DT 26352 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26352

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26352

Hints and tips by Crypticsue

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment **

Jay gave us a puzzle requiring quite a bit of thought which was a bit of a shock after three consecutive puzzles which took me no time at all – shame Other Dave wasn’t out of the office on Monday or Tuesday!! I didn’t notice when solving the puzzle but writing the review has made me realise that there is a slight leaning towards the United States today.

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    Retail staff paid for shopping (5,10)
{STORE DETECTIVES} – In this case shopping means to cause to be imprisoned and so the retail staff are those employed to catch shoplifters.

9a    How much extra for working on night shifts? (7)
{NOTHING} – An anagram (working) of ON NIGHT gives you the answer to this question.

10a    Tale of chivalry in court (7)
{ROMANCE} – A medieval story of chivalry can also mean to try to win the love of someone.

11a    Thinking originally, philosopher makes preparations for marriage (9)
{TROUSSEAU} – Take T (Thinking originally) and add it to an 18th Century philosopher, to produce the set of clothes and linen collected by a bride for her wedding.

12a    Stop regularly to conceal reek from batter (5)
{THUMP} – Take the second and fourth letters from STOP (regularly) and place within them (conceal) a slang expression for a bad smell – batter in this case meaning to strike someone hard and regularly

13a    Value mainly applied to tabloid’s wild growth (7)
{RAGWORT} – a derogatory term for a tabloid followed by a word meaning value with its last letter removed (mainly) produces the name of a common plant, poisonous to horses

15a    Pride shattered after former wife ran out (7)
{EXPIRED} – The two letter abbreviation for a former wife followed by an anagram (shattered) of PRIDE should give you another way of saying ran out (of time, validity).

17a    Time to think logically – it’s a crime (7)
{TREASON} – T for Time and a synonym for thinking logically – the crime being to be disloyal to your country, sovereign or government.

19a    Communists’ love is wrapped in rugs (7)
{MAOISTS} – Not the most often seen Communists in Crosswordland, followers of a particular type of Chinese communism can be obtained by placing O (love) and IS inside (wrapped) a flat piece of carpet material.

21a    Bent kings welcome new bill (5)
{KNACK} – Bent in the sense of having an aptitude for something – K and K (kings) with N for new and the abbreviation for account (bill) placed inside (welcome)

23a    Composition of beer given to minister (9)
{PASTORALE} – a charade of a member of the clergy followed by a three letter word for beer produces a musical composition that evokes the countryside.

25a    Returning soldier invested in form of Maori art (7)
{ORIGAMI} – A clue for careful reading – art in the form of paper folding – an anagram of MAORI (form of) with the abbreviation for an American soldier reversed (returning) inside.

26a    Country where crime is rampant among drivers (7)
{AMERICA} – The initials of one of our two motoring organisations placed around (among) an anagram of CRIME (is rampant) – not sure whether this country would like to admit that crime is rampant there!

27a    Think ‘Goldfinger’ produced evidence of a highly charged atmosphere? (6,9)
{FORKED LIGHTNING} – an anagram of THINK GOLDFINGER (produced) these zigzagged fingers of light are an atmospheric discharge during a thunderstorm.


1d    A time to replace one in older politician (7)
{SENATOR} – A synonym for older with A and T(ime) replacing the I (one) – these politicians are found in 26a.

2d    Better sort of garden party? (5)
{OUTDO} – to get the better of someone is also a two word term (3, 2) for a party not inside the house.

3d    Discharges from duties, under pressure at last (9)
{EMISSIONS} – The last letter of pressure followed by a synonym for purposes on which people are sent – these discharges are usually heat, light or gas, these days mostly connected to ‘greenhouses’!

4d    Diets, eg. designed for the most nervous (7)
{EDGIEST} – another anagram (designed) of DIETS EG produces an adjective meaning most anxious, nervous or tense.

5d    Maigret’s on the way (2,5)
{EN ROUTE} – Maigret is of course a famous French detective – if he was on his way he would say “Je suis ** *****”

6d    Make an effort, lacking the first couple’s charm (5)
{TEMPT} – Take away the first two letters (lacking) from a synonym for to make an effort – here charm means to persuade someone to do something usually wrong or foolish.

