DT 26435 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

DT 26435

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26435

Hints and tips by Crypticsue

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

There is something about having to write a review that can make the little grey solving cells freeze up a bit, but no such problems this morning. Thanks to Jay for a very enjoyable puzzle, with a nice mix of clues, many of which needed you to say something out loud in order to get the correct sense of the word required to obtain the solution, 10a being one example of this.

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    High-flying crossword compilers? (3-7)
{JET-SETTERS} Wealthy social set or crossword compilers in an aeroplane?

6a    Sally’s first sweet potato (4)
{SPUD} An informal term for a potato – S (Sally’s first) plus an informal abbreviation for dessert.

10a    Watch row about source of money (5)
{TIMER} The first of many clues today where it depends on how you pronounce a word – row here means level or layer rather than an argument. Insert M (source of money) into a word meaning level to get another clocklike device.

11a    Logic that ignores an upset (9)
{REASONING} – another word for sound logic is an anagram (upset) of IGNORES AN.

12a    Get rid of some lines, but make less (8)
{DECREASE} A lovely double definition. A verb meaning to become less – or, with a hyphen between letters 2 and 3, what happens to clothes when you iron them!

13a    Oxygen container holding last of the water (5)
{OCEAN} A vast expanse of salt water – O (oxygen) plus the type of container used for baked beans with the last letter of thE inserted.

15a    Locate unpleasant smell? This may not be the cure! (7)
{PLACEBO} A medicine without a curative effect – a verb meaning to set in a particular position and the abbreviation for an unpleasant personal aroma.

17a    The feeling generated as pride is broken (7)
{DESPAIR} An anagram (broken) of AS PRIDE would cause this feeling of hopelessness.

19a    Delicately built small creditor (7)
{SLENDER} A synonym for slight or slim – S (small) plus a person to whom you owe money.

21a    European tiger skunk (7)
{POLECAT} A relative of the weasel that makes a stink – a native of, eg, Warsaw, and the family of animals to which a tiger belongs.

22a    Tree frog shedding skin and looking pale (5)
{ROWAN} The mountain ash – the middle two letters of fROg (shedding skin) and an adjective meaning looking pale and sickly.

24a    Very slow, but enjoyment finally became genuine (8)
{FUNEREAL} – a synonym for enjoyment, the last letter of becamE (finally) and another word for genuine. Dismal or mournful music played by Geoff at the Crem might be said to be this.

27a    China’s apparent protection for alternative church (9)
{PORCELAIN} – One of those clues where there is no doubt what the answer is, but the wordplay needs thought. A type of fine china – insert OR (alternative) and the abbreviation for the Church of England into an adjective meaning clear or obvious.

28a    Why sick note is given to mother? (5)
{MUMPS} A nasty infectious disease of the glands of the neck – an informal term for your mother plus the abbreviation for the sort of note put at the end of a letter.

29a    No time for abrupt language (4)
{ERSE} – An adjective meaning abrupt or concise with its first letter removed (no Time) – the language of the people of the West Highlands, sometimes used for Irish Gaelic.

30a    Endured war, coming out empty-handed (10)
{UNREWARDED} An anagram (coming out) of ENDURED WAR. Not receiving any recognition or payment for something.


1d    Growth found to stick out on end of toe (4)
{JUTE} – We normally think of this as a type of sacking or matting material – but of course it must come from a living, growing, tree. A verb meaning to stick out sharply plus the last letter (end) of toE.

2d    Consumed by irritation and avoiding excess (9)
{TEMPERATE} a fit of ill-humour followed by the past participle of the verb to eat – another way of saying moderate or self-restrained and so avoiding excess.

3d    Blunder from English soldiers capturing bishop (5)
{ERROR} another word for mistake – E (English) and OR (soldiers or ordinary ranks) with RR (abbreviation for bishop / Right Reverend) inserted.

4d    Twister having rent trouble (7)
{TORNADO} Twister here is the North American informal expression for a violent storm – another word for rent in the sense of tear and a three letter word meaning trouble, stir or fuss.

5d    Crash objective in support of nurture (4-3)
{REAR-END} the sort of crash where you hit the back of someone’s vehicle with the front of your own – a verb meaning to breed or foster followed by (in support of) a noun meaning the close or something aimed for.

