DT 26370 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

DT 26370

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26370

Hints and tips by Crypticsue

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

I had a slight case of blogger’s nerves when I read the first few clues but soon settled down and thoroughly enjoyed Jay’s puzzle which has a very nice mix of clues including quite a few insertions and some very nice anagrams. Thanks to Jay for the very nice Wednesday work out – we do seem to be returning to the ‘old’ system where the difficulty increased on a daily basis with Friday being the ‘hardest’.

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    Leaves suddenly to study intensively in case of sickness (6)
{SCRAMS} – Insert a word meaning to study or prepare someone intensively for an exam into S and S (the case or outside letters of sickness) to get less formal way of saying leaving suddenly.

4a    Cleaner youth gets accepted by showing caution (8)
{CHARLADY} – Usually the abbreviation for this cleaner is used as part of a charade, today we need the whole word – a five letter word meaning cautious or wary is placed round (accepted) another word for a youth.

10a    Be right and circle around city (9)
{LIVERPOOL} – a charade of a word meaning to have life, the letter R (right) and a synonym for a circle reversed (around) gives the northern city famous in the 1960s for popular music.

11a    Unusually, responds without instruments (5)
{LYRES} – These U-shaped instruments are hidden within unusualLY RESponds.

12a    Bread man gets a tip docked (7)
{CHAPATI} – A type of Indian bread – an informal term for a man plus A and TIP with the last letter removed (docked).

13a    Country that’s in a state (7)
{ENCLAVE} – the cryptic definition of a country entirely surrounded by a foreign territory or state.

14a    South American chain oddly ignored food (5)
{SUSHI} – I tried at first to make a word with the usual abbreviations of SA for South America. This time it’s S U(nited) S(tates) with the odd letters of cHaIn which produce a food originating from Japan.

15a    Reserve hotel centrally located in coast (3,5)
{SET ASIDE} – A synonym for reserve – the middle letter of hoTel (centrally) inserted (located) in the part of the coast we go to with buckets and spades.

18a    Fixed agreement to drop end of term drink (5,3)
{GREEN TEA} – an anagram (fixed) of AGREEMENT but without the M (drop end of terM) – the drink is the apparently more healthy form of the cup that cheers.

20a    Villain’s regret accepting turn about (5)
{ROGUE} – A two letter alternative to turn inserted into (accepting) and reversed (about) a three letter word meaning regret produces an unscrupulous person.

23a    Fancy striker beginning to attack (7)
{CHIMERA} – In addition to being a type of mythical monster, this word can also mean a fanciful idea. Add the first letter of attack (beginning) to the striker is that found in a clock or a bell.

25a    I’ll be heard after diplomacy – touching? (7)
{TACTILE} – A homophone of I’ll is placed after another word for diplomacy – touching here means perceptible to the sense of touch.

26a    Proportion of allowance unfinished (5)
{RATIO} – Take the last letter away from a synonym for allowance to get a word meaning the number of things in relation to each other.

27a    Copper delayed after single refusal to give protection (9)
{INOCULATE} – a nice charade – I (one) NO (refusal), the chemical symbol for Copper, and a synonym for delayed – you would be given this form of protection by a syringe and needle. Ouch!

28a    Going off beam, taken in by confidence trick (8)
{STRAYING} – Newman and Redford were in a famous film named after this confidence trick; beam was the Toughie alias of Barrie’s favourite setter, his first name inserted into the ‘trick’ produces another way of saying wandering away.

29a    Feel bitter about gifts being unwrapped (6)
{RESENT} – a nice all-in-one here – take the outside letters (unwrapped) from gifts you might get at Christmas to get another way of saying feel bitter.


1d    Crooked smile ‘cos of grammatical error (8)
{SOLECISM} – a mistake in the use of grammar – an anagram (crooked) of SMILE ‘COS.

2d    Exposes delights around the East of India (7)
{REVEALS} – to get an alternative way of disclosing a secret – the delights here are an occasion of lively noisy entertainment to which the A (east of India) should be inserted.

3d    Spread margins are poor, lacking investors ultimately (9)
{MARGARINE} – A vegetable oil spread – an anagram (poor) of MARGINS ARE but without the S (lacking investorS ultimately).

5d    Sanctimonious setter might be compared to you (6-4-4)
{HOLIER-THAN-THOU} – Is Jay trying to tell us something here?! A cryptic definition of the hypocritical simulation of virtuousness.

6d    Artefact found by priest in church (5)
{RELIC} – The church abbreviation needed here is RC (Roman Catholic) and the priest is the Jewish high priest in the Book of Samuel. Inserting the priest into the church should produce an object valued as a souvenir of the past.

7d    First-class runs — quick to dismiss heart attack (3-4)
{AIR-RAID} – the abbreviation for first-class plus R for runs (sorry ladies it’s cricket again) and a synonym for quick with the P removed (dismiss heart) – these attacks are made by war planes.

