DT 26388 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26388

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26388

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Jay consistently turns out Telegraph-quality puzzles, and this one is no exception.

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.


8a    Where to see a frog play around, wearing cap? (4,3)
{LILY PAD} – somewhere you might see a frog is an anagram (around) of PLAY inside (wearing) a cap

10a    Dress for action? (7)
{LAWSUIT} –might you wear this (3,4) for an action in court?

11a    Invokes admiration, rejecting house full of journalists (9)
{IMPRESSES} – a word meaning Invokes admiration is formed by reversing (rejecting) a suburban house around (full of) a collective word for journalists – not media, the other one!

12a    Scrooge is a gentleman with no time (5)
{MISER} – to get this scrooge drop (with no) the T(ime) from the title given to a gentleman

13a    Subject to snap (5)
{TOPIC} – this subject is a charade of TO and a snap or photograph

14a    Perhaps the Stones grow old and get medical cover (7)
{BANDAGE} – The Stones are an example of this – add a word meaning to grow old to get A strip of cloth for winding round an injured part of the body (medical cover)

17a    Psychological test for Scrabble club? (4,11)
{WORD ASSOCIATION} – this psychological test could be a club for Scrabble players

19a    Each year, or as planned, left to get protection from the sun (7)
{PARASOL} – wordsum time – the abbreviation that means each year, an anagram (planned) of OR AS and L(eft) gives protection from the sun

21a    Love to make a permanent mark, getting award (5)
{OSCAR} – old-chestnut time – O (love) and a permanent mark left by an earlier injury give this award for those in the film industry

24a    Acts to recruit good magistrates (5)
{DOGES} – put a verb meaning acts around (to recruit) G(ood) to get these Venetian magistrates

26a    Other men turn it into food (9)
{NUTRIMENT} – an anagram (other) of MEN TURN IT gives a word for food

27a    Not swayed by a French proposal to start disarming (7)
{UNMOVED} – a word meaning firm or not swayed is a charade of the French indefinite article, a verb meaning to propose, in a debate, and D (to start Disarming)

28a    Phones boss, determined (7)
{HEADSET} – if the definition had been ‘phones it would have been easier – it’s a charade of a boss and a word meaning determined or resolute


1d    Cry from one trapped in factory (6)
{PLAINT} – this uncommon word meaning a cry or lamentation is constructed by putting I (one) inside (trapped) a factory

2d    A sticky end for pilot with cargo of soft food (8)
{FLYPAPER} – a sticky end for flying insects is derived by putting a pilot around (with cargo of) some soft food for infants, such as bread boiled with milk

3d    Part of Oxford society? (5,5)
{UPPER CLASS} – I loved this all-in-one clue – part of a shoe (Oxford is a type of shoe) is combined with a social order

4d    Flog defender after footballer’s first scene in film (9)
{FLASHBACK} – combine a verb meaning to flog or whip with a defender in a ball game and put F (Footballer’s first) in front to get a scene in a film

5d    Crawl from the Devon and Cornwall motorway northwards (4)
{SWIM} – crawl (in water) is built from the corner of the UK which includes Devon and Cornwall followed by a motorway reversed (northwards – as this is a down clue)

6d    Hear of hurry, getting first-class return from the country (6)
{RUSSIA} – the first part of this country sounds like to hurry – the last part is first-class, reversed

7d    The way to encourage fish (8)
{STURGEON} – another old chestnut! – combine an abbreviation for a way or road with a phrasal verb meaning to encourage (4,2) to get this fish

9d    Bowl a stunner? (4)
{DISH} – a double definition

15d    City dweller on a panel is confused about Italian (10)
{NEAPOLITAN} – someone who lives in a particular Italian city is an anagram (confused) of ON A PANEL around IT(alian)

16d    Sort of sense unusual deal about a new coastal walk (9)
{ESPLANADE} – a sort of sixth sense is followed by an anagram (unusual) of DEAL around A an N(ew) to get a coastal walk

17d    Bankrupted daughter in surfing accident (5,3)
{WIPED OUT} – a colloquial expression for being bankrupted is constructed by putting D(aughter) inside a surfing accident

Any excuse for some rock’n’roll!

ARVE Error: need id and provider

18d    Where batsman needs to be to make gains (8)
{INCREASE} – split this as (2,6) to get where a batsman needs to be to avoid being run out – together it means to make gains

20d    Government prescribed diet, for the most part (6)
{REGIME} – a government is created by dropping the final N (for the most part) from a prescribed diet – confusingly the six and seven letter variants can both mean government

22d    Take turns hill-climbing before cooking tea (6)
{ROTATE} – a word meaning to turn is a charade of a hill reversed (climbing) and an anagram (cooking) of TEA

23d    Without a hope, crosses state (4)
{UTAH} – hidden inside the clue (crosses) is this US state

25d    Rescue silver stolen from barbarian (4)
{SAVE} – a word meaning rescue is derived by dropping AG (the chemical symbol for silver) from a barbarian

Clue of the day is definitely 8 across!