7d    Leading units keep watch in vehicles (9)
{VANGUARDS} – The parts of a military unit that advance first – place a word meaning to keep watch inside light commercial road vehicles.

8d    Dashed across area for driving, soaked (7)
{STEEPED} – A golfer drives off from this area which should be placed inside a synonym for dashed to produce another way of saying soaking in liquid.

14d    One in regiment collapsing near ridge (9)
{GRENADIER} – Another anagram (collapsing), NEAR RIDGE – a member of a regiment formerly trained in the use of grenades.

16d    Advocate single bid by rugby player (9)
{PROPONENT} – Someone who argues for, or advocates, a cause – a charade of a rugby player at one side of a scrum, with ONE (single) and the abbreviation for a particular bid in bridge.

17d    Suddenly become popular -and leave (4,3)
{TAKE OFF} – Another nice double meaning – A plane leaves in this manner and something that suddenly becomes successful or popular can be said to do this.

18d    Put in new article on length of marriage (7)
{NUPTIAL} – The adjective meaning relating to marriage – an anagram of PUT IN (new) plus A (article) and L (abbreviation for length).

19d    Obligation to turn nag into a horse? (7)
{MUSTANG} – A half wild horse from the American West – an auxiliary verb meaning to express duty with an anagram of NAG (turned).

20d    Confessed to adopting male born in affair (7)
{SHEBANG} – It was obvious what the solution was here but the wordplay took me a while – an American slang way of saying confessed placed round (adopting) a two letter word for a male person and B for born – the affair or matter is another American slang expression.

22d    Jack’s a villain (5)
{KNAVE} – another nice obvious all-in-one – a scoundrel or one of the court cards in a pack.

24d    Excuse one supporting a political party once (5)
{ALIBI} – the excuse of being somewhere else when a crime was committed – A with a three letter abbreviation for the old ‘third’ political party – with I (one supporting).

A surprising number of clues today where the solution you are after is connected to the last word in the clue. I don’t have any particular favourite clues and so will be interested to learn what other people thought.

37 comments on “DT 26352

  1. Glad I am not the only one that found this quite tricky. There were some lovely diverting clues here – I particularly liked 1a (Sales assistants also fits on first inspection!) and also 8d and 16d. I made the mistake of writing the past participle in at 17d which didnt help!.
    Thanks to Crypticsue for the review and Jay for the puzzle.

  2. Like you Gnomething, I started with sales assistant thinking I was off to a flyer. Overall a thoroughly enjoyable puzzle with one or two clues that took a bit of thought.
    The toughie is good today also, half way through.
    Fav today was 12a

    1. I did give the enjoyment factor some thought. I based the 2* on the fact that, even allowing for reviewer’s nerves, I didn’t get as much fun as usual from the solving process and also that I didn’t have any particular favourite clues either when solving or after I had done my analysis.

      1. Fair enough – I don’t know whether the reviewers * rating for enjoyment equates to the 1-5* at the foot of the blog for the readers’ votes, and where 2* = Poor. That’s why I asked. I gave it 4* today.

        1. I’d not thought about the text entries before and they were left as the defaults. I’ve changed the first two to “Poor” and “Below average”

  3. Morning Sue et al – I nearly gave up on this today, left it for a while to cogitate and then came back to perservate, got there eventually with a little mechanical/book help, not a puzzle to make me think Ah yes! rather, thank goodness! 1a and 27a took me ages, put regweed at first for 13a! know nothing about bridge, so although I got 16d couldn’t work out the NT bit, if I have a favourite clue, I think it would be 1d! good luck all fellow CC ers, personally I think it deserves its 3 star rating if not a bit more :)

  4. This took me a little while to get going, but eventually it all fell into place. Thanks to Jay, and to Sue.

  5. Romped through even though I had 12 & 23a wrong (trump & pastorate) it made no difference to the end result. Glad you could put me straight.

