DT 26359 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26359

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26359

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

It’s mystery setter day again! I found this comparatively straightforward.

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    Let down, head of newspaper turns on journalists (7)
{DEPRESS} – a word meaning let down is created by reversing (turns) the usual abbreviation for a newspaper boss and following it by a collective term for journalists

5a    Return made by salesman on a shoestring (7)
{REPLACE} – a word meaning to return or put back is a charade of a salesman and a shoestring

9a    Pearl’s unfortunately cut by tin opener — put this on it? (7)
{PLASTER} – an anagram (unfortunately) of PEARL’S is placed around (cut by) T (Tin opener) to get something you would put on a cut

10a    Be master of gang connected with ship (7)
{POSSESS} – a word meaning to be master of or own is a charade of a gang, maybe one chasing an outlaw, and the usual abbreviation for a ship

11a    Got hold of prisoner with sensitivity — Ted lost his head (9)
{CONTACTED} – a word meaning got hold of is a charade of a prisoner, sensitivity and (T)ED

12a    Eighties pop star dropping new fee (5)
{PRICE} – the Eighties pop star who changed his name to a symbol loses (dropping) N(ew) to get a fee

13a    Banks viewing choices (5)
{SIDES} – a double definition – banks of a river or viewing choices on the TV

15a    Vital I’m left with worker (9)
{IMPORTANT} – a word meaning vital is a charade of I’M, the nautical term for left and a six-legged worker

17a    Earl can get changed, cutting a figure (9)
{RECTANGLE} – an anagram (changed) of E(A)RL CAN GET without an A (cutting A) gives a geometric figure

19a    Brown, following small defeat, initially has to suffer (5)
{STAND} – a brown colour follows S(mall) and is followed by D (defeat, initially) to get a word meaning to suffer

22a    Brilliant police chief (5)
{SUPER} – a double definition – brilliant or an informal word for a police chief

23a    The same reforms indicate Liberal leader (9)
{IDENTICAL} – a word meaning the same is an anagram (reforms) of INDICATE followed by L(iberal)

25a    Blind girl with things for sale (7)
{UNAWARE} – a word meaning blind, as in having no knowledge of a situation, is a charade of a girl, Ms Stubbs perhaps, and things for sale (which are more usually in the plural)

26a    Music-hall collection (7)
{VARIETY} – a double definition – Music-hall entertainment or a collection of different things

27a    Risks daughter faces makes one’s blood boil (7)
{DANGERS} – these risks are a charade of D(aughter) and irritates or makes one’s blood boil

28a    Prepared most of pudding and day’s over (7)
{DRESSED} – a word meaning prepared, as in prepared a crab as a meal, take most of another name for a pudding or sweet, add D(ay) and reversal it all (over)


1d    Describes spiced bananas stuffed with a bit of treacle (7)
{DEPICTS} – a word meaning describes is an anagram (bananas) of SPICED around (stuffed with) T (a bit of Treacle)

2d    Prepared to get criticized about learner driver (7)
{PLANNED} – a word meaning prepared or organised is derived by putting a word meaning criticized around a L(earner driver)

3d    Exceptionally wide, perhaps (5)
{EXTRA} – a word meaning exceptionally is a wide in cricket, perhaps

4d    Certainly, doctor hit nurse with end of ring (4,5)
{SURE THING} – a phrase that means certainly comes from an anagram (doctor) of HIT NURSE followed by G (end of rinG)

5d    Bound half of peas held by stick (5)
{ROPED} – a word meaning bound is generated by putting PE(as) inside (held by) a stick

6d    They’re often taken on holidays to wear during journey (9)
{PASSPORTS} – those who holiday abroad need these – put a word meaning to wear inside to journey from one place to another

7d    Country girl is after a male (7)
{AMERICA} – this country is created by putting a girl after A M(ale)
and an excuse, should I need one, for a picture of Ms Roe at Twickenham

8d    High seat is put around end of table — most convenient (7)
{EASIEST} – an anagram (high?) of SEAT IS placed around E (end of tablE) gives a word meaning most convenient

14d    Steps one takes to get to the next level (9)
{STAIRCASE} – a cryptic definition of a set of steps

16d    Kept page folded finally under book (9)
{PRESERVED} – a word meaning kept or safeguarded comes from P(age) and then D (foldeD finally) after(under) a verb meaning to book

17d    Cure’s worked — boy’s recovered (7)
{RESCUED} – an anagram (worked) of CURE’S is followed by a boy (perhaps one who leads the Labour party!) to get a word meaning recovered from a place of danger

