DT 26215 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26215

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26215

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment *

On mystery Thursday we have another mediocre puzzle that will probably please many of you. I counted, and have indicated, fourteen clues where all or part of the wordplay involve anagrams, and two hidden words. Once upon a time the Telegraph style guide used to recommend “a maximum of six anagrams per puzzle and only one hidden”.

I would like to repeat, for those who don’t seem to have bothered to read the disclaimer, that any statement, opinion, or view in relation to any person or organisation expressed in this post is purely personal  to Big Dave.

You are welcome to disagree with anything I have written and friendly debate is strongly encouraged.

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    Annie perhaps is calm after revision, impressing head of university (7)
{MUSICAL} – Annie is an example of this genre of stage show – it’s an anagram1 (after revision) of IS CALM around (impressing) U (head of university)

5a    Demanded medical reforms (7)
{CLAIMED} – a word meaning demanded is an anagram2 (reforms) medical

9a    Smallest one ultimately comes in after all the others (5)
{LEAST} – a synonym for smallest is derived by putting E (one ultimately) inside (comes in) a word meaning after all the others

10a    Type of move a man might do on a horse? (9)
{GYMNASTIC} – a cryptic definition of the type of move made on a pommel horse

11a    Engaging sidelight fully or partially? (10)
{DELIGHTFUL} a word meaning engaging is hidden1 (partially) inside sidelight fully

12a    Female went first and escaped (4)
{FLED} – a simple charade of F(emale) and went first leads to a word meaning escaped

14a    Company talk about fantastic gains (12)
{ORGANISATION} – this company is generated by putting a talk around an anagram3 (fantastic) of GAINS

18a    A time to get involved in rugby score discussion (12)
{CONVERSATION} – put A and T(ime) inside a rugby score worth two points to get a discussion

21a    Vehicle returns with last of many sailors (4)
{NAVY} – a commercial vehicle is reversed and followed by Y (last of manY) to get these sailors

22a    Rendering half of period building (10)
{PERFORMING} – to get rendering, in the sense of showing, combine half of PER(iod) with building, as in making

25a    Horse eating processed grain that’s often spread (9)
{MARGARINE} – put a female horse around an anagram4 (processed) of GRAIN to get something that is spread

26a    Stolen — thanks man! (5)
{TAKEN} – a word meaning stolen is formed from a short form of thanks followed by a man’s name (could be a former London mayor!)

27a    After church J.R. perhaps is meditating (7)
{CHEWING} – after CH(urch) put the surname of the famous Dallas family (J.R. perhaps) to get a word meaning meditating or pondering

28a    Model transforms lips within 24 hours (7)
{DISPLAY} – a word meaning to model comes from an anagram5 (transforms) of LIPS inside a period of 24 hours


1d    ELO finally played my special tune (6)
{MELODY} – an anagram6 (special) of ELO D (finally played) and MY gives a tune (maybe from 1 across)

2d    Sun catches gastropods (6)
{SNAILS} – combine S(un) and a word meaning catches, in the sense of pins down, gives these gastropods- a friend of mine from the class of 65 at Bristol University runs a website dedicated to gastropods (the link is also in the sidebar)

3d    Tories cage working classes (10)
{CATEGORIES} – an anagram7 (working) of TORIES CAGE gives these classes, as in varieties

4d    Dangerous situation with no power for illumination (5)
{LIGHT} – remove the P (with no power) from a dangerous situation to get illumination

5d    Party member commits to change without United Nations (9)
{COMMUNIST} – you don’t need the name of the party for this party member – he’s an anagram8 (to change) of COMMITS around (without / outside) the United Nations – the use of without as a containment indicator raises the hackles of strict Ximenians who maintain that it means outside rather than surrounding!