  6. I too found this trickier than a usual Jay crossword with a lot more variation in the clue types. For me this made is more enjoyable. Favourites clues were 1a / 1d. Many thanks to Jay and to CrypticSue for the review.

  7. I think I’d still be puzzling over 12a without Sue’s hint. Complete blindspot on that one. My lack of experience and delight in managing to finish any of these puzzles mean it was worth a 4 from me!

  8. Unlike almost everyone else today I quite enjoyed this offering from Jay, sometimes I think they can be a little easy but this made me think. I liked 1a especially. Thanks Jay and thanks to Crypticsue for the review.

  9. I found this harder than the normal DT recently. A satisfying solve though I felt. No strikingly good clues for me but generally good standard of trickery. Thanks again.

  10. Like lots of other people I found this quite difficult. I ended up finishing it but with a couple of answers that I couldn’t explain until I read the hints – 26a (couldn’t work out where the A’s at beginning and end came from) and 16d (wretched rugby again AND combined with bridge – oh dear) I also got in a right tangle with 14d by trying to make it an anagram of ‘regiment’ and ‘i’ (for one) meaning near a ridge – oh dear, again! Not my greatest crossword day so having learnt yesterday to do the faces I’ll just try to pick out an appropriate one! :sad:
    Thanks to Jay and Crypticsue.

  11. Well, at least the face worked!!! Perhaps I’ll try another even though my husband says that they should be used sparingly (and both daughters say never!) :grin:

  12. Quiet on here today is everyone out enjoying sunshine?? It’s really cold and raining here at the moment :(

    1. We have lovely hot sun here today. Just waiting for my friend and her dog to arrive so we can do our 2 1/2 miles daily walk round the marshes. There’s a rumour we have rain tomorrow though.

    2. Poor you – beautiful day in Oxford – warm and sunny. Just back from dog walk and, having seen the forecast for tomorrow and Friday, about to cut the grass. It is quiet here today, I agree. Maybe everyone is busy and there will be a flurry of comments later on.

    3. I can’t believe it, we are having such dreadful weather today, my dogs are taking one look and saying ‘no thanks’, should have stayed in Torquay we had lovely weather most of last week, that’s it then everyone is out enjoying the sun!

      1. Mary, have you heard of the Welsh comedian Rhod Gilbert – good YouTube of him at the Royal Variety Performance 2008. One of his lines was that “…growing up in Wales he always wanted to join the navy, just to go somewhere drier!”

        1. Thanks Franco, yes Rhod Gilbert is actually from the same town as I am, I find him really funny on radio but not so funny on TV, I can just see him saying that :)

  13. Did I not like this one! Took paper with me to medical check up early this morn and brain remained shut,, prossibly nerves!! Thank you Sue, I needed ALL your help, and Jay all I can say is show a little mercy!!!

  14. Off to celebrate one of my nephews 30th now, hope you’ve all had a good day in the sun, see you tomorrow

      1. yes they are I am lucky to have five of them, along with two sons and two stepsons, two brothers and 6 grandsons, its a male orientated world around me :) !

  15. I suppose we got what we asked for having complained that so many recent puzzles were easy, i.e. 2* jobs. I struggled with this and did not get 1a. I thought of sales incentives and then could not resolve the top left. I did not think of shopping in the sense used until looking at the hints.
    Thanks to the setter and to Crypticsue for the necessary hints today.

  16. Didn’t do today’s puzzle. Had a day out on what might very well have been ‘the last day of summer’. Found my way to a height point in SE Warwickshire where I could see the Malvern Hills in the distance, with the Black Mountains in the haze beyond, so waved to BD and Mary!

  17. Finished this late last night (it’s already Thursday here in NL).
    I thought it was quite good.
    For 13a, I first put in ragbolt and could not see where the value came in – so for once I had to look at the hints! Allis clear.

    Tomorrow, I have to finish off the apples from my daughter. I shall have a year’s supply of apple sauce!
    Most is in the deep freeze.

  18. Maigret’s on the way ( 5d) !!!! Tks for help.. by the way! The French actor ( Bruno Crémer) playing the most recent version of Maigret died this summer.

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