DT 26347

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26347

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment **

Not much to say about today’s puzzle. With one or two exceptions you look at a clue, insert the answer and move on to the next one. I did, however, smile when I solved 26 across.

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    Support a struggling settler (7)
{TRESTLE} – this support composed of a horizontal beam on sloping legs is a stock anagram (struggling) of SETTLER (next time it’ll be LETTERS!)

5a    One who swears on his horse? (7)
{TROOPER} – a cryptic definition of a mounted soldier allegedly famous for swearing

9a    Wrongly mistreated union valuation that falls short (15)
{UNDERESTIMATION} – an anagram (wrongly) of MISTREATED UNION gives a valuation that falls short

10a    Bird submerged in bath awkwardly (4)
{HAWK} – this bird of prey is hidden inside the last two words of the clue

11a    Half-hearted step I’d taken (5)
{TEPID} – a word meaning half-hearted is hidden in the clue – is there more to this?

12a    Empty barrel of first-class content — it goes on the wicket (4)
{BAIL} – empty out B(arrel)L and put first-class inside instead – there are two of these on the wickets in a game of cricket

15a    Most discerning river bug (7)
{DEEPEST} – a word meaning most discerning or perceptive is a charade of the Jolly Miller’s famous river and a bug

16a    Sodium smell springing up (7)
{NASCENT} – combine the chemical symbol for sodium with a smell to get a word meaning springing up

17a    Exacts former wrongs (7)
{EXTORTS} – a hat-trick of charades – a synonym for exacts comes from a former partner and legal wrongs

19a    Cheeky young woman’s belongings (7)
{BAGGAGE} – a double definition – a derogatory term for a cheeky young woman or suitcases containing personal belongings packed for travelling

21a    Produce a whip (4)
{CROP} – another double definition – produce, as a noun, or a hunting whip

22a    Seat in Diana’s vehicle (5)
{DIVAN} – a couch without back or sides is a charade of DI(ana) and a commercial vehicle

23a    Medicine for Phil and Lily oddly enough (4)
{PILL} – this medicine comes from the odd letters of PHIL and LILY

26a    Ample librarians may become leading ladies (5,10)
{PRIMA BALLERINAS} – an anagram (may become) of AMPLE LIBRARIANS gives these leading ladies – my favourite among today’s clues

27a    I’d eat my stew between dawn and dusk (7)
{DAYTIME} – an anagram (stew) of I’D EAT MY gives the period between dawn and dusk

28a    Checks siblings about moving ahead (7)
{RESISTS} – a word meaning checks or obstructs is created by taking female siblings and moving and reversing the RE (about) to the front of the word – I don’t like this at all; the word contains ER not RE and moving appears to be doing double duty – to move the letters to the front and to shuffle them at the same time – let me know if you have a different interpretation


1d           Felt slightly unhinged (7)
{TOUCHED} – a double definition – felt slightly or unhinged in the sense of deranged

2d           Component widely used once for insurance (9,6)
{ENDOWMENT POLICY} – it seems that anything will suffice as an anagram indicator these days! – COMPONENT WIDELY is the fodder in this semi all-in-one clue

3d           Wind starts to twirl umbrella right now (4)
{TURN} – to wind or, perhaps, twirl comes from the initial letters (starts) of the last four words in the clue

4d           In the Orient, Society that is most casual (7)
{EASIEST} – inside the compass direction of the Orient (no, not Leyton Orient!) put S(ociety) and the Latin abbreviation for “that is” to get a word meaning most casual

5d           I tut about charge for lessons (7)
{TUITION} – an anagram (about) of I TUT is followed by an electrically-charged particle (is this in itself a charge?) to get a course of lessons

6d           Examination comprising some major algebra (4)
{ORAL} – one of Crosswordland’s favourite examinations is hidden inside (comprising some) the last two words of the clue

7d           Soldiers arresting meek people who do not use the NHS (7,8)
{PRIVATE PATIENTS} – put these regular soldiers around a word meaning meek or uncomplaining to get people who do not use the NHS

8d           Phone the French to begin fairy dance (7)
{RINGLET} – a word meaning to telephone someone is followed by the French definite article and the first letter (begin) of T(o) for this fairy dance – does to begin really indicate the first letter of To?