94 comments on “DT 26388

  1. 8a is the one with the big tick on my paper as well – lovely clue. Not hard today but thoroughly excellent.
    Thanks to BD and to Jay.

  2. A change this week, instead of having to start with the downs, the bottom went in quicker than the top. A very entertaining puzzle, with lots of good clues, my favourites are 10a and 2d. Thanks to Jay and BD.

  3. Very enjoyable crossword from Jay today. It seemed to take longer to solve than it actually did. I was surprised to find, on entering the last clue, that I was only just at the second stop! Many thanks to Jay for the entertainment and to BD for the review.

    No particular favourite clues today.

  4. A very enjoyable puzzle today, so many thanks to Jay. It was particularly good for me after yesterday’s when I really couldn’t concentrate — largely because of the arrival of little André, first grandchild, late on Monday night. Parents doing well, Grandmother thrilled and I wish I could pour you all a glass of champagne!

    1. Congratulations – we’ll all enjoy a glass of virtual champagne instead! I echo the views of above, an enjoyable crossword today.

    2. Congrats to everyone Franny, I have six grandchildren now and I love them all equally but the first one is always just that bit more special :)

    3. Many congratulations from me too. We have some champagne at home that Mr CS is waiting for an excuse to open – perhaps he might think this is the one!

    4. Congratulations Franny. My first grandson is now 17 months old and the thrill increases. Welcome to Andre – a virtual champagne is good but a real glass is better.

      1. Many thanks for your congratulations, Jane, Mary, Kath, CSue and Lea — I shall raise my next glass in your direction.
        And, incidentally, when I said the other day that he would be a ‘binomial baby’ I had the wrong word — I meant binary, as his birth date is all ones and zeros. He should be a mathematician.
        Franny Granny :-)

  5. Loved it – a perfect puzzle, for me anyway. Favourite clues today 17a and 2 and 3d. So pleased that I have managed to do something today – started off the morning by deciding that it was time to put the clock in my car right – have succeeded in changing all the little messages that come up on the dashboard (boot open, etc) into some unrecognizable language and miles to kilometres – clock still one hour ahead of itself!! Oh dear!!

    1. What a bore! I do hope you manage to get it sorted out soon. I haven’t dared try to change my car clock yet — hoping some more skilful family member will do it for me.

      1. Think it might be a job for a husband to do at the weekend – having said that, I do think that Mary has a good point!!

    2. Hi girls!
      I have an old lady friend in California who loves bird clocks – the kind that sing their song each hour – they can be awkward to change so she has two – one permanently on summer time t’other on winter time.
      However , I don’t think you should buy a second car – just keep on trying!

      1. Thank you Derek (my wonderful Dad was called Derek but because his surname was Andrew he was always called Andy!) – bird clocks are a great idea but maybe not practical in a car – can’t really be bothered to keep on trying so will wait for it to be spring in about five months time!!!

  6. Congrats Franny, (and parents, of course!.) I’ll raise a glass to you all this evening.
    Found this quite straightforward and enjoyable (the two don’t always go hand in hand) Favourite clues were 10a, 14a and 7d.
    Surprised the LGCs are still working this morning – combination of a late night back from Rigoletto at ‘the Garden’ (overshadowed by the spectre of a tube strike and the possible consequences of missing the 23-15 (very) slow train back to Leicester) and a disturbed night with an irritating cough.

  7. Morning Dave and thanks for blog, though I didn’t need it today, will enjoy reading through later, lots I liked today, my clue of the day was 7d, I know it’s pretty straightforward but I liked it :) struggled with the top L/H corner for some reason, just one thing, in 11a is rejecting the same as reversing?

    1. If you look, his hint has an apostrophe in front of the phones. Think of the sort of phones you would have with an I-Pod or similar – the first word would be the same as the boss bit of the answer!

      1. Thanks Sue, dunce me! I actually thought that myself but couldn’t ‘see’ what BD was meaning!!

  8. That was fun – took me longer than it should because of interruptions. Nice to have friends check that I am doing okay and recovering well but not when I am doing the crossword!!! And the postman rang and a courier delivered – oh dear.

    My favourites were 8a, 11a and 3d. Wasn’t keen on 20d – will go and read your review now Dave and find out why it is what it is.

