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DT 26371

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26371

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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

Maybe it was just me, but I found this to be the toughest of the week so far.

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    Actor playing with genuine class (4,8)
{ALEC GUINNESS} – this famous actor is an anagram (playing with) of GENUINE CLASS

8a    Thrill, being gripped by umpteenth rally (7)
{ENTHRAL} – a verb meaning to thrill is hidden (gripped by) the last two words of the clue

9a    The main man? (7)
{ADMIRAL} – the main man – in charge of the fleet on the main

11a    Finds location of in-store bananas (7)
{ORIENTS} – a verb meaning finds the location of is an anagram (bananas) of IN-STORE

12a    Study head of pill bug outside (7)
{INSPECT} – another verb – this one means to study and it comes from inserting the initial letter (head) of Pill inside a six-legged bug

13a    Tracks from Stones records (5)
{STEPS} – these tracks come from ST (stones as a weight) and Extended Play records

14a    Respect order one’s given by a new church (9)
{OBEISANCE} – respect is obtained from a charade of an order awarded by the Queen, I’S (one’s) A N(ew) and the Church of England

16a    Resolve to change US president (9)
{ROOSEVELT} – an anagram (change) of RESOLVE TO gives a former US president

19a    Sound is coming from inside here (5)
{DISCO} – where the sound is coming from is hidden inside the first three words of the clue

21a    Uses tie taking narcotic in empty toilets (7)
{TETHERS} – a verb meaning ties or fastens is created by putting a narcotic inside T(oilet)S

23a    Greed’s a sin eating tart’s filling (7)
{AVARICE} – a synonym for greed comes from A and a sin around (t)AR(t)

24a    Small bag with one missing tool (7)
{SPANNER} – S(mall) and a bag, like one on the rear of a bicycle, without the I (with one missing) gives a tool used by a mechanic

25a    Counter movement results in defeat (7)
{TROUNCE} – an anagram (movement) of COUNTER results in a verb meaning to defeat

26a    Drunken celeb, reeling, showing hostility (12)
{BELLIGERENCE} – an anagram (drunken) of CELEB REELING gives a word meaning showing hostility


1d    Describing a good man on horse? (7)
{ASTRIDE} – a semi- all-in-one clue which is a charade of A, an abbreviation of a good man and a word meaning to be on a horse –read it again for the definition

2d    Is wrong to take on further duties (7)
{ERRANDS} – a verb meaning is wrong is placed around a synonym of further to get these duties

3d    Good, everything’s sound following calculus (9)
{GALLSTONE} – a charade of G(ood), everything, the S from ‘s and finally a sound gives a calculus or concretion which forms in certain organs of the body

4d    Foreign national intelligence backed supporting paramilitary group (5)
{IRAQI} – a foreigner is derived by putting a measure of intelligence, reversed, after (supporting in a down clue) a paramilitary group

5d    Retribution seems in order (7)
{NEMESIS} – a word meaning retribution, from the Greek goddess of retribution, is an anagram (order) of SEEMS IN

6d    Spock’s first goad for ‘Bones’ (7)
{SURGEON} – a charade of S (Spock’s first) and a phrasal verb meaning to goad gives a sawbones

7d    Fanatics review opening in art gallery’s shows (12)
{DEMONSTRATES} – a charade of fanatics followed by R (Review opening) inside art gallery’s gives a verb meaning shows

10d         ‘Dear Sir or Madam’, perhaps? (6,6)
{LETTER OPENER} – a cryptic definition of a device for opening correspondence

15d         Fan of former ‘Terminator’ ends with movie star (9)
{EXTRACTOR} – a fan used to remove odours and stale air from an area is a charade of a former partner, perhaps, the outside letters of T(erminato)R  and a film star

17d         To argue about crime (7)
{OUTRAGE} – an anagram (about) of TO ARGUE gives a crime or violation

18d         Ageless English bird almost everybody goes after (7)
{ETERNAL} – a word meaning ageless is a charade of E(nglish), a long-winged aquatic bird and most of a synonym for everybody

