DT 26202 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26202

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26202

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

The usual great stuff from Jay – and I don’t want to hear any excuses from the Clueless Club today.

Please 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    Attractive European’s main point (8,4)
{MAGNETIC POLE} – a charade of attractive and a European gives one of two points on the Earth’s surface used for direction-finding

8a    A couple of reps imprisoned in brand-new tower (7)
{MINARET} – put A and two letters of RE(PS) inside a word meaning brand-new, used mainly for coins, to get a mosque tower, from which the call to prayer is given

9a    Succeeds in getting a first in theology — it’s an original (7)
{ATTAINS} – a word meaning succeeds is built up from A T (first in Theology) and an anagram (original) of IT’S AN

11a    Start to relax on living-room chair (7)
{LOUNGER} – put R (start to Relax) after (on – that strange across-clue only construct) a living-room to get a chair on which to relax

12a    Piece of legislation, say, covering Utah (7)
{STATUTE} – to get this piece of legislation on to the books put a word meaning to say around (covering) the zip code for UT(AH)

13a    Lots of bay trees oddly missing (5)
{FATES} – lots, in the sense of destinies, is found by removing the odd letters from of bay trees

14a    Broke? That’s new in struggling novelist (9)
{INSOLVENT} – broke, in the sense of having no money, comes from N(ew) inside an anagram (struggling) of NOVELIST

16a    Held back artist in sophisticated surroundings (9)
{REFRAINED} – to get a word meaning held back put the ubiquitous member of the Royal Academy inside (surroundings) a synonym for sophisticated

19a    A sailor might be confused (2,3)
{AT SEA} – doesn’t look like it at first, but this is a double definition

21a    Winning rows on river and rackets (7)
{UPROARS} – winning, if you are this you are in front of the other team, and rows, as in propels a boat, after (on, again!) R(iver) gives rackets, as in load noises

23a    Officer in kneepads needed to protect this venue (3,4)
{ICE RINK} – this skating venue is hidden inside the first three words

24a    Trying to avoid reversing except I have followed (7)
{EVASIVE} – a word meaning “trying to avoid” is obtained by reversing a word meaning except and following it with I’VE (I have)

25a    Bridge across child’s practice area for driving (4,3)
{SKID PAN} – the key to this one is how you split it up! – put a bridge around a child to get a practice area for driving

ARVE Error: need id and provider

26a    Means of preserving freedom — hardly, with no right to be flexible (12)
{FORMALDEHYDE} – a chemical used for preserving is an anagram (to be flexible) of FREEDOM and HA(R)DLY without the R(ight)


1d           Organized search for piece finally began in shed (7)
{MANHUNT} – an organised search is a charade of a chess piece (any of them except, perhaps, the Queen) and N (finally begaN)inside a shed

2d           Current fashion in fuel for vehicle repair shops (7)
{GARAGES} – put a current fashion, usually preceded by “all the”, inside a household fuel to get these vehicle repair shops

3d           Resort next to Rio getting money through threats (9)
{EXTORTION} – an anagram (resort) of NEXT TO RIO gives the act of getting money through threats

4d           Religious leaders’ one master manuscript (5)
{IMAMS} – these officers who leads the devotions in mosques are a charade of I (one), a Master of Arts and an abbreviated manuscript

5d           Potential danger of drop after Portsmouth started with Italian (7)
{PITFALL} – nothing to do with a certain doomed football club – this potential danger is created by putting a drop after P (Portsmouth started) and ITalian

6d           Lie about certain time off work (7)
{LEISURE} – an anagram (about) of LIE is followed by a word meaning certain to get time off work

7d           Amount of money earned for being included in minor musical composition (5,7)
{SMALL FORTUNE} – this amount of money comes is generated by putting FOR inside synonyms for minor and musical composition

10d         Gently persuading, gets a new kilt designed (5-7)
{SWEET-TALKING} – a hyphenated word that means gently persuading is an anagram (designed) of GETS A NEW KILT

15d         Eleven with child? That’s not the main point (4,5)
{SIDE ISSUE} – a charade of a team of eleven players with a word for a child gives a point or topic that is not the main one

17d         A chaotic mixture of jazz music found in Portuguese city (7)
{FARRAGO} – this chaotic mixture comes from putting the style of jazz music popularised by Scott Joplin inside a Portuguese city

ARVE Error: need id and provider

18d         Primitive type of cash machine swallowed new visa (7)
{ATAVISM} – possibly the only difficult answer today has a straightforward wordplay –a reversion to an ancestral, or to a primitive, type is created when an ATM (Automated Teller Machine / cash machine) surrounds (swallowed) an anagram (new) of VISA

19d         The last word on it and youth leader’s facility (7)
{AMENITY} – put the last word of a prayer (so be it) before (on, because this is a down clue – geddit!) IT and Y (Youth leader) to get a facility

20d         What a painter might do for second drink? (7)
{STIPPLE} – to paint in dots (what a painter might do) comes from S(econd) and a drink

22d         Start of summer and spring is fine in America (5)
{SWELL} – combine S (start of Summer) with a spring, as in a source of water, to get an irritating American word for fine

ARVE Error: need id and provider

Don’t forget that the answers are hidden between the curly brackets – just select the space between the brackets with your mouse to reveal them.

41 comments on “DT 26202

  1. Another fine offering from Jay.
    25a was last to go in and very enjoyable once solved.
    14a had very good surface reading but 5d was superb for the surface reading and its currency (Sorry all Portsmouth fans!)

    Thanks for the review, BD, and thanks again to Jay.

