DT 26188 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26188

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26188

Hints and tips by Rishi

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

Today I finished the bottom right quadrant first and then the other three in an anticlockwise direction from there.You can guess how it happened. The eye landed on the last Ac. clue which is an anagram. Reading the Dn. clues for each of which a crossing letter had been obtained got more. And so the whirlijig went.

Usually some reservations are expressed by commenters on this blog about four-letter words but in this crossword most of them should pose no difficulties.

To see any answer, please highlight the white space between the curly brackets under the 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 Deem rent is not right, but settles (10)
{DETERMINES} – Anagram (not right) of DEEM RENT IS. Definition: ‘settles’

9a Girl right at all times (4)
{EVER) – Word sum – Name of a girl + a single letter abbreviation for ‘right’. Definition: at all times

10a Draw stumps in an evenly contested game (5,5)
{CLOSE MATCH} – Double definition – Draw stumps / an evenly contested game. ‘To draw stumps’ is a cricketing term; removing stumps (that form the wicket) denotes closure of play.

11a With a new clue I’d get the mathematician (6)
{EUCLID} – Anagram (new) of CLUE I’D. Definition: ‘mathematician’

12a They may be of untold value (7)
{SECRETS} – Cryptic definition – When somebody tells these things between them, yourself and the doorpost, you should let them remain untold to others. Only then do they have value.

15a Again become invalid or again become an invalid (7)
{RELAPSE} – Cryptic definition – When a subscription ends again or when a person gets another bout of the same disease. Question: When a subscription lapses, you let it go or resubscribe. Where is the question of it ‘relapsing’?

16a Weapon made from spare parts (5)
{SPEAR} – Anagram (made from … parts) of SPARE. Definition: ‘weapon’.

17a Coin a name for a royal governess (4)
{ANNA} – Double definition – coin / a royal governess.   ‘Anna’ is no longer in currency in India.  The film “The King and I” was based on the book “Anna and the King of Siam” by Margaret Landon

18a Old ship with a right to proceed (4)
{ARGO} – Word sum – A (‘a’) + R (‘right’) + a word that means ‘proceed’. Definition: “old ship”.   The Argonauts were those who sailed in this ship in search of the golden fleece.

19a Codeword associated with Juliet (5)
{ROMEO] – Double definition – Codeword (In NATO phontic alphabet, R is for Romeo) / [one who is] associated with Juliet

21a Used in making her kind of pickle? (7)
{GHERKIN} – A “hidden” clue that is really hidden! – letter string in makinG HER KINd’. For definition reread the clu e as a whole.

22a Type of magenta identification label (4-3)
{NAME-TAG} – Anagram (type of) of MAGENTA. Definition: ‘label’. Gateman is yet another anagram.

24a Sign name in a dazed state (6)
{TRANCE} – A single letter abbreviation for ‘name’ in a word that means ‘sign’ (or ‘hint’). Definition: ‘a dazed state’.

27a French writer’s pseudonym (3,2,5)
{NOM DE PLUME} – The French term for a pseudonym. Cryptic definition because it is the pseudonym, not the writer, that is French.

28a Run for water (4)
{RACE} – Double defintion – Run / water (ref. to the Cape?)

29a Not ideal, so may result in ruin (10)
{DESOLATION} – Anagram (may result in) of NOT IDEAL SO. Definition: ‘ruin’.


2d They may be jellied or else cooked (4)
{EELS} – Anagram (cooked) of ELSE; definition: read the clue as a whole.  When jellied these are are delicacy in London’s East End.

3d Bearing blossom in March or April (6)
{EASTER} – A single letter abbreviation for a compass point (bearing, n.) + the name of a flower = a festival that comes in March or April

4d Chaps most upset about ticks (7)
{MOMENTS} – A word that means ‘chaps’ (not ‘jaws’ or ‘cheeks’ but persons of a particular gender having both of these) is encircled by an anagram (upset) of MOST.  Definition: ‘ticks’ – not in the sense of insects but those few short periods as the clock makes sound

5d Money the school raised (4)
{NOTE} – Reversal of the name of a famous school fetches money which may not tingle but might be in a wad.

6d He plans to no good purpose (7)
{SCHEMER} – Cryptic definition for a bad planner.

7d The demon drink? (4,6)
{EVIL SPIRIT} – Cryptic definition. As heavy drinking by a man ruins the family, drinking is indeed portrayed as a demon by government publicists in India while the manufacturers inveigle them with ads in which women models figure.

