DT 26184

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26184

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

A very straightforward puzzle today. With a little persistence this one should be achievable by the average solver.

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    Transport vehicles for people who teach theatre? (12)
{STAGE COACHES} – these old-fashioned vehicles could also be people who teach acting

9a    Short trousers? Soft soap (7)
{FLANNEL} – a double definition – the first definition has the word “short” because this word is plural when referring to trousers, so you need to drop the final “S”

10a    Withdraw from competition through injury (7)
{SCRATCH} – another double definition!

11a    Allotment next to old address (7)
{ORATION} – put an allotment, or share, after O(ld) to get an address, or speech

12a    One does wrong pinching money from bowler (7)
{SPINNER} – someone who breaks one of the Ten Commandments is placed around (pinching) a P(enny) to get a bowler

13a    Admission by one on guard duty losing head (5)
{ENTRY} – a synonym for admission comes from someone on guard duty without the first letter (losing head)

14a    Single bursary (post 2001) for one coming in to settle (9)
{IMMIGRANT} – put together I (single) and then a bursary after (post) MMI (2001 in Roman numerals) and you get someone coming into a country to settle

16a    Drinks finally appear during serving of upmarket meat dish (4,5)
{RUMP STEAK} – insert S (drinkS finally) inside an anagram (serving) of UPMARKET to get a tasty meat dish

19a    Rumours of depression arrive from such a doctor (5)
{LOCUM} – this deputy doctor sounds like low (depression) and come (arrive)

21a    About to get a bite, fishing (7)
{CASTING} – a charade of C (Circa / about) A and a bite from, say, an insect gives a word meaning throwing a fishing-line or net into the water – being pedantic, I’m not sure that this word on its own means fishing rather than an action taken while fishing

23a    Land by water for treating disease (7)
{SEASIDE} – this land beside water is an anagram (treating) of DISEASE

24a    Object lesson that was once sufficient (7)
{EXAMPLE} – an object lesson that is a charade of EX (was once) and a word meaning sufficient

25a    Mean gas might be on one? — good (7)
{IGNOBLE} – a synonym for mean, as in dishonourable, is derived by placing a NOBLE gas (gas might be) after (on) I (one and G(ood) – for some reason “on” means after in an across clue and before in a down clue; while I subscribe to the latter I still dislike the former

26a    Hear terror is spreading — could one replace locks? (4,8)
{HAIR RESTORER} – an anagram (spreading) of HEAR TERROR IS gives something that could replace locks and tresses


1d    Perhaps the Med left worker a protective coat (7)
{SEALANT} – a body of water (perhaps the Mediterranean) followed by L(eft) and our ubiquitous worker leads to a substance used as a coat to prevent the passage of water

2d    A night in Paris covered by city pension (7)
{ANNUITY} – A is followed by the French for night placed inside (covered by) New York (city) to get a pension, or guaranteed payment

3d    Wild rose in elegant setting (9)
{EGLANTINE} – this wild rose is an anagram (setting) of IN ELEGANT

4d    Ring roads surround area for such houses in Kent (5)
{OASTS} – take O (ring) and abbreviated streets (roads) and place them around A(rea) to get these kilns used to dry hops that are features of the Kent countryside

5d    Complaining of high pitched noise under vehicle (7)
{CARPING} – a word meaning complaining is a charade of a high-pitched noise under (as it’s a down clue) a motor vehicle – the hyphen that should be placed between high and pitched has gone AWOL!

6d    Country dancing is at one (7)
{ESTONIA} – this country that borders the Baltic Sea is an anagram (dancing) of IS AT ONE

7d    Crazy girl going cool over musician boyfriend? (3,4,6)
{OFF ONE’S ROCKER} – this phrase meaning crazy could also mean that a girl’s relationship with her leather-clad boyfriend has cooled

8d    Whisky perhaps diluted gets you easily riled (5,8)
{SHORT TEMPERED} – a small measure of whisky, or other spirit, is followed by a word meaning diluted, or weakened, to get a phrase meaning easily riled

15d    Temporary move by brand (9)
{MAKESHIFT} – a word meaning temporary is a charade of a synonym for to move after a brand of goods

17d    A mark covered by mother’s cosmetic (7)
{MASCARA}- A then a mark left after an injury is put inside (covered by) MA (mother) to get a cosmetic used for colouring for the eyelashes

18d    The master initially served smoked herring (7)
{SKIPPER} – the master of, say, a fishing boat is built up from S (initially Served) and a smoked herring

19d    Student left job that pays (7)
{LEARNER} – this student is a combination of L(eft) and a nice little job that pays

20d    One might aspire to go after social type of plant (7)
{CLIMBER} – put this word after social and you have someone that aspires to become accepted into a higher social stratum, on its own it’s a type of plant

22d    Diver born into mainly environmentally-friendly surroundings (5)
{GREBE} – this diving bird is constructed by putting B(orn) inside (into … surroundings) most of (mainly) a word meaning environmentally-friendly

Another of Jay’s Telegraph puzzles that should make a lot of people happy!



