DT 26232 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26232

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26232

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

There’s not a lot more to say about Jay’s Wednesday crosswords.  They probably represent the Telegraph genre better than any others.  I have a few minor grumbles, but overall a competent puzzle.

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    Keep mum in shot (5,2)
{CLOSE UP} – a double definition – to keep quiet or a photograph taken near at hand – the first definition is, somewhat surprisingly, not in Chambers with this meaning and the second is hyphenated

5a    Couple without one fit story (7)
{PARABLE} – combine a couple, without the I (without one) with a word meaning fit to get a simple story used to illustrate a moral or spiritual lesson

9a    Performer’s developing attributes, but gone missing (7)
{ARTISTE} – this performer is an anagram (developing) of ATTRI(BUT)ES without the letters of BUT ( but gone missing)

10a    Olive, for example — fine as source of fuel (3,4)
{OIL WELL} – this olive is the kind used for cooking and not Popeye’s girlfriend, whose name is spelt differently – combine this with a word meaning fine to get a source of fuel

11a    Just why we hear story’s a lie (5,4)
{FAIRY TALE} – a synonym for just is followed by the single letter that sounds like (we hear) why and a story to get a lie, or fictional explanation – story in the wordplay and lie as the definition are a little close

12a    Delicacies that may come after wedding? (5)
{CAKES} – one of those only slightly cryptic definitions

13a    Musicians’ boss comes back full of energy (5)
{DUETS} – pairs of singers (musicians) are constructed from a boss, or knob, reversed (comes back) around (full of) E(nergy)

15a    The implicit quality of open individuals (9)
{OVERTONES} – this implicit quality is a charade of synonyms for open and individuals

17a    ‘A’ might be a vampire (5,4)
{BLOOD TYPE} – the first part of this double definition (‘A’, might be) definitely works but the second is overly cryptic

19a    Try to prevent doctor accepting summer in France (5)
{DETER} – a word meaning to try to prevent is constructed from a doctor around (accepting) the French for summer

22a    Piece of music to be played back inside, late tomorrow (5)
{MOTET} – this piece of music is reversed (played back) inside late tomorrow

23a    Part of Denmark where legend ran rampant (9)
{GREENLAND} – this autonomous country within the Kingdom of Denmark, located between the Arctic and Atlantic Oceans, is an anagram (rampant) of LEGEND RAN

25a    Reassurance initially found in a competitor’s appearance (7)
{ARRIVAL} – put R (Reassurance initially) inside A competitor to get an appearance, as in an entrance or coming

26a    Benefit from a bit of tennis (7)
{SERVICE} – this benefit is also the act of starting each point in a game of tennis

27a    Forces out half of nude models (7)
{DEPOSES} – a word meaning forces out is a charade of the second half of nude and a word meaning models or sits

28a    Keeper stared madly keeping wicket (7)
{STEWARD} – this person who superintends another’s affairs, especially an estate or farm, is an anagram (madly) of STARED around (keeping) W(icket)


1d    Fretted having to accommodate female — got teased (7)
{CHAFFED} – put a word meaning fretted or irritated around (having to accommodate) F(emale) to get a word meaning teased or bantered with

2d    Unconscious approach to sketch (7)
{OUTLINE} – a charade of unconscious, as a boxer might be, and an approach or direction to get a rough sketch

3d    Try a piece of critical writing (5)
{ESSAY} – a double definition – to attempt or a written composition less elaborate than a dissertation or treatise

4d    Order pay to be doctored — about time to become exploitative (9)
{PREDATORY} – an anagram (doctored) of ORDER PAY around T(ime) to get a word meaning exploitative or acquisitive

5d    Quietly got up from writing (5)
{PROSE} – combine P (quietly) with a word meaning got up to get this plain writing (as opposed to verse), maybe of 3 down

6d    Moved to declare? (9)
{RELOCATED} – an anagram (moved) of TO DECLARE gives a word meaning moved in this partial all-in-one clue

7d    Tame burglar might do it (5,2)
{BREAK IN} – a double definition – to tame and what a burglar might do

