DT 26227 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26227

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26227

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ****

A much better puzzle today from one of Thursday’s mystery setters. I almost feel deprived as there is nothing much to complain about!

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    Managed to get inside revolutionary egg farm (6)
{GRANGE} – put a word meaning managed inside EGG reversed (revolutionary) to get a farm, or, more usually, a farmhouse

4a    Clearly identified remedy (8)
{SPECIFIC} – a double definition, the second part of which should be familiar to those who have been with us for a while as it came up in DT 26022, DT 25932 and DT 25865

9a    Risk money on fish shop (6)
{BETRAY} – a charade of to risk money and a fish leads to a word meaning to shop, in the sense of to inform on

10a    Unconventional play — Act I most odd (8)
{ATYPICAL} – a synonym for unconventional is an anagram (most odd) of PLAY ACT I

11a    Clip more off setter (8)
{COMPILER} – an anagram (off) of CLIP MORE gives another name for a crossword setter

13a    Charles and the Queen making a drink (6)
{CHASER} – abbreviations for Charles and the Queen combine to give a strong alcoholic drink taken after a weaker one

15a    Allow something not usually acceptable, a tip on time in prison (7,1,5)
{STRETCH A POINT} – a phrase that means to allow something that is not usually acceptable is built up from A then a sharp tip both after (on) a period of time in prison

18a    Pretend to be uninterested in baffling drama? (4,4,2,3)
{PLAY HARD TO GET} – this phrase meaning to pretend to be uninterested could be read as a drama that is baffling

22a    Kind disposition (6)
{NATURE} – a double definition – the first being a kind or type

24a    Foolish constable found in frightful bog in part of Ulster (8)
{DOGBERRY} – I struggled for a while trying to fit something into an anagram of bog to get a part of Ulster, before realising that the foolish constable was the one in Shakespeare’s Much Ado about Nothing – you find him by putting an anagram (frightful) of BOG inside a part of Ulster

26a    Bearing south on excursion leaving runway (8)
{AIRSTRIP} – combine a bearing, or manner, with S(outh) and an excursion to get the runway from which you might leave to go on the excursion

27a    Feeling of resentment beginning to tell in game (6)
{PIQUET} – a feeling of resentment is followed by T (beginning to Tell) to get a card game for two players, using a 32-card pack consisting of the seven to the ace only

28a    County players in blue (8)
{DOWNCAST} – combine a Northern Irish county with the players in a drama to get a word meaning blue or dejected

29a    Gay bar initially visited by Latin, Italian male (6)
{BLITHE} – gay here is in the sense used in the Noel Coward play – B (Bar initially) is followed by L(atin) IT(alian) and the male pronoun


1d           Return game in Japan needs support (2,4)
{GO BACK} – a phrasal verb meaning to return is a charade of a Japanese board game of territorial possession and capture with a word meaning to support

2d           Plant, iris, a team transmuted (9)
{ARTEMISIA} – an aromatic or bitter-tasting plant of a genus that includes wormwood, mugwort, and sagebrush is an anagram (transmuted) of IRIS A TEAM

3d           One using putty, good at first then less inclined to work? (7)
{GLAZIER} – this person who uses, among other things, putty is a combination of G(ood) and a word meaning less inclined to work

5d           Feel sorry for yours, at the start, positioned behind mine (4)
{PITY} –a word meaning to feel sorry for comes from Y (Yours, at the start) after (positioned behind) a coal mine

6d           Arrests party in police station (3,4)
{COP SHOP} – a colloquial word meaning arrests is followed by a dance/party to give a colloquial name for a police station

7d           Sort of group in centre (5)
{FOCUS} – a double definition – a group of people assembled to provide feedback on, for example, a political campaign or the centre of something

8d           Pace might get star bowled out (8)
{CELERITY} – a word meaning pace, or speed, is generated by removing (out) the B(owled) from an over-used word for a famous person in entertainment or sport

12d         Complete collection of religious books found in Ireland (6)
{ENTIRE} – to get this word meaning complete, put the later of two collections of religious books found in the bible inside the Gaelic name for Ireland

14d         Got the shakes in skid row? (6)
{GHETTO} – a subtle little anagram (shakes) of GOT THE gives skid row, a run-down part of a town

ARVE Error: need id and provider

16d         Bury game — training cut short (9)
{INTERRUPT} – a charade of to bury, a game played with an oval ball and Physical Training gives a word meaning cut short – I always enjoy a definition that looks as if it is part of the wordplay!

17d         European health resort empty after uprising (8)
{SPANIARD} this European is constructed from a health resort followed by a word meaning to empty reversed (after uprising)

19d         That woman’s name raised as one holding unorthodox opinions (7)
{HERETIC} – that woman (the female accusative pronoun) is followed by a word meaning to name reversed (raised) to give one holding unorthodox opinions, or as Chambers puts it “a person whose views are at variance with those of the majority”

20d         An angel, girl entertaining barrister fellow rejected (7)
{GABRIEL} – the archangel who foretold the birth of Jesus to the Virgin Mary is derived from a colloquial word for a girl around (entertaining) a barrister (as usually referred to by the criminal fraternity) without the F (Fellow rejected)

21d         Evergreen tree with crack in it, blown over (6)
{MYRTLE} – yes, I had as much trouble with this one as nearly everybody else – this evergreen shrub which has glossy aromatic foliage and white flowers followed by purple-black oval berries is created by putting a tree around (with … in it) a crack, in the sense of an attempt, and then reverse it all (blown over)

23d         Cast in the short series (5)
{THROW} – a word meaning to cast, as in to fling, is a charade of TH (the, short) and a series or progression

25d         Prejudice shown by one in HQ out east (4)
{BIAS} – this prejudice comes from putting I (one) inside a HQ and then dropping the E (out East)

I know this one doesn’t suit some solvers but, believe me, it is a vast improvement on many previous Thursday puzzles.