6d    Local turns up with one on horse (4)
{ARAB} – local here is a BAR, even though you might have thought it should be a pub, so reverse it (turns up) and put A (one) over it (on, in its down-clue meaning) and you get a stallion

7d    Tinny crushing tall mice (8)
{METALLIC} – a word meaning tinny is an anagram9 (crushing) of TALL MICE

8d    Coming to a conclusion, partly, inside CID in Gloucester (8)
{DECIDING} – a word meaning coming to a conclusion is hidden2 (partly) in inside CID in Gloucester

13d    Unfortunately I’ve sat with four people unduly preferred by the Queen? (10)
{FAVOURITES} – an anagram10 (unfortunately) of I’VE SAT with FOUR gives people unduly preferred by the Queen ( or the King)

15d    Swearing awfully about new meeting (9)
{ANSWERING} – an anagram11 (awfully) of SWEARING is placed around N(ew) to get a word meaning meeting, in the sense of satisfying a requirement

16d    Come with coin for a change — it’s cheap (8)
{ECONOMIC} – an anagram12 (for a change) of COME with COIN gives a word meaning cheap

17d    That’s all there is, everyone (8)
{UNIVERSE} – do two definitions from the same dictionary entry constitute a double definition? – discuss!

19d    At first, Calvin Klein designed for money (6)
{NICKEL} – an anagram13 (designed) of C(alvin) and KLEIN results in a five-cent piece made of copper and this metal

20d    Information held by a Cyprus bureau (6)
{AGENCY} – put GEN (information) inside (held by) A and CY (the IVR code for Cyprus) to get a bureau

23d    Set of competitors and I fled ground (5)
{FIELD} – a word used to describe all of the competitors in a race is an anagram14 (ground) of I FLED

24d    One might call it a levy on independence (4)
{TAXI} – one might call this to get home from an evening out – put a levy over I(ndependence)

Roll on tomorrow!

51 comments on “DT 26215

  1. Well this is the first cryptic I have managed to solve without your hints….. although It’s taken me ages and I’ve been bouncing around all morning waiting for this blog lol.

    I didn’t like 17d either, and for some of the bigger words in the centre i’ve had to resort to using various internet tools when I’ve got a pattern of some letters… I also had 19d as an israeli coin for ages which didn’t help with 22a at all!

    Thanks for these hints though, they have explained WHY some of the answers I’ve got are the correct ones :)


    1. BTW sorry the blog was late, but I wasn’t exactly brimming over with enthusiasm! Today was one of those days that James Cary described as “a self-imposed obligation”.

  2. Gotta third that opinion as well. Nothing shiny in this one.
    Regarding 17d: as far as I am concerned – No!
    Thanks for the write up and the anagram count!

  3. Sorry all you lovely geniuses, wish i was like you but i’m not :) I actually like anagrams, though maybe 14 is a bit much, so for me this was a yes, yes, puzzle finished early enough this morning to be waiting for the blog at ten thirty, good one for us CC members, lots of horses around today must be the strays coming in from tbe National last week! fav clues 26a, 25a, least fav 17d

    1. I liked it too and completed without help which was just as well as in the hairdressers and therefore without access to any ‘aids’!!!! It’s nice for the CCs to have one or two ‘feel good’ puzzles…..

    2. Couldn’t agree more Mary!
      It’s a real buzz to complete one without recourse to the blog or other aids.
      Favourite 27a, disliked 17d

  4. Agree – what a waste of my lunch hour.

    Mind you, I did smile at 27 Across after running through Tolkein, Hartley etc!

  5. Just checking what delights were in store for after work and now wish I hadn’t!! Mind you – I like an anagram as much as Mary.

    By the way, Big Dave, you might want to re-read your intro as there’s a typo…. would like to repeat, for those who don’t seen to have bothered …….

    Hope the Toughie pleases you all more!

    Nana xx

  6. You’ve said it all, Dave. Well, almost. I’d like to question the “man” in 10a. What about female gymnasts?

    1. There may well be female gymnasts, but since they don’t compete on the pommel horse for the purposes of the clue it has to be a male gymnast!