8d Early form of rock music? Yes! (6,4)
{CRADLE SONG} – An oft-repeated cryptic clue for the music that a mother sings as she gently rocks the cradle to put the baby to sleep (is this expression right? I lost in trying to convince the Reader’s Editor of a local paper that there is nothing wrong with it, he insisting that it should be ‘put to bed’ as ‘put to sleep’ has a different connotation. But that is with a horse or any other animal that is injured and is in great agony)

ARVE Error: need id and provider

12d Dispatches produce merriment on board (10)
{SLAUGHTERS} – Another familiar breakup but the surface reading is excellent. A word for ‘merriment’ inserted in aan abbreviation for steamship. Definition: ‘dispatches’ (noun in surface reading, verb as definition for word required)

13d Document required when handing over a vehicle (10)
{CONVEYANCE} – cryptic and double definition – Document required when handing over a vehicle / vehicle

14d Club that has lofty aims (5)
{SPOON} – Cryptic definition for a kind of golf club that is used for lofty shots.

15d It flies a welcome in the British Fleet (5)
{RAVEN} – A word that means ‘welcome’ , ‘hail’ inserted in an abbreviation for Royal navy. Definition: It flies, that is, it is a bird.

19d I write in red — not green (7)
{RIPENED} – Word sum – I(I), a word that means ‘write’ in RED (red). Definition: ‘not green’, that is, ‘not raw’. Good surface reading.

20d Porridge going round at breakfast, say? (7)
{OATMEAL} – Word sum – O (‘round’) + AT (at) + a word for food taken at one time (‘breakfast,say’) = a word for ‘porridge’

23d Little creature of high birth (6)
{EAGLET} – Cryptic definition for the young of a bird that is born in nests on high cliffs

25d One member’s naughty children (4)
{IMPS} – Word sum – I(one) + a two-letter abbreviation for a Member of Parliament + ’s (ignoring the apostrophe). Whether the member was naughty in producing them, we don’t know.

26d Short of ammunition (4)
{AMMO} – Cryptic definition. An abbreviation of the word rather than any shortage of material.

[Don’t blame Rishi for the embellishments, particularly the YouTube video – that was me! BD]

65 comments on “DT 26188

    1. Thanks, Jezza.
      I am fixing it.
      Today I had some problem with my computer: the cursor had taken on a life of its own and was moving hither and thither even when my hand was off the mouse!

  1. Rishi, I think in 8d ‘Get the baby OFF to sleep might be, ahem, kinder!
    Thanks for the review – a nice gentle start to the week – classic Rufus.

  2. Nice review, Rishi. I think that 28a could be an all-in-one, since Chambers has for race “a channel bringing water to or from a millwheel”.

  3. thanks Rishi for such an early blog, today i started off at quite a pace, then stopped abruptly, just one of those crosswords I knew I wouldn’t be able to complete if i sat here all day, liked 7d, 13d (though i didn’t solve it without your help) would never have got 12d or several others, it is such a lovely day here today, it would have been a shame to sit here racking my brain and waste all the sunshine, good luck everyone, personally, i thought it tough with a few all too easy clues :)

    1. Mary
      I agree with you… I rattled through most of these, but got stuck on 13d, 17a, and 28a. I sort of lost enthusiasm at this point, and just wanted it finished. Enjoy the sunshine, it is lovely here in SW London!

    2. Morning Mary, found the same as you, as the saying goes would have more chance of knitting fog than solving 12d!
      Also I thought when you handed over a vehicle it was the log book that went with it, always associated conveyancing with house sales. Thought today was bit silly with some puerile clues mixed with some real esoteric ones. Not the best Monday I’m afraid.

  4. A classsic Rufus crossword, gentle, well clued, fair and a few smiles. Favourite clues were 12d and 19d. Having said this, I raced through this one today (it was not even a two stopper) and I felt curiously unsatisfied – which is unusual for me with a Rufus crossword.

    On reflection, it felt as though I was redoing a crossword I had solved sometime before. Perhaps there were a larger number of stock favourite clues and solutions in this puzzle and fewer ah! moments as a result. This is not to detract from the quality of the clues themselves, more that there was more than a sense of déjà vu for me when solving it.

  5. Thanks for blog Rishi,
    Sometimes clues get me really annoyed,I know cryptic is supposed to be cryptic but 17a, a four letter word based on an out of use Indian coin and a novel/film that has probably only been seen or read by anyone over 50 is pushing the barriers of credibility.

    General knowledge is one thing but sometimes I despair. I mean it is generally known in the Northumberland what a ‘hinny’ is but if I use it in a crossword eg ‘My pregnant sheep’s best mate’ (5) there would be a storm of protest about local phrases not being relevant or supported by Chambers, yet clues like 17a will be defended I suspect as being quite acceptable.

    grumble grumble

    A good start to the week nevertheless

    1. To be fair, Nubian, anna is a bit of a crossword stalwart! Real and Anna feature quite a lot
      Also I am aware of your pregnant sheep’s best mate down in the South East as well!