  2. I had a slow start with the across clues and thought that this was going to be a struggle to complete. However, the down clues fell into place very easily and enabled me to complete the acrosses without too much problem. Favourite clues were 14a and 18d.

    Many thanks to Jay for the puzzle and to BD for the notes.

  3. Some crosswords should go into a hall of fame and this one should be in there near the top. Quality all the way from start to finish. I agree with Dave if the CC complain today they are not trying and they may have to see him in his study afterwards.

          1. I hardly dare start! (just home from work) ….. where are we lining up? I’ll make a start while I’m in the queue for Big D’s study tho.

  4. Three fairly easy crosswords, so far, this week.

    23a. Dave, the answer is hidden in the first three words, not the first two.

    9a. How is “original” an anagram indicator???

    26a. The letter R appears twice in FREEDOM HARDLY. If there is “no right”, that suggests that both have to be removed. Then it wouldn’t work. I think the clue should have ended with: “without a right to be flexible”. Does anybody agree?

    1. 23a sorted – thanks

      9a the anagram indictor is certainly weak

      26a I think “no right” singular is ok, especially as it only applies to the second word, to remove both Rs would need “no rights”

    2. Enjoyed this puzzle immensely, though 17d and 18d are words I had to confirm in the dictionary. I think the dash preceding hardly and the comma afterwards imply that the R is only removed from this word.

  5. Enjoyable, and finished without a struggle, although slowed down on the SW corner. I wasn’t aware that ragtime is classified as jazz music, so learnt something there!
    Thanks to Jay and to BD

  6. I am not sure about the “main” in 1a. The north pole is in the artic ocean but the south pole is inland. Or perhaps it means principle?

    21a was the hardest for me. Also 8a although the answer was easy to guess.

  7. Most enjoyable crossword from Jay yet again, super blog BD, too many good clues to pick a favourite.

  8. Crikey – I must be getting better. I got a large number of these alone and without a leader. My favourite had to be 26a – “no right to be flexible” meaning it is used on stiffs who really have no right to be moving? Still waiting for my “Penge Bungalow Murders”, though. Many thanks for the hints and to the setter.

  9. seems I am first of CC to comment today and sorry BD I did not find it easy and would have rated it at least 3*, no excuses Nubian, just was left with a quarter of the puzzle i couldn’t do, I could blame the new tablets I’ve had to go on, can’t seem to think straight on them, but now that would be using an excuse :) thanks for the blog Dave wouldn’t have managed without you, having said all that appreciate that it was a really good puzzle today, fav clue15d , be interesting to know what rest of CC think??

    1. by the way Dave although I didn’t finish today shouldn’t 18d be atavistic and not atavism, I have never heard of this word before but surely here the figure of speech is wrong, a primitive type would surely not be atavism??

  10. BD, Can you explain this bit “(on – that strange across-clue only construct) a living-room”

    1. Hi Colywobbles it means to put the start of relax which is r ‘on’ living room, which is lounge to get a type of chair which is lounger, hope that helps

  11. Excellent! There were so many great clues that it’s impossible to pick a favourite.

    A question. In crosswords in general, are there more clues to do with sailors than anything else?

  12. A tough (certainly NOT 2*) but very fair and enjoyable although the tough clue for me wasn’t 18d (the clues were all there even if the word was a bit obscure) but 17d as one who hates jazz with a purple passion!
    Took some time to finish but made it in the end. I have to say that I do like puzzles that let you start fairly easily such as 19a, it then gives you the impetus to keep going unlike Ray T’s puzzles that are fiendish all the way and which I find very off-putting.

  13. Oh dear, I’m going to be on BD’s blacklist today … I didn’t find this at all straightforward and only completed just over half even with the hints. Oddly vs regularly (13a) can be confusing and I didn’t expect ‘of’ to be included, so I had come up ‘bytes’, and couldn’t work out 7d.

    Didn’t understand:
    23a: what indicates the answer is hidden in the clue?
    17d: the city is FARO, isn’t it? So where does the extra G come from?

    1. Geoff, 17a the G comes from another type of jazz with three letters that goes inside the portuguese city.

    2. Geoff,
      23a “needed to protect”, think of various synonyms for protect eg. shelter for example
      17d its RAG (jazz music) found in FARO (Portuguese cty) -> FARRAGO -> definition = chaotic mixture.

    3. So why do I think there’s an extra G …. ? (No answers on postcards, thank you!)

      Thanks for the replies. Brain obviously not in gear this week …

  14. Finished, but only with a bit of help on a couple of clues. 17d was new word for me but I’d guessed it first before looking it up. the answer to 4d seems to crop up a lot.

  15. Very enjoyable again.
    !a was a piece of cake for me! but I also liked the other three rim clues (12-letters) – I tend to get these out of the way quickly.
    Other likes include : 9a, 13a & 25a. 1d,17d & 20d.
    Nice job Jay.

  16. Found this tricky and did not get 13a (vague?), 24a (I was convinced it ended in “bats”; and 17d (DER). Everything else okay but I was disappointed not to complete it.

  17. errrr….how in the name of Rooney injury scare can you give this a 2 star difficulty? Are you having a mad Drogba flying dive?
    Did fine until had to tackle/dive at top left hand. Finally got there with help of chum. And no, not doggy stuff.
    I would give this a 3 star……or is it cos i have had one eye on Fabrecas and Gooners?
    Pay attention Pompey lad!

  18. We found this hard. Several clues in the bottom left corner stumped us.
    Thanks for the blog Dave!

  19. Dear Mary,
    No I won’t join you all in the corner as – like many African tribal dwellers – I don’t like cornrrs.
    It is why they built roundhouses (rondavels) because the corners were occupied by evil spirits.

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