DT 26328 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26328

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26328

Hints and tips by Crypticsue

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Our setters are giving us some very enjoyable puzzles so far this week. Today Jay has given us some great clues and, in my opinion, just the right amount of anagrams, including some of those part-anagram, part-something-else clues. Didn’t take too long to solve but still great fun – ideal for when you are supposed to be getting on with the day job!!

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    Set off full of beans, ready to start a fight (7-5)
{TRIGGER-HAPPY} – a nice charade – another way of saying to set off, eg an explosion, coupled with what you are if you are full of beans, makes you ready to shoot without thinking of the consequences.

9a    Layer of subsoil difficult to sift (4-3)
{HARD-PAN} – I got this one from the checking letters but the office dictionary has this (unhyphenated) impervious layer of clay below the soil. Not sure how you would ‘get’ it without knowledge of subsoil!   Thanks to Gazza and Andrew  –  the solution is of course built from a charade of HARD (difficult) and PAN (sift, like a gold prospector panning for gold).

10a    Herring or puffer fish? (7)
{BLOATER} – Another name for a herring that has been partially dried in smoke, the ‘puffer’ in the clue relating to the fact that the verb from which the fish name comes also means puffed up with air.

11a    Oriental revolutionary’s crossed lines without leader (7)
{CHINESE} – Our favourite revolutionary is here again. He is placed round LINES with the L missing (without leader) to produce someone from the largest republic in the east.

12a    Outwardly tense time before a star returns from sickness (7)
{TETANUS} – Outwardly indicates that you should take the first and last letters of TensE, then T (time) A and then reverse that large star not often seen this summer. The whole being a nasty disease, now mostly eradicated in this country.

13a    Turning back, eased naturally outside range (5)
{ANDES} – A nice hidden clue here (easier for those on Clued-Up than reading the paper as the paper clue has the words EASED NATURALLY over two lines). Hidden (outside), reversed (turning back), within is the well-known South American mountain range.

14a    French landmark one dreamt about (5,4)
{NOTRE DAME} – The Parisian landmark is an anagram (about) of ONE DREAMT.

16a    Evidence of humour by Spain’s first butcher (9)
{SLAUGHTER} – A clue to read carefully to decide if you need evidence of humour or butcher as the definition. It’s the latter, using the S (Spain’s first) and the noun for the act or sound of merriment.

19a    A little backward eating one’s bone (5)
{TIBIA} – a synonym for a little, backwards, with I (eating one) inside, gives you the larger of the two leg bones.

21a    Lecturers study royal protocols at last (7)
{READERS} – These lecturers rank between a lecturer and a professor – a synonym for to study, the abbreviation for our dear Queen, and S (protocols at last).

23a    Former Prime Minister executed by one from the Middle East (7)
{ISRAELI} – Take the first letter away (executed) from a prime minister in the 1800s and you get someone from a Middle Eastern country.

24a    Rudeness mostly transforms consumer (3,4)
{END USER} – Transforms indicates an anagram of RUDENESS here. Mostly tells you that you don’t need the last S. The consumer is someone who buys and uses a product being sold.

25a    Stir up trouble at gate 1 (7)
{AGITATE} – Another anagram (trouble) AT GATE I (or 1) gives you another way of saying ‘stir up (trouble!)’

26a    Charges levied by hypnotists (8,4)
{ENTRANCE FEES} – You pay these charges when you go into an exhibition, stately home etc. If you visited a hypnotist and he put you into a sleep like state, he could charge you these.


1d    Hung around, bound to cover arrival (7)
{TARRIED} – The three letter abbreviation for arrival placed inside a synonym for bound, gives you the past participle of a verb meaning to hang around.

2d    What the journalist said to have an impact (7)
{IMPRESS} – A synonym for impact when split into two words (2,5) would be what a reporter might say when trying to get a news story.

3d    Redhead takes the biscuit! (6,3)
{GINGER NUT} – A less than complimentary term for someone with red hair is also a delicious biscuit.

4d    Man made? (5)
{ROBOT} – a machine programmed to carry out tasks and made to look like a human, or man.

