DT 26335 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26335

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26335

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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

Certainly one of the better Thursday puzzles. The wordplay for 5a threw me for a while but I smiled when I eventually got it.

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    Detectives catching person unknown returned with great energy (7)
{DYNAMIC} – put these detectives around a person and an unknown quantity, reverse the lot (returned)

5a    Soldier’s weapon against indigestion (7)
{ANTACID} – this soldier, often described as a worker, produces a sour tasting substance for attack and defense purposes – combine the two to get a cure for indigestion

9a    Upright type in novel (5)
{ROMAN} – an upright typeface is also a medieval tale of chivalry

10a    No oil painting line Japan developed (5,4)
{PLAIN JANE} – this dowdy girl is an anagram (developed) of LINE JAPAN – the xpression is believed to be based on the heroine of the book by Charlotte Brontë

11a    Chill first of Riesling in large vessel — that will get party going (3-7)
{ICE-BREAKER} – put a word meaning to chill or freeze and follow it by the first letter of R(iesling) inside a large drinking vessel to get something that will get party going

12a    Article on a girl (4)
{THEA} – the definite article is followed by A to get a girl’s name –

14a    Lib annotated sorting out the deficit (8,4)
{NATIONAL DEBT} – an anagram (sorting out) of LIB ANNOTATED to get a huge deficit

18a    Rich countrymen used parachute perhaps swapping sides near the end (6,6)
{LANDED GENTRY} – these rich countrymen could describe what happened when someone used a parachute, if you put R(ight) instead of L(eft) in the second word (swapping sides near the end)

21a    Track bird (4)
{RAIL} – a track for a train or a bird such as the corncrake

22a    Urchin gets a cake after scrap (10)
{RAGAMUFFIN} – to get this urchin put A savoury , breadlike cake, eaten hot, with butter (or a sweet American cup-shaped cake) after a scrap or tiny portion

25a    Captain ship, one making the news (9)
{HEADLINER} – a charade of a captain or chief with a passenger ship leads to someone who is making the news

26a    More restrained fan (5)
{DRIER} – a double definition, the second being a rotating device not an enthusiast

27a    When one has spare time do some gardening, keeping within range (7)
{WEEKEND} – the time when one has spare time is derived by putting a word meaning to do some gardening around (keeping) a range of knowledge

28a    Like Van Gogh, producing French art around his work place (7)
{EARLESS} – missing a facial feature, like Van Gogh, comes from the French for art (as in thou art) around Van Gogh’s work place


1d           Evolutionist’s prominent place in NT (6)
{DARWIN} – the famous evolutionist had a city in Australia’s Northern Territory named after him

2d           Issue marking the end of Gordon Brown (6)
{NUMBER} – an issue of a magazine is built up from N (end of GordoN) and a shade of brown

3d           Psychic fills pitman with awe (4-6)
{MIND-READER} – A psychic is created by putting a pitman around a synonym for awe

4d           International artist, creator of great pictures (5)
{CAPRA} – an international sportsman is followed by an artist to get the famous director of It’s a Wonderful Life

5d           One who could make name among Greek royalty (9)
{AGAMEMNON} – an anagram (could make) of NAME AMONG gives the king of Mycenae (Greek royalty) who was the leader of the Greeks in the Trojan war

6d           Vessel passing over a fish (4)
{TUNA} – a large cask over (as this is a down clue) A gives a fish

7d           Some of them worked in Hackney to train players (8)
{COACHMEN} – some of these worked in hackney carriages – split it as (5,3) and it means to train players

8d           Moulds chance events (3-5)
{DIE-CASTS} – these moulds could be throws in a game of chance

13d         One puts one’s heart into playing dual role getting runs (3-7)
{ALL-ROUNDER} – put the middle letter of oNe (one’s heart) into an anagram (playing) of DUAL ROLE then add R(uns) to get a cricketer who plays a dual role

15d         Dyed-in-the-wool Grannie and I’d wrangle (9)
{INGRAINED} – an adjective meaning dyed-in-the-wool is an anagram (wrangle) of GRANNIE and I’D

16d         Parson mostly cut humorous verse (8)
{CLERIHEW} – most of a parson is followed by a word meaning to cut (it was to chop yesterday!) to get a humorous poem that sums up the life and character of some notable person in two short couplets

Did Descartes
With the thought
“Therefore I’m not”?