19d         Press continue tediously about nothing (7)
{DRAGOON} – a verb meaning to press into service by force is created by putting a phrasal verb meaning to continue tediously (4,2) around O (nothing)

20d         Thus one born French, keeping grand and elegant (7)
{SOIGNÉE} – a charade of a synonym for thus, I (one) and the French for born is placed around G(rand) to get a word meaning elegant

22d         Some neck from last of mountaineers on cliff (5)
{SCRAG} – the bony part of the neck is a charade of S (last of mountaineerS) over (on in a down clue) a cliff

This puzzle does not seem to me to be a Ray T production (I could be wrong), but the quick crossword bears his trademark single word clues.

58 comments on “DT 26371

  1. Took me only slightly longer than yesterday, and I enjoyed the process. I would say 3* difficulty. Nice to see Mrs Nubian back in 20d :) which along with 15d was marked as a favourite clue. Thanks to BD and, presumably, the Mysteron again.

    The toughie is enjoyably tough today too.

    1. It’s frightening isn’t it, I spotted that as soon as I read French and elegant !. It would be a favourite had it not been for the previous angst I had gone through in the previous puzzle.

  2. Not sure that this was much more difficult than some others this week. Hugely enjoyable with lots of quality clues – I would agree with Sue’s three star rating. Favourite clues – with lots to choose from – were 1a, 3d, 6d and just in the lead 23a.

    Many thanks to the Mysteron and to BD for the notes.

  3. I enjoyed this one even though it was a bit of a curates egg. Had to break for a brew before I could finish it.
    Thanks BD

  4. Maybe just you, BD. Nice crossword – the star rating has vanished from my IE7 for some days now, but 4* for enjoyment from me (and max 3* difficulty).

  5. Must be a miracle, after looking at it for 10 mins it started to come into place and I finished before the blog came up!! Thank the lord for anagrams!! Best clue for me was 3d but having a medical background gave me a head start. Still not totally sure about 7d but hey ho.

      1. Hadn’t realised that! Figure I did fairly well then to have got more than about three answers! Is Ray T now the regular Thursday setter?

  6. An enjoyable puzzle today although I think it is the third in difficulty this week. Thanks to big Dave and the ‘Mysteron’ ooer

  7. Agree with Barrie entirely, had to check dictionary for 3d, helpful (for a novice) to have so many anagrams , but only after thesaurus check would ever had linked demons with fanatics for 7d

  8. Well I am finding it the most difficult this week – still working on right hand side. Not as enjoyable as some but possdibly the interruptions I have had haven’t helped.

    1. Finished – can’t find one I really liked but I definitely did not like 15d – will go see why from BD when the downs are done.

      1. That’s true Mary – my brain just had a hard time adjusting to this and afterwards I couldn’t understand why – oh well Giovanni tomorow (and miroe physio for me as well!!!).

  9. I found it on a par with yesterday for difficulty (I.e. Not very) and still think that Tuesday was hardest for me. Loads of good clues today with 1a being favorite.
    Thanks to BD and our possibly mysterious setter.
    Toughie didn’t take any longer today either.

  10. I also found this on a par with yesterday and I thoroughly enjoyed both.
    No particular favourites for me.
    Thanks to mystery setter and Big Dave for the hints and clues.

  11. Extremely enjoyable with lots of great clues. I didn’t think it was as difficult as yesterday’s

    1. Thanks for the link Geoff, I enjoyed reading that. I have yet to try that particular puzzle, but I do often enjoy the Everyman in the Observer on a Sunday…

  12. I sort of agree with Big Dave. Slowest start of the week for me certainly, but did all come together thanks to helpful smattering of anagrams. Thanks again.

  13. Out of my league, but got about 2/3 of it. Glad I remembered 20d, but who could forget it ?? It ran for days!

    Thanks for the explanations.

        1. I am treading on egg sheels at the moment, trying to keep a low profile as the big birthday approaches(soixante) so any mention of charm and elegance is best kept for the day. I am tyiping this very quitely and with extreme caution. I have been told we are going to the fair city of Edinburgh to celebrate.

