DT 26430 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26430

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26430

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

I enjoyed this puzzle (from Jay?) in spite of missing the obvious hidden word at 1a until the very end!

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    Rustles up perfectly served meal (6)
{SUPPER} – this evening meal is hidden (served) inside the clue

4a    Should they take the blame for kids on trip? (4,4)
{FALL GUYS} – these people who take the blame are generated by putting a verb meaning kids or makes fun of after a trip or stumble

ARVE Error: need id and provider

9a    Worries about single cause of 22 (6)
{CARIES} – put some worries around I (single) to get a reason that you might need 22a

10a    Exaggerated returns on fictitious register (8)
{FALSETTO} – take an abbreviation that means exaggerated, reverse it and put it after a word meaning fictitious to get a forced singing voice of a register above its natural one

ARVE Error: need id and provider

12a    System of symbols for books pinched by people (8)
{NOTATION} – to get this system of symbols put a collection of books from the Bible inside (pinched by) a body of people united by common descent, history, culture, or language

13a    Area directors on a train (6)
{ABOARD} – a charade of A(rea) and the collective word for the directors of a company gives a word meaning on a train

15a    What might be terribly critical in all production of medicine? (8,5)
{CLINICAL TRIAL} – in this semi all-in-one clue, an anagram (terribly) of CRITICAL IN ALL gives a study of data from human patients in order to test the efficacy of a treatment related to the cause of a disease

18a    Germany has freedom, within limits of express talks (13)
{DELIBERATIONS} – the IVR code for Germany is followed by a word meaning freedom inside ES (limits of ExpresS)to get these talks

20a    Limit holding worker back from sleep (6)
{CATNAP} – put a word meaning to limit, as in to limit the rise in Council tax, around (holding) one of Crosswordland’s workers reversed (back) to get a short sleep

22a    What goes into pies, satisfying kids at last? (8)
{FILLINGS} – what goes into pies, or teeth if you are looking at 9a, is a word meaning satisfying followed by S (kidS, at last)

24a    Opinion from family enveloped in obsession (8)
{THINKING} – an opinion comes from a synonym for family inside (enveloped in) an obsession or phobia

25a    Barbarian is wise to accept a victory (6)
{SAVAGE} – this barbarian is derived by putting an adjective meaning wise around (to accept) A V(ictory)

26a    Plan for sheep to wander outside (8)
{STRATEGY} – this plan is constructed by putting a sheep in its second year inside a word meaning to wander

27a    Death ensures capital is protected (6)
{ATHENS} – the first two words of the clue are hiding (is protected) the capital city of Greece


1d    Back the runner-up (6)
{SECOND} – a double definition – the first is used in both boxing and duelling for a supporter

2d    One runs into working capital, like a privateer (9)
{PIRATICAL} – put I (one) and R(uns) inside an anagram (working) of CAPITAL to get an adjective meaning like a privateer

3d    One’s currently employed in bed? (8,7)
{ELECTRIC BLANKET} – a cryptic definition of this current-consuming device that is used for warming a bed

5d    A girl short, unfortunately (4)
{ALAS} – A is followed by a synonym for girl, without its final letter (short), to get a word meaning unfortunately

6d    Finally devises stunts to beat all (4,3,3,5)
{LAST BUT NOT LEAST} – a phrase that means finally is an anagram (devises)of STUNTS TO BEAT ALL

7d    Excessively involved in part — lunch sent up (5)
{ULTRA} – a word meaning Excessively involved in part — lunch sent up

8d    Quiet, and strangely welcoming one in a slapdash sort of way (8)
{SHODDILY} – start with a request for quiet and then put an adverb meaning strangely or unusually around (welcoming) I (one) to get a different adverb meaning in a slapdash sort of way

11d    Fix it or pay for hedging (7)
{TOPIARY} – an anagram (fix) of IT OR PAY gives some ornamental hedging

14d    Bird with a good brush (7)
{WAGTAIL} – this bird is a charade of W(ith) A G(ood) and a fox’s brush

16d    Suggest renegotiating annuities (9)
{INSINUATE} – a word meaning to suggest is an anagram (renegotiating) of ANNUITIES

17d    New acts due to support English schools (8)
{EDUCATES} – put an anagram (new) of ACTS DUE below (to support – a down-clue construct) E(nglish) to get a verb meaning schools or teaches

19d    Items of value like radios (6)
{ASSETS} – these items of value are a charade of synonyms for like and radios

21d    One attempts level crossing over river (5)
{TRIER} – this person who attempts to do something is created by putting a level or stage around (crossing over) R(iver)

23d    Hitch horse to pole (4)
{SNAG} – a hitch or drawback is created by putting a horse that is old or in poor health after a pole, as in the end of an axis of the earth

An entertaining, if comparatively easy, puzzle.

