DT 26259 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

DT 26259

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26259

A full review by Gnomethang

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment **

Once again, as last week, I thought that this puzzle was let down by some clues that didn’t really cut the mustard, in particular some of the cryptic definitions. Also some of the surface reading telegraphed the wordplay instruction which made the puzzle very straightforward as a result. This is a shame really as more recent Saturday Prize Puzzles have been more tricky and, for me, more enjoyable.


6a Remove half a stone, it’s the trend (6,7)
LATEST FASHION – An anagram of HALF A STONE ITS (indicated by ‘remove’) gives the trend.

8a Of interest to the consumer? (6)
EDIBLE – A not very cryptic description of something that can be eaten – ‘Of Interest ‘ rather leads towards ‘Tasty’ or ‘Toothsome’ but serves its purpose

9a Martha with an extraordinary bloomer (8)
AMARANTH – Any flower of the Love-Lies-Bleeding genus is another anagram (extraordinary) of MARTHA with AN

10a Firm black loaf (3)
COB – A charade of CO (firm/company) plus Black, as well as being a horse, a male swan and an odd shaped Spanish-American dollar a cob is also a small bread loaf.

11a Viol, it played in town near Rome (6)
TIVOLI – Another anagram (played) of VIOL IT is a town near Rome

12a Sweetie getting a licking (8)
LOLLIPOP – Not much to say about this!  The cryptic element isn’t doing a lot!

14a Cheat to be successful in damaged sled (7)
SWINDLE – place WIN (be successful) in an anagram (damaged) of SLED yields a verb meaning to cheat

16a Antoine, desperate student (7)
ETONIAN – our ubiquitous student or public schoolboy is also an anagram(desperate) of ANTOINE

20a Jack’s bag is a song with punch (5,3)
DITTY BOX – An unfamiliar phrase for me (although I think I might have come across it many moons ago). Take a DITTY (song) with BOX (punch). A Ditty Box is a wooden, compartmentalised box used by sailors to store their personal belongings

23a Band tour in London area (6)
STRIPE – an insertion of TRIP (tour) in the South East (which is the area of the country containing London)

24a Teetotaller’s round included quantity of spirits (3)
TOT – the inclusion of O (round) in TT for Teetotaller

25a Global pamphlet? (8)
CIRCULAR – A double definition. A regularly delivered pamphlet is also an adjective describing the shape of the globe

26a Chef had one oriental biscuit (6)
COOKIE – a simple charade of COOK (chef) + I (one) + E (oriental – eastern) gives you a biscuit

27a Rocket with satnav? (6,7)
GUIDED MISSILE – Another so-so cryptic definition of a long range missile with on or off- board navigational capability.


1d Inflexible remnant on said stream (8)
STUBBORN – A charade of STUB (remnant from e.g. a cheque book) and BORN a homophone (said) of a stream

2d Particular places ie redeveloped (8)
ESPECIAL – another anagram (redeveloped) of PLACES IE means particular or distinguished

3d Easily approachable female in a story (7)
AFFABLE – a word meaning approachable or friendly is made from placing Female in A FABLE (a story popularized by Aesop)

4d Whereas sailors, some attack verbally (6)
ASSAIL – I was puzzling over the wordplay until I looked into ‘Whereas sailors’ to find the hidden word (indicated by some). I really am dumb at spotting hidden words sometimes

5d Kay with one young lady at island capital (6)
KIGALI – A nice piece of misdirection here as it appears that the definition is ‘island capital’ whereas in fact the Island is part of the wordplay. Take K (for Kay – presumably a straight homophone) and add I (one), GAL ( a girl as pronounced by schoolmarms) and then the I leads to the capital of Rwanda

6d Patient female attendant? (4-2-7)
LADY-IN-WAITING – A better cryptic definition of a female attendant to a female Royal

7d Feeling engendered by British Lions? (8,5)
NATIONAL PRIDE – Another reasonable definition for the flag waving feeling that one may show towards the national team – ‘Pride’ is alluded to by the ‘Lions’

13d First man in Cleopatra’s embrace (3)
LEO – You have a choice of LEO and PAT in Cleopatra, but LEO comes first!

15d Fourth-rate lines are uninteresting (3)
DRY – Fourth rate can be termed as ‘D’ in a grading system. Add this to the standard abbreviation for (railway) lines of RY and you have word meaning uninteresting or flat

17d Try some luggage that could create a precedent (4,4)
TEST CASE – A charade of TEST (try) and CASE (some luggage). A precedent set in a court room is also known as a test case (if it was brought to trial with the intention of proving a point to allow further cases to be brought)

18d Drug coming from carton 99 (8)
NARCOTIC – The required wordplay here is a anagram of CARTON with IC for 99 in Roman Numerals which leads to your drug. However, as you can see in ‘The Mine’ (psst – its in the side bar on the right!) the correct way of writing 99 is XCIX, or (100 – 10) + (10 – 1), or XCIX. The rules are that you cannot subtract units from hundreds or tens from thousands, only units from tens and tens from hundreds. Thus (100-1) or (1000 – 10) is disallowed.Having said all that there was not really any doubt as to the required direction in the clue!

19d Uncompromising at outer limit (7)
EXTREME – A double definition. Uncompromising in ones views or on the edge (both physically and metaphorically)

21d Poison, sound the alarm (6)
TOCSIN – Dragged back from my French and English Literature along with ‘Divers Alarums’. A homophone of TOXIN gives TOCSIN, a word for an audible alarm or bell derived from a Provencal word combining a local word for touch/strike (tocar) and sign in Low Latin (signum).

22d Shell not in report (6)
BULLET – Take a synonym for a report (BULLETIN) and simply remove the IN to get a projectile (synonym for a shell)

9 comments on “DT 26259

  1. Hi Gnomethang. I share your disappointment that this puzzle took a step back towards the Dark Ages of Saturday challenges, from which it seemed we were emerging. Your point about Roman numerals (18d) is technically correct, though I do feel that 100-1 is easier to comprehend than (100 – 10) + (10 – 1)

    1. And I thought that today’s 26,263, for which we await the Blog, would have made a better Saturday puzzle than this one.

  2. I’m afraid the Sat. and Sun. puzzles are hardly worth looking at these days. I enjoyed your review however. Agree with Digby re todays crossword. By the way Barry, you were totally correct about my efforts with todays toughie, I’m afraid MynoT is our Nemesis.

    1. Aha! But today I triumphed!. I knocked the other half off over lunch when I finally got going!. Bit more sciencey today rather than flora and fauna – that might help you!.

    2. BigBoab
      I agree with you on the Saturday puzzles, but the Sunday ones are a different class completely (best of the week, IMHO). If you haven’t done one recently, I urge you to give them a go!

      1. Will do Gazza, I stopped doing them a while ago because I wasn;t enjoying them, I just do the odd one now and again when I’m a bit short of something to do, I will start again this weekend.

Comments are closed.