DT 26322 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

DT 26322

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26322

Hints and tips by Crypticsue

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

I took a while to get into today’s Jay puzzle, the downs falling into place quicker than the acrosses but in the end it only took me a couple of minutes longer than usual to solve. I have based the difficulty rating partly on my initial struggle and partly on how hard it was to work out why I had the answer I had! There are a nice mix of clues, including several to please the anagram fans.

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.


1a    Sponger gets a place by reversing charge (8)
{PARASITE} – An animal or plant that lives, or sponges, on another is easily obtained by reversing an American word for a charge, as in take the *** for something, in front of A and a synonym for an area set aside for a specific activity.

5a    Display of food causing strike (6)
{BUFFET} – A nice double definition – a display of food laid out on a table or a heavy stroke or blow.

9a    Schoolboy prank that’s the reverse of social gaffe (5,4)
{BOOBY TRAP} – The last one to go in for me. A kind of practical joke is a reversed charade of a social event and a stupid or foolish mistake.

11a    Bird song under the baobob tree — finally! (5)
{GREBE} – Finally tells you that you need the last letters of song, under, the, baobab and tree to get a aquatic bird. Incidentally both the paper and CluedUp have spelt the name of the baobab tree incorrectly.

12a    Hold back — terrible inertia after leader was dropped (6)
{RETAIN} – Today’s first anagram (terrible) – INERTIA minus the first I (leader was dropped) gives you another way of saying hold back.

13a    Shabby Venetian ruler once a communist (3-5)
{DOG-EARED}     Venice was once ruled by a Doge. Follow this with A and what crossword compilers like to call a communist and you get a description of a well-used book.

15a    How could a new theatre be showing effects of exposure (13)
{WEATHERBEATEN} – The anagram indicator here is, I think, how could: A NEW THEATRE BE when rearranged gives you a description of something damaged or worn by weather. Both BD and I thought this should be hyphenated, the office dictionary says so too, but Chambers online gives it as one word.

18a    Energy needed to manage course? (6,7)
{DIRECT CURRENT} – a type of electricity is a charade of a synonym for manage and a synonym for the flow of a course of water.

22a    Reportedly lacking boundaries, they’ll have an answer for everything (4-4)
{KNOW-ALLS} – Sometimes we posters to this blog are called this. Say out loud (reportedly) what a garden or similar would have if it was open on all sides.

23a    A quiet ring with charm (6)
{APPEAL} – Another charade A plus P for that quiet musical term piano, and a synonym for a ring of bells, gives you a synonym for charm in the sense of being attractive or pleasing.

26a    They eat — the odd ones bite! (5)
{TEETH} – At last I can recognise these pesky every other letter clues. Odd tells us to take the alternate letters of they eat the – and you get something we all need to bite.

27a    Back house in 26’s broken work record (4,5)
{TIME SHEET} – the house in question is one joined to another. An anagram (broken) of the answer you got in 26a with a reversal of the short form of the house description inside it, gives you a record of time worked on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.

28a    Rough-sounding area in bay (6)
{HOARSE} – Here bay refers to the colour of an animal that you ride. Put A for area inside and you get an adjective for a rough or croaky voice.

29a    Head’s nervous affliction with regard to matters internal (8)
{DOMESTIC} – The matters internal refer to those in the home. A colloquial term for a head, more normally applied to a roof in the shape of a hemisphere, is placed in front of the compiler’s favourite nervous affliction.


1d    A way round drink bars (3,5)
{PUB CRAWL} – A straight forward cryptic clue here. Do people still go on these or do they just binge drink?

2d    Perch is small in origin (5)
{ROOST} – This type of perch is commonly used by hens. Put S for small inside an adjective for the basic cause or source of something.

3d    Broadcaster excited at such a price level (3-4)
{SKY-HIGH} – The well-known digital broadcaster and a state of ecstasy or euphoria give you a term meaning very high prices.

4d    Sailor on yacht finally gets bitter (4)
{TART} – One of the compiler’s favourite sailors, with the last letter of yacht (finally) produces a word meaning sharp or sour in taste.

6d    Application that’s socially acceptable in a French chap (7)
{UNGUENT} – A very old-fashioned word for an ointment – take the French word for a, then put U (socially acceptable) inside a synonym for chap.

7d    The sort of food available on mountains (4-5)
{FREE-RANGE} – If something is available it is said to be this and mountains are usually part of a distinct series or row – together they give a sort of food

8d    Effort encompassing goal in fashion (6)
{TRENDY} – One of the easier clues today. A synonym for effort with another for goal inside give you an adjective meaning following the latest fashion.

10d    French region with foresight to drop identity (8)
{PROVENCE} – Start with another word for foresight, take out ID (drop identity) and you get a region in the south east of France, popular with British emigrants.

14d    Couple rented item of jewellery (8)
{BRACELET} – a charade of a synonym for couple (think pheasants) and what a flat is when it has been rented out, gives you an item of jewellery worn on the wrist.