5d    A job the French gave early Christian (7)
{APOSTLE} – A charade of A plus a synonym for job and the French word for the, the whole being someone sent out to preach in the early Christian Church.

6d    Plant found in favourite area around university (7)
{PETUNIA} – Mary’s most troublesome plant this summer – another charade – a synonym for favourite (quite often with hate) UNI for university and finally A for area.

7d    What might cushion amazement — a robber’s plan (5,8)
{SHOCK ABSORBER} – These cushions are found on vehicles. Amazement in the sense of extreme surprise is coupled with an anagram (plan) of A ROBBER’S.

8d    Puts questions to angry divorcee in same fashion (5-8)
{CROSS-EXAMINES} – Another part synonym-part anagram clue – A synonym for angry is the first part of this word, followed by EX for divorcee and an anagram (fashion) of IN SAME.

15d    Put an end to insect found across North Australia (9)
{TERMINATE} – Arnold Schwarzenegger did a lot of this in one of his most famous roles. An ant-like social insect put round (across) N for North and A for Australia.

17d    Noise suppressed by a boy’s magic rubber (7)
{ALADDIN} – Crossword compilers make great use of this three letter noise, as they do of the synonym for a boy. Put them all together with an A in front  and you get he who rubs magic lamp in Christmas pantos.

18d    Biker could be comparatively oily without one (7)
{GREASER} – Its many many years since I heard this colloquial term for a long haired member of a motor cycle gang. Another word for more oily (comparatively oily) and then the I (without one) removed.

19d    Almost making a mistake in case of the meat dish (7)
{TERRINE} – a type of meat dish, usually pâté – take the T and E (case of the) and put a synonym for making a mistake without the last G (almost).

20d    Council regulations covering some aspects of cricket? (3-4)
{BYE-LAWS} – supplementary regulations passed by local government could also be said to apply to cricketers when a run is scored from a ball that the batsman has not touched.

22d    Lord North’s warning? (5)
{SIREN} – This warning alarm is a charade of a term used when addressing a king or lord followed by N for North.

I marked 26a and 17d as clues I liked today, but there are lots of others which came as close ‘runners up’.

Sadly the other Dave in my life (the boss) returns to work next week so I will not be able to do any Wednesdays for a while (a quick check of the diary has revealed a couple of possible opportunities in October so watch this space). Thanks to BD for giving me these chances to ‘play’. I am off back to the relatively calmer waters of alternate Saturday Prize Puzzle Reviews.

[Many thanks to Crypticsue for her Wednesday reviews throughout the summer.  If anyone fancies having a go over the next few weeks (Wednesdays or Thursdays) please let me know.  We already have a special guest reviewer lined up for Wednesday September 15th – all will be revealed on the day. BD]

39 comments on “DT 26328

  1. A very enjoyable puzzle today. The Toughie is even better.
    Although I thought 1a did not need the first part of the clue. I only made me think where the beans fitted in.
    fav was 17d
    Back to the Toughie.

  2. I agree, very enjoyable. One of those puzzles that got better all the way through. I also liked 17d. Thanks to Jay, and to Crypticsue for the notes.

  3. Can’t say I really enjoyed this one much. I decided to do battle with the toughie first (which was for me a titanic struggle). Maybe the little grey cells needed a rest!
    After the initial panic subsided, I completed this, but with electronic aid. Favourite clues? Hmm, maybe 26a and 7d.

    1. I always struggle with the Cryptic if I have done the Toughie first so have become very strict with myself about doing them in the ‘right’ order. Perhaps the brain cells have to warm up a bit before the Toughie is tackled!

  4. Favourite for me was 26a in a lovely puzzle from Jay. Not too tough again, I would agree with the two star based on solving time.
    Thanks to crypticsue for this and the previous Wednesday reviews.
    Thanks, as ever, to the setter.
    The Toughie is also worth a go today although slightly stiffer than yesterday.

    1. Enjoyed both puzzles today, but would have given up on the Toughie if we weren’t in enforced imprisonment due to workmen today! It was worth the effort, though so thanks to all setters and Bloggers for both.