32 comments on “DT 26227

  1. Most enjoyable crossword this morning. Was glad I had paid attention in English lessons when it came to 24a, my husband clearly hadn’t! Last clue put in was 21d which was obviously the hardest. Got the answer correct before I had worked out why. Thanks to the mystery chap.

  2. I suspect that there are going to be a plethora of 24a/21d today.
    These were my last two in (about 15 minutes after 27a went in!). I was trying to do the same as Big Dave with 24a until I convinced myself that the definition was ‘Foolish constable. I think the wordplay in the clue doesn’t clearly indicate putting an anagram of bog into a place in Ulster.
    As soon as this went in 21d became apparent.
    All in all quite a good puzzle which I enjoyed – 17a was well observed with a good surface reading.
    **Note to self – remember RU for ‘game’!

    Thanks to BD and the mystery setter

  3. Whew, is all i can say, found this by far the hardest so far this week, got stuck for ages on r/h side, with eventually 24a and 21d left, which my brother and i worked out between us on the phone, cos yes, he was actually stuck too! it was a question of working out possible answers and then seeing if the clue fitted! much harder than normal Thursdays which I usually look forward to, i think this week has been tough and all us CC members need a nice one from Giovanni tomorrow to encourage us not to give up :)

    1. Oh blimey here we go again, doesn’t any of the setters want to help the CC this week. I agree with Mary another very tough offering, so far managed 2 clues! I think we all feel like giving up after this week. :-(

      1. About two-thirds done so far. 8d troubles me as I have all the checked letters and cannot solve it.

        1. would you like a hint? a type of star (think hello magazine etc) with a letter for bowled (on a cricket scorecard ) missing

      1. Until i can do one completely unaided Helen, no books or machines :) I have been doing them 11 months now and am still nowhere near achieving that !

    2. I agree Mary – found this very tricky. I really liked 5d & 18a but needed lots of blog help for the bottom half – thanks BD :-)

  4. Very enjoyable! As gnomie above, 27a went in, and then 24a and finally 21d (a new word for me!). Thanks to setter for a good, solid puzzle.

  5. Very enjoyabke puzzle. Lots of good clues, particularly 9a, 15a, 18a & 5d.

    Had problems, as most seem to have done, with 24a.

    Last to go in was 21d. Still haven’t worked out why it’s the right answer??

    1. Vince, The definition is an Evergreen. A crack is also an attempt (in 3 letters) which is in a 3 letter word for a tree, all reversed (blown over).
      I bet BD has put the ‘downs’ in before I hit the send button!

      1. gnomethang,

        A belated thanks. Had to leave quickly at lunchtime, and didn’t have time. It wasn’t as difficult as I thought.

        1. Your’e right – just odd looking with some reasonable deceptive wordplay making it difficult to ‘Lift and Separate’ Evergreen from Tree.

  6. Well I think I’ve done it!!!! 21d I got quite easily from the checking letters and love of gardening…. I was pleased to remember 8d from previous crosswords but sadly needed the blog for 4a :( but that was the only one. Needed my dictinaries though… Liked 16d.

  7. I thought this a very good puzzle. Same as everyone else, the last two in were 24a and 21d. The came straight over here for explanation of 21d rather than struggle to work it out myself.
    Stylistically, I would have thought this was compiled by one of the more regular DT setters. 4* from me…

  8. I started with the Toughie today for a change which I found both enjoyable and challenging. I think I must have worn out the cryptic part of my brain because I then struggled with a number of the clues in this one, especially as didn’t do Much Ado about Nothing at school

  9. Cannot add much to all that has been said already. Many thanks to the setter and to BD for the notes. Favourite clue was 14d.

  10. Thoroughly enjoyed today’s puzzle but with the same difficulties already highlighted viz. 24a and 21d. Favourite clue was 17d.

  11. Agreed – a nice Thursday – got interrupted several times with phone calls and brain delay on getting top right hand corner but it filtered through in the end. A new word for me in 8d..

    Thanks to the setter and to you Dave for the hints. Didn’tr know why 21a was what it was – thanks..

    Hope tomorrow’s Giovanni’s is a good one.

  12. Oof! I was expecting a nice and easy Thursday and got caught off guard a bit with this one. A couple of the clues seemed to 15a but I shall pick myself up, dust myself down, and start all over again in the morning.

  13. I knew it, maybe yesterday WAS a fluke! I have been out most of he day – excellent lunch with a friend – so hadn’t more than looked at it over breakfast. Got about 16 done, all the simple ones!

  14. Either they are getting easier or we’ve improved. Have finished 4 of the last 5 from DT with out hints from this site . (don’t do Sunday’s). Shame about Tuesday this week.

  15. Agree with most -this was a toughie. I marvel at the diversity of vocab needed together with the literary and botanical knowledge. I got to say i was weighed in the balance and found wanting with this one. Good fun though and my enjoyment is greatly enhanced by your helpful, illustrated website.Diff.-**** Enjoyment *****

  16. Thought this was a complete stinker – could not get into his mindset at all – even having looked up the answers here I feel quite underwhelmed

  17. Thanks for the review. Didn’t quite finish this, but enjoyed it a lot! Can’t understand now why I didn’t get 9a, but that just me being “clueless”. 24a, 27a and 21d also defeated me.
    Enjoyed 17d – took a while but that added to the pleasure when I saw it!

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