          1. That’s a lot more celebration than I will be getting next month, I think – Mr CS is not one for surprises! Lucky Mrs N

    1. It was tough today Geoff, I agree with Dave on the 4*, so it’s not too bad really, a tough one for the CC today, I would never get out on a puzzle like this :)

  14. In 4d what is the significance of national? Does not seem to add anything to the clue or improve the surface reading.

    in 7d can a proper noun have a plural – or does the final letter come from elsewhere?

    21a perhaps Barrie can confirm that this substance is a narcotic.

    1. 4d “Foreign national” is the definition

      7d It’s possessive, not plural – TATE’S

      21a A narcotic is defined as: • Medicine – a drug which induces drowsiness, stupor, or insensibility, and relieves pain.

  15. I totally agree with Big Dave – I found it very difficult so was glad to see that he’d given it 4* for difficulty. The first major mistake was confidently putting in ‘captain’ at 9a but sorted that out when I got 5d. Had to think about 26a as I wasn’t sure whether the anagram indicator was ‘drunken’ or ‘reeling’ as either would have done. Looking back at it now I’m really not sure why it seemed so difficult – my excuse is that there is so much noise and chaos around here at the moment that it’s very hard to concentrate. Liked 1 and 14a and 3 and 10d. I don’t hold out much hope for tomorrow – the noise and chaos will still be going on AND I always find Fridays the most difficult of the week.

  16. In my opinion this was a true 4* crossword in both categories, I thoroughly enjoyed it, I especially liked 6d and 13a. Thanks BD for the great review and thanks to the compliler.

  17. Afternoon all. Thanks to BD for the analysis and to all for the other comments.

    Glad to see that you finished it Barrie!

    Ray T

    1. Thanks for the entertaining puzzle, Ray. I thought for a moment that 24a was your entry in this week’s DIY COW competition!

  18. Thanks to Ray T for another fine puzzle. I agree with gnomethang that Tuesday was the toughest of the week.
    Thanks to BD for the notes.

  19. Had to leave this half done and go out, still found it difficult when I came back in! Finished with a sigh of relief but on checking blog unfortunately had 2d wrong!! I agree with Dave, the most difficult so far this week! Fav clues 15d and 10d, thanks for blog Dave am now going to read it through, it’s tough in the JOCC!

  20. Hi Dave, one quibble about 4d, how can intelligence be ‘in’ this abbreviation is nowhere in my Chambers XWD dictionary of abbreviations???

    1. Mary,
      Intelligence is IQ – reverse (backed) it to make QI and put it after IRA (paramilitary group). I’m not sure where your “in” features.

      1. Ah light dawns, another one wrong!! Oh so obvious really, I had Irani! Thanks Gazza, that was bugging me :)

  21. 2.5* for me – not as challenging as yesterday’s but enjoyable nonetheless. Favourite was 6d which was also the last one I got.

  22. For me another gentle puzzle this week with a fair number of anagrams.
    Best for me were :1a, 13a, 24a, 6d, 10d, 20d & 22d.

    I think I am getting back into my old ability to do Cryptics – I am in the upper eighties so have been doing crosswords for a fair time.

    One of my neighbours will be 100 on Christmas Day so we are all agog waiting for the letter from Queen B – Koningin der Nederlanden! He should make it as he is very well.

  23. Crikey – I am but a neophyte! Many thanks for the help BD and best wishes to your neighbour, Derek.

  24. I remembered 1a from an episode of The Simpsons! I wrote it in then found myself stuck for ages. 10d was my favourite today and it even managed to impress the harsh critic that is Mrs Tub.

  25. 1* here

    I liked 3d

    21a – ether is not really a narcotic, though I remember seeing this before.

  26. I had to have a couple of goes at this before it fell into place. I found it quite tough for a Cryptic, but that enhances the enjoyment of completion. 3-4 stars.

  27. Oddly I found this easier than yesterday”s.We are really wired so differently ie BD found this tough for all his nous?4d cant be Irani as their nationals are Iranians.

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