17d         English got to bottom of rifle securing a volley of shots (8)
{ENFILADE} – move the E(nglish) in the kind of rifle I used as a cadet many years ago (SMLE if I remember correctly!) to the end (bottom as it’s a down clue) and then insert (securing) A to get a discharge of firearms that sweeps a line or position from end to end (volley of shots)

19d         Start diamond business (6)
{OFFICE} – a word meaning start, often used in horse racing, is followed by a slang term for  diamond to get a place of business

20d         Painter hampered by parking restrictions (6)
{INGRES} – this French painter is hidden (hampered by) the last two words of the clue

Especially for you-know-who!

23d         Match occupying most of a grassed area (5)
{AGREE} – a word meaning to match would be a grassed area, like the one in our village, if you add a letter and then split as (1,5)

24d         Escape making a pound in payment (4)
{FLEE} – a word meaning to escape or run away is generated by putting L (Libra / pound) inside a payment

If only all Thursday puzzles were like this one!

61 comments on “DT 26335

  1. Cracker of a crossword, best Thursday offering for a while, Thanks to the mystery setter and to BD.

  2. As you say a very enjoyable Thursday puzzle. Some good clues, 5a, 18a and I have always liked a 16d! Thanks to the setter and BD for the hints.

    Now for the Toughie, we have had a lot of very entertaining puzzles in the last couple of weeks, but today my advice would be that unless you want to end up feeling miserable and slightly cross, do something else. Oh, I had better say, in my opinion, or I will be in trouble!

  3. Great puzzle – 5a and 28a were favourites (28a being last in with the down clue at the front). This took me a lot longer than usual – maybe because I was solving on an iPhone App but it might just have been me!
    Many Thanks to the mystery setter and BD for the notes.

  4. That was a bit of a struggle. Although I enjoyed it, some answers were beyond me as to justification. I look forward to the explanation of 1d, 17d, 20d. which I still can’t fathom.
    Thanks to Big Dave and the Mysteron

        1. 17d is a type of rifle used by the british military, with the E for English moved to the end, and including the letter A. The definition being “volley of shots”

  5. Agree enjoyable puzzle & 28a my favourite too.This accompanied breakfast – shall attempt toughie over lunch.

  6. Super Thurdsday puzzle – lots of meat to get your teeth into – thanks to the mystery setter and to BD for the notes. Favourite clues were 28a, 20d.

  7. Solution for 17d a new word for me. Never even thought to check big red book. Thanks to the setter, BD & Jezza. Lunch & Toughie now beckon.

      1. The rifle manufacturer was ENFIELD. Move the E(nglish) to the bottom then insert the A

        E  E
        N  N
        F  F
        I   I
        E  L
        L  A
        D  D

        1. Thank you BD – really sorry to need things spelling out in words of one syllable! I think I will add types of guns to the ever increasing list of things that I can’t do – football, rugby, golf, horse racing ….

  8. Started off really well today and thought that this was going to be easy – then came to a grinding halt with several that made no sense at all – to me at least! Ended up by finishing it but without being able to explain why lots of answers were what they were – 27 and 28a, 8d (just me being dim with that one – can see it now) 13 and 17d (still don’t understand them so will wait for the hints). I liked 18 and 22a and 1 and 16d.

  9. I came across a new (to me) 16d recently:

    Although Stephen Fry
    Hosts “QI”
    I bet he’s sorry
    He’s not Hugh Laurie.

