DT 26340 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26340

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26340

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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

There’s little more I can say about Jay’s puzzles. Just enjoy solving this one.

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    Places that attract men getting married (7,5)
{DRAWING ROOMS} – if you split these places as (4,2,6) then it could mean to attract men who are getting married

9a    An early experience of a setter’s design (9)
{FORETASTE} – to get this early experience take OF A SETTER and find an anagram (design)

10a    Relative value finally found in Mediterranean city (5)
{NIECE} – this female relative is created by putting E (valuE finally) inside a Mediterranean city

11a    No-one gets disheartened with income from this sort of music (3,3)
{NEW AGE} – start with N(o-on)E and add an income to get a type of music

12a    Doctor protecting source of tropical fish (8)
{STURGEON} – put a doctor who works in an operating theatre around (protecting) T (source of Tropical) to get a fish

13a    Government income from evil-sounding sentence structure? (6)
{SYNTAX} – split this one as (3,3) and it sounds like the government is making money from evil – but it’s actually the structure of a sentence

15a    Concealed entrance charge after time — party has alternative (8)
{TRAPDOOR} – a concealed entrance (or more usually exit!) is built up from a slang word for a criminal charge after T(ime) and before a party and an alternative

18a    Following game, corporal gets dancing (8)
{FLAMENCO} – this one is a bit tricky – F(ollowing) and game, in the sense of crippled, and finally a Non-Commissioned Officer (corporal) result in a type of gypsy dancing

19a    Allergic reaction to a way ham is cooked (6)
{ASTHMA} – this allergic reaction comes from A then an abbreviation for a way and finally an anagram (cooked) of HAM

21a    A prison accepted by prisoner as secure (4-4)
{CAST-IRON} – put A prison inside Crosswordland’s usual prisoner to get a word meaning secure

23a    Scent increased in price? That’s a joke (4-2)
{WIND-UP} – to perceive by the scent combined with an increased price give a joke played on someone

26a    Conditions under which governments serve? (5)
{TERMS} – a double definition – conditions and limited periods of government

27a    One’s next to ignore hub when flying (9)
{NEIGHBOUR} – someone who lives next door is an anagram (flying) of IGNORE HUB

28a    A consequence of soldiers’ drumming (12)
{REPERCUSSION} – a consequence is a charade of the Royal Engineers with drums and similar instruments


1d           Decides penalties to be applied to case of damage (7)
{DEFINES} – a word meaning decides is derived by putting some penalties after the outside letters (case) of D(amag)E

2d           Missile that’s restricted, having no cap (5)
{ARROW} – a missile fired from a bow comes from a synonym for restricted without the initial N (having no cap)

3d           Make combined interest charge to cover for example (9)
{INTEGRATE} – a verb meaning to combine is derived by putting INT(erest) and a charge (per hour, perhaps) around the Latin abbreviation of for example

4d           A silence follows golf injury (4)
{GASH} – put A and a request for silence after the letter represented by Golf in the NATO phonetic alphabet to get an injury

5d           Reverse past bend (8)
{OVERTURN} – a word meaning to reverse a previous system, decision, situation, etc. is a charade of a synonym for past and a bend

6d           Criminal area that provides worker with gold (5)
{MANOR} – a slang word for the area within which a criminal operates is a charade of a worker (not ant or bee this time!) and the heraldic term for gold

7d           Two together protect English border from giant (8)
{BEHEMOTH} – put a word meaning the one and the other around E(nglish) and a sewn border to get a great beast

8d           Money for singer’s broadcast (6)
{TENNER} – an amount of money sounds like (broadcast) a singer like Luciano Pavarotti

14d         Rescue vessel’s refusal to a hospital on Channel island (5,3)
{NOAH’S ARK} – regulars will know which what is often described as a rescue vessel – for rescuing pairs of animals in biblical times – you get there by running together a refusal, A H(ospital) and one of the smaller Channel Islands

16d         This space is reallocated to examples of imitative art (9)
{PASTICHE} – an anagram (reallocated) of THIS SPACE gives a composition made up of bits of other works or imitations of another’s style

17d         Beg for new course to cover new ground initially (8)
{SCROUNGE} – a word meaning to beg or cadge comes from an anagram (new) of COURSE around N(ew) and G (Ground initially)

18d         Features expert in newspaper beginning to suffer (6)
{FACETS} – the features are created by putting an expert inside the pink newspaper and then add the initial letter of (beginning to) Suffer

20d         Hopin’ to find a way to cure the pain (7)
{ASPIRIN} – drop the final G from a word meaning hoping to get a tablet that cures pain

22d         To publish is to take legal action (5)
{ISSUE} – a word meaning to publish is a charade of IS and to take legal action

24d         What might be worn by fashionable little girl outside? (5)
{DHOTI} – a Hindu loincloth is derived from a three-letter word meaning fashionable with a shortened version of a girl’s name outside

25d         Second in rising police record (4)
{DISC} – put S(econd) inside a police department reversed (rising, as this is a down clue) to get a record

No particular highs or lows today, just a good honest puzzle.