      1. But the clue refers only to a horse. It could be a vaulting horse. Female gymnasts compete on them, don’t they?

  7. Hmm. I’ll say nowt. Mind you, to the setter’s credit there’s an imaginative array of anagram indicators at work – only “change” is given a double outing.

    By chance, though, this easy puzzle is a very good foil for some of the much tougher offerings elsewhere today – for those who want a greater challenge I can thoroughly recommend Alberich’s FT offering at http://media.ft.com/cms/8420323c-3d3d-11df-b81b-00144feabdc0.pdf

    It’s by no means easy but it’s one of the best puzzles I’ve solved in a very long time.

    1. Thanks very much Anax. Two thirds of the way through this so far and thoroughly enjoyable. A pleasant contrast!

      1. Thanks for the link!. I have it printed out and will give it a tickle on the way home.
        I finished the Times Cryptic over lunch today but today so need something else for the journey home.
        Also yesterday the Times Online published details of the first qualifier for the Times Crossword Championship 2010.
        There is a link from This Page to print it out.

  8. I thought this a poor offering today and the toughie wasn’t much better but, heigh ho you can’t win them all . Thanks for the review BD.

  9. First time I’ve solved a puzzle without any help from a thesaurus or having to do any research. And only took 20mins. It was a shame there weren’t a couple to stew over but I can hardly complain as I normally get so frustrated by this crossword most days. A stress-free puzzle today! :)
    I noticed Euclid turned up on qi recently and remembered his name from a crossword in the not too distant past. Good to learn a little more about him. Most read book apart from the bible eh?!

  10. Quite liked this one but had trouble recognising the anagrams, the indicators seemed a bit abstruse. Being horsey I liked the equine references but was stuck for a while on 10a, do only men tackle the vaulting horse? Best clue 24d, made me smile, worst clue most of the contrived anagrams.

  11. This is by far the worst cryptic crossword I’ve solved since Clued Up started in October 2008 (and I’ve solved all of them since then). I do not mind a relatively simple challenge so long as there’s artistry and humour at work. Indeed, some days I’d welcome an easier start to my day, as I complete the cryptic around 5.30am. I was ready to sound off on the blog then, but had to wait until the end of the working day. Maybe quality control has been outsourced to the same outfit that demonstrates how not to run a professional website. I see the scores are yet to be fixed and I’m sure I’m missing some points from 3 weeks ago or so. Anyhow, off for some fajitas before the toughie.

  12. I managed to finish this on my own. Sadly I realised that this was an indicator of the easiness of the puzzle rather than my skill as a solver. However, I did enjoy it!
    Thanks to Dave and everyone else for the blog and comments!
    Tomorrow should be a different kettle of fish!

    1. It’s one of those crossword horses to remember, LD.
      I often miss it as an answer and also when it is used in wordplay.

    2. The answer may have been obvious LD, but to call a bar a local in the UK is less obvious. Pub yes, inn maybe, but who would think of a bar as their local?

  13. How pleasant to have a cryptic puzzle that most of us could complete ! I normally finish it just after lunch but today I had done the Codeword, Quick and this one by midday. Love all the anagrams! Quite agree, Big Dave, about bar not coming first to mind this side of the Atlantic.

  14. Got to comment to stick up for this puzzle, only the third I have completed with no cheating.

  15. You are a miserable bunch, some of you! Nothing wrong with an easier crossword once in a while – gives real encouragement to those who aren’t so adept.

    As for the anagrams, well quite a few of them were not straight anagrams, but included an anagram as part of other word-play, and were rather neat, I thought. (14a, for example) And even the hidden words were well-disguised. Liked 11a.

    As a matter of interest, I did this one after Friday’s, and we got through Giovanni’s quicker. I’ll have a look at that blog now and see if he gets slated, too! (Doubt it somehow – that would be heresy)


      1. I see that now! If I saw it last October, I don’t think I did very much of it, but it might explain why I found some of it easier. Certainly I had seen ‘Porterhouse’ somewhere before.

        D’you think Giovanni got stuck abroad somewhere and couldn’t finish this week, so they recycled an old one?

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