7d    Value a bit of profit on grain (5)
{PRICE} The amount at which something is sold or offered – P (a bit of profit) and the type of grain you might have with your curry.

8d    Decline case of diverse produce (10)
{DEGENERATE} To decline or grow worse in quality or standard – the outside letters (case) of DiversE followed by a verb meaning to produce (electricity) or bring into life.

9d    Big girl given a lift after cool display (8)
{COLOSSAL} Big here means gigantic – an anagram (display ) of COOL followed by a reversal (given a lift) of a synonym for a young girl.

14d    Greengrocers missing sign? (10)
{APOSTROPHE} Like many others, I am extremely irritated when greengrocers (and other writers of signs) either include these marks of omission of letters when they are not needed, or don’t put them in when they are required!

16d    Calm down when put at risk! (8)
{ENDANGER} To expose to peril or injury or, split 3, 5, to stop suffering from wrath or indignation.

18d    Celebrated academic in trouble, embracing student (9)
{ACCLAIMED) an anagram (in trouble) of ACADEMIC plus (embracing) L (learner which is of course what a student is!) – celebrated here means to publish the praises of or to be famous.

20d    Stay away from judge with rule for the audience (7)
{REFRAIN} To abstain from doing something – the informal term for the official at a football match and a homophone (for the audience) of a word meaning to rule as a monarch.

21d    The mortification of writer on treatment of acne (7)
{PENANCE} An act of humiliation or punishment – I completed the crossword in the paper using this type of ‘writer’ which should then be followed by an anagram (treatment of) ACNE.

23d    Factory’s output of Shakespeare, for example (5)
{WORKS} Another name for a factory or the way in which all Shakespeare’s writings are referred to in a one volume complete collection.

25d    Short book on a dance (5)
{RUMBA} Various types of alcoholic drinks are referred to as shorts. In this case you need the one distilled from sugar cane, followed by B (book) and A – a lively Afro-Caribbean dance.

26d    To a limited extent, house doctor gets employed (4)
{USED} A word meaning employed in the sense of serving a purpose is hidden in hoUSE Doctor.

I await the groans at my 2* difficulty rating, but this reflects my solving time and the smile on my face when I had finished. Lots of good clues today but my favourite is 14a, partly because it reminds me of my late mum going round either rubbing out or adding these marks to signs!

31 comments on “DT 26435

  1. Just getting into this and enjoying it.

    Have to do paperwork now and go out after lunch so will finish it later.

    Thanks to setter and for review.

  2. Yes, I agree, a very nice mix of clues and I enjoyed this puzzle very much. As always there were a few words I needed your explanations for afterwards, so many thanks Crypticsue, and thanks to Jay for brightening this foggy Wednesday.

    I took longer than I should finding 27a and made things difficult for myself by putting ‘volta’ (an elizabethan dance) at 25d. But that settled, I managed to finish it in good time and thought there were a number of excellent clues. Among these I agree with you the best was 14d.

  3. Another nice easy one today. Once you have cracked this one the Toughie is made for the CC and JOCC clubs so get stuck into it.
    Thanks to Cryptic Sue for the hints and Jay for the puzzle.

  4. Stuck almost straight away, thinking that 1a was sky writers ! So thanks to crypticsue for that and 14d … after that not too bad.

      1. Thank you … been a lurked for a long time ! It was your Christmas message that encouraged me out of the crossword wardrobe

        1. Sky writers was the first to go in for me too. Glad I do the puzzle on line or else it would have been runied from the start.
          Now your out of the cupboard Hangman, I hope you enjoy the blog.

  5. Coffee, Christmas cake and crossword – a great combination! An enjoyable challenge for me today – thanks Jay – several clues took a lot of head scratching and one or two forays into Chambers (new & very exciting). Many thanks Crypticsue for the review as I didn’t really understand 8d, 20d & 27a or the growth in 1d (so obvious once you know ;-) . Favourite by a mile was 14d (a lightbulb moment for me!) – I too get irritated by the apparent disregard with which these are (or aren’t) used!

  6. must have been one of the easier crosswords I managed it in about xx minutes(personal best), first glance at the ‘toughie’ seems ominous

  7. I agree with the two-star difficulty rating but I would have given it four stars for enjoyment – I really liked it. It just goes to show that a puzzle doesn’t have to be difficult to be enjoyable and rewarding to solve.
    I agree with Crypticsue – 14d was also my favourite – it was the last one I solved but I thought it was a great clue when I filled in the answer.
    Happy New Year to Jay and Crypticsue.

