DT 26191 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

DT 26191

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26191

Hints and tips by Libellule

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment **

Well its Thursday again. I liked 23d. Enough said really or am I being a bit harsh?

Please leave a comment if you have something to say, and if you can’t deduce the answer from the hint, highlighting the space between the curly brackets will reveal the answer.


1. Exhausted MEP’s upset relationship with leader of Denmark (7)
{EMPTIED} – An anagram of MEP (upset) followed by TIE (relationship) and the first letter (leader) of D(enmark) is an adjective that can mean all gone.

5. Attacked son with belt next to sea (7)
{SLAMMED} – The definition is attacked, perhaps as in censured, and the answer is revealed by taking S (son) and following it with LAM (belt) and then the shortened form of a European sea.

9. Children poorly — with this perhaps (5)
{CHILL} – An abbreviation for children followed by another word for being sick, can be a feverish cold.

10. Opinions stick (9)
{CRITICISM} – A double definition. Judgement or to find fault with.

11. Say — isn’t fig revolting? On the contrary (10)
{SATISFYING} – An anagram (revolting) of SAY ISNT FIG for a word that can be the opposite of revolting.

12. Heads back for a jar (4)
{STUN} – Reverse (back) an informal word for heads ito get a stupefying blow.

14. Running company (12)
{ORGANISATION} – Another double definition, the result of disposing persons or things properly and methodically, or a group of people working together.

18. Health laws (12)
{CONSTITUTION} – Yet another double definition, a persons state of health, or the fundamental law of the United States for example.

21. Group of witches not cold — one might be very warm (4)
{OVEN} – Take a term for a group of witches, then remove C (cold) and you have a an enclosed heated compartment.

22. They reveal the steps to a crime (10)
{FOOTPRINTS} – A cryptic definition? An indentation and indication that something or someone was present…

25. Joy about even 50% rise (9)
{ELEVATION} – Put ELATION (joy) around half of (50%) even for a height.

26. Partly hurt rib entering race (5)
{TRIBE} – A hidden word can be found between hurt rib and entering and once found is a class or a set of people.

27. Doctor urges Ray to leave a consulting room (7)
{SURGERY} – Take an anagram (doctor) of URGES and RAY, without (to leave) the A and you should have another word for a consulting room.

28. Distrust school of opinion about American power (7)
{SUSPECT} – To find a word meaning that you believe someone could be guilty, put a school of opinion usually associated with religion around US (American) and P (power).


1. Forgive former partner with drug when copper’s involved (6)
{EXCUSE} – A former partner is an EX, the drug is E (ecstasy) and then put the chemical symbol for copper plus S in between (involved).

2. Stop in various places (6)
{POINTS} – An anagram (various) of STOP IN produces places or stations (that are usually considered in relation to position only).

3. I will shortly use tart after cooking show (10)
{ILLUSTRATE} – Take the shortened form of I will, and then add (after) an anagram (after cooking) of USE TART and you should have a word that means to demonstrate or show clearly.

4. First of dentists starts to examine cavity as you’ve this? (5)
{DECAY} – The first letter of dentists, and then the first (starts to) letters of examine, cavity, as and you’ve when put together describes what a dentist is looking for when you visit him. I believe the technical term for this is caries.

5. Insect — it’s dissected by one? (9)
{SCIENTIST} – An anagram (dissected) of INSECT ITS could be a person who specialises in studying living organisms.

6. Australia is a wonderful continent (4)
{ASIA} – I don’t know what to say about this clue. Is wonderful an anagram indicator? Does it matter?

7. Preserve important one in container (8)
{MAINTAIN} – Take an adjective for important and then add A (one) inside TIN (container) and you have a word meaning preserve or keep in existence.

8. Major fifth (8)
{DOMINANT} – Another double definition, this time prevailing, and the fifth above the tonic (from music).

13. Picks out five bars to be rewritten, with no hint of bass (10)
{FAVOURITES} – An anagram (to be rewritten) of OUT FIVE BARS with the B removed (no hint of bass) are also persons or things that are regarded with special preference.

15. Power shown by writer — shame page is missing (9)
{AUTHORITY} – Another word for power, comes from another word for writer, followed by (p)ITY, another word for shame with the P (page) removed (missing).

16. Cost rose radically for toys (8)
{SCOOTERS} – An anagram (radically) of COST ROSE are also wheeled footboards with steering handles, pushed along with the feet.