  10. Sorry folks just couldn’t get into this one and gave up with only half done, lots of words I didn’t know, resorted to the blog, its too nice a day to sit struggling with this, beach, book, call instead, don’t know who the setter is but I bet its not Rufus! Good luck everyone, thanks for blog Dave, after reading through I ‘m glad I didn’t struggle on, just knew I couldn’t do it :)

    1. Ditto,but with less than half done. Far too tricky for me. I’ve just read the explanations and fail to see how some of the answers can be dragged screaming from the clues. Oh well …

    2. I agree with you Mary but I’ve obviously upset someone because my comment about 16d has been deleted!!

      1. I have checked the emails and this is the only comment that you have made today. No comments have been deleted, and you are not even in the spam folder.

        1. Weird! OK just as long as I haven’t blotted my copy book! :-). My comment was could we have English words instead of bizarre ones like Clerihew. Out of interest I had to phone 84 people today of all ages but almost all university educated and I asked each if they had ever heard of Clerihew, Half thought I was making it up, most of the rest thought I was taking the mickey and one said ‘Oh you’ve tried the DT crossword today and found the weird word’!

  11. Excellent. Liked the linked clues in today’s Quickie too – are they perhaps also linked to 9a?

  12. At first glance toughie looked as if might be difficult but suddenly all falls into place & not too bad. Kath & others _ it’s worth a go.

    1. OK thanks – might have a look later but the weather is lovely so maybe a day for being outside – dog walk, gardening etc.

  13. Great stuff again today – been a good week so far (IMHA).

    Filled in but struggled to understand why 1d and 17d were right until checking the blog – thanks for putting me out of my misery. NT was particularly good, so sorry Mystery-setter for letting it go straight over my head! Like 16d very much – it’s always been a favourite word! – and 19d was a great clue, very economical. Bravo!!

    More grumpy pedantry from yesterday – the Telegraph website featured a ghastly headline, and it seems from the readers’ comments that many others agreed the standard of English in the headline left a good deal to be desired (such as comprehension). Wondering if it was deliberately obtuse to make one have to read on to find out what it meant.


    Anyway, thanks Mysterysetter for a great test today, and much respect to Dave (et al) as ever for this excellent site. TTFN.

  14. Could resisted saying hello, as my blog-moniker has appeared in 1a. My friend solved that part in my absence and I finished 10a and the SE corner in his.

    Really liked 5a. Thanks for an enjoyable puzzle and blog.


    “Detectives catching person unknown (7)”

    (formerly known as 1a)

  15. Re Mary @12, I spotted something yesterday and posted it on the fifteensquared.net blog for Monday’s Guardian Rufus.

    Groucho Marx played a character called Rufus T. Firefly in the film Duck Soup, so I’m wondering if Rufus and Firefly (who set yesterday’s phenomenally entertaining and pretty taxing Toughie) are one and the same Roger Squires?

    Either way, I loved both crosswords, which made for a delightful morning, and usually find Rufus to be most entertaining in the Guardian and DT even when they’re deliberately at the easier end of the scale.

    Speaking of linked clues in the Quickie (Digby @13), about 15 years ago, before the pun was always revealed (parenthetically) in the next day’s solution, I failed to understand ALOOF and CINEMA. Anyone have an idea about that? Unfortunately I don’t recall any other solutions. Nowadays it sometimes extends beyond the top row of lights, so I could imagine something like ALOOF CINEMA GNOSTICS (I Love Cinammon Sticks at a stretch)


    1. Rufus (Roger F Squires) has a number of aliases but Firefly is not one of them.

      Firefly’s clue construction is not a patch on those by Rufus. BTW he is known elsewhere as Glow-worm.

      1. To reiterate BD’s comment – Rufus has not done a Toughie to date, and I somewhat doubt he will. His style doesn’t really lend itself to the Toughies. Not that this is a problem.

        1. Thanks to you both for the disconfirmation. My false connection reminds me of the deja-vu I so often get in unconnected crosswords when a word I never knew appears surprisingly soon somewhere else.

          It amazes me just how prolific and excellent Rufus is. He’s accessible enough for his beautiful clues to be enjoyed by beginner and experienced solvers alike, though a few who surface on the internet comment-boards object to the lack of difficulty and don’t appreciate the humour.