8d    People authorised to give the boss a nod (3-3)
{YES-MEN} – Another nice cryptic definition – people who agree with superiors in order to curry favour.

9d    Impossible position now as intuition goes to pieces (2,3,9) (paper 2-3, 9)
{NO-WIN SITUATION} – a long anagram here – NOW AS INTUITION (the very clear indicator ‘goes to pieces’) – whatever you do here you won’t succeed.

16d    Criticism certain to include being reportedly misled (9)
{STRICTURE} – severe criticism – another insertion – a synonym for certain with a homophone of a word meaning to cheat or defraud inside.

17d    Always up on lease, showing respect (8)
{REVERENT} – Characterised by great respect – take a word meaning always and reverse it (up) before money paid when you lease a property.

19d    New resort accepts one should have a ball (7)
{ROISTER} – A verb meaning to enjoy oneself noisily and boisterously is an anagram (new) of RESORT with I (one) inserted.

21d    Serious expression from a serious expert (7)
{GRIMACE} – An ugly twisting of the face – a charade of a synonym for serious (in the sense of stern and unsmiling) and the usual compiler’s choice of expert.

22d    Writes music from the twenties (6)
{SCORES} – Another nice double definition – in this case the twenties are two ‘sets of twenty’.

24d    Buy no better container for lifting tree (5)
{EBONY} – I tried at first to make an anagram of BUY N) but on closer examination, it became clear that the tropical tree producing a hard black wood is a hidden reversal found in buY NO BEtter (‘container’ and ‘lifting’ are the indicators here).

I don’t think I have a particular favourite clue today – usually I mark one or two when solving or typing the review – I think it was just all a very good mix of clues to suit all tastes. It will be interesting to see what others thought.

Back to the day job now, but with an interesting twist – Other Dave’s daughter’s class is on a Take your Daughter to Work Day – he is not in the office today so we now have the lesser known variation “Let your PA Take your Daughter to Work Day”! I am hoping to teach her that well-known addition to the working day – how to solve the DT Toughie!!

54 comments on “DT 26370

  1. Great puzzle and fully agree with the BD rating for difficulty and enjoyment. Started over a cup of coffee and could not put it down.
    Favourite clues 27A, 28A and 22D.
    Thanks to setter and Crypticsue for the hints.

  2. Thanks for the review, crypticsue. I also thought I would struggle having filled in practically nothing until I got to the downs. After that it was a race through finishing somewhere between Monday’s and Yesterday’s puzzle.
    29a was my favourite. Thanks to Jay for the puzzle as well!.

  3. Not just bloggers nerves! I put in a few across clues and picked up speed only when I had done the down clues.

    Lots of enjoyment so many thanks to Jay and to Sue for the review. Good luck with teaching the boss’s daughter how to solve the Toughie!

  4. Hi Sue, I agree a nice mixture of clues today, at first I thought it was going to be really tough, and it definitely wasn’t easy, all books and machines hard at work here today couldn’t have done it without them :), its strange being out of the CC, coming out on a day when we probably had the easiest crossword for ages, well, maybe that wasn’t good enough! anyway apparently I am at the next level now th ‘JOCC’ :) with a big ‘L’ still on my back, favourite clue today was 27a, I had never heard of 1d although I have probably made plenty of them! Thanks for blog Sue, though I didn’t need it for the answers, I did need it to understand a few of them

    1. Found this very difficult. Got off to bad start by putting Indiana in for 13a. Favories were 13a – it just appealed to me. Go about 1/3 thru and resorted to Sue’s hints. I had never heard of 19d. I got 27a fairly easily (I have a science background).
      Hope tomorrow’s is not tougher – this was bad enough

      1. Keep at it Chris, 18 months ago I could hardly understand one clue, but perservate and with the help of this blog and the people on it you will improve rapidly :)

  5. As always from Jay, another fine puzzle with plenty of enjoyment. Many thanks to Jay, and to Sue for the super review.
    Re the hint in 4a, you meant to write a five letter word meaning cautious :)

        1. I spend my life pointing them out – comes of being trained 40 years ago to type and spot these things. Drives my husband mad!

  6. Another stiff test for the JOCC’s but pleasureable in finishing. I need a lie down.
    Thanks to Sue and Jay

      1. Mary, start off with trying to relinquish one of your electronic aids and see how you go, no bike required just yet.

  7. Too much for me, as is usual with midweek puzzles. Maybe I’m too worn out after a day in London with a daughter yesterday! But did get all of NE and SW corners, plus a few more, so could be getting better.

    11a, Chambers Crossword Dictionary shows ‘without’ as a containment indicator; is that the same as a hidden indicator? Should have remembered 23a, it’s one I’ve got before now!

    Not a lot of enjoyment here, rather hard work! But thanks anyway for the puzzle and much-needed review.

    1. NE corner was the last to go in for me Geoff, I’m sure if you hadn’t been so worn out after yesterday you could have done it :)

  8. Sue,

    I think in 14a the odd letters, which are C, A & N, are to be left out (ignored), leaving the even letters, H & I.

