DT 26251 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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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.

20 comments on “DT 26251

  1. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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?

    1. 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.

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

      2. Gnomethang,
        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. 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?

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

  10. 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.

    1. 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?

        1. 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!)

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

    16d is barely acceptable.

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

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