    Thanks to Jay and to BD.

  9. Though I agree that 8a is a cracking clue, it was the first I solved, being #1. 3d took the C of the D 21a for me, as I got it, but needed Dave’s explanation as to why. Just about 3* Difficulty for me. Cheers BD, Jay, Franny, Andre and anyone else who feels left out.

  10. Two-star ?? I managed 9 answers on the RH side, but find most of it impenetrable! Maybe I should have another look, but a bit preoccupied with this music to learn for a soloist.

  11. Horrible illustration for 2d Dave, but I remember as a child we had them and didn’t change them til there was absolutely no room left for one more fly!! seemed ‘normal’ then!
    wet dismal day here today :(

    1. Sorry Mary, here its sunny and warm enough to walk about outside with a cardi rather than a fleece.

      1. You sure about that Sue???? I can’t imagine it can be anything but cold, very wet and extremely dismal, jusy having buttered teacake & hot chocolate to cheer me up :)

        1. Sorry I am positive – had one of those mornings where I have had to go from building to building and back again.

            1. Been about 80 here, sunny and a light breeze.
              Unfortunately did not have any time for the puzzle today, but that means I have 2 for tomorrow.


  12. Back home after a week in Cornwall visiting the aged parent and what a nice return today’s puzzle was – thanks Jay.
    Thanks for the blog BD, I agree about 8a but also like 3d.

  13. A very pleasant puzzle today, thoroughly enjoyable, thanks to Jay and B Dave.
    oh yes and coochee coo to Frannys new grandchild.

  14. You are really making me feel bad by giving this a 2* rating. I was unable to even start it and so were the 7 other people I showed it to!!! Couldn’t make any sense of even a single clue today, I am having a very bad week. :-(

    1. Try again later on this afternoon – and at the bottom rather than the top (I found I didn’t get going until the across clues at the bottom) – you may be surprised as your little grey cells may have done some cogitating while you weren’t looking.

      1. Thanks Sue, I will take your advice having just looked at the answer to 8a which I would not have got if I had sat here until Christmas! At least it may give me a way in which up until now I haven’t been able to see. I know people like to be challenged by tough puzzles (although that should be the role of the Toughie) I just wish the setters would at least include a couple of straightforward clues to get us crossword-challenged started.

        1. You ought to be able to get 21a – it is a very old chestnut that appears more times than I have probably had hot dinners!

    2. Hi Barrie, I have found them difficult to get into this week and I had to leave this one 3 times and come back to it, so it was a really slow process for me, if you really want to do it stick at it and it will eventually come together but if not well there’s always tomorrow, not to worry :)

      1. Thanks for the words of encouragement Mary. I’m glad that someone else is finding it difficult. I do find it very depressing when one comes across a puzzle a tough as this and then you read that people are finding it very easy. It just makes me want to give up and do something a bit easier like climbing Everest or swimming the Channel.

        1. Barrie, I’m one of those who found this relatively straightforward today, but believe me honestly there are many more days when I can’t get started at all, or can only put a few in and then give up – and they are again when others say how easy they found it. I’ve found reading the blog extremely helpful in seeing how the answers are arrived at. Keep at it.

          1. Andy I fully agree – sometimes it is v difficult to get started and i find others have had no problem. I am a newcomer to this and only get a chance to complete the crossword after work – so there are lots of comments etc to help if i get stuck – i try not to use them as much as poss!

        2. Absolutely its completely unpredicatable- my brain wouldn’t work on this one today either and yet other days I can whip through what others consider difficult so dont get disheartened – it’s all a question of thinking style but after a while you will get more and more used to the old chestnuts

  15. Nice crossword from Jay, enjoyable and not too taxing. Many thanks to both Jay and BD and congratulations to the new Grandmother.

  16. That was quite a treat. 14a and 17a were my personal favourites. Thanks to BD and Jay, and congrats to Franny.

      1. I love this friendly blog too – does anyone else have mental pictures of what the the frequent comment writers look like?

          1. Thanks BD – not sure that I can do that since I have, so far at least, not succumbed to Facebook!

            1. OK Kath if you click on the link Dave has given you, then click on ‘Wall’ scroll down on the L/H side you will see a thumbnail pic of Dave, click on this and you will see all ‘friends’ you can scroll through these to see who you ‘know’ :)

        1. Kath, I have always pictured Mary as being like Daphne Fowler from the Eggheads – but with a Welsh accent – both lovely ladies!!