18d    Officer fit to restrain murderer? On the contrary (7)
{CAPTAIN} – this army officer comes not from putting a word meaning fit around the murderer of Abel, but the other way around

20d    Her car’s nuts and bolts could be used by them (7)
{ARCHERS} – an anagram (nuts) of HER CAR’S gives people, like William Tell, who could use bolts

21d    Non-professional entering work late (7)
{DELAYED} – put a non-professional inside some work or a task to get a word meaning late

23d    Aide’s strange suggestions (5)
{IDEAS} – an anagram (strange) of AIDE’S leads to suggestions

24d    Short Peter Sellers piece (5)
(TERSE} – a word meaning short is hidden (piece) inside the middle two words in the clue

Rather too many similar clues for my liking, but not a bad puzzle.

71 comments on “DT 26359

        1. If you take a closer look I think the ‘cigarette’ is actually some white object in the crowd background.

  1. Not bad, but as you say fairly straightforward with similar clues and no particuar favourites. Thanks Mysteron and BD.

    Toughie is relatively straightforward too, in my opinion, although I am waiting for the review to find out how the obvious solutions of two clues relate to the wordplay.

    1. Is Mysteron one of your entries for the all-new OED? By the way, where’s Mary today? Ominously silent!

    2. I thought the Toughie much harder than yesterday. Finished, but waiting to see the explanation to 17a. There are 4 letters in the middle bothering me!

              1. Thought 8D anagram indicator odd. 20d arrows surely not bolts which are used by crossbows 13A Don’t see connection to viweing choices.
                Having said all that as a novice I enjoyed it because I, for once, completed it

                1. With regard to 20d, the setter confirms this in today’s Quickie. See Quickie 15d – “Bolts that are shot(6)” – ARROWS

                2. 13a Once upon a time, when we only had two TV channels, you’d hear “This is rubbish. Shall we see what’s on the other side?” – a decision not to be taken lightly since it involved getting up from one’s chair and going to the set!

            1. In my defence, I have been tied to two very hot photocopiers all through my lunchhour – several forests worth of trees have bitten the dust, so it is no wonder my brain is confused. However, I didn’t find the Toughie quite as Shamus-like as usual but can’t put my finger on why. Did enjoy it even though I didn’t find it that tough (sorry!!)

                1. No idea – its a bit much having to give up lunchtime puzzling time and then there’s the worry about the trees – we have an on-line thingy where you can check how much of a tree you have used in a particular time period – it doesn’t say whether its a redwood or a tiny sapling but I think several forests have gone today.

  2. I enjoyed today’s puzzle – partly because I could do it! Didn’t have much trouble with anything and didn’t need the hints, but read them anyway. Wasn’t very happy about the anagram indicator in 8d but it had to be what it was. Favourite clues today are 1d, 4d and 18d. Least favourite 3d – blasted cricket again!!

      1. The editor told me that he rotates the Thursday setters. Occasionally a new one, like Messinae a few weeks ago, appears. As far as I know Excalibur and Warbler, both Toughie setters, are the only women on the panel.

      1. Damn it – thought that I might even be getting to grips with some of the things that I KNOW I can’t do! Also thought (perhaps wrongly) that ‘wide’ and ‘extra’ are both cricketing terms (although I don’t have a clue what they mean!) and that if something is ‘exceptionally’ something it is also ‘extra’ something. Oh dear – never mind, you can’t win them all ….

        1. Kath, I agree with you – I think it’s a cricket reference! Just checked the review – BD mentions cricket, too!

          1. Thanks Franco – also just checked what BD said in the hints. Phew! What little belief I have in myself at EVER being able to do cricket (along with lots of other sporting things) has been restored!!

                  1. Indeed, I was caught in the filter and binned. I guess it was the auto email to BD that brought it to his attention.

                    1. I am pleased to say that I don’t get emails for spam – several thousand so far – but they do show up on the main dashboard.

                      I’m not at all sure how the filter works but it catches 99.999% of all spam and only a handful of genuine comments. The two hyperlink rule is one of the options I could turn off but prefer not to.

  3. Enjoyable puzzle today. Thanks B Dave and the other Mysteron.
    Fantastic day outside so I’m going for a nice long ride up the NorthEast coast to St Mary’s lighthouse and back via Seaton Delavel Hall. Tuna sandwiches all packed, see you all later.

  4. I enjoyed this today, too. It’s good for us CCers to have the occasional puzzle we can do without too much frustration — even if they seem too straightforward for the more experienced. So thanks to the Phantom Setter.