13d           Warm up recipe held in centre (5)
{HEART} – take a word meaning to warm up and put R, the abbreviation for recipe, inside to get the centre

14d         Custom of America with Georgia connection (5)
{USAGE} – this custom or convention is a charade of America and the abbreviation for Georgia (the country not the state)

17d         Made a bolt for it — ace sped away (7)
{ESCAPED} – a word meaning made a bolt for it is an anagram (away) of ACE SPED

18d         Grass harvest with nothing added is still fodder (7)
{SOILAGE} – these days it seems that ugly black plastic has taken the place of the towers that used to be used to store this grass harvest – add O (nothing) to get another type of fodder

19d         Brother, pocketing tool, became a troublemaker (7)
{BRAWLER} – take a shortened form of brother, as used for the rabbit in the famous Uncle Remus stories, and put it around a woodworking tool to get a troublemaker

20d         Recruits surprisingly listen on square (7)
{ENLISTS} – a verb meaning recruits is an anagram (surprisingly) of LISTEN followed by S(quare)

24d         Scholar went to Long Island locality east of Java (4)
{BALI} – a charade of a graduate and L(ong) I(sland) gives somewhere East of Java (and it’s not Krakatoa!)

25d         One knight uproots the flower (4)
{IRIS} – I (one) and a knight’s title reversed (uproots) give a flower (and this time it is a flower, not a river!)

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  1. crypticsue
    Posted September 16, 2010 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    Like you, I am not sure about this one, it’s just a bit Thursday-ish which is how I am feeling today. The long anagrams took me an extra moment or two, particularly 2d. I was also surprised to find two hidden word clues in a row. I like your explanation for 28a, particularly as I hadn’t got one at all, just put the obvious answer in. I liked 26a and 7d. Thanks to the Mysteron (I presume it is the Mysteron again) and to Big Dave for the hints.

  2. Jezza
    Posted September 16, 2010 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    Nothing tricky, and nothing too exciting. I did try and overcomplicate 1a, thinking of PIONEER (PIER = support, ONE = a), and then anagram (‘struggling’) both words. Once I got that out of my mind, the rest was plain sailing!
    Thanks to setter, and to BD.

  3. gnomethang
    Posted September 16, 2010 at 11:40 am | Permalink

    Ditto the above, nothing at all wrong with it and a few nice moments, 26a included.
    Thanks to our mystery setter and BD for the review

  4. Geoff
    Posted September 16, 2010 at 11:58 am | Permalink

    The long anagrams were the best bits, I think; not very exciting otherwise. Just one I haven’t understood or completed, 13d, so waiting to see that – word wizard lists 104 words for the checking letters! 5a made me smile and 12a was a cricketing term I actually understood!

    Thanks to setter and BD.

    • Posted September 16, 2010 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

      13d Warm up recipe held in centre (5)
      R is an abbreviation for recipe. Put this inside HEAT (to warm up) to get the centre.

      My opinion on clues that say A B in C to mean put B inside A to get C is well-known!

      • Geoff
        Posted September 16, 2010 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

        Thanks. Pretty simple, huh? Much more so than trying to find a word meaning ‘warm’ written upwards. Given a few outings, it should become well-known to me!

  5. gnomethang
    Posted September 16, 2010 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    I just noticed your comment on 28a, BD, and I am minded to agree!

  6. brendam
    Posted September 16, 2010 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

    Well, as far as I’m concerned, it’s all been said! But for us not-so-clever types it’s quite refreshing to have a puzzle I can finish! So thanks to the setter and B.D.

  7. Kath
    Posted September 16, 2010 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

    I didn’t find this too difficult. Agree with the comments about 28a – didn’t actually put it in until last in case I was being a bit dim and something better suddenly seemed obvious! I quite liked all the very long clues particularly 7d. 19d took a while as I was trying to make ‘brother’ b and r with a five letter word for tool in the middle meaning troublemaker. Have now seen the error of my ways – at least I think that I have but will wait for the down clues to make sure!

    • Posted September 16, 2010 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

      In my childhood, this name for a brother was usually followed by Rabbit!

      • gnomethang
        Posted September 16, 2010 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

        “Please don’t throw me in the briar patch!!”

      • rjoybsc
        Posted September 16, 2010 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

        Hi, 1st time on this site. Glad I found it as the explanations are somethimes very good. One query today, 14d – why is Georgia GE, I thought it was usually GA.

        • Posted September 16, 2010 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

          Welcome to the blog rjoybsc

          I was adding that explanation as you posted your comment!

      • Kath
        Posted September 16, 2010 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

        In my childhood too – just took me a long time to see it!

  8. Mr Tub
    Posted September 16, 2010 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

    Hmm. That old chestnut 1a rather set the tone today…

  9. Nubian
    Posted September 16, 2010 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

    I reciprocate Big Dave’s comments.