54 comments on “DT 26340

  1. I had a good time with this today. No special problems except with 18a, where I got the answer without understanding why — thanks for the explanation. I seem to have seen 12a quite lot lately, it must be the compilers’ favourite fish. The downs were tops today for me. I didn’t like 6d much. Best were 16 and 18, but my favourite today was 14d, which took me a longish time but was worth it. :-)

    As for yesterday’s toughie, I shouldn’t even have thought of going there!

  2. That filled my first lunch hour since who knows when quite nicely. 1a shouldn’t have made me frown as much as it did and 13a made me smile.

  3. Thank you to Jay for a great crossword today. Favourite clues were 1a / 1d. Thanks too to BD for the review.

  4. Re 8d, with the checking letters -E-N-R, I did waste a couple of minutes trying to make an anagram (broadcast) of ‘SINGER’.

  5. What a good morning, a very satisfying tough sudoku and then a really enjoyable puzzle. There were three gaps in the NE corner, but Mary got there very quickly. So many good clues, can’t pick on just one.

    Many thanks to Jay and BD.

  6. Finished this one OK but without fully understanding why as I did not get the logic for 1a, 7d or 18a until I read your explanations. Also did not know the slang meaning of 6d. So I’ve been educated today!

    1. Hi LITTLE DAVE – welcome to the blog.
      I take it that you’re not our usual correspondent Little Dave with a new email address?

  7. Haven’t had time to concentrate on this today, so finished off with Daves help, few things I didn’t like but since when has game become lame???

      1. I think it’s the other way round. Game is the original word and gammy is a dialect form of it (as Ian confirms).

        1. so game is pronounced gammy in this case? now I have heard of gammy of course but never associated it :)

            1. er, having said what i said, I checked a dictionary. Both words are in. I think I may have misunderstood as a small boy and have confused things for you all in these blogs. Sorry, but it helped me get the clue!

  8. What an excellent crossword. I only got one answer in my first trawl through the clues, and was feeling pretty dense. However, things started falling into place, and corner by corner, the grid filled. My favourites are 15a and 14d.

  9. BD have you put the answer in the hint for 1d?

    Loved this crossword – really made me think and some delightful clues. And all this after only solving one on first pass and having to use electronic help to solve angram of ‘this space’ to get me started.

    As to ‘game’ and ‘lame’. Where I come from originally, we used to pronounce the former ‘gammy’, I think??!! Oh well, that’s scousers for you.

    1. Hi gnomey, re 28a, how does drum(ming) verb become percussion noun ? surely should be percussing – repercussing?????????

      1. As far as I am concerned, The act of drumming can be described as percussion. As an adjective it could also be ‘precussive’ but in this clue I would suggest the former.

  10. Another confirmation that the setter of the Cryptic and the Quickie are one and the same! See Cryptic 9a and the Quickie Pun!

  11. Arrived at this puzzle late this afternoon and it took a while to get into it. Thoroughly enjoyable once I did. Liked so many clues but 15a, 21a and 14d were favourites.
    Like many others I solved 18a without fully understanding why. Even after reading the above discussion I am still not entirely sure why!
    With no weather chat assume it is fine everywhere today.
    Many thanks to Jay for the puzzle and Big Dave for the hints.
    See the Toughie gets 4* today so not going there!

  12. Hi Mary – drumming can also be a noun I think, as in ‘the distant drumming was getting louder and louder’

    1. mmmm, thanks for that Clueless, I need to change my way of thinking or I will never get out of the Clueless Club!!

  13. Tremendous crossword in my view – very clever word-play my favourite being 13a. Missed 21a despite having the letters acon and stir – still missed it. DOH!!!!

  14. Oh dear – a really bad day! Took my ancient Ma shopping this morning – that took for ever! Came home, had some coffee (and, dare I say it, a cigarette,) then took our lovely collie for a walk. By then it was 3.00pm. Sat down to have a look at the crossword – WELL – couldn’t do much. Think it was probably my state of mind! I thought it was quite difficult (again, probably state of mind) – eventually did most of it and ended up with some that I couldn’t do and some that I did but couldn’t explain – too many and too late now to go into. Thank you to Jay and BD and hoping for a better day tomorrow, from all points of view, especially the crossword one. Off to Dorset for a couple of days ….

  15. Really enjoyed today’s albeit finished it at work at 2 O’clock in the morning took me ages to get 1a kept thinking of hitching posts for some reason but too many letters. thanks toJay and BD for the explanation.

  16. Thoroughly enjoyable! Not too easy but no major challenges; just a pleasant workout for the old encephalon!

  17. My usual late input as I tackled this puzzle this morning. Normally get the DT in the late afternoon and usually start on the puzzle in the evening – not possible thanks to all the stuff shoved into my eyes on Tuesday!

    Enjoyable treat from Jay!

    I liked 1a, 18a, 21a, 2d, 7d, 14d & 20d. 24d was a laugh!

    I love reading the comments – sometimes they are a sort of agony column.

  18. Another late posting due to Kath-style commitments. Found this one quite enjoyable, sandwiched between Tues and Wed Toughies.

  19. I am a novice which is why I can’t see the prison in 21a. A prisoner is a CON, that’s easy but why does ASTIR mean prison? Can anyone explain?

    1. Welcome to the blog Patrick.

      The prison is A STIR. I tried to indicate the presence of the indefinite article by showing A in uppercase in the hint.

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