8d    Volunteers organise silent protests at the end (7)
{ENLISTS} – a verb meaning volunteers, for the armed forces, is an anagram (organise) of SILENT and S (protestS at the end)

14d    Home Counties appointments around four could be downers (9)
{SEDATIVES} – in Crosswordland the Home Counties are the South East (of England) – follow this with appointments in the diary around the Roman numeral for four to get these drugs that may calm the nerves (could be downers)

16d    Refs regularly support teams getting breaks (9)
{ELEVENSES} – put the even letters (regularly) of refs after (support, as this is a down clue) teams that play, for example, cricket and football but not rugby, to get morning snack breaks – cleverly, refs could also define this answer, being short for refreshments

17d         Shell directors provide cover for doctor (7)
{BOMBARD} – to shell, or attack with artillery, is constructed from a collective name for the directors of a company around one of the abbreviations for a doctor (this one is the Latin for a medical degree)

18d         Forbidden growth in field makes sudden appearance (7)
{OUTCROP} – a charade of a word meaning forbidden, as in not allowed, and what grows in a field makes a sudden appearance

20d         Sinatra became consort to a powerful ruler (7)
{TSARINA} – regulars should immediately recognise that Frank SINATRA is an anagram, rather weakly indicated by became, of the consort to a powerful Russian leader

21d         Rufus studied, lacking a brain (7)
{REDHEAD} – no, not our national treasure but more like William Rufus – a word meaning studied, particularly at university, without the A (lacking A) id followed by a synonym for brain, as in mind or intellect

23d         Golf, unfortunately, provides sporting occasions (5)
{GALAS} – the surface reading echoes my sentiments about this alleged sport where you can actually watch the grass grow – put the letter represented in the NATO Phonetic Alphabet (it’s in The Mine!) by Golf in front of a word meaning unfortunately to get these sporting occasions

24d         The sort of shark to treat with care (5)
{NURSE} – a part-cryptic double definition – a type of shark and to treat with care

A further reminder that several of your favourite bloggers, including Tilsit, Anax, Prolixic and Gnomethang, will be joining me at the White Horse in Parson’s Green this Saturday (8th May) between 11;00m and 7:00 pm.  All are welcome. Fuller details later.

42 comments on “DT 26232

  1. Another very enjoyable outing form Jay. I spotted the couple of BD’s niggles thus far but they did not detract from a fun puzzle.
    Favourites were 16d and 27a

  2. Didn’t quite get there, with 15a/16d left over. I had the right idea, but missed the point of ‘support’ and was trying to put the ES at the beginning of 16d. Needed the blog for some explanations again, so thanks BD!

    Helpful as ever to learn things like SE referring to Home Counties. It could pernickety of me to say the duets involve to far more musicians than only singers, there are even organ duets!

  3. I’m surprised at your criticism of 17a, Dave. I particularly liked it.

    Otherwise, a fairly strightforward puzzle, with not much more to say.

    1. Vince

      It’s a fun clue, but lacks proper definition. Definition by example is always fraught with problems and I don’t recall a vampire being called this.

      1. I loved it… the first answer I put in……. could be the biologist in me??

          1. One of my first too – & my favourite! Also 15a, 27a &16d. Struggled with a few in the bottom half though – thanks for the hints BD

  4. Big Dave,
    Just thanks for all your help I really do value your site.
    I am here living in France in the Charente for the summer, with this weeks weather rather cold, damp and so no gardening to do. Obviously, the next item on the daily agenda is the DT Crosswords. Not being the sharpest knife in the draw, I often need a little bit of guidance which your blog more often than not provides, so thank you for your effort. One slight criticism is that being an early riser I often start the crossword perhaps 7.30am ish so could you please perhaps post your helpful ideas a little earlier.
    Sorry to be so pedantic but I am so appreciative that you are there for the likes of me.

    1. Welcome to the blog Peter

      The average post takes about 1½ to 2 hours to write up, so I think it unlikely we would be able to regularly provide the info earlier. Some days it’s a struggle to get it ready by 11:00 am BST!

