DT 26250 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26250

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26250

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Jay is as reliable as ever, and gives us an enjoyable, not-too-difficult 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.


2a    Broadcast second undertaking by one dropping out of school (12)
{TRANSMISSION} – if you can’t find something that sounds like second undertaking to solve this clue, that’s because broadcast is not a homophone indicator but the definition – put S(econd) and an (Impossible!) undertaking after (by) a word meaning to school without the I (one dropping out)

8a    Scrub minimum amount to be invested in case of waste (4)
{WIPE} – scrub the slate clean by putting 1P (one penny / minimum amount) inside (to be invested) the outside letters (case) of WastE

9a    Drink works for substitute (8)
{SUPPLANT} – a charade of to drink and an industrial works to get a word meaning to substitute

10a    Suppress what’s given to baby out of bed (6,2)
{BOTTLE UP} – a phrasal verb meaning to suppress is built up from what’s given to baby and out of bed

11a    Beats packs, full of energy (6)
{CREAMS} – a verb meaning beats is constructed from a synonym for packs, as in stuffs, with E(nergy) inside

12a    Vague gut feeling about policeman investigating (10)
{INDISTINCT} – a word meaning vague comes from a gut feeling or sixth sense around an officer in the CID (policeman investigating)

13a    Hold out script that lacks start and finish (6)
{EXTEND} – to hold out, as in to hold out your arms, is built from a script without its first letter (that lacks start) and a synonym for finish

16a    Better start drinking after the last word (5)
{AMEND} – a word meaning to better or improve is derived by putting D (start Drinking) after the last word in a prayer

17a    A small man needs weight to make him a fighter (6)
{BANTAM} – add weight to the end of this small man and you get a weight in boxing between flyweight and featherweight

18a    Badly put clue, say, for a tree producing oil (10)
{EUCALYPTUS} – an anagram (badly) of PUT CLUE SAY gives a tree that produces oil

21a    Group one originally thought could produce such a thief (6)
{BANDIT} – string together a group, I (one) and T (originally Thought) to get a thief belonging to a gang and typically operating in an isolated or lawless area.

23a    Institutions that might offer research in cattle crossing (8)
{OXBRIDGE} – the name applied collectively to the country’s two top universities is a charade of cattle and a crossing

24a    Show of appreciation given to a hunky doctor (5,3)
{THANK YOU} – a show of appreciation is an anagram (doctor) of TO A HUNKY

25a    Character-forming vehicle senior officers cut by half (4)
{GENE} – this character-forming vehicle comes from the first half of senior army officers

26a    Nicks work station in den (12)
{INDENTATIONS} – these nicks or marks are an anagram (work) of STATION IN DEN


1d    One’s inside losing — deny any connection (6)
{DISOWN} – put I S (one’s) inside losing, as in behind in a game, to get a word meaning to deny any connection

2d    Examine scheme to include one high-flyer (4,5)
{TEST PILOT} – combine a word meaning to examine with a scheme, the latter placed around (to include) I (one) to get a high-flyer we saw as recently as last Sunday

3d    Insist something of value is inclusive of right (6)
{ASSERT} – a word meaning to insist is derived by putting something of value around (is inclusive of) Right

4d    Horror story of banking facility (8,7)
{SUSPENSE ACCOUNT} – a part-cryptic double definition that gives a home for unallocated banking items

5d    I did something about one elected and had an effect (8)
{IMPACTED} – put I and did something on the stage around someone elected to parliament to get a word meaning had an affect

6d    Value initially found in exclusive work out (5)
{SOLVE} – V (Value initially) is placed inside exclusive, as in an exclusive tenancy, to get a word meaning to work out – just like you are doing now!

