t recall seeing wicked used in that way before. Good start to the week

    1. If it does the doors to the CC will be bursting today, just as well its nice & sunny :)

  12. I really liked this crossword, especially 10a. As soon as I got this one, I straightened out 7d!

  13. Enjoyable crossword today, I particularly liked 9a and 11d. Great review Rishi.

  14. I’ve surprised myself by completing all but half-a-dozen or so – and a good half of them without the hints.

    Annoyed with myself that I failed on 11d, having misread ‘wicked’ in the same way before now; sometimes we live but don’t learn … And I just cannot believe that I missed 22d as an anagram!! Didn’t get 10a, despite having the B in place; no problem here with the word.

    Thanks for the review.

  15. 17a Is cheap edition a common phrase or one that has been thought up for the benefit of the puzzle ?
    I have not heard it used often if ever.
    Overall an enjoyable start to the week

    1. I have heard the expression although..”.fiction” also fitted!
      Also not keen on the resource/ recourse anagram alternatives and unwind/ unbend bit…
      How is 26ac cryptic?
      It all seemed a bit “looser” than usual.

      1. Chris,
        I have also heard the phrase “cheap edition” usually applied to Victorian novels. I suppose if the phrase was used now it would be “airport edition” :-). I would agree with you re. “looser”, to me this crossword seemed somewhat sloppy.

        1. CHEAP EDITION is (or shall I say was) a common phrase.

          As marketing personnel became more savvy (that’s double v for you), they must have coined some better phrase.

          In any case, I wish to report that it’s recorded in The Modern Crossword Dictionary by Norman G. Pulsford (Pan, 1967).

          The phrase must have been used in old puzzles.

  16. 7d was one of the first to go in and I didn’t fall into the trap but I DID put recourse for 1 down which caused all sorts of problems with 9a and 17a because 12a was still working. Today’s seemed an odd mix of very hard and blindingly obvious. I couldn’t believe 26d and tried to find another answer….. I did like 21d and 30a but I expect that’s because I’m a naive beginner.

  17. Completely off-topic for the crossword, but I see that the page-view counter on the right of the site, went through the 1 million mark today. Well done BD.

    1. Prolixic,
      Ta for that – was expecting it very soon. Congrats to all o/ ……

    2. Well done to Big Dave and his team – that is quite an achievement in such a short time. It is thanks to everyone that we can enjoy the fruits of their harvest.

      Thank you.

      1. ditto above, well done and thanks, it is down to BD and ‘friends’ that I am enjoying my crosswords so much :)

  18. Very pleasant start to the week – not at all difficult. I thought that many of the clues for the shorter words were good.
    Re 10a, Rishi, I agree that many US citizens are much more prudish than the average Brit – not always however. They probably didn’t like George Formby!
    The best for me were 20a & 11d.

    We had more snow last night – the winter is not yet over!

  19. A quick note to thank Rishi for his usual excellent blog, and for all the comments – they always make interesting reading, if not always complimentary! They keep me on my toes. Today has made me think the phrase “cheap edition” is rather out-of-date and not to be used again. Thanks to all!

  20. Not quite done today – 9a and 10a stumped me. Enjoyable challenge for the Monday morning commute in and out.

  21. Mary, I live across the North Sea in Nederland (The Netherlands). I am a long-term expat!
    I do the cryptic crosswords to refresh my English – all languages go rusty if you don’t use them.

  22. Really enjoyed this puzzle although I, too, have not come across ‘cheap edition’ and had ‘fiction’, which threw me with 11d. Having said that, I am not sure I would have got that anyway…

  23. I too liked this one though spent ages trying to fit evil into 11d before I got checks – still a newbie to all this. Was left with 5 at the end so thanks Rishi for the review :-)

  24. Managed all but 2 today and enjoyed doing it. I asked one of the dancers at work for help on 9a and it is little wonder she couldn’t help me!

  25. On the whole I found it fun and frustrating in equal measure.

    On clues like 26D and 11D I think it’s a case of swings and roundabouts. Until reading this website it never occurred to me to read “wicked” as “having a wick”, whereas I read “row” in 26D as a tier in the first reading and so thought it too literal to be the answer. I’m sure that others saw CANDLESTICKS straightaway.

    On the point about DEATHBED and what should be included, I suspect that while society is broadly agreed on which words are offensive, vulgar, relate to bodily functions etc. how would we begin to define “words that might make the solver uncomfortable”? Even if I came from a relative’s deathbed to this crossword I still wouldn’t care at all that deathbed was the answer, but perhaps others might, it’s just impossible to say.

    I don’t post often (second time!) but I’d just like to thank to all the contributers to this blog, it’s fantastic not to have to leave the crossword frustratingly half done, especially when you’re sure you’re half way to the answer but just can’t quite get it, like in the “good old days”…


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