  10. Franny
    Posted September 16, 2010 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

    I managed to complete this today while riding the tram, and the only word I really had trouble with was 12a — that cricket reference! I found 28a pretty incomprehensible too — and in view of your comment above, BD, about anything being used as an anagram indicator these days, I wonder if the clue was intended to indicate an anagram of ‘sisters’. 18a was a new word for me and is ‘ringlet’ really a fairy dance? I liked 16a, but enjoyed 26a most. :-)

    • crypticsue
      Posted September 16, 2010 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

      It is in chambers as a fairy dance. Reminded me of Brownies when I was in the Fairy Six!

    • Posted September 16, 2010 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

      The one construct that is forbidden by almost all setters and crossword editors is the indirect anagram, which rules out an anagram of SISTERS.

      • Posted September 16, 2010 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

        I share your confusion with the wordplay 28a. Might the leading RE be indicated by “about”? But I still don’t see how the rest of it works. Anyway, thanks for your wise words. On to The Toughie!

        • Posted September 16, 2010 at 3:19 pm | Permalink


          I did say that the leading RE was “about”, but if it’s not the R and E from SISTERS then that leaves you with SISTS to fit into the wordplay.

          • Moriarty
            Posted September 16, 2010 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

            Could “ahead” on its own mean move to the front leaving “move” as an anagram indicator? Thus about=re, anagram of re = er, moved to front?

            • gazza
              Posted September 16, 2010 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

              Hi Moriarty – welcome to the blog.

              • Moriarty
                Posted September 16, 2010 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

                Cheers – Shame though that I’ve now seen my attempted explanation doesn’t work! Great site though – learning loads!

                • Posted September 16, 2010 at 5:41 pm | Permalink


                  I think it was a good idea that just doesn’t work. If you had a word containing RE you could say “about moving ahead” to move it to the front – LAIRED could become RELAID, for example.

                  I have noticed recently an increasing number of clues that extract the letters of a word without indicating that they are not in that order in the source word. Master setters like Brian Greer and Notabilis never do that.

  11. crypticsue
    Posted September 16, 2010 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

    Were there not any pictures of ample librarians, then??!!

    • Posted September 16, 2010 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

      Cracking picture of the curvy seat in 22a though!

    • Posted September 16, 2010 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

      I did look for a picture of two prima ballerinas, but, by definition, you only get them one at a time.

      I didn’t even try to find the librarians!

  12. Prolixic
    Posted September 16, 2010 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

    Cannot add much to what has been said already. 26a was tops for me too. Still smiling at the picture it conjours up.

    • Posted September 16, 2010 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

      Yes, if ample librarians try that at work, a repairman’s bill might also be involved ……..

  13. Gari
    Posted September 16, 2010 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

    Completed whilst having my cup of tea today, found it quite interesting but fairly easy which maens having to find other things to do during my break at work tonight, looks like the toughie.
    Picture clue to 26a is brilliant never had librarians like that in my library. :D

    • Gari
      Posted September 17, 2010 at 1:50 am | Permalink

      Had a go at the toughie tonight and managed about 50% before I had to look at the hints and they were extremely helpful in their explanations I will definitely have a go at it again. :D

  14. Little Dave
    Posted September 16, 2010 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

    Straight-forward was this in my view although I was not too sure about 19a. Whizzed through.

    Nice picture above for 22a. She is welcome to help me solve the crossword any day.

  15. BigBoab
    Posted September 16, 2010 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

    Not bad, not good just Thursday. Loved your picture for 22a, trying to outGazza Gazza ?

  16. Pete
    Posted September 16, 2010 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

    Nothing to add to the above and Big Daves intro, i.e.. insert the answer and move on. Like Franny I resolved 28a as an anagram of sisters but reading BD’s comments above I now know better!
    Thanks to Big Dave and the Mysteron.

  17. toadson
    Posted September 16, 2010 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

    Must have been fairly easy because I finished it without reference to BD!

    Didn’t know (but guessed) that ‘GE’ is an abbreviation for Georgia.

  18. Derek
    Posted September 16, 2010 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

    A very gentle puzzle today – solved it after watching the Pope’s visit to Scotland on the BBC channel – it will be interesting to hear what he has to say tomorrow in London.

    When I lived in the west of Scotland, I had a dance partner who lived in the Bellahouston area of dear auld Glesca – I recognised the park immediately by the two tenement blocks – still standing!

    26a, 2d & 7d were OK but 6d is becoming a hoary chestnut – another Ur!

    Looking forward to Giovanni’s fare tomorrow.

    • Derek
      Posted September 16, 2010 at 10:10 pm | Permalink

      Forgot to thank BD for the picture of the Divan!

  19. Posted October 13, 2010 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

    Way too easy for me,but a precursor to Don tomorrow.Big Dave,why tempt us?(DIVAN)

    • Posted October 13, 2010 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

      I think that’s what is known as a rhetorical question!