7d    Possibly mention source of trouble in application (8)
{OINTMENT} – an anagram (possibly) of MENTION is followed by T (source of Trouble) to get an application for rubbing into the skin for healing or cosmetic purposes

14d    Accessories that are robust start to finish (9)
{TRAPPINGS} – to get these accessories take a word meaning robust and move the first letter from start to finish

15d    Battle for people generally accepting reinterpretation of Torah (8)
{MARATHON} – this famous battle in which the Athenians triumphed over the Persians in 490 BC is created by putting people generally around (accepting) an anagram (reinterpretation) of TORAH – tradition says that Pheidippides, a Greek messenger, ran all the way to Athens with news of the battle

16d    Something in a ring making them stay (8)
{AMETHYST} – a gemstone that you might have set into a ring is an anagram (making) of THEM STAY

19d    Offer beastly king mostly accepts with desire (6)
{LIBIDO} – put an offer inside most of the king of the jungle to get a sexual desire

20d    Universal right to hold onto information that’s critical (6)
{URGENT} – start with U(niversal) and add the two-letter abbreviation for RighT, placed around (to hold onto) information to get a word meaning critical

22d    One who’s desperate in front of church steps (5)
{DANCE} – put the desperate wild-west character from the dandy before (in front of) the Church of England to get these steps to music

As a special treat tomorrow Crypticsue, our first lady contributor, will be reviewing last Saturday’s Prize puzzle. You can read her first blog at 12.00 noon.

21 comments on “DT 26250

  1. I found this extremely hard and used up all five help clues and was expecting to get 100 points. Surprise got 500 points so don’t accuse all of us of ‘cheating’ in the scoreboards. As for yesterday’s …..even having read your explanations …… left me bewildered. Hope your weather is still sunny. Ours is cold and bucketing down.

    1. You may have exited and restarted! My reference was to those scoring full bonus points for “old” puzzles – the only way you can rack up thousands of points in a day.

  2. Dave,

    You’ve omitted a word from the end of your hint for 25a.

    8a. I worked this out, not from the definition, but from the rest of the clue. Can you explain how scrub = wipe?

  3. In Newcastle today! Fine crossword by Jay with some very nice misleading clues. Thanks to the setter and to BD for the notes.

  4. An enjoyable puzzle with some excellent clues. Managed to answer 17a from crossed letters and latter part of clue, but it took ages for the penny to drop. I must have been obsessed with ‘fowl’ thoughts.

      1. Dave, If you add “weight” to the end of your answer you should get a boxing weight, not heavyweight, not middleweight but …

  5. I found it perhaps a shade more difficult than a standard Jay puzzle but there were, as always, some lovely clues. 14d, 24a and 2a were among the favourites.
    Thanks to BD and to Jay.

  6. Took a while to get started, but then it fell into place nicely. Felt it was at top end of Cryptic-difficulty, but fair and balanced. Liked 23a, and needed the blog to confirm why I had 2a correct. So thanks BD & Jay. Now for the real Toughie!

  7. Really enjoyed all the clues today, no one my special favourite.
    I enjoyed the blog, thanks BD

  8. I thought it was a hard puzzle today. It took me ages and I needed some hints. One of those ones where when you eventually get the answer you think “why was that so difficult?” I guess thats the sign of a really good crossword.

  9. Went to London from Darlington on the train for a conference today so had the pleasure of doing the crossword midweek. Manage it all but 1d and 11a , however had 8a wrong. Thoroughly enjoyed it

  10. Only 20 people gave this a star rating and fewer than that graded the excellent toughie.
    Am I just one of many who appreciate this site enormously but don’t usually contribute to the blog?
    Where has Mary got to?
    Have we all seen Anax’s anagram guide?
    And finally why does my computer think that the DIY COW page is a “reported attack page”..whatever that might be,,,?

  11. Mary, I believe, is on holiday. This is now yesterday’s puzzle, but I’ve just finished it in several sessions today. I found it quite difficult and needed a few hints. Didn’t like 2a or 25a. Never heard of 4d, but otherwise I quite enjoyed it. I might try today’s later.

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