      1. I’d like to say it was a deliberate error to see if anyone, unlike me, was awake but sadly it wasn’t. Thanks for fixing it BD while I was taking my surrogate daughter around other offices.

  9. Well done Sue – another very competent revue. A very nice puzzle from Jay, too. My only gripe is not so much the quantity of anagrams, more their quality. Take 1d – it couldn’t have been more clearly sign-posted, even with an amber flashing light sat next to it!

  10. I have finally finished this having got into a muddle in the SE corner. Although I couldn’t find it in a dictionary, neither could I quite explain it, I wanted to make 27a ‘ironplate’ – well, if it existed it would ALMOST work – i (for one) and, at the end p (for copper) and late – that only left a few letters unexplained! It also made 16d pretty much impossible!! Eventually managed to untangle myself – perhaps it’s time for one of these – :oops: Apart from that minor mishap I enjoyed the crossword very much today – quite a few anagrams which I like, especially when they are long, and none of the beastly little four letter words which are often the sticking points for me. Favourite clues today were 10a and 9d. Thank you Jay and Sue.

  11. I found that one quite difficult – brain couldn’t get in gear on several of the clues and the s/e corner was the last to go in. At first all I could do were down clues and then some of the across started falling in to place. I liked 14a and 23a.

    Excellent review crypticsue and thanks for the puzzle Jay.

  12. Very enjoyable. The fancy striker in 23a sprang straight from the subconscious.
    Last to go in was 13a, although I had been reading about Campione on Lake Lugano recently.
    Thanks to J & CS.

  13. Very typical Jay crossword, extremely enjoyable and not too taxing. Thanks to Jay and to Crypticsue for the review.

  14. Another unbelievable cloudless, blue skied, sunny day today, incredible, all good for your recovery Lea :)

    1. Not In Bucks, 10/10 cloud cover and chilly. Never mind, not working today and just had a fantastic round of golf, got round in 92 which for me is great :-)

    2. Thanks Mary – not lots of sun but not cold. Ventured out for a walk by myself this afternoon – didn’t go far but it felt good to be free. Glad you are having nice weather for a change.

  15. I just can’t concentrate today – I’m too engrossed on watching the rescue of the Chilean miners. I’ll probably resort to the blog fairly soon, if I can drag myself away from the TV.

  16. Dear me they are tough this week apart from Mondays blessing! Finished (with help) but learned another new word in 1d and I must say I would never in a month of Sundays have got 7d without help. I had the 3 letter word and still couldn’t find the second from the clue, extremely well hidden by the setter, too well for me! Must admit got lots of answers without fully understanding the clues, this setter does seem to be very abstruse at times. Thanks to the blog for the explanations.
    AND I still can;t away from my least favourite setter even in the answers (28a) :-(

    1. Sorry Barrie but you and Mr T were the first things that came into my mind when I saw beam in the clue. I also thought you might like to be mentioned in despatches. :D

  17. Enjoyed this one and though I relied heavily on the hints I did get some clues without help. Mind you for some of those it was more a matter of luck and I had to go back to the blog to read an explanation of the word play. 1d was a new word for me and although I could tell it was an anagram I just couldn’t get it.

  18. Great puzzle and just about right for the commute in and out. Some lovely word play – last in 11a! So obvious too! Top notch.

  19. Restating my question re 11a, as I’d like to know; what’s the hidden word indicator here? I’m guessing ‘without’, but Chambers Crossword Dictionary says ‘without’ is a containment indicator, whereas ‘within’ is a hidden indicator. Containment / hidden, is there a difference?

  20. A late start so a late finish for me, but a monumental occasion because Mrs Tub solved her first clue (14a). Normally she’s quite frosty when I mention anything to do with the crossword because it is, in her words, ‘stupid’ and ‘rubbish’. I wonder if this is a temporary thaw or the start of global warming.

  21. A quickly solved very entertaining puzzle with a lot of good wordplay.
    Favourites were : 10a, 14a, 27a, 5d, 7d & 9d..

    1. A sting is a form of confidence trick. Another word for a beam of light is a RAY. Put RAY inside STING to get a word meaning going off (course).

    1. To tell you the truth, I can’t remember that far back! I suppose the setters’ styles must have changed. What I have found is that I have much more fun since I discovered this blog back in April than I had in all the years on my own before.

    2. Chadwick

      One of the main differences is that there always used to be literary quotations with a word or two missing, so the Oxford Dictionary of Quotations (ODQ) was an essential companion.

      On a different point, could you please clear the http field before leaving comments. This is intended to enable you to link to your own site. If you put something invalid in there then clicking on your name causes an error. [You’re not the only “culprit”!]

    1. You have entered “http://www.bigdave’scrosswordblog.com/” in the field labelled “website” – just delete it or insert a link to your own site, if you have one.

Comments are closed.