  5. 6d was my favourite – has it been used before and I haven’t noticed it?

  6. Thanks Dave et al for the blog. Must be finally getting the hang of this – only 2 missing today 16D, 21D. Nearly there. An enjoyable puzzle for me as a relative newcomer.

  7. Another fun puzzle from Jay, not too taxing but very enjoyable, loved 17a.

  8. I thought this was a lot gentler than some of Jay’s recent puzzles – just short of a two stopper. It was enjoyable and I have no major niggles.

    In relation to 17a, the “might be a vampire” did not bother me though I thought that the surface reading was weak. Many thanks to Jay for the puzzle and to BD for the notes.

  9. Enjoyable crossword with a duff one at 1d…………..

    …..couldn’t find “chaffed” in the dictionary & have never heard the word myself


    1. Ashley – although I got 1d I had to look it up to confirm and it is in Chambers as a verb to tease so it’s there.

  10. Enjoyed this – took me longer to get the nw corner than it should have as 1a eluded me for ages – as a result I liked it but my favourite was 17d.

  11. Completed in two halves today, with a visit to the cinema in between, we apparently now have the most modern cinema in the country all brand new, 6 screens all HD 3D etc etc, what a treat to be able to go in the morning, recommend it :) with a huge slice of lemon cake and hot choc with cream to follow mmm – got stuck a bit in bootom left corner, never heard of motet although I am supposed to be a musician!! Once again no real fav clue today, thanks Dave for the write up

    1. Mary – I agree with you – going to the cinema in the morning is super but I top it off with going to Nando’s for lunch afterwards.

      Have just submitted two entries for COW – pathetic ones but at least I have done what I said I would – supported you. There are some nice clues in there.

      1. Thanks Lee, yes there are some pretty good ones there, my problem is finding any that i don’t like!! I will go over shortly to look at your clues, thanks for the support, much appreciated, i fear this weeks judging will not come up to the standard of the past few weeks, i will try my best however :) thanks for the support

        1. Mary I am sure you will do an excellent job. Be careful though you will have Dave getting you to do the reviews soon. Remember – he would like to change it from all male domination.

          1. Once Dave reads my judging effort on Friday, (if he does read COW) he will realise that I would no way be qualified to do that, just wish I was that intelligent :)

  12. A 3/4 enjoyable puzzle except for the SW corner which was just plain horrible. Never heard of a motet and never likely to again. 17a across is odd, had byte for the second word as in a vampire, can’t see what vampire has to do with type at all, sorry a very poor clue in my opinion.

    1. That’s about as many as I could 4 months ago – took me ages to get 7d!

  13. Quite enjoyable today.I have missed the crozzys lately as I am obsessed with politics at the moment.
    Never mind i am off to the south of France for the summer in a couple of weeks (Carcassonne) and should get some serious puzzle solving in.

    1. Lucky you Nubian, Have you read the book, ‘Narrow Dog to Carcssonne’ ?

      1. I haven’t read that one but I have read the one by Kate Mosse ‘Labyrinth’ which is a bit of a bodice ripper but the historical content is mixed with a modern day scenario covering the streets and boulevards of the city which is quite enjoyable.

  14. Well, I got there in the end. It must be these glasses. Sometimes the answer stares me in the face and I still can’t see it.

  15. I found today hard hard hard….. :( Got there in the end but more of a struggle than I think it should have been.

  16. Hi Dave – many thanks for this. My mother-in-law beat me to it today. Just came on to find out the ones we couldn’t get.
    16d was a very good clue – it had me stumped.

  17. Liked this and my favourites were 17a and 16d. Last in 1d – first in 7d. Off to bed – pre election fever!

  18. I solved this early this morning – clockwise from NW corner round to SW corner and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
    I liked 1a, 11a, 15a, 17a & 23a. 14d, 16d, 21d & 24d.
    For me, the best clues were 15a, 17a & 23a.

    Now then you GBers – don’t forget to go and VOTE today.

    I haven’t had a national vote for 46 years as a long-term expat – can only vote in local affairs here in NL.

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