        1. I was too busy picking my nose and getting the cane for running in the corridor to know what a crossword was in the fifties

      1. It’s all very well being a crossword stalwart but that’s of little use to those of us new to the game….

    2. Nubian

      This was the first clue I got today—only by virtue of the fact it was an answer (partial answer) to a crossword clue yesterday (Sunday Times)! Here’s the clue from yesterday:

      “Siamese King’s governess tells stories, it’s said, to count”

      The answer to 17a is in the answer to this clue; only, it’s spelt phonetically c.f., “it’s said.”

  6. I thought the blog only came on at 11????? A good crossword most of which I managed on my own with just a few ‘hints’ from the wretched husband who being on a plane had finished it before I’d even started. He hardly ever does it so is doubly annoying. Grrrr.I liked 15a though it was last to go in even with all the checking letters, I knew what I was looking for but the word just wouldn’t come…..

    1. Chablis

      11 o’clock is the target time. Rishi lives in Chennai, India so is 5½ hours in front of UK time. He works on the blog while the rest of us sleep!

  7. I’ve read the blog now. I expect I’m being stupid or ignorant but regarding Rishi’s question about 15a surely the first two letters of the answer refer to ‘again’ in the clue? It’s so hard trying to make a comment without writing the words…..

    1. You can use the words during the week – it’s only for prize puzzles! It is expected that anyone who looks at the blog for a hint will not read the comments.

      1. I must be a perverse creature! Sometimes if I am struggling I will read the blog comments just to reassure myself that I am not alone in the dunce’s corner but won’t give in to read the hints until REALLY stuck….

        1. … and the same for me. Have just got in and started the puzzle, got about 9 clues without a hitch but have hit bit of a wall …. which is why I’m now reading the blog, so I know what you mean Chablis.

          1. Me too!! Do you think it’s a female thing?? Managed all with a bit of help from the husband – following the same pattern as Rishi – the SW corner definitely trickiest. Favourite clues today were 11a and 15d, 19d. Hoping for more sun tomorrow :-)

      2. At 15a the point that I tried to make is a disease relapses.
        But a subscription only lapses. When it lapses, you may let it do so or you may subscribe again when it becomes valid.
        So where is the question of it relapsing, that is, lapsing again?
        Unless at the end of the renewed period?

        1. I must be confused. I thought it was a word sum or whatever it’s called, ‘again’ = re, ‘become invalid’ = lapses, whole thing ‘again become an invalid’ = relapses….

          1. I took it as RE LAPSE (again become invalid or void) or RELAPSE (again become an invalid or a sick person) which is more-or-less what both of you were saying.

  8. Well that was Monday and having just completed Prolixic’s NTSP005 I felt let down by this one.

    As Rishi says – I am one who hates the 4 letter words. There were a couple that were good but several that felt like they were fillers as opposed to real clues – eg I didn’t like 26a even though I know it is valid and didn’t like 17a again although I knew it and have just read the comments and see that it is a stalwart – will have to remember it!!

    A good one was 28a but my favourite clue was 19d.

  9. Correct – that was 26d – not across.

    Rishi – my reason is that unless it is a good clue like 28a across most of the time you can guess the answer without having to work it out and that isn’t what I like to do.

    1. I agree with you re 26d. Does it even qualify as a cryptic clue? I feel the same about 19a. 26a isn’t much better.

  10. Finished this unaided, but had to read the blog to understand a few of them! has Spring arrived???? Hope so! :)

      1. Did some buddlia pruning.. so hopefully there won’t be any more frost??? Canterbury is sunny!

      2. got some nice men demolishing my back garden to landscape it, so exciting, it’s not huge but awkward, with a lovely grass bank that will disappear to be replaced by a lovely stone built wall with big flower border, hope the weather stays good for next 10 days!! :)

        1. Sounds lovely. I’ve just been poddling round my garden, I think there is a lot to do this year, may have to give up crosswording….

  11. Try as I might, I just couldn’t get my head around the se corner so glad it was also last in for rishi! General knowledge let me down on 17a and 13d but I see there were grumblings over anna so I suppose that was inevitable. I still look forward to the day I won’t gave to look up various lists on-line (today’s was mathematicians). I have a-levels in maths and further maths but have never come across Euclid. Guess it shows how the education system is going to the wall! :)

    1. A sign, as in a hint of, is a TRACE. Put N(ame) inside to get TRANCE – a dazed state. Regular readers will be aware of my dislike of the construct A, B in to mean A with B inside, A lot of setters use it, but do they really speak like that? I think not.

      1. Horrible type of clue!…also in this instance it may imply that N goes inside a 5-letter word for a dazed state, or whether ‘dazed’ could be an obscure anagram indicator of ‘state’ with N inside.

