DT 26251

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26251

Hints and tips by Libellule

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BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment **

I quite enjoyed the crossword when I did it, but when I started writing it up and realised just how much first and last letters are used, and the fact that there are 12 anagrams in 30 clues I began to change my mind… The Thursday crosswords seemed to be getting better over recent weeks, this one seems like a step backwards. Anyway feel free to leave a coment.

Hopefully the hint should give you all you need to get the answer, but if you still have a problem highlight the space between the curly brackets.


1. Deliver TV at no cost (3,4)
{SET FREE} – A phrase meaning to liberate, could also be a television that costs nothing.

5. Warnings from heads of the surgery about dodgy heart (7)
{THREATS} – The first letters of T (he) and S (urgery) around an anagram (dodgy) of HEART and you have indications of danger or harm.

9. Amusing company — I’m returning with Conservative (5)
{COMIC} – The definition here is amusing. Put together CO (company), reverse (returning) IM and finally add the abbreviation for Conservative.

10. Came out with rice puddings ultimately — cold desserts (3,6)
{ICE CTREAMS} –An anagram (out) of CAME and RICE and the last letter (ultimately) of (pudding) S.

11. A bit of luck to understand her completely (10)
{ALTOGETHER} – The answer is another word for completely, string together, A followed by L (a bit of luck), then TO, another word for understand, and finally HER.

12. It helps a car grip during very tricky reversing (4)
{TYRE} – The answer is hidden backwards in the clue, and you are looking for a word that would help a car grip the road.

14. Students may use them for every term (12)
{DICTIONARIES} – A cryptic definition, where term might mean a word or group of words that have a particular meaning

18. Exploits from active men he’s translated (12)
{ACHIEVEMENTS} – An anagram (translated) of ACTIVE MEN HES for another word that can mean accomplishments.

21. Fail to move extremely quickly (4)
{BOMB} – A double definition, think of a word used to describe a failure in the theatre.

22. Exaggerating time spent in gaol in front of grandson (10)
{STRETCHING} – Another word for a prison sentence is followed by IN and the first (front of) letter of G (randson) where exaggerating might be expanding the truth for example.

25. Buyers must score to get high (9)
{CUSTOMERS} – Another anagram (to get high), this time of MUST SCORE for the sort of people you might find in a shop. High is in the list of anagram indicators in the Chambers Crossword Dictionary – presumably in the sense of intoxicated.

26. Discover end of car in tip (5)
{LEARN} – Put the last (end of ) letter of (ca) R inside another word for incline and you have a word that means to “gain knowledge”.

27. Quantity of azaleas I established most straightforward (7)
{EASIEST} – A hidden word meaning the simplest or least difficult can be found in the clue.

28. Allergy irritated to a great extent (7)
{LARGELY} – Yet another anagram (irritated) this time of ALLERGY for a word that can mean “for the most part”.


1. With second cola I could make do (6)
{SOCIAL} – An informal party or gathering of a club etc. is S (second) followed by an anagram (could make) of COLA I.

2. Dorothy’s dog eating mother’s fruit (6)
{TOMATO} – The Dorothy in this case is from the Wizard of Oz. Put the dogs name around (eating) MA (mother) for a pulpy edible fruit.

3. Accepted foreign coins with greed (10)
{RECOGNISED} – Guess what – another anagram (foreign), this time of COINS with GREED is also a word that can mean acknowledged.

4. Be with last of prisoners in escape (5)
{EXIST} – A word meaning to live is formed by putting the last letter of (prisoner) S inside another word for an emergency way out.

5. So there! Something Norman shouted? (9)
{THEREFORE} – About half the answer is in the clue, now add on a word that Greg Norman might shout and “for that reason” you will have the answer. What is this meant to be?

6. Thin piece taken from cheese dish (4)
{RARE} – The cheese dish is Welsh, just remove a bit (piece) and you are left with a word that can mean thin, as in atmosphere.

7. One impressed by any lass having revised for examination (8)
{ANALYSIS} – An anagram (having revised) of I (one) and ANY LASS, producing another word for examination.

8. Uses novel to grasp writer’s atmosphere of excitement (8)
{SUSPENSE} – An anagram (novel) of USES around (grasp) PENS (writers) is a state or atmosphere of nervous or excited uncertainty.

13. Definite pressure at or near a joint (10)
{PARTICULAR} – P (pressure) followed by ARTICULAR a word meaning “at or near a joint” according to Chambers. I had to look that one up to confirm the wordplay!

15. What nurse may give to handle chaps with temperature (9)
{TREATMENT} – An attempt at an all-in-one? A word for what you might do to a sick person , is then followed by MEN (chaps) and finally the abbreviation for temperature.

16. Be prompt after pub meal (8)
{BARBECUE} – Put BE, then CUE (prompt) after another word for pub.

17. Drug dealers caught with millions during armed robberies (8)
{CHEMISTS} – C (aught) is then followed by M (millions) inside another word for armed hold-ups. The drug dealers in this case are similar to Boots.

19. I trap barque finally at sea? (6)
{PIRATE} – I am not sure this works very well. You are looking for a type of robber that is usually found at sea. The answer is an anagram (at sea) of I TRAP and the last letter of (barqu) E.

20. After period of time, client initially entered New York office (6)
{AGENCY} – Another term for an office or business consists of a period of time e.g. iron, stone, bronze etc. followed by the standard abbreviation for New York with the first (initially) letter of C (lient) inside.

