DT 26359

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26359

Hints and tips by Big Dave

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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.



  1. Jezza
    Posted September 30, 2010 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    Not much to say, other than nice picture! Thanks to setter, and to BD.

    • gazza
      Posted September 30, 2010 at 11:54 am | Permalink

      That’s disgusting – she’s smoking! :D

      • Jezza
        Posted September 30, 2010 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

        You’re too fussy! :)

      • Posted September 30, 2010 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

        She sure is smokin’

        • Jemux
          Posted September 30, 2010 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

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

          • mary
            Posted September 30, 2010 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

            I think you’re right Jemux

          • Posted September 30, 2010 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

            I keep looking at the picture but am having difficulty seeing the background!

            • Kath
              Posted September 30, 2010 at 10:31 pm | Permalink

              Have to say that really made me laugh :grin:

              • Kath
                Posted September 30, 2010 at 10:41 pm | Permalink

                I mean your comment, not the picture!!

  2. crypticsue
    Posted September 30, 2010 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    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.

    • ChrisH
      Posted September 30, 2010 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

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

      • crypticsue
        Posted September 30, 2010 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

        Gone to the pictures – she commented on Comment earlier.

      • mary
        Posted September 30, 2010 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

        Bet you thought I was hiding in those bushes ;-)

    • Jezza
      Posted September 30, 2010 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

      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!

      • crypticsue
        Posted September 30, 2010 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

        The dog in the HMV advert – he waited endlessly – take the last letter of his name off (R)

        • Posted September 30, 2010 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

          Sorry Sue – you’re wrong – it’s a waitress in a Lyons Corner House

          The review is being prepared at the moment.

          • crypticsue
            Posted September 30, 2010 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

            I knew it was something like that. The dog is called Nipper, though, isn’t he?

            • Posted September 30, 2010 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

              Yes – it’s a stock quiz question along with Dorothy’s dog and Tintin’s dog.

              • Chris Price
                Posted September 30, 2010 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

                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

                • Franco
                  Posted September 30, 2010 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

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

                • gazza
                  Posted September 30, 2010 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

                  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!

                  • Chris Price
                    Posted October 1, 2010 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

                    I remember those days.

        • gazza
          Posted September 30, 2010 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

          i think it’s more likely to be the waitress in the Lyons Teahouse.

        • Shamus
          Posted September 30, 2010 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

          Nice try but not quite right! Glad Jezza found it hard – it was designed to be!

          • Shamus
            Posted September 30, 2010 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

            My comment was addressed to Cryptic Sue. Gazza is of course correct

            • crypticsue
              Posted September 30, 2010 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

              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!!)

              • Posted September 30, 2010 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

                Whatever happened to the paperless office?

                • crypticsue
                  Posted September 30, 2010 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

                  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.

  3. Kath
    Posted September 30, 2010 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    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!!

    • Kath
      Posted September 30, 2010 at 11:38 am | Permalink

      PS Thanks to the mystery setter – is he (or she) always the same one – and to Big Dave.

      • Posted September 30, 2010 at 11:43 am | Permalink

        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.

        • Nubian
          Posted September 30, 2010 at 11:59 am | Permalink

          I’ll put a fiver on Ray T as the Setter

          • Posted September 30, 2010 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

            He would have told me if it was! Put the fiver behind the bar of the Bree Louise.

            • Jezza
              Posted September 30, 2010 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

              Campbell maybe??

        • Kath
          Posted September 30, 2010 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

          Thanks BD

    • Geoff
      Posted September 30, 2010 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

      Didn’t see the cricketing reference in 3d Kath; thought along the lines of xl, as in clothes size.

      • Kath
        Posted September 30, 2010 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

        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 ….

        • Franco
          Posted September 30, 2010 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

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

          • Kath
            Posted September 30, 2010 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

            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!!

            • Franco
              Posted September 30, 2010 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

              Kath, I think that Geoff tried to bowl you his “Doosra” but it ended up being a “No-Ball”!

              • Geoff
                Posted September 30, 2010 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

                Never heard of a Doosra, but looked it up on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cricket_terminology It just struck me as obvious, exceptionally wide, extra large. Could post another cricketing link, but I’d go into BD’s automatic spam filter, as I discovered recently.

                • mary
                  Posted September 30, 2010 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

                  You have actually been spammed Geoff!!??

                  • Geoff
                    Posted September 30, 2010 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

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

                    • Posted September 30, 2010 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

                      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.

  4. Nubian
    Posted September 30, 2010 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    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.

    • Nubian
      Posted September 30, 2010 at 11:57 am | Permalink

      On my bike of course!

      • crypticsue
        Posted September 30, 2010 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

        Does your horse not fancy the outing then?? :D

  5. Franny
    Posted September 30, 2010 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    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. :-)

  6. gnomethang
    Posted September 30, 2010 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

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

  7. Geoff
    Posted September 30, 2010 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

    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 ?

  8. rjoybsc
    Posted September 30, 2010 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

    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?

  9. BigBoab
    Posted September 30, 2010 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    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.

  10. Prolixic
    Posted September 30, 2010 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

    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.

  11. Pete
    Posted September 30, 2010 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

    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.

  12. Mr Tub
    Posted September 30, 2010 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

    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…

    • Gari
      Posted September 30, 2010 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

      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

    • mary
      Posted September 30, 2010 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

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

      • Mr Tub
        Posted September 30, 2010 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

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

  13. mary
    Posted September 30, 2010 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

    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 :)

    • Franny
      Posted September 30, 2010 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

      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. :-)

      • mary
        Posted September 30, 2010 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

        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!

    • Kath
      Posted September 30, 2010 at 10:38 pm | Permalink

      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:

      • mary
        Posted October 1, 2010 at 9:03 am | Permalink

        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 :)

  14. lizwhiz1
    Posted September 30, 2010 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

    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????!!!

    • Posted September 30, 2010 at 6:23 pm | Permalink


      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.

      • lizwhiz1
        Posted October 1, 2010 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

        many thanks BD… now I understand!! Shame for me as anovice Toughie!

  15. Little Dave
    Posted September 30, 2010 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

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

    Super picture above – quite breath-taking.

  16. paolors
    Posted September 30, 2010 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

    I thought this was harder than yesterday which I guess makes me unique. Sleep well all.

  17. Derek
    Posted September 30, 2010 at 9:53 pm | Permalink

    Very average puzzle today.
    20d was best for me.
    Looking forward to tomorrow’s fare.

  18. Derek
    Posted September 30, 2010 at 9:56 pm | Permalink

    She sure has a pair of beauties Dan!

  19. Wingnut1000
    Posted October 1, 2010 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    Finished it over breakfast, but a day late! Bottom right corner last to go.