            1. I really do, I also think Daphne is a lovely lady BUT I do not look anything like her! thanks Reynard, no offence taken but I’m sure Daphne is well into her 70s! Love Eggheads by the way :)
              Kath you can see some of the bloggers moi included if you look at the Guestbook see top of page, there should be a way of seeing ‘friends’ on facebook but though I’m on facebook I don’t seem to be able to call up all friends on Daves page

            1. Oh Kath, the Eggheads is (are?) a quizzing team who appear every weekday evening at 6 pm your time on BBC2 and pit their wits against a team of challengers. I and several of my friends here are devoted to it and we each have our favourite as they have distinct personalities. A treat in store for you, I hope.

  17. Quite straightforward today, but a really enjoyable puzzle. Favourites10a + 17a.

    Definitely 4* enjoyment – despite the “old chestnuts”

  18. Thanks to Jay for another fine puzzle. It seems we can always rely on Jay to produce a good, all-round crossword.
    Congrats to Granny Franny :)

      1. Thanks, Gnomey and Libellule. I’ve just come back from prompting for a play and am now going to bed, but I did raise a glass in everyone’s direction.

  19. Excellent puzzle, not hard at all but lots of great clues. I liked 2 5 7 d and lots of others. Thanks v much Jay.

  20. Congratulations Franny. Enjoyable crossword today – worked out ‘doges’, but it is another new one to me. And don’t give up Barrie… remember that many of the contributors here will have been at it for YEARS. Ta to the setter and BD.

  21. Solved this one rather smoothly so shall have a go at the toughie tonight – Giovanni’s!!!
    Clues that I liked were : 17a, 19a, 24a, 2d, 3d & 15d.

    Thanks BD for the picture of the cake – used to eat it in Lyons Corner House (Oxford Street) in WW2.

  22. thanks to Jay for a nice workout today, I got stuck on 1d and had to resort to BD’s hints, love the Surfari’s video.

    Congrats to Granny Franny, if my maths is what I can remember from school the binary No 011110 works out as 30 in decimal so I guess that could be his lucky number. :D

    1. Thanks so much, Gari. I was trying to work it out last night with some equally innumerate friends and we could only come up with 4. So I’m glad to know about 30, and maybe he’ll strike it lucky on the lottery some time in the future. :-)

      1. Hi Franny,
        The binary system works the same as the doubling dice in backgammon where every 1 doubles the last No so
        1 = 1
        01 = 2
        001 = 4
        0001 = 8
        00001 = 16
        000001 = 32
        101 = 1+4 = 5 in decimal,
        111 = 1+2+4 = 7 in decimal
        01/11/10 = 2+4+8+16 = 30 in decimal,

        hope this explains it easy for you. :D

        1. In English, as opposed to Irish, maths this is:

          1 = 1

          10 = 2

          100 = 4

          1000 = 8

          10000 = 16

          100000 = 32


          101 = 4 + 1 = 5

          011110 = 16 + 8 + 4 + 2 = 30

          1. Thanks Dave,
            many years since I last used binary, it was on a “computer” at School in the late sixties called B.A.S.I.L. which stood for Binary, Addition, Subtraction, Illuminated, Lights,.
            You had to covert your basic sum into binary No’s, enter them into BASIL, and after much deliberation it would give you the answer in a row of lights either on or off, on was a 1 off was a 0, which you then had to convert back into decimal, much simpler when I took my maths masters advice and learnt how to play darts. :oops

  23. Unfortunately Clued Up has decided not to accept my card details for renewing my membership and trying to sort it out is taking forever, it doesn’t help that I’ve forgotten my password!!! well it is a year since I used it! So I can’t do crossword until I get a paper later today after visiting dentist for abscess, I think it’s going to be one of those days!! :(

    1. Yes, I had the same kind of problem a couple of months ago. It’s very annoying, but worked itself out after a bit of correspondence. Meanwhile I wish I could forward the puzzle to you from my own Clued Up site. Don’t know if it’s possible.
      Bon courage for the dentist.

      1. Thanks Franny, my brother has tried unsuccessfully to email it to me from his site but it’s not happening, maybe I’ll take a day off and just join in the blog fun :)

        1. Its probably a Ray T and the Advanced Clueless Club struggled quite a lot with the NE corner – if that helps your decision.

          1. Yes I think I will leave it, though it might have taken my mind off the abscess/dentist later :( The Advanced Clueless Club, that must be the level you’re in charge of Sue , I am now in th JOCC, just out of the Clueless Club a long time yet before I join you :) don’t tell me……….it’s lovely and sunny???? here it’s more of yesterday!

            1. I am extremely sorry to report that its very sunny and probably at least 16 or 17 degrees – it was 14 in the shade when I left home at 7.45 this morning. Don’t even need a cardi today!

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