    1. I liked 14d too and am ashamed to say, as an apostrophe pedant, it was one of the last clues I solved.

  8. Thanks to Jay and Crypticsue fpr a fun crossword and grand review. Personal favourites were 1a and 27a.

  9. I enjoyed this today – just got stuck on 13a for some reason. I didn’t like 1d as growth could have referred to so many things and I was looking for something like lump or wart until the penny dropped on the very nice 1a.

  10. Very enjoyable! Lots of good clues though 14d had me guessing as 19a was wrong, once I corrected that more or less plain sailing. 22a I was looking for the wrong definition to begin with, thought I was trying to find ” looking pale” but realised my mistake. Welcome to Hangman and a Happy New Year to everyone, and thanks to Jay and Crypticsue

  11. Not started this yet, been out hunting for water we and over 3,000 homes in the area have been without for over 24 hrs now! so late start, hopefully early finish, away for a few days from tomorrow so last one for a while :-D

    1. Hope you´re going somewhere where the water´s running, Mary. At least the crossword´s a good one!

    2. You poor things!

      Hope the crossword makes up for it, a little.

      I am just having a cuppa and another look at the puzzle.

  12. Hi Sue and thanks for the review, I like your comment at 24a, haven’t ‘seen’ Geoff much since Christmas, perhaps there’s a backlog at the crem due to the cold weather! I must admit I woudn’t have finished this without your help today :) fav clues 22a, 15a, 14d of course, as for 28a, I get what the answer is and why but don’t really ‘get’ the reason for the first word of the clue, why the why??
    Well that’s it til after the new Year hope you all have a’ Happy New Year’ -‘ Blwyddyn Newydd Dda!’ :-D

      1. Mmmmmmmmm – no sorry but don’t like it , forgot also like 1a and 27a but 28a – no
        See you in the New Year Sue! :)

        1. unless they are asking ‘why sick?’ with mumps being the answer from ps and mum, question – why sick? (why are you sick) answer – mumps! (I’ve got mumps) sorry Sue its getting a little complicated now :)

  13. Thanks Sue, excellent review for this very enjoyable puzzle. Took me a while to get going and had to think hard on occasion but really enjoyed it. My thanks to the setter esp for 1a :-)

  14. Very enjoyable and entertaining puzzle with lots of nice surfaces! Many thanks to the jet-setter!

  15. A very enjoyable crossword this. I got stuck on the bottom left corner until the answer to 22a came in a sudden flash so I am making that my favourite clue today!

  16. Yet again very late in commenting. Have done the crossword in ‘dribs and drabs’ today – sister staying, surprise and very welcome visit from a nephew and his girlfriend who live in Newcastle (what a long way to come) and then took younger daughter back to London this afternoon – her Christmas ‘swag’ was such that going in the coach was out of the question!! Right – all that out of the way now and on the the crossword! I think that 2* for difficulty was about right – given the kind of day we’ve had if it had been at all hard I would have totally failed. I would have given it a bit more than 3* for enjoyment. Lots of clues that I appreciated, among them are 1 and 15a and 14d. My personal favourite today was 28a (sorry Mary) – I caught this horrible thing from my younger daughter when she was two and I was thirty two – I thought that I was going to die – I felt SO ill …… !! Thank you to Jay for compiling this one and to Crypticsue for a great review – blimey, now I’m a poet!

  17. A gentle and enjoyable puzzle from Jay.
    Clues that I liked : 1a, 13a, 15a, 22a, 27a, 4d, 14d & 25d.

    Incidentally Sue, Erse has always meant Irish Gaelic to me – I lived a long time in the West of Scotland in the Lennox area near Loch Lomond where the language was always named The Gadhelic!

    I am off tomorrow to Amsterdam with my daughter and granddaughter to see “Sleeping Beauty” then staying with them and son-in-law and grandson for the jaarwisseling and the fireworks.
    I’ve got my rockets and long sparklers and a free “bomb” from the shop.

    A guid New Year to ane an’ all of you!

  18. My fav was def 14d but for the life of me I just don’t think 1d was fair at all – how on earth does jute=growth, you could substitute any plant growth there and the only way to work it out was form the word play. A v poor clue.

Comments are closed.