107 comments on “DT 26430

  1. I really enjoyed this one too. I almost emailed you to say please can I review it so that I can enjoy it all over again but sadly work took precedence this morning. Clever hidden words etc. I liked 24a best. Thanks to BD for the review and Happy Christmas to Jay and thanks for the entertainment too.

    Unlike the gentlemen of the ACC, I struggle on with the RH side of the Toughie, but the left hand side isn’t too bad if you want to give it a go.

  2. Fantastic puzzle with lots to enjoy without being a mind-bender. Many thanks to Jay for a year full of fun with his puzzles and Merry Christmas to him. Thanks too to BD for the notes.

    From CS’s post, it seems like 10a in the Toughie applies to the ACC today!

      1. Hmmm. I was thinking about your average solving time compared to the snails pace that I and Gnome usually seem to manage.

  3. Def a 3 start for me for difficulty. Finished eventually but not without help. Could someone tell what an IVR code is please 18a (which for me was without doubt the worst clue of the day!!). Best clue 9a, very clever linking of two clues. Took me ages to get started and only then with the anagrams. Didn’t get 27a at all until explained above (thank you for putting me out of my misery). Also what has the second word in 4a to do with children, complete mystery to me I’m afraid.

    1. IVR code is the code by which you know which country a car comes from eg GB Great Britain, D Germany and so on. The second word in 4a is nothing to do this offspring more with having a joke or making fun.

      Happy Christmas Barrie.

        1. hi Barrie, joke = kids? I got the answer but didn’t understand it either so looked it up and guy is a synonym for joke believe it or not!!

            1. Chambers On Line says: someone who is eccentrically dressed.- verb (guyed, guying) to make fun of someone.
              ETYMOLOGY: 19c: named after Guy Fawkes; see Guy Fawkes Day.

          1. So nothing to do with tent ropes (that kids invariably trip over) then!
            Really enjoyed this but as I was planning this evening’s repast 1A went in first – who says multi-tasking is female dominated.
            Slight issue with the clue to 13A – when one/an object is within a vessel/’bus/train/charabanc/aircraft the correct term is ‘on-*****’ – the solution is more correctly the action of entering or going into the vehicle – e.g. ‘permission to come ******’ or ‘welcome ******’ – sorry that modern parlance considers these terms synonymous but no apologies for my pedantry.
            Happy Yule y’all.

          1. I don’t want to be shot down here, but Chambers also suggests a noun, by saying ‘a joke, lark’??

        2. Blimey isn’t the English language wonderful!! How do the setters manage to find these words? Thanks to all for that. IMHO it was a horrible clue depending on an obscure word for an equally horrible Americanism.
          Merry Christmas to one and all esp all those members of the CC who are hoping for a more enlightened New Year :-)

  4. An enjoyable puzzle, clever without being needlessly obscure, but I still referred to the hints for a couple of answers. Teg was new to me, though I worked it out before checking in ‘Chambers’. Why does ‘kids’ relate to ‘guys’ in 4a?

    Thanks to the setter and BD.

  5. An excellent puzzle – I particularly liked the pun in the Quick Crossword today, so the same to you too!

        1. Quickie pun – Is this how Shame Spawned (aka Sean Connery) greets his friends at this time of year? Maybe after a few too many whiskies!

        1. The first two or more answers make a deliberately tooth-sucking homophone.

          Yesterday’s was INFER + HOP + ANY giving “in for a penny”

          1. Thank you BD and Franco. Been doing the quickie for years (along with the Cryptic) and didn’t realise . Shall enjoy looking out for it in future.
            Thanx again.

        2. For a long time this as an in-joke, but in recent years the clues making up the phrase have been printed in italics and the answer given the next day (but not online).

        3. Wayne, Normally the first two or three clues in the Quickie make up a pun. Normally a terrible homophone that would have cryptic solvers complaining for days! Example today’s offering is:-

          1a – Country bordering Mexico (7)
          8a – Strip of land (7)

          Solution: “America” – “Isthmus” – now use your imagination!