17. Labyrinth in which you’ll find vestibule (5,3)
{INNER EAR} – Labyrinth is an anatomical term for this part of the human body, and in it you will find a vestibule that’s responsible for balance. I hope I have made this clear! Is this a cryptic clue or a tortured general knowledge question?

19. Not the same as in Luke, after translation (6)
{UNLIKE} – An anagram (after translation) of IN LUKE is not the same as.

20. View criminal tapes implicating Conservative (6)
{ASPECT} – Another anagram (criminal) of TAPES with (implicating) C (Conservative) is a view in a specific direction.

23. Reservoirs were very smelly, top to bottom (5)
{TANKS} – Take a word for were very smelly, and then move the first letter from the beginning (top) and place it at the end (bottom) and you should have another word for large basins or cisterns.

24. Scoffed following daughter’s engagement (4)
{DATE} – Place ATE (scoffed) after D (daughter).

53 comments on “DT 26191

  1. I was really clueless today! Didn’t like this puzzle at all. Not on the same wavelength and didn’t like many of the clues, having seen your explanations. I could hardly find any solutions without help. Partly it was the wording: I was looking for a plural for 10a, didn’t like 12a, had 23d the wrong way up, don’t think ‘dissected’ is a good anagram indicator, ‘backward’ would have been more helpful than ‘wonderful’ for 6d, and surely ‘picks out’ is more ‘favours’ than ‘favourites’.

    I hope to do better tomorrow. :-(

    1. Definitely agree with you on 6d but I thought 5d was rather good – dissected being part of the word play for the answer as well as an anagram indicator :)

  2. I’m not sure what it is about Thursday’s crosswords, but they seem to lack sparkle for me. Technically, this was fine though maybe there were a two or three clues you could grumble about. It simply seemed to lack some of the polish and wit of previous days’ crosswords. It’s difficult to put my finger on why this is, but two thoughts are that there seems to be very little to mislead you in the clues and some of the surface readings come across as clumsy. I didn’t have any of those Ah moments that raised a smile when I twigged what the setter was hiding in the wordplay.

  3. Think you’re being a bit harsh Libelulle, for us in the CC I think it was not as straightforward as you suggest, i got stuck on the top r/h corner for a while, never heard of ‘lam’ for belt? and never heard 9a, as an abreviation before! 6d, don’t think wonderful is an anagram indicator and yes to those of us still learning i suppose it does matter, thanks for hints always good to read them and try to understand the ones i got right even if i got them right for the wrong reasons if you know what i mean, thanks Libelulle, good luck fellow CC members

    1. Mary,
      Just done the Toughie, if you are bored its certainly worth a go. In fact I would suggest the cryptic is harder than the Toughie today.

        1. Ah yes! Thank you. I certainly qualify for membership most days, though today was OK. I even managed the Toughie which I finished, all bar the dwarf, for whom I needed the hint.

          1. welcome to the clueless club Nora, we are all very nice and friendly and here for a while to come :)

    2. Totally agree, def not a 2 star, more like a 3/4. Some really tricky clues and as always I would love to know how you work out when you are supposed to use a letter for an abbreviation like P for power and again in P for page in 28a and 15a. I wonder if the compilers realise how frustrating it is for people who don’t know the codes!
      I never thought I would be looking for ward to a Giovanni but after this week, I am. At least I know where I stand with his puzzles unlike Ray T!

      1. Not true, Barrie! I know exactly where I stand with Giovanni’s puzzles. I enjoy them very much…

        Ray T

      2. Barrie,
        This is meant to be a cryptic crossword…. hence the codes and the wordplay. If this is a problem you could try doing the quick…

      3. I am sure that RayT does not need defending but:

        vulgo enim dicitur: jucundi acti labores (with apologies to Cicero)

        Tuesday is currently my favourite day. :-)

  4. I didn’t think it was that bad, although not overly exciting.
    I see clued up has the Toughie as 5 stars for difficulty…is it just me, or is it more like 1 star??

    1. Jezza,
      I will add another star for enjoyment… when I did the crossword, I thought it was OK, but boring, with some bad, and a couple of awful clues. When I wrote the blog, it become more of a chore as I dissected the wordplay clue by clue. Hence the original one star. Oh well. Hmm wonder if Rishi wants to swop days?