  1. gnomethang
    Posted March 10, 2010 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    Agrred with BD’s assessment. Nice and straightforward with a couple of areas requiring a bit of thought. I liked 8d, 22d and 26a.
    Thanks BD and Jay.

  2. Prolixic
    Posted March 10, 2010 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    A nice puzzle from Jay today. Favourite clues were 2d and 6d.

    In relation to 21a, I was happy with the definition as fishing can be equivalent to casting as in “fishing/casting for compliments” (or maybe I’m the only one who uses the word casting in this way!

    For 25a, one of the definitions of “on” in Chambers is “just after” so A on B means A just after B. I can live with this though this was the last clue I put in place so it may not be a terribly clear usage of “on”.

  3. Nora
    Posted March 10, 2010 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    I whizzed through this one today – I even got it done before Big Dave posted his hints!

  4. Geoff
    Posted March 10, 2010 at 11:58 am | Permalink

    Some fine clues and I rather enjoyed this one, but with 5 that I didn’t get, even with the hints, I’m still in the CC and not yet an ‘average solver’!

    Thanks for the ever-helpful review.

    • mary
      Posted March 10, 2010 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

      glad of the company Geoff, I have been here over 9 months now and still no sign of leaving :)

  5. Vince
    Posted March 10, 2010 at 11:58 am | Permalink

    For some reason, I found it hard to get started, but once I did, I found it was fairly easy.

    I agree, Dave, re the missing hyphen in 5d, but doesn’t the same apply to the answer of 8d?

    Liked 26a & 2d.

    • Posted March 10, 2010 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

      Yes it does – I meant to check that one as well, but forgot!

    • Posted March 10, 2010 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

      I dug this up:

      Hyphens should be used to link the words in compound adjectives. (A compound adjective is one that comprises more than one word, e.g., ten-storey building or never-to-be-forgotten experience.)

  6. Mark J
    Posted March 10, 2010 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    My best in a while, just four short before needing help. Thought 3d was rather specialist, but it taught me something new…

    • Posted March 10, 2010 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

      It’s one to remember for the future as it’s the only word that fits the pattern E?L?N?I?E.

      • gnomethang
        Posted March 10, 2010 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

        Yup, I dragged the definition back from previous crosswords roses.

  7. Wigwag
    Posted March 10, 2010 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    Yes, very straightforward, but still very enjoyable as it was the first puzzle I’ve completed without any hints since I took this up a couple of months ago. Huzzah :)

    • Posted March 10, 2010 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

      Congratulations Wigwag – we love hearing stories like that.

  8. LB
    Posted March 10, 2010 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

    Quite enjoyable .Liked 26a and 8d.
    Bit of a gripe with 12a as when one first reads it ,it seems to say pinch money from bowler i.e. remove the p from a type of bowler.I only say this as I started filling it in as a wrongdoer .I know, counting the letters might have helped.

    • gnomethang
      Posted March 10, 2010 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

      Tripped me up for a bit as well but I eventually rationalised it in the way that BD explained it.

  9. Chablisdiamond
    Posted March 10, 2010 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    I know I’m fickle but Jay is now officially my favourite. I whizzed through without any help from anything. Whoop whoop o/ There were, as always, a few that I worked out from vocab. Could someone tell me why gas is noble as I got the answer but didn’t know why.

    • Posted March 10, 2010 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

      Only noble (inert) gasesare noble! It’s a bit like noble metals.

      • Chablisdiamond
        Posted March 10, 2010 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

        Thank you though I’m still not that much wiser!!!! There is obviously a big hole in my education probably because I haven’t done any science since I was 13ish and that’s longer ago than I care to remember……

      • Chablisdiamond
        Posted March 10, 2010 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

        I’m just thinking, is it as in pure and therefore ‘noble’?

        • gnomethang
          Posted March 10, 2010 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

          The noble or inert gases (argon, xenon, helium etc) were so called because when they were discovered it was found that they did not react with anything (particularly not the base metals!!) . I assume that they were likened to royalty not mixing with the hoi-polloi.

          • Chablisdiamond
            Posted March 10, 2010 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

            Thank you. That’s very elucidating. Much appreciated.

      • Shrike1313
        Posted March 10, 2010 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

        Sorry BD – there are Noble metals too:-


        It doesn’t refer to a group in the Periodic Table though.

        • Posted March 10, 2010 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

          I didn’t say there weren’t. I said the group of noble gases were a bit like the noble metals! I did pass A-level Chemistry with an A grade.

          • Shrike1313
            Posted March 10, 2010 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

            Apologies again – didn’t read it properly (A bit like my A level Chemistry paper!) No offense intended.

            • Posted March 10, 2010 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

              None taken!

            • Shrike1313
              Posted March 10, 2010 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

              (wishes there was a delete comment button….)

              • Posted March 10, 2010 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

                There is (on the blog’s dashboard), but it plays havoc with nested comments!

                Don’t worry about it.

  10. Barrie
    Posted March 10, 2010 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

    I’m interested in the comments that this is a straightforward puzzle as I have been totally unable to start it, NOT A SINGLE ANSWER! After completing yesterdays excellent crossword, I am very disappointed in todays. Obviously the compiler and I are on different wavelengths. Mary, how have you got on?
    For me one of the most difficult puzzles in the DT that I have seen for a very long time.