16d    Organised a modern lawyer for the stars (9)
{ANDROMEDA} – Organised indicates an anagram of A MODERN, but to get this galaxy you will also need to add the abbreviation for a District Attorney.

17d    Active time during ethical struggles (8)
{ATHLETIC} – Struggles is the anagram indicator here. ETHICAL rearranged with T for time (during) should produce an adjective for someone who is very active.

19d    Gets to capture a chess piece (7)
{REACHES} – Hidden inside ‘capture a chess’ is another way of saying gets to, as in a destination.

20d    One bill almost supports right to reply (7)
{RIPOSTE} – Start with I (one) and then take away the last letter (almost) from a bill or notice and put it all under (supports) R for right you get a short sharp reply.

21d    Short description of origin of sailing vessel (6)
{SKETCH} – A short description in the way of a rough plan is obtained by taking S (origin of sailing) and the compiler’s favourite two-masted sailing boat.

24d    Regular heartbeat at the end in race (5)
{EVENT} – A synonym for regular and the last letter of heartbeat (at the end) gives you an item in a programme of sports.

25d    A short measure, love – gets round! (4)
{AMMO} – A last charade A plus the abbreviation for millimetre (short measure) and O (love) gives you an abbreviation for ammunition.

I liked 9a, 15a 25a and 27a, but my clue of the day is 9a. Quite easy to spot from the checking letters and yet so clever when you work out the wordplay.

58 comments on “DT 26322

  1. Hi Sue, good morning, afraid I had to resort to your hints for a couple today 6d, never heard of though I did put those letters in, 5a, didn’t know buffet was another word for strike?? and completely missed the indicator for 11a!!! at one point had request for 6d and quail for the bird, how wrong can one be!!! fav clues 3d and 22a, I think fellow CCers will do it but it isn’t easy by any means, books well worn today again :)

  2. Still working on this. Looking at 10d, I just typed ‘foresght’, having dropped the ‘i’, into Word Wizard and, rather appropriately, it returned ‘The Frogs’ …

    1. Geoff you need another word for foresight, then drop the ID in this word to give you the French region, this is where the book comes in handy, if you ca’t think of that word you just have to look up foresight, a 10 letter word, because you know you are removing I & D from it and there you go :) you get your region in France

        1. Yes, along with the dictionary of crossword abbreviations. Ordered from Amazon this morning and not without some guilt from bypassing real bookshops.

  3. After yesterday’s awful effort with weak clues and little enjoyment, today went like a dream. All anagrams came to me and was finished in 25 minutes. 9a was the last to solve (and with a chuckle).
    Life wihout this blog would be so much poorer. Thank you..

  4. Worth an extra star for enjoyment just for the phrase 1a and 4a make in the Quick! That did raise a smile when I worked it out. Thanks Jay.

    1. Remember this one from Quick Xword 25829:

      lemming tons Paris really dull knightly

      I think this may have been the handiwork of the late Steve Race.

  5. I thought this was going to be a ‘hiding in the corner’ day, but with a few of the across hints, it all fell into place quite well. Like Mary, completely missed the meaning of ‘finally’ in 11a. I checked Chambers online for 15a expecting to heed a hyphen; this just jumped out me and was the second one to go in. Lots of good clues, but 9a is tops for me, very clever!

    Thanks Jay and Sue.

  6. Slow start today but finished it without recourse to this site :) I LIked 22a as it made me smile when I finally got it! Not sure I like 20d as it over complicated what was an anagram of ‘one bill’…. oh well!

    1. I spent ages on 20d, trying to find a word that began with R and ended in IA, almost 1 ac, then I got another checking letter and realised I was barking up a wrong tree – bit like the spelling for 11a.

  7. Stiff but fair,I thought. Didn’t have recourse to the blog. Oddly enough, I got 11a at the first reading. Must be a bit backward!

  8. I also found the downs easier than the acrosses today. Managed the bottom half without too much trouble, but left lots of holes on the top and needed your hints to finish. So thanks, Crypticsue, as always. I missed the anagram indicator at 15a and thought the clue at 8d should have been ‘fashionable’ rather than ‘fashion’. My exclamation came at 6d, once you’d helped me with it. There were no favourites this time, though I enjoyed the puzzle on the whole.
    Now I’m off for a week in the south of France and I shall miss you all very much. :-)

    1. Don’t think about us poor things struggling with these puzzles on grey mornings Franny, just have a fantastic time, which part are you going to in the South??

  9. Totally lost on most of the top half without the blog. Must have overdone it yesterday.

  10. Thank you Sue. After struggling yesterday, I could not have completed this without your help. Favourite clue was 13a.

  11. Solid Middle-of-the Road puzzle today. Slighly thrown by 28a, as I thought Jay was looking for a synonym of rough – did he really need “sounding” in the clue?

      1. I think you do need the ‘sounding’, otherwise rough could have many other interpretations than the answer. I think the fact that its hyphenated helps in this instance.

        1. Sue, I bow & defer to your wisdom! And many thanks for the debrief – how are you enjoying doing the Blog? And what is it called when, as I do, you always type “teh” instead of “the”? Cross Brain Dysfunction Syndrome?