      1. I’d say Tuesday and Friday seem to be the best days, but can’t see Gazza giving those up without a fight!

        1. When I started this I was doing Friday originally, and swapped Fri for Thurs. Back when I swapped J. was doing Thursday… except J, now does Wednesday.

          1. Well, if the Boss gives his nod, I will do Thursdays.
            But from the first Thursday of April. That, I think, is April 1.
            I think it’s a good idea for bloggers to swap days so that they see different setters, different styles.

    2. Me, too. Toughie definitely not 5* for difficulty but won’t go into details as this is the cryptic forum.

  5. I think Prolixic has it about right – it definitely lacked sparkle!!

    10a. It took quite a leap tp get from “stick” to “criticism” – especially when I was looking for a plural..

    22a. No, I don’t think this is a cryptic clue.

    6d. I don’t think that “wonderful” is a very good anagram indicator.

    17d. Definitely agree with Libellule on this!

    15d was probably the best clue for me.

  6. I certainly liked some of these clues, in particular the Double Definitions at 10, 12 and 18a. Favourite was probably 8d.
    I know what Prolixic means – workmanlike rather than sparkly.
    Thanks to the setter and Libellule for the ‘blog

  7. A bit of a curate’s egg of a week so far. Today’s Cryptic I felt was bordering on the bottom edge of bland, and Toughie 321 a piece of cake compared to yesterday’s challenge. I suppose these variations do give us something to talk about on “our” Blog!?

  8. Struggled with the top right hand corner, having entered smashed for 5 across (sash & med). I also had criticism entered but didn’t understand how ‘stick’ fitted with my answer.

    1. I don’t understand ‘stick’ eithr in 10a – I thought this was the weakest clue, and got the answer through the intersecting letters without understanding why it was right

      1. As I understand it, ‘to give someone stick’ is to be critical — but this wouldn’t have occurred to me in a hundred years.

  9. Isn’t life funny. I thoroughly enjoyed todays crossword but was that because I found it so easy? What’s the toughie

    1. Usually a slightly harder cryptic puzzle, which appears in the DT (towards the middle) Tuesday – Friday. Also, I assume, available via CluedUp? It is also de-briefed on this Blog – see link at top of this page – Toughie 321

  10. Talk about one mans meat!! Some contributors seem to find this easy others like myself thought it difficult, just goes to show you can’t please all the people all the time, I would just like one that I can solve once in a while!! :-)

    1. but you do Barrie, you just forget them when a few come along that you can’t solve, you can now solve most Giovannis, that is a feat in itself :)

  11. I don’t do very well at these double definition clues, especially when they are so short. Did 14 or so and then a few more from the hints. I’m afraid I found it a bit dull.

    Only one thing I really don’t understand: what does LAM have to do with BELT please?

  12. Very straightforward today. Nice to see a grid with few gaps before resorting to the blog. Think I’ll try this “toughie” that’s easier than the cryptic? I usually take one look at it and the phrase “run before walk” springs to mind.

  13. Dave, I’ve just read your profile. I went to Rutlish in the 50’s, when were you there?

  14. That was a like a stroll along a narrow flat path after midnight, I bimbled along filling in the answers and occassionally tripped over something like 5a and 1a.
    Barries right,one mans meat

  15. Got the bottom left corner and that was about it for me without the hints – many thanks. Still plugging away…

    Giovanni tomorrow – I think I’ll have to have an early night.

  16. Oh Dear! I really liked this one as I did most of it on my own though I did need the blog for 13d as I didn’t have ‘out’ in the anagram fodder but rather ‘to be’ with all the bs takenout, funnily enough I struggled! 21a made me LOL. I enjoyed the fact that I could work most out though some of the double definitions took a lot of effort.

  17. Found this tricky and stumped for 5 of them. Furrowed brow for the journey home and have now conceded defeat.

  18. Hmm, I quite liked this one too – thoroughly stuck in the top right corner but otherwise enjoyed many of the ‘workings’ 25a, 27a and 17d, 23d. Didn’t really like 22a and 6d though. Thanks for the comments everyone :-)

  19. As a newbie i quite like any crossword I do well in! Did all but 3 needing hints for 10a and 14a and the answer :( for 8d.

  20. Very pleased to get through this one after my disappointing effort with yesterday’s Toughie!
    Shall tackle today’s Toughie tomorrow as it is already tomorrow here in NL.
    I liked 17d & 23d best.
    Thursday puzzles seem to be the easiest of the week.

Comments are closed.