DT 26292

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26292

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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BD Rating – Difficulty **** Enjoyment ***

A harder puzzle this week from Jay but, apart from 13a, all the answers should be in the average person’s vocabulary.  I came down on the side of four stars for difficulty, rather than three, largely because of this one clue, although I had remembered the answer from a very old Toughie (No 162).

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.


8a    A graduate dropped off, embarrassed (7)
{ABASHED} – a charade of A, an arts graduate and dropped off, as in a reptile cast off its skin, gives a word meaning embarrassed

10a    But I, royally, hang around outside (7)
{HOWEVER} – rather cunningly the definition here is but – to get it put the way Queen Victoria referred to herself (I, royally) inside to hang around or float

11a    I am on top of case and raring to go! (9)
{IMPATIENT} – start with I’M and add a case, usually someone in hospital, and you get a word meaning raring to go

12a    Run into kids playing with knives (5)
{DIRKS{ – put R(un) inside an anagram (playing) of KIDS to get these Highland daggers

13a    Apart from the walls, that bike hut is sheer poetry (5)
{HAIKU} – the checking letters led me to the wordplay, which is a bit unusual – remove the outside letters (apart from the walls) from (T)HA(T) (B)IK(E) (H)U(T) to get a Japanese poem, last seen in Toughie 162, typically of seventeen syllables in three lines of five, seven, and five, traditionally evoking images of the natural world (or an English poem written in the same format)

14a    Brush around journalist’s private space (7)
{BEDROOM} – put a brush around Crosswordland’s journalist to get a sleeping apartment (private space)

17a    Allows the team to drink, and causes disappointment (4,3,4,4)
{LETS THE SIDE DOWN} – a charade of allows, THE, a team and to swallow a drink gives a phrase meaning causes disappointment

19a    One gives cover with hesitation, after rebuilding ruins (7)
{INSURER} – this person or company that underwrites a risk (one gives cover) is created by putting hesitation (not um this time!) after an anagram (rebuilding) of RUINS

21a    Gambles and cashes in one’s chips, catching cold (5)
{DICES} – to get a synonym for gambles put a word meaning cashes in one’s chips, or kicks the bucket, around (catching) C(old)

24a    Born boozer’s reddish tinge? (5)
{BLUSH} – B(orn) is combined with a boozer to get a reddish tinge – possibly the one exhibited by the boozer!

26a    How to requisition goods from command post initially? (4,5)
{MAIL ORDER} – to requisition goods to be delivered to your home comes from a command preceded by the post (the kind delivered by the postman)

27a    Island group with serious water storage facility (7)
{CISTERN} – combine the British-owned island group off the coast of Northwest France with a word meaning serious to get a water storage facility, especially one supplying taps or as part of a flushing toilet.

28a    Volunteers book receipts (7)
{TAKINGS} – the volunteers are the Territorial Army; follow them with a book of the Old Testament to get receipts of money in a shop


1d    Engineer and his language (6)
{DANISH} – don’t bother looking for an engineer as it’s an anagram indicator for AND HIS which gives a language

2d    Twist a tin into shape for make-up (3,5)
{WAR PAINT} – split this as (4,1,3) and it breaks down as to twist or distort, A and an anagram (into shape) of TIN – the result is make-up worn by Native Americans or some young ladies

3d    Turn golfer into athlete (4-6)
{SHOT-PUTTER} – a charade of a turn or go with a golfer (while he is on the green!) gives a field athlete

4d    Egg partly used to lure fish (9)
{WHITEBAIT} – part of an egg (egg partly) is combined with a lure (usually to catch fish) to give the fry of various species of herring, usually cooked and eaten whole

5d    Adult, married, full of wonder (4)
{AWED} – A (Adult as a film category) followed by a synonym for married gives a word meaning full of wonder

6d    Exaggerate concerning cheat (6)
{OVERDO} – a word meaning to exaggerate, when split as (4,2) gives concerning and to cheat someone

7d    Correspondent put squeeze on husband (8)
{PRESSMAN} – a newspaper correspondent is a charade of to squeeze and a husband, as in the phrase *** and wife

9d    Difficult to comprehend river patrol’s leader (4)
{DEEP} – a word meaning difficult to comprehend is derived by following the Jolly Miller’s river (remember that one!) with P (Patrol’s leader)

15d         Fearful anticipation secures capital growth (10)
{DREADLOCKS} – combine fearful anticipation with a word meaning secures, by turning a key, and you get a capital growth. i.e. something that grows on the head (but not mine!)