  5. Last in was 9a. Cannot find this hyphenated in any source (OED/Collins/Google). Favourite 26a. Thanks to CripticSue for the review.

          1. The free Chambers online service is not the big red book!

            The subscription-only online service is not accepting renewals.

            I now use WordWeb Pro, with the Chambers 11th edition add-on, and it is hyphenated there.

            1. I will use that in future. I might put a request for a second copy of the big red book (to use at work) on my birthday list.

                1. I know, I just bought myself one recently so that’s why I thought I would put the second copy on my wishlist!

                  1. Found it fairly straightforward today.

                    Although I didn’t know the term for 9a I thought it was fairly easy to work out from the clue – Difficult = Hard, Sift = Pan.

                    Favourites today were 17d and 4d.

          1. The other Dave does know that I review for this blog, well he knows I do the Saturday puzzle in my own time. He’s been on leave the whole of August so its been a bit quiet, and so on Wednesdays I go in really really early, solve the puzzle and have the review written by say 9.30 and then make up the work time on other days, honest. (I am at home now writing this in non work time!)

            1. Sue, my tongue was heading for my cheek when I wrote that. I used to do the crossword at work when I was bored

              1. I have done the crossword for years at work, whether bored or otherwise. I did know you were joking really but I thought I had better explain in case ‘other’ Dave reads this!

  6. I think I must be in the minority – I wasn’t that enthusiastic about today’s puzzle. Several lovely clues (about half) but several I didn’t care for – i9a, 19a 18d, 20d. I think it must be because I was late in starting it and put hard top in for 9a and of course was stuck for ages on 2d and 3d. My favourite though was 26a.

    1. I agree. I think there were some pretty uninspiring clues – 5d, 19a for example. I did like 26a though

  7. Fantastic. Finished in my lunch break, so very very enjoyable. 23 last to go. Liked 26 across, but i bet some of you old hands have seen it before.

  8. Surprised to see only 17 comments at 1.30pm. I guess Mary must be otherwise employed! Quite enjoyed this _ wasn’t sure where ‘ magic rubber’ fitted in until reading blog. D’ oh _ this now makes it my favourite clue. Thanks to all as usual. Come on Mary …

        1. Hope to resume normal service today or tomorrow :) – you were so right about the petunias Sue, I think I have just about given up on them, shame

  9. Good puzzle today I thought. Thanks to all. Page 21, letters, of today’s DT ties in nicely with 10a. Funny how this sometimes happens.

  10. Enjoyable puzzle to day and I agree with the difficultly and enjoyment rating – one of those crosswords where, when you get to the end, you wish that there was still more to do. Somehow it did not feel like one of Jay’s crosswords but I may have been half asleep this morning when solving it as looking back, I cannot think why! Favourite clue was 26a.

  11. Sorry for me this was a 5 star for difficulty, found it very difficult indeed. Don’t see what trigger happy has got to do with being full of beans? Managed only 6 answers and then only after an hour. Just couldn’t see the logic to most of the clues and as for 19d, words fails me. Not my favourite at all, in fact most of August the puzzles seem to have been far more difficult than normal, is this a holiday thing?

    1. Barrie

      Please read both clue and hint before commenting. Sue has explained that “set off” gives “trigger” and “full of beans” gives “happy” – the definition is “ready to start a fight”.

      So the answer to your question is that trigger happy has nothing to do with being full of beans.

      1. Never associated ‘full of beans’ with being happy, always thought it meant being full of energy. Hence my comment.

        1. Brewers Dictionary of Phrase and Fable defines full of beans as ‘full of energy (as you say) and in high spirits ‘ High spirits it defines as “exuberance or lively happiness”.

  12. The l-h side fell into place easily enough and after a gentle prod from a couple of the hints, the rest, barring 9a, gradually unravelled as well. Is this the first Wednesday I have so nearly completed? Could be, so went to lunch at Cafe Rouge on tesco vouchers – and got jolly wet in the process!

    Thanks to Jay for an enjoyable puzzle and Crypticsue for a fine review.

  13. Enjoyable Jay puzzle.
    I liked the four two-word clues (round the edges) but also 9a,4d & 22d.

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