    I thought 1d was the funniest clue, didn’t realise 4d was an anagram but got the answer anyway because it fitted. Thanks to Big Dave for the hints which clarified some of the clues for me — I so often put in the right words without understanding why. The one I liked most today was 24d. :-)

  5. I also noticed the similarity between a number of clue constructions but found it perfectly OK.
    Thanks to BD and our mystery setter.

  6. I don’t usually do very well with the mid-week puzzles, but this was more straightforward. I’m probably in a minority here, but I’m afraid I got a bit bored with it and read the blog instead of finishing it. Sides for tv viewing choices ?? How many years ago ?

  7. The Bree Louise huh? Went there to meet up with some old pals myself a month or so ago. Pretty simple today I thought – not too happy with “high” denoting an anagram, but hey – whatya gonna do?

  8. I didn’t enjoy this at all, I would have given it 2* for difficulty and 1* for enjoyment, shame because some of the Thursday setters are really quite enjoyable. Thanks for the review and the picture of Miss Rose,BD.

  9. A straightforward, straight down the line, answers straight onto the grid type of crossword. Many thanks to the Mysteron from all the Spectrum operatives and thanks to BD for the review.

  10. Thought this a definite 3* puzzle unlike others i.e. Nubian!
    Fine day here also but having the eaves replaced so unlike Nubian cannot go out and enjoy the weather. Long time since I visited St. Mary’s Lighthouse.
    Thanks to BD and the mystery setter.

  11. 5a and 15a were my favourites today: they’re both quite similar but that construction always brings back such happy memories of didgeridoo a few weeks ago…
    Mrs Tub and I are off to Kent for a few days on Monday and she’s made it quite clear that there’s no room in the suitcase for my dictionaries (I found one of them in the dog’s basket on Saturday). Are those little Franklin machines any good? I’m sure I could smuggle one of those along without raising too many suspicions…

    1. Hi Mr Tub,
      I’ve had several of the little machines over the years and curently have a Collins Lexibook which I think is most useful, its compact and not too expensive, I too also have the problem of finding them in the dog’s basket usually in pieces, my fault for leaving it lying about, maybe the dog is trying to tell me not to use it and use brainpower instead. :D

    2. Hi Mr Tub, I also have two I use, The Franklin Chambers one and The Seiko ‘Concise Oxford Thesaurus’ I like either :)

      1. Thank you Gari and Mary, that’s very helpful. I may try eating more fish as well and seeing if that has any effect!

  12. I actually managed to finish this before setting off for the cinema! On first read through I could only do three and thought it was going to be really tough, but as someone once said, (I don’t know who)” the less time you have , the more you get done” ! I was held up particularly because I’d put ‘prowess’ for 10a, anyone else?? and deperately wanted 6d to be photograph, even though there weren’t enough letters!! For 8d, I didn’t know why the high was there and thought the anagram ind. was ‘put around’ ! I’m not sure about saying this was an easy one for us CCers today though, I think a 3*. The film by the was was the new Julia Roberts film ” Eat, pray, love” it was 21/2 hours long and was mostly boring, so disappointing as I like most of her films, I could watch ” Pretty Woman” again and again, there isn’t another film I could say that about, ok off to feed my very patient dogs now, back later :)

    1. Mary, I think you were referring to Parkinson’s Law, which says that work expands or contracts to fill the amount of time you have to do it. How true! I didn’t put ‘prowess’ for 10a, but think that might be a ship’s mistress. As for the Julia Roberts film, I had a look at the book at a friend’s house and didn’t think it was for me either. Better luck next time. :-)

      1. Thanks for that Franny, I’d never heard of Parkinsons law, interesting, I like your comment of ‘prowess’, wish I’d looked at the book first, the whole film could have been condensed into less than an hour!

    2. Sorry you were disappointed in the film Mary – the film that I could (and do) watch over and over again is “Dirty Dancing”. I love (unfortunately, now, loved) Patrick Swayze and love watching dancing. There is one bit in that film that makes me giggle how ever many times that I watch it. :grin:

      1. I do love ‘Dirty Dancing’ too Kath, we went to see the show in London last year and I was disappointed with it, not a patch on the film, If you watch the American version of ‘Strictly’ its on Thurs evenings on ‘watching’ channel , ‘Babe’ from the film is one of the contestants she is really good :)

  13. Have only just started on clued up and it has shut me out when I clicked on submit to check if I had a correct answer. This has happened a few times recently especially in the last week trying the toughies :( Is it me or are they out to get me????!!!

    1. Liz

      They changed it on Tuesday so that you can only press submit 6 times. It’s in the FAQ, but as far as I’m aware it was otherwise unannounced.

  14. Found this the easiest for quite a while – last in 5a.

    Super picture above – quite breath-taking.

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