  12. A pleasant, quickly solved start to the week from Rufus. The 4-letter solutions were quite good.
    I got a wee bit stuck on the SW corner as I put Carrots in for 12a (homophone for carats) and got nowhere with 12d & 13d. Put on the thinking cap and got 12d – so out came carrots and in went the right answer! 13d then no trouble.
    Best for me were: 10a, 11a (back to school geometry), 7d, 8d & 19d.
    Re 4d, I used to buy the jellied variety in Brixton when I was a kid living in Streatham with my parents. Over here in NL they are smoked – gerookte paling – and washed down with a borreltje genever!
    Rishi – 28a surely refers to a millrace? Or ameringue again? (Back to dear auld Glesca).

  13. #2 comment.
    Re 14d – I still recall many of the old names for golf clubs such as baffie, spoon, cleek and mashie. Have given up the game now – can still hit the wee ba’ but canna see where it goes any more – ageing eyesight!

    1. Thanks for the list of golf clubs, Derek.
      What are they made of? I mean, are different materials used for different clubs?
      I have seen some magnificent golf links from a car or a hotel room in USA but have never handled a golf club.

  14. There were quite a few I didn’t get, even with the hints. Could have been due to a mind-numbingly dull 3.5 hours exam session this morning … another tomorrow and with only two students to look after!

    Almost always going to be stumped by the sporting references, never heard of a 14d club but guessed 10a!

    1. Geoff,
      14d is an “antique” golf term that is not used today. The functional (or closest) equivalent I believe is a 3 Wood.

  15. Suprised to find I followed Rishi’s pattern of solution – bottom right round to bottom left – but got completely stuck at bottom left. Was enjoying it until then. 12down, 13down, 17 across and 24 across were impenetrable for me. Many thanks for the excellent hints.

    1. Shrike, your post had to be moderated because you used a different email address from normal. Both should now work.

      1. Many thanks gazza – I spend most of my time bewildered and confused these days…

  16. I’ve just finished—usually it takes me all night (I do the weekday puzzles after getting home and having some dinner); but I got through this one unusually quickly, with reference to BDsCB for a couple: 7d and 13d.

    13d was a new word for me. I’ve just come back to the U.K. after nearly a decade in Tokyo, and I went there after finishing University— so I’ve never owned/bought a car (or anything that would need one of these!).

    Re: 7d, I had all the checking letters and, even with Rishi’s hint for the clue, didn’t get it. It’s a nice answer though. I think alcohol was what the ancients used when they wanted to communicate with the Gods; so funny to see it as a route to less reputable figures of the supernatural today.

    Favourite Clue: 11a. Where would we be without his axioms!

    Worst Clue: 27a. This was a little “on the nose” for a cryptic I thought. More like the sort of thing you’d see in the quickie below.

  17. Struggled somewhat today – was like a car fueled with diesel when it should have been lead-free. After a ropey start I motored through to conclusion. 12d was great – very nice clue and like other observers I found 17a dodgy. Strange day today – i blame getting a later train in. I’m usually underway on the 0710 my brain clearly honed at that time!! Off to the coast this weekend to de-fog the grey cells.

  18. First attempt at the crossword fr about 5 weeks having been overseas with no access to the paper and no printer. Really struggled with today’s offering. One thing I didn’t agree with was the codeword clue, I got the answer straight away but since when has the phonetic alphabet been classed as codewords?

  19. Rishi – you ask about materials used in golf club manufacture.
    Go to Google and search ” Antique golf clubs” – there are many articles on the history of golf club manufacture since the 1400’s which is regarded as the start period in Scotland.
    The Dutch claim that the game originated over here in NL – they used to hit a “ball” with a wooden stick into holes on frozen waterways. But everybody agrees that Scotland is the real historical origin.
    Modern clubs are made of metal – even the “woods”.

  20. Captain Slow again!

    Just have 8d to go in, despite all the help from the blog. And yes I even play guitar. ‘Trad Belong ‘just doesn’t seem right.

    Any help gratefully received.

    1. Here, the clue has nothing to do with rock music, any form of it, early or latter.

      It is what a mother might voice as she sways the crib in which her child is put for rest (‘rock music’ suggests it).

      ‘Early form’ suggests that it has to do with a child before he/she grows up and can go to bed himself/herself.

      Additional hint: The mother may have cradled the baby before placing the baby in the bed.

      1. In Toughie 108 the same phrase was the answer for the clue
        Lay in bed (6,4)
        where the wordplay is on ‘lay’.

      2. Rishi are you sure?
        I spent at least 10 minutes trying to think of a name of an album by Wakeman, Squire, Anderson and Howe etc that would fit!

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