DT 26194 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26194

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26194

Hints and tips by Rishi

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

This week I was held by a couple of the long answers for a few more moments than usual. Take 8d for instance. Though these blocks are used in the building industry in India, they are not known by that term. At least, I have not heard. In 28a, I had to disabuse my mind that William = Tell before the answer stuck to me. As for 7d, well, we in India too have bond, and, oh yes, bind (“Gita, what’s it? Wait a minute…”) but it may not be band, it is ‘thali’ which only women wear round their neck to signify that they are married  and the man has nothing to show!  In 12d, I had to decide that the word outside is CHINAS, not CHINA.

I enjoyed solving this crossword despite a couple of clues that we have seen in the same or almost similar form (e.g., 13d, 16d) in the past.

I liked 29a and 26d as they are very smooth in surface reading.

A quibble: 14a reads “Listen to a number cheer”. In real life, would grammar require the use of ‘cheering’ ?

If you want the answer to any clue to show up, highlight the white space within any the curly brackets under the relevant 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 Deal involves a constraint (11)
{TRANSACTION} – Anagram (involves) of A CONSTRAINT. Definition : deal

9a Worker right to be bitter sometimes (4)
{BEER} – Word sum – word for ‘worker’ + a single-letter abbreviation for ‘right’

10a Diligence with which one may seek a job (11)
{APPLICATION} – Double definition – diligence/with which one may seek a job

Forms for job-seekers

11a Commercials, we hear, for a tool (4)
{ADZE} – Homophone of a word for ‘commercials’. Definition ” tool”

14a Listen to a number cheer (7)
{HEARTEN} – Word sum – a word for ‘listen’ + a number. Definition: cheer (as a verb)

16a An Italian poet gives notes to be taken slowly (7)
{ANDANTE} – Word sum – AN + the name of an Italian poet = “notes to be taken slowly” – This is a musical term for slow, even expression in music. New word for me.

17a Perfect tone (5)
{SOUND} – Double definition – perfect (as adjective) / tone

18a Seems agreeable but doesn’t remain attentive (4)
{NODS} – Double definition – When one does this one expresses one’s agreement in action. Or one may let one’s head loll as one is dozing or letting one’s mind wander

19a Said to be some form of test (4)
{ORAL} – Double definition – Said (or spoken, as opposed to written) / some form of test

20a Point always cut off (5)
{SEVER} – Definition: cut off. Word sum – A single-letter abbreviation for a compass point + a word that means ‘always’

22a He’d fuel ordered, being careful (7)
{HEEDFUL} – Anagram (ordered) of HE’D FUEL – Definition: being careful

23a In a way, Marconi was of Latin descent (7)
{ROMANIC} – Anagram (in a way) of MARCONI – Definition: of Latin descent

24a Heavy metal star player (4)
{LEAD} – Double definition – Heavy metal / star player – Of course, the word in each sense is pronounced differently but that is not our concern here.

28a William’s heart makes him a pasty fellow (4-7)
{BILL-STICKER} – A familiar name for William + S (‘s) + a term for heart = a person who pastes posters on any structure

Stick with him!

29a A point we returned to once more (4)
{ANEW} – Word sum – A (a) + N (point) + rev. of WE. Definition: once more

30a Nobody but Ed involved, that’s certain (6,5)
{BEYOND DOUBT} – Anagram (involved) of NOBODY BUT ED – definition: certain


2d Mature, so given rent and key (4)
{RIPE} – Word sum – A word for ‘rent’ (v.) + a single letter for key (as in the piano). Definition: ‘mature’

3d Flower, blue and white in parts (4)
{NILE} – Cryptic definition – Flower (in the sense ‘one that flows’, that is, a river), which in this case in blue in one part and white in another.

4d A trip with passengers, we hear, makes profits (7)
{ACCRUES} – Word sum – A (obtained for free) + a homophone of “trip with passengers as aboard a ship). Definition: makes profits

5d Drinks to the elevation of a good man (4)
{TOTS} – Definition : Drinks – Word sum – TO + reversal of an abbreviation for saint (“a good man”) .

6d Round and round, in a manner of speaking (7)
{OROTUND} – Two rounds (O and rounded-shape body) combine for a cryptic definition for circumlocution when a person beats about the bush

7d A bond, band or bind! (7,4)
{WEDDING RING} – Multiple definition, one literal and two others metaphorical, all alluding in one way or other to marriage

8d Used for building a wind break? (6,5)
{BREEZE BLOCK} – The very last for me. Solved from word crossings. I looked up the dictionary. The definition is “a light building brick made from the ashes of coal, coke, etc., bonded together by cement and used esp for walls that bear relatively small loads” .  The cryptic definition is something that protects from a (light) wind.

12d Country’s cold in the interior – furs needed (11)
{CHINCHILLAS} – A word that means ‘cold’ in the possessive form of a country. Definition: furs

Furry creatures

13d His products are really wicked (11)
{CANDLEMAKER} – Cryptic definition – ‘wicked’ in the sense ‘having a wick’

Making 'wicked' things

15d Book Christmas accommodation for five (5)
{NOVEL} – V (five) in NOEL (Christmas). Definition: book

16d New range of emotion (5)
{ANGER} – Anagram (new) of RANGE. Definition: emotion. Rather one kind of it.

20d Drop from reserve team (7)
{SUBSIDE} – Word sum – A word (one that is a short form of a word) that means ‘reserve’ (as in sport) + a word that means ‘team’ = a word that means ‘drop’ ( as a verb).

21d How birds slept with toes around perch outside (7)
{ROOSTED} – Definition: How birds slept. An anagram of TOES in a three-letter word that means ‘perch’.