16d         Hood’s gang reported – time for fun! (9)
{MERRIMENT} – the first part sounds like Robin Hood’s band of outlaws, just add T(ime) to get some fun

17d         Easy-going Labour leader needs help and support (4,4)
{LAID BACK} – a phrase that means easy-going is a charade of L(abour) with some help and to support or assist

18d         The West’s unfortunate mishap – love for action initially (8)
{OCCIDENT} – the West, as in Orient for the East, is derived by taking a word meaning an unfortunate mishap and putting O (love) instead of A (Action initially)

20d         Suppress drink (6)
{SQUASH} – a double definition, the second being a soft drink

22d         Most painful — ergo relax (6)
{SOREST} – a word meaning most painful is a charade of ergo, or therefore, and to relax

23d         What to wear in ski lifts, if going away (4)
{KILT} – what to wear in Scotland is hidden inside SKI LIFTS, after IF is removed – not my favourite clue

25d         List origin of hotel fish (4)
{HEEL} – to list or tilt is a combination of H(otel) and a fish

Hope you enjoyed this one and didn’t get held up for too long by 13a!


  1. Nubian
    Posted July 14, 2010 at 11:39 am | Permalink | Reply

    Bonjour a tous !
    Todays puzzle was brilliant. When I saw 13a I thought of Mr Rumpey(or something like that) of the EEC, he being an aficionado of the said clue. The rest of the clues were very doable and very enjoyable.
    The toughie today is a ‘tour de force’. Really enjoyable.

  2. Nomis
    Posted July 14, 2010 at 11:41 am | Permalink | Reply

    Second completion in a row with no help; so thought it less than 4*. Several enjoyable clues: 13a, 17a,16d; favourite 15d.
    Thanks to Jay & BD!

    • Posted July 14, 2010 at 11:47 am | Permalink | Reply

      I can’t win on the difficulty rating! For me it was three star, but I felt that others might find it harder.

  3. Prolixic
    Posted July 14, 2010 at 11:43 am | Permalink | Reply

    I must have been on the right wavelength for a Jay puzzle today as I found this a two-stopper at most (even 13a was clear from the wordplay) – left me with plenty of time for Le Toughie. Many thanks to Jay for an enjoyable puzzle and to BD for the notes. Favourite clue was 18d.

    • Posted July 14, 2010 at 11:46 am | Permalink | Reply

      I must confess that I didnt find it too tricky but lots of fun.

  4. crypticsue
    Posted July 14, 2010 at 11:44 am | Permalink | Reply

    I too thoroughly enjoyed this puzzle before moving on to the Toughie, which as Nubian says, is a veritable tour de force. I would pick 13a and 23d as “favourites” out of all the good clues in the Cryptic, mainly because I am finally getting the hang of spotting those dratted “every other letter” clues.

  5. Posted July 14, 2010 at 11:45 am | Permalink | Reply

    Fine four star puzzle
    Fish clue was enjoyable
    Haiku went in last
    Thanks to Jay and BD for the review

  6. Posted July 14, 2010 at 11:55 am | Permalink | Reply

    Liked it very much, but tiny grumble about 11a, shouldn’t that be a down clue because of the “on top of”.

    Nice pleasant way to start the day.

  7. Jezza
    Posted July 14, 2010 at 11:58 am | Permalink | Reply

    Great puzzle from Jay today; the only clue that caused me trouble was 12a (not a word in my vocabulary)
    13a sounds like something the Japanese should do before a game of rugby :)

  8. Xerses
    Posted July 14, 2010 at 12:25 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I took a while to get going today, but once the penny dropped it all came together nicely. Enjoyed it thanks jay.