          1. I am not sure that I am any more wise than you, really. I am enjoying doing the blog very much. Its been very interesting after all these years of solving ‘by instinct’ having to sit down and work out why I had put the answer I had. The daily posts are more stressful than doing the Saturday puzzle when you have those extra days to work it all out and refine the prose rather than having to produce something within an hour or so. I don’t know what the typing syndrome is – I have many days when I have all the right letters but not necessarily in the correct order.

  12. Very good outing from Jay to day – I was pleased to see Cephas tacking the puzzle when I bumped into him on Waterloo Station this morning! Favourite clue was 13a. Thanks to Jay and to CrypticSue for the review.

  13. I found this quite difficult – lots that I couldn’t do to begin with – most, having now finished, perhaps not as impossible as I thought at first – back to wave lengths again, perhaps, or maybe just having a bad crossword day. I needed the hints to explain 10d – could see that it had to be what it was but I was trying to find a nine letter word meaning foresight that I needed to remove ‘N’ from (for name ie identity) – just never thought of ‘ID’ – how slow/dim can one be?!! Favourite clues today were 9, 13 and 22a and 1d. For some reason the last one that I got was 19a – possibly the easiest clue in the whole crossword! Thanks to Jay and Crypticsue.

    1. Know how you feel, Kath. I’ve been out all day & only now getting to look at it—have only managed 3 clues, the rest been double-dutch to me!

      Obviously having a non-crossword day, so will have to look at the hints!

      Thanks to Ray, crypticsue, and Dave for the blog.

      1. I haven’t even printed it off – reading the blog first – will see how I get on. Just finished yesterday’s toughie so let’s hope this one is good.

  14. I think this is the best crossword for ages. I did it at one sitting, without dictionary or thesaurus, and there were too many great clues to mention. A delight!

  15. Took a bit persevation to finish this without help but got there. Particularly liked 9a and 22a but really unfair to single these out from all the other goodies!
    Think I may go on a 1d around the village now as it’s exceedingly hot and all 4 bars have aircon!
    Thanks to Jay for a super puzzle and to Crypticsue for the review.

  16. Struggled with this today, finishing after golf. 9d/1a last in , I just couldn’t see them!
    Otherwise lots of fun clues so thanks to Crypticsue and Jay.

    1. I think that it’s really difficult too although finished it, eventually! Keep perservating!!!

    2. Know how you feel, Barry. I’ve only managed 3 clues and will have to look at the hints.

      Have decided it’s best to try the crossword first thing when my brain is thinking, rather than at this time.

      Expect there will be lots of ‘DOH’ sighs coming from this house shortly as the answers come to me!!

      1. I don’t know if it will be of any comfort but if I hadn’t had to get the puzzle done to write the hints and tips, it would definitely have been a cogitator for me as I really had to work to get a number of the clues.

        1. Oh good … maybe not enough cogitating time today – that’s my excuse and I really am sticking to it!

  17. Just to answer your query CrypticSue, I have yet to embark on a 1d that doesn’t come to a standstill as soon as you find somewhere that sells a decent pint.
    Silly mistakes with 1a and 10d cost me dear today… The only thing that’s cheered me up is seeing how hard its raining now that Mrs Tub has gone out to walk the dog.

      1. I’m sure she will Lea, I’m sure she will!

        (In my defence I can be seen pounding the streets with him on the 5.15am shift…)

  18. Finished – not as bad as I thought from the blog. My last one in was 27a as couldn’t work that one out so needed your help crypticsue – thanks. Put 9a in quite early but wasn’t sure if it was right until I got the others. Still not sure about it though. My favcourites were 16d, 11a and 15a.

    Thanks Crypticsue for the review and Jay for the puzzle.

    1. OK – I just looked again and I get it – nice one – add it to my list of favourites (if I could type properly I wouldn’t make stupid mistakes and create new words….

      1. Should have said that it follows gnomey’s law – send an email / make a comment and the answer comes…..

  19. Finished without help today but had to look up the review for some of the reasoning. Why does Socially Acceptable =U?

    1. Chambers says its colloquial for ‘typical of or acceptable to the upper classes’. Its one of those things to learn as it quite often comes up in cryptics.

  20. Started this morning and completed the top left before driving north for a splendid day at Gibside. I am pleased to say that the rain held off and we even enjoyed some sunshine.
    Finished on return late this afternoon. For me one of the more taxing puzzles and more enjoyable for that. Favourites 9a and 28a.
    Thanks to Jay for the puzzle and Crypticsue for the review.

  21. Hi all.With 1d, 3d and 5a filled in I thought we were in pangram territory, but Jay’s not been true to his (her?) name… and ultimately no Q or Z turned up either. Great puzzle today, though took a while to get going again – holiday hangover still not gone, clearly.

    Thanks Jay for the mental workout, crypticsue for a fine summary, and Dave for this excellent blog. Keep up the great work!

  22. I started this very late last night and finished it early this morning as DT came in late.

    Best for me were 1a, 18a, 1d, 7d, 10d & 20d.

Comments are closed.