23. Supporter of art sale organised around end of June (5)
{EASEL} – A frame for supporting a picture is another anagram (organised) of SALE around the last (end) letter of (Jun) E.

24. Rushed from shop after dropping off son (4)
{TORE} – A word meaning to move quickly can be found by removing S (son) from the front of another word for a large shop.


  1. cyclingbob
    Posted May 27, 2010 at 11:04 am | Permalink | Reply

    A mixed bag of clues today. Some poor and a few really good ones. 14a (last one I got) and 17d were my favourites. Agree that there were rather too many anagrams.

  2. Posted May 27, 2010 at 11:06 am | Permalink | Reply

    Thanks for the review Libellule. I know what you mean about this one – I got the same feeling when I was going through it. As for 6d, I sat there thinking “That can’t be it!” as there is only half a clue in there!.
    Thanks to our mystery setter as well.

  3. Geoff
    Posted May 27, 2010 at 11:14 am | Permalink | Reply

    Not awfully impressed by this one. A few good clues, 17d, and a few I didn’t get even with the hints, 5d, who??

    Thanks for the review.

  4. Prolixic
    Posted May 27, 2010 at 11:19 am | Permalink | Reply

    I thought that this wasn’t too bad. The balance of wordplay did not seem skewed when solving it and I thought that there were some good clues here. I agree with the comments about 5d, I thought that this was the weakest clue. Many thanks to the setter and to Libellule for the notes.

    Cheers from sunny(ish) Cardiff.

  5. Jezza
    Posted May 27, 2010 at 11:22 am | Permalink | Reply

    Apart from 5d, which I thought rather strange, on the whole I thought it ok. Not as good as the last few weeks, but still enjoyable. Thanks to setter and to Libellule.

  6. Vince
    Posted May 27, 2010 at 11:30 am | Permalink | Reply

    It looks as though we’re all feelingg the same about this one!

    25a. High!? Is there any word that can’t be used as an anagram indicator???

    5d. A bit much to expect us to know which Norman? I spent a long time thinking of people with that forst name – e.g. Wisdom, Collier. Had to get the answer then work it out.

    15d. I don’t think this is an attempt at an all-in-one clue. tI think that the definition is “What a nurse may give”, arrived at by :TREAT (to handle) + MEN (chaps) + T(emperature).

    19d. What a terrible clue! Where’s the definition?

    • Posted May 27, 2010 at 11:37 am | Permalink | Reply

      Vince, if 15d isn’t an all-in-one I think that 19d is!. It is quite common to use “I” or “We” inthis way, even for inanimate objects.

      • Vince
        Posted May 27, 2010 at 11:42 am | Permalink | Reply

        gnomethang, I thought of the possibility of “all-in-one”, but couldn’t see how. But I do see it now. Thanks.

      • Libellule
        Posted May 27, 2010 at 11:57 am | Permalink | Reply

        I agree with you re. 19d – it does look like an attempt at an all in one – but its a bad attempt….. so I didn’t bother to comment on it.

  7. Pamela
    Posted May 27, 2010 at 11:33 am | Permalink | Reply

    Bit of an anti climax when I finished because I did not think the clues were cryptic enough. Have to agree about too many anagrams as well. There is a German saying “Every day cannot be a Sunday” . To me this would apply to this crossword too. However someone took the time to set it and I thank them for that. Without the compilers where would be be?

    • Mr Tub
      Posted May 27, 2010 at 11:50 am | Permalink | Reply

      I quite agree Pamela! And I don’t have enough hair left to pull it out every day…
      It might not have been the perfect puzzle, but I did think 11a and 22a were nice.

  8. crypticsue
    Posted May 27, 2010 at 11:48 am | Permalink | Reply

    Agree its awfully anagrammy and definitely not up to the usual Thursday level. However, I am having a terrible day in the office so it was quite nice to have an easier puzzle to complete.

  9. BigBoab
    Posted May 27, 2010 at 12:47 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I didn’t enjoy this one at all, certainly not the most challenging of crosswords. Thanks to Libellule for the review.

  10. Nubian
    Posted May 27, 2010 at 12:54 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Definately not DT standard or am I getting picky ? I lke to feel incompetant about the odd clue here and there but this puzzle I found very weak. I was half way through in about five minutes and thought I had brought up the wrong one. Some or most of the clues I found trivial and easy to spot. Greg Norman shouting “Fore!” was a bit of a stretch, an extremely weak clue.
    I am now looking forward to Ray T next Tuesday. What an effect this has had.

    • crypticsue
      Posted May 27, 2010 at 1:02 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Do you think it was the editor’s way of lulling us into a false sense of security with the Toughie today … or is it just me thats struggling?

      • crypticsue
        Posted May 27, 2010 at 1:04 pm | Permalink | Reply

        I mean “before” the toughie

        • Posted May 27, 2010 at 1:06 pm | Permalink | Reply

          I got off to a slow start but then things came together rather quickly (Apart, that is, from the pesky little 4 letter at 12a. I know I’m going to kick myself!)

          • Nubian
            Posted May 27, 2010 at 1:20 pm | Permalink | Reply

            You would normally give the answer a kick as well

  11. Peter
    Posted May 27, 2010 at 6:38 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Quite frankly the compiler should be ashamed of 21a, 5d and 17d.

    16d is barely acceptable.

  12. Little Dave
    Posted May 27, 2010 at 9:24 pm | Permalink | Reply

    All done before play started at Lord’s. Lovely day and England well on top. Thanks to the compiler!

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