  9. freda
    Posted July 14, 2010 at 12:37 pm | Permalink | Reply

    21a Gambles and cashes in one’s chips, catching cold (5)
    I don’t understand the wordplay of this one. I’m assuming it’s c(old) in dies. But what does dies have to do with cashing in chips? Do I have to visit casinos more often?
    Thanks to everyone for this fine community.

    • Posted July 14, 2010 at 12:42 pm | Permalink | Reply


      “Cashes in ones chips” is an expression like “kicks the bucket”, one of many indirect ways of saying dies.

    • Posted July 14, 2010 at 12:43 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Cash in ones chips

      Buy the farm was a new one for me!

      • freda
        Posted July 14, 2010 at 12:50 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Doh! The penny dropped as soon as I read my own question, but it is at least a new expression to me. Thank you.

      • Kath
        Posted July 14, 2010 at 1:59 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Help – now I’m really lost! What has the farm got to do with any of it?

        • mary
          Posted July 14, 2010 at 2:02 pm | Permalink | Reply

          mmmm was wondering that myself Kath :)

          • Kath
            Posted July 14, 2010 at 2:12 pm | Permalink | Reply

            Oh good – so glad it’s not just me ….! Just waiting for latest downpour to stop before taking our little collie for a walk – she’s beginning to look at her watch!

            • mary
              Posted July 14, 2010 at 2:14 pm | Permalink | Reply

              not just you, maybe Dave will enlighten us, my two are sleeping blissfully unaware of the rain outside :)

              • mary
                Posted July 14, 2010 at 2:18 pm | Permalink | Reply

                Have just googled it and to ‘buy the farm’ is apparently a phrase meaning someone who has died in battle – coming from times when someone fighting overseas would take out an insurance to pay off the family farm if he got killed, I’m sure Dave will tell us if i’m wrong – thus ‘he bought the farm’ – he died :)

                • gnomethang
                  Posted July 14, 2010 at 2:24 pm | Permalink | Reply

                  That’s the one, Mary!

                  • mary
                    Posted July 14, 2010 at 2:29 pm | Permalink | Reply

                    cheers gnomey

                • Kath
                  Posted July 14, 2010 at 4:25 pm | Permalink | Reply

                  Thanks – wonder if the phrase “bought it” ie was killed (which I HAVE heard) comes from that too? Does anyone know?

                  • mary
                    Posted July 14, 2010 at 4:30 pm | Permalink | Reply

                    sorry Kath can’t find that

  10. Michael
    Posted July 14, 2010 at 12:48 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I had scotch for 20d which scuppered me.

    • mary
      Posted July 14, 2010 at 2:20 pm | Permalink | Reply

      maybe water next time Michael, you need a clear head for these crosswords! :)

      • Michael
        Posted July 14, 2010 at 5:50 pm | Permalink | Reply

        I prefer scotch to squash. And I mean as the solution!

  11. mary
    Posted July 14, 2010 at 12:52 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Hi Dave, thaks for blog, though have finished without it, didn’t think I would, I agree with the 4* rating, at first I thought I would never finish it, having solved about 7 clues in half an hour, it was a puzzle I had to keep leaving and coming back to, some lovely clues today, fav are 22d, 16d, 4d, had never heard of the phrase in 21a, or 13a Tough for us CC but entirely doable with perservation and ‘electronic aids’ :)

  12. droopyh
    Posted July 14, 2010 at 1:03 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Loved it – once I got going, it all came together nicely. It put a smile on my face and I learned a new word from 13a. Thanks to Jay and BD

  13. Jcal
    Posted July 14, 2010 at 1:21 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I would have given this 3 stars for difficulty also. I spent most time on 12a before realising I needed to look for an anagram of kids. Must have had a mental block as it’s pretty obvious. Another enjoyable puzzle and am looking forward to the toughie later …

  14. barbyjo
    Posted July 14, 2010 at 1:45 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Don’t think the type of poetry of 13 a is too difficult. My 12 year old studied them in year 6 and loved the clue when I explained it to him on paper!
    Another good Wednesday puzzle and gave me time to attempt the Toughie which was magnifique!