    • Posted March 10, 2010 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

      Looks like you are in a minority so far today, Barrie.

      • Barrie
        Posted March 10, 2010 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

        I know weird isn’t it. I must have my wrong head on today I guess :-)

        • mary
          Posted March 10, 2010 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

          I had my wrong head on yesterday Barrie and have just started this one, must admit am not finding it as easy as most people seem to

          • Chablisdiamond
            Posted March 10, 2010 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

            It’s weird isn’t it? sometimes they just seem to flow seamlessly (well nearly!!!) and others you just can’t get a handle on….

            • mary
              Posted March 10, 2010 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

              I must be going through a ‘bad patch’ Chablis, just as Barrie was determined to get me out of the CC, I have shown him that in no way am i qualified to do so :)

              • Chablisdiamond
                Posted March 10, 2010 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

                I thought you’d already flown the nest last week!!!!

                • mary
                  Posted March 10, 2010 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

                  not got my wings yet Chablis!

    • Shrike1313
      Posted March 10, 2010 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

      I agree with Barrie on this one – must make me below average :( lol

      • mary
        Posted March 10, 2010 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

        me too Shrike, by the way thanks for comment on COW, I am now trying to find the ref. that gave me that clue!

  11. droopyh
    Posted March 10, 2010 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

    Quite easy today and finished without needing a nudge. I liked 2d and 22d best

  12. David Howes
    Posted March 10, 2010 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

    Finished it without to much problem but found it really difficult to get started. Stared at it for a good 10 minutes before anything made sense.

  13. BigBoab
    Posted March 10, 2010 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

    I liked 8d but thought the crossword was a bit on the easy side.

  14. Helen
    Posted March 10, 2010 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

    Took me a while to get going but got down to needing hints with only a group of 4 in top left corner (including 8d which in retrospect was v easy so I’m kicking myself!). I love that I have found this site so when I can’t go any further myself I can still finish!! Thanks.

    • Posted March 10, 2010 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

      We love having you with us, Helen

  15. Mattparry7
    Posted March 10, 2010 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

    Another good day for me but did need a couple of the hints. At the risk of tempting fate, I’m on a roll this week. Very much liked 7d, though could it have been just as valid having a boy go cool over his musician girlfriend? I fear the PC brigade may have finally brainwashed me….

  16. Ann B
    Posted March 10, 2010 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

    Nice Crossword today & finshed without hints before went shopping.
    Now back & starting the toughie!!

  17. Nubian
    Posted March 10, 2010 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

    The puzzle was fine today apart from 8d. Could have got the answer without ‘girl’ and ‘boyfriend’ which just complicated things more.

    • mary
      Posted March 10, 2010 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

      agree with you there Nubian

  18. mary
    Posted March 10, 2010 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

    Sorry Jay, I usually love your puzzles but this one leaves me firmlu in the CC where i obviously belong!

  19. mary
    Posted March 10, 2010 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

    Just don’t understand 12a, I can see what i’m supposed to see but where does the p come in bowler, yes, i know a bowler is a spinner and there is a p in spinner but the clue suggests the ‘money bit’ has to come from the clue somewhere, to help you get the answer and not from the answer itself, unless i am reading this completely wrong?

    • Posted March 10, 2010 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

      S P INNER

      Admittedly the clue is given upside down, suggesting that you get a SINNER by taking P(ence) from a SPINNER

      • mary
        Posted March 10, 2010 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

        that’s what I thought, so the answer to that clue, should be sinner?? :)

        • Posted March 10, 2010 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

          There ought to have been something in the clue to indicate what was happening. I really didn’t think too much about it at the time as the enumeration only leads to one answer, not the other.

  20. Derek
    Posted March 10, 2010 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

    Nice straightforward puzzle from Jay.
    I liked 1a, 19a, 25a & 26a. 7d, 8d, 17d, 18d & 22d.

    btw BD, my final remark yesterday was aimed at “Or ameringue?” 26813.

    • Posted March 10, 2010 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

      It went straight over my head yesterday as well!

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

        Dammit! – I can’t find the Two Ronnies joke on youtube!

  21. Lea
    Posted March 10, 2010 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

    Just got to it and finished it in good time without any hints. Particulalry liked 18d and 26a (last one to go in as I kept thinking of door locks!!). Shows how average I am.

  22. Little Dave
    Posted March 10, 2010 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

    Pleasantly hassle-free and done in one of my best times. PLEASED!

  23. sarumite
    Posted March 10, 2010 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

    Similar to yesterday a fairly gentle puzzle, but again enjoyable with one or two trickier solves.
    Favourite clues 26a and 2d.

  24. GEMINI
    Posted March 11, 2010 at 12:35 am | Permalink

    Really enjoyed this one – the first I’ve done in under 30 minutes (and really, I’m no expert by any means!)

  25. Posted April 2, 2010 at 10:41 am | Permalink

    A last!! This is the first Telegraph Cryptic I have managed to finish with no recourse to hints. I agree with you about 21a. Enjoyed 26a. Last to go was 3d, not being green-fingered, and was a desperate guess that turned out right.