    1. Brilliant! I rarely do the Quick crossword – usually find it too difficult – but ventured in to see the pun.

  6. Hi Dave I agree with Barrie a definite 3* at least for me, maybe my mind is on all the stuff still to do before Christmas! but I couldn’t even get the long anagrams today and I love anagrams, so thanks for the help, never heard the word at 2d before, fav clues 25a, 20a & 23d missed the hidden words in 1a and 27a, one for the ACC today I think, not CC ot JOCC! :)

  7. Most enjoyable today. Like the association between 9a and 22a. Like others, never heard of teg but thats stored in the grey cells for future reference. Only 3 days to Crimbo!!!
    Thanx to setter and BD.

  8. A really good CW with plenty nice clues. Thanks t o all setters & reviewers .this year
    1.10pm Now Snowing again here in Northumberland However .Bit wamer today just -10c this morning !!

    1. Minus 10c at midday, Wow ! Guess there are advantages to living on the south coast. +3c at the moment and all snow,ice and slush gone. Mind you the shops are busy (or so my wife tells me !!).

              1. It is! The town square is great palce to sit with a coffee and watch the world go by! The trees there are a spectacular bit of topiary!
                The weather is usually brill and the locals friendly as we’re a bit off the main tourist areas. Saturday morning market is THE place to be!

  9. Hi Big Dave,

    Thanks for the review. I also missed the hidden answer in 1a and didn’t see it until I had solved all the intersecting down clues.
    Favourite clues: 4a, 10a, 20a and 3d.
    I loved your pic for 20a – I showed it to my mum and we both thought it was really cute.
    Merry Christmas and a happy 2011 to Jay – look forward to his puzzles next year – they are always enjoyable.

  10. Very enjoyable crossword from Jay (?), I liked 9a, 18a, and 22a. Merry Christmas Jay. Thanks for the great review Bd.

  11. Out first thing and completed the Christmas shopping, by the time I arrived home it was snowing again and now we have another 10 centimetres despite the forecasters telling us we would not have any.
    It allowed me to get on with the serious work of the day and I enjoyed this offering after yesterdays struggle.
    Word play told me 9A was caries but do not see the link with 22A.
    Thanks to setter and Big Dave for the hints.

    1. Hi, Pete

      Think the word ‘fillings’ is what the dentist gives you if you have dental caries, as well as being what goes into pies?

      1. Sarah, I expect BD will censor you while you are at the bank – “no answers in the comments” is House Rule #1.

            1. Mary is correct Digby.

              The answers are invisible so that you can look at the hint or the answer, or both. If you choose to read the comments, then it’s “caveat emptor”.

              For prize crosswords we have a tacit agreement with the Telegraph that we will not provide answers until the closing date. I usually give away two or three selected answers so that you can get started.

  12. Really enjoyed this and found it easier (?) than yesterday’s one, so am obviously thinking more clearlry today.

    Thanks to the setter and reviewer.

    Bitterly cold here in Edinburgh at -5C sn pavements very slippery so am just venturing out to the bank and back.

  13. I had a very odd experience with this puzzle. Went through the across clues in order and could only do one! Then went through the downs and there was only one I couldn’t do! Very strange, but of course the acrosses then all fell neatly into place.
    Very enjoyable so thanks and a Merry Xmas to Jay.
    Also thanks to BD for the blog.

  14. Really enjoyable puzzle today – not too easy, not too hard, lots of entertainment and one clue unsolved (27a)!

          1. You can still get it through CluedUp or whatever it’s called nowadays. Well worth a look if you want to take the scalp of a Toughie.

      1. Mary, Great Minds? Did you notice that you were given a mention by Rufus on Monday’s blog (comment #22). I have heard a rumour that you quite enjoy his puzzles!

          1. sorry Dave, I just thought Chris was refering to the crossword clue itself, not your hint, no offence meant :(

  15. Late on duty today preparing for hols, Heathrow willing. Best today was 24 and also enjoyed 1a 2 4 10 11 15 18 and 22. I am surprised no one seems to have heard of guying as this is a tradition in Lincs. on Bonfire Night. Ah well, on to the Toughie then a month off.