    • Nomis
      Posted July 14, 2010 at 2:24 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Ha! D’accord.

  15. ashley wilkes
    Posted July 14, 2010 at 1:46 pm | Permalink | Reply

    A stroll in the park today

    Liked 15d

  16. Kath
    Posted July 14, 2010 at 1:57 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I think that I agree with the 4* as it was quite a difficult one, although doable. I have never heard of “cashing in your chips” meaning “dying”, or of the Scottish daggers in 12a, or of 13a or of 3d but did eventually manage to finish without the hints, despite the obvious gaps in my education! My best clues today are 4 and 15d. Thanks to everyone, as usual.

  17. PJ
    Posted July 14, 2010 at 2:23 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Three more syllables (such as “so to say” after “bike hut”) would have made the clue for 13a into a haiku itself.
    The haiku poem
    (So the poets have told me)
    Is five, seven, five.

  18. PJ
    Posted July 14, 2010 at 2:25 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Can’t count. Let’s make it four syllables with “for example”.

  19. Mr Tub
    Posted July 14, 2010 at 3:03 pm | Permalink | Reply

    13a was my first one in, but I more than made up for it by putting ‘omission’ for 18d. Lots of favourites today including 17a, 2d and 3d to name but a few. 7d and 12a are new words to me but both were easily workoutable which may be a new word to everyone else…

  20. Pete
    Posted July 14, 2010 at 3:11 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Excelled myself today and finished over my early morning coffee. For once I even understood all of the answers. Based on my ability I can only give it three stars, I did enjoy it though.

  21. Barrie
    Posted July 14, 2010 at 3:13 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Nice one today but very tough in parts. Needed a bit of help with the NE corner and I must say I thought 10a a very poor clue. Best clues for me 17a and 24a. Overall very enjoyable. By the way I got 13a across from the clue but never heard of Haiku before.

  22. Geoff
    Posted July 14, 2010 at 3:31 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Too hard for me, only got halfway, done in two chunks, without the hints. Have heard of haiku, but not dirks.

    Good puzzle and review.

    • Philippe
      Posted July 16, 2010 at 1:04 am | Permalink | Reply

      I agree: I found it quite tricky. I only started doing these since Christmas, and this one is harder with few anagrams. Thanks for the hints though BD: they made the puzzle a better learning experience!

      Oh and got scotch for 20d too…

      Sorry for late post, am in the Bahamas with late post!


      • Posted July 16, 2010 at 1:50 am | Permalink | Reply

        Welcome to the blog Philippe

        • Philippe
          Posted July 16, 2010 at 2:10 pm | Permalink | Reply

          Thanks Dave.

          What a great website! I hope to get more involved as I become more proficient.

          In any event, keep up the good work, and I look forward to tackling today’s crossword on my flight home tonight (friday) — might take sneaky photos of your hints with me!


  23. brendam
    Posted July 14, 2010 at 4:06 pm | Permalink | Reply

    More or less skimmed through today’s apart from 13a which is a new word for me too, but worked it out, then looked it up and delighted to find it was right. Fav. 4d

  24. Little Dave
    Posted July 14, 2010 at 5:02 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Left side okay right side much tougher for me. Favourite was 15d and was pleased to get 13a (although I missed 12a).

    A good ‘un was this. Ta to the setter Jay.

  25. Sarah F
    Posted July 14, 2010 at 8:36 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Wouldn’t have said 4* as completed it quite quickly, but a good finish to a busy day.

    Now to have a look at the paper itself, and the Toughie!

  26. Wingnut
    Posted July 14, 2010 at 11:40 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Well I’m pleased in doing all bar 2 without help, and a four star and all. 1d and 13a just needed your help. Ta.

  27. Posted August 12, 2010 at 8:51 am | Permalink | Reply

    Too easy for me.Think I should graduate to the Toughie.Pity I have no access to it here in Kenya.Even haiku chickenfeed to me.

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