          I’ve not really got a feel for Firefly’s style, but I feel that less elegant clue construction can almost be necessary to give the Toughie its difficulty in combination clues, such as a charade + anagram + letter removal combo. Then again Paul and Araucaria of the Guardian frequently manage toughness with elegance and Elgar’s Toughies (and his Enigmatist/Nimrod puzzles elsewhere) can have some elegant surfaces but sneaky cryptic elements. I guess the other element of Toughie-worthiness is obscurity of solution words or themes, which could lend themselves to elegant surface readings.

  16. Certainly one of the better puzzles but I struggled with the down clues from 16d onwards which made the time taken longer than usual. Needed the blog for 16d and 17d, both new words for me. Did not like 26a as a clue/answer . Liked 2d and 13d.
    Thanks to the mystery setter and to Big Dave for the hints.

  17. By the power of Greyskull! That was more of a Toughie than a Daily! Thank which ever God you pray to for BD & the blog!

  18. Too much general knowledge in this and I didn’t enjoy it very much, though maybe my brain was dulled by a four-hour Spanish lunch.

  19. Very enjoyable puzzle today.
    I got stuck with the meaning of 18a for a while as I’d shoved in “loaded gentry” and then my English came back to me after thinking about “parachuting”! Likewise, I’d spelt 26a as “dryer” so got nowhere with 19d until I corrected it.

    Clues that I liked were 10a, 11a, 18a, 27a, 28a, 2d, 3d, 8d & 16d.

    Thanks BD for La Grande Odalisque.

  20. I found today’s very tough and failed to get 5d and 17d. A tad too much emphasis on general knowledge?

  21. Horrible for me today. 17d a filthy clue in my book. At least 16d and 28a could be worked out/guessed if general knowledge is limited. Bah! Rant over….must be unseasonal heat in the frozen wasteland.

  22. hello fellow bloggers…Is it me? Am i the only one who cant fathom out bottom left hand corner?
    Everyone seems to have 16d and 27a off pat….. :-(
    boo hoo

  23. I’m writing this very late in the day, but just wanted to say I thought this was a lovely puzzle and did it over breakfast. There were so many enjoyable clues it’s hard to choose favourites, but I decided on 16a and 22d. More like this, please! :-)
    And now, good night.

  24. Just finished and checked this site for answers to 16d and 17d, what a silly clue. I checked all the synonyms in my Seiko for volley salvo etc – Nothing
    27 across – got the weed bit but ken is beyond my Ken
    20d Got Ingres but not from the hampered clue
    18d too contrived
    26a Get the fan connection but not the “Too Restrained” how is this related to the clue?
    I still dont know why I do these as I really dont enjoy them.
    One day I might
    Thank you Dave for your patience

  25. Too many artists and words I’d never heard of. Irritating. I don’t like it when these crosswords need more GK. That’s why I do them and not the GKs.

  26. I’m new, am I missing something?, why can’t I simply see the grid, and/or the solutions?( as well as all the explanations).

    1. Hi seagull – welcome to the blog.
      If you want to see the grid you’re going to need either a copy of the paper or a subscription to the Telegraph’s crossword website “CluedUp” at http://www.clueduppuzzles.telegraph.co.uk.
      The answers are provided (except for prize puzzles) between the curly brackets under the relevant clues in the reviews – just highlight the space between the brackets to reveal the answer. We do it this way so that people can’t see answers by accident.
      You may find it useful to read the FAQs – link at top of page.

  27. You click in the brackets!, OK. But why not just print the complete grid afterwards? Or have I missed how to do that as well? Don’t tell me- when in doubt , read the instructions!
    The rifle clue was as abd as I’ve seen in many a day. Contrived +++
    Hey ho

  28. Thought we would have one of those ho-hum thur xwords.This is the best of the week unless Giovanni conjures up something better tomorrow.As for CLERIHEW it has been there b4 and u can work it out from the clue.

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