25d Vocalist the French turn to (4)
{ALTO} – Reversal of LA (‘the’ in French) + TO (got for free). Definition: Vocalist

26d What one said after reflection (4)
{ECHO} – Cryptic definition – The word for what comes back or reverberates when we say something (as in a cave)

27d Simple heart of Father Benedict (4)
{HERB} – Simple if we know what ‘simple’ means as a noun! That definition is hidden in the words Father Benedict

43 comments on “DT 26194

  1. Another enjoyable stroll with Rufus with some fine clues – 8d favourite for me.
    Re 14a – you can use ‘cheer’ or ‘cheering’ as both are correct (you can say both ‘See the man run’ or ‘See the man running’).

    Re 28a I always remember the graffiti associated with the notice ‘Bill Stickers Will Be Prosecuted’:

    ‘Bill Stickers is Innocent!’

    Thanks for the review!

  2. Great start to the week.
    13d as soon as I saw the word ‘wicked’ I remembered the clue from a week or two.
    1a my favourite

  3. No trouble with this one. I had it finished before my second cup of tea.

    Why does this always seem to happen on Monday when there is no toughie to fall back on?

    1. If you need another fix (apart from the caffeine) you can always try Rufus in the Guardian – there is an online/interactive version of the puzzle on the Grauniad website.

  4. Thanks for blog Rishi, had to fall back on your help for a couple eg never heard of adze 11a, 12d, just couldn’t see it, thought i was going to sail through it today but not to be, went wrong on 13d, didn’t read it properly and put canlestick in! good luck Fellow CC some trick bits, looknout for Nubian, he visits occasionally but not today :)

  5. still looking at 12d Rishi, is it made up from China’s with chill inside to get a word for furs?
    trying to understand it

  6. Fairly straightforward. One minor grumble. “Heart” usually means in the cente or middle of. In the case of 27d, it doesn’t??

  7. Great crossword. Finished without your tips Rishi but thanks anyway. I think this is my first

  8. An amiable stroll through crossword land with Rufus this morning but one that was over far far too quickly. Favourite clues were 1a, 28a, 7d and 8d. Not the most difficult Rufus puzzle but the clues were fair and delightful.

    1. I think anyone who has tried their hand at the DIY COW competition will have realised how hard it is to set straightforward but elegant clues!

      1. I so agree Dave, how these setters/compilers do it on a regular basis i cannot imagine, it is good fun on the site though and help in understanding a setters mind to a slight degree

  9. I got more of this done than usual before the review was available, but there were still five I couldn’t get. Did realize flower = river from the checking letters, but failed again to spot wicked – so annoying!

    9a: ‘sometimes’ struck me as unnecessary in the wording of the clue.
    16a: not sure I would describe ANDANTE as slow, given that ‘Happy Birthday’ is roughly middle of the range for Andante.

    1. In relation to the “sometimes”, the convention when writing a clue is that if you use a speficic example to define the class to which it belongs (in this case bitter as a type of beer), you should indicate in the clue that this is what you are doing – hence the “sometimes”. Other ways of indicating this are the use of the words “perhaps” or “maybe” or including a question mark.

      1. Thanks for pointing that out. I hadn’t thought of bitter as a type of beer, just plain, (dull) ordinary beer. Real ale is another matter entirely …

  10. Did it in my lunch break. Wasn’t sure i’d got everything right (26d & 27d) but a check against Rishi’s hints showed i had.

    I liked 7d and the bind bit, although that doesn’t apply to my new wife ;), and 28a which i hadn’t even read till I only had the bottom right to do.

  11. First time commenting, although I’ve been visiting to fill in the blanks for a little while. Looks like I was caught out like others – beaten with “flower” and “wicked”. Happy that would never have got 27d, even though I’d filled it in! Just never heard of the noun form. Thanks to the bloggers for this invaluable site, as I only get the paper when I’m flying, so never see consecutive issues :)

  12. Great crossword to start the week with a nice mixture of teasers and simple ones to get you going. I really liked the top right corner with 7d and 8d pleasing me a lot.
    Why can the Telegraph not insist that the adverts to the right of the crossword are predominantly white so it gives space for working out anagrams?

    1. Hi Rishi, Re your minor quibble, 14 across, I think it works if you say to yourself ‘to cheer’ as in ‘to hearten’. It works as a verb then, I think.

  13. Failed on 13d – too wicked for me, I must have been away when it came up last time, and on 18a without the checking letter. Nevertheless an enjoyable start to the week.

  14. Droopyh!
    I agree entirely……………a “dark” advert on the back page is usually the cause of my first frown of the day!

  15. remembered reference to wicked things a week or so ago the clue was supporters of wicked things. This led me to 13d like nubian .

  16. Really enjoyed this particularly 7d which I thought was genius. Last one to go in for me was 13d despite a similar one a few weeks ago. All done by the time I was heading home (which is more than I can say for the Quickie). A good one to complete and a good start to the week.

  17. Enjoyable puzzle. I solved the centre (four five-letter) first then worked round clockwise from the top.
    I liked 28a, 7d, 8d & 12d. Many of the dozen 4-letter solutions had good clues.

    1. Graham

      If you click “Reply” your comment will be nested (up to 10 levels)

      With regard to “cheer” I agree with you – but remember that for Rishi, who lives in India, some nuances of the English language are difficult for him to appreciate. Imagine that you are trying to solve a crossword in a foreign language, I’m sure that you would probably do a lot worse – I know I would!

            1. As with MPs, my objection was that your interest was not declared. The link in the name on your comment comes from the website name that you filled in – this is fair game. I have only limited control of the Guestbook as tit is hosted externally.

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