          1. Thank you, Mary. I might even see some cricket!!!!!!!! Have a joyous Xmas and have a go at the Toughie. I expect you will be doing it regularly when I get back. Where is Kath?

          1. Hello Kath. Nice to hear from you. We are going to Brisbane and wandering god knows where down to Sydney and back. Away for 7 weeks so I shall be looking in but not doing xwords as I have a lot of reading to do. I shall be recharging to do battle with Ray T etc, Best wishes for Xmas and New Year. Thanks to BD for a great blog even though I get my knuckles rapped occasionally!

  16. Setter here,
    Many thanks to BD for the review and to all for the eagerly read comments. Just dropped by to wish everyone a merry Christmas

    1. Merry Xmas Jay.
      Pommette may have come out of the closet and admitted to being a Rufus fan but personally I like yours, so thanks for all your puzzles this year and I’m looking forward to more to come.

    2. Thank you Jay for another fine puzzle. Your ability to continually produce such good puzzles is a credit to you. Merry Christmas.

    3. Merry Christmas and many thanks for the enjoyable puzzles. I look forward to those you produce for 2011.

      I enjoyed this – late to it but did it in quite good time on line – didn’t print it off as I was so late.

      Thanks for the review BD – liked the video clip – brings back a lot of memories.

  17. Very enjoyable puzzle today – although I have to say that I had to look at the hints for 27a… and then I kicked myself!!
    Thanks for the the hints BD and for the mindbender Jay. Finally got the snow today (in a village near Rugby) having missed all the big falls so far this winter – now stuck in my lane for a bit methinks…

  18. VERY late today. Only started to look at the crossword at about 8.00pm. Went all through the acrosses and ended up with two answers – should have stopped half way through the acrosses and realised that it was time to invoke Csue’s law – start with the downs!! Too late!! Lovely crossword – finished in a half decent time without needing the hints. I thought that yesterday’s was a real stinker (am I allowed to talk about yesterday’s in today’s comments?) – am going to anyway! As today only started to look at it very late – managed about ten clues, gave up and went to bed and I normally LOVE Ray T’s puzzles. Read the hints and comments this morning and was glad to find out that I was not the only one to find it difficult. Still very cold here in Oxford – just hoping that our lovely girls get home for Christmas … Good night all – sleep well.

    1. Kath, not very good advice from a failed CC member! But, don’t always do the acrosses and downs in strict order! Once you get a few checking letters (either up or down), concentrate on those clues that have the checking letters.

  19. PS Thanks to Ray T and Gazza for yesterday and to Jay and Big Dave for today – it’s quite intimidating to start to read the comments very late and find that there are SO many – over 90! MUST get act together and go back to reading them early!

  20. Enjoyed this one – got through it more quickly than yesterday’s.
    Best for me were : 10a, 15a & 3d.

    Busy day tomorrow getting the presents ready for the family will be off to my daughter’s Friday for Christmas.

    Very best wishes to all on the BD Blog.

  21. Can anyone help? I have recently signed up to the DT Puzzles & so far I am impressed. However when I print the puzzles off they are in a very small print format. Given that my eyesight is not one of the best of my faculties I wonder if there is a way of enlarging the grid & font sizes before printing?

    1. Spindrift, is the puzzle still printing on a full sheet of A4 paper in portrait format?. J havent had this problem on any machine when accessing the site. Could you confirm or else describe exactly how it looks then it may just be a matter of sorting out the print preview/page setup.

      1. Gnomethang – when printed the grid & clues fit into the top half of an A4 sheet in portrait. This is the same for the codeword, the toughie & the quickie.

        1. I don’t think that you can easily enlarge the size of the grid but you can use your brower settings to set the text size to a larger pitch. In IE8 it is in the Page menu – > Text Size. If you set it to largest, it will print out the text in a larger font size.

        2. Spindrift – You got mail!. I have attached a couple of screen dumps with my settings in Page Set up for Firefox. I’ll try it now in IE just to check but it sounds like it could just be your page setup.

        3. Hi Spindrift
          When you click the print button you should get a new window come up. If you go to the file menu and select print preview you may be able to change the size to be full A4 page.
          Worth a try anyway.
          Like Gnomey I’ve never had this problem with the site si I guess it must be in your print settings somewhere.

          1. Many thanks for all the suggestions, I’ll give them a go. Failing that I cam always fall back on the tried & trusted method of fixing PC problems…wait for one of my sons to drop by!

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