DT 26445 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26445

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26445

Hints and tips by Libellule

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BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

Slightly trickier than normal? It seemed so, as I got stuck on a couple of clues for longer than I should have done. Still a fun crossword though. Favourite clues 13a (it reminds me of a sketch from the Fast Show) and 26a,

If you need to reveal the answer, just highlight the space between the curly brackets.


1. Tree remained sound with early treatment (5,3)
{FIRST AID} – A type of evergreen tree is then followed by a word that sounds like STAYED to give a form of emergency medical treatment.

6. To hush an upset baby is rather mean (6)
{SHABBY} – SH (to hush) and an anagram (upset) of BABY is a word that can mean unfair.

9. Where in Africa one backs law to some degree (6)
{MALAWI} – Put the abbreviation for Master of Arts in front of an I that is then placed onto the end (backs) of LAW for a country in south east Africa.

10. Artist set back by competitors’ entries (8)
{ARRIVALS} – Reverse (set back) the usual abbreviation associated with an artist and then add a word for challengers. Definition is entries.

11. A recorder may accept this involved test case (8)
{CASSETTE} – An anagram (involved) of TEST CASE is a plastic container for magnetic tape.

12. Mistakes put back a sailor in time (6)
{ERRATA} – A common three letter word for a sailor is reversed (put back) inside another three letter word for a period of time to describe errors in printing.

13. Oscar’s tiptop variety of bar snack (6,6)
{POTATO CRISPS} – An anagram (variety) of OSCARS TIPTOP for the sort of bar snack Gary Lineker might enjoy.

Cue Ron Manager
“Oh, Gary Lineker, isn’t it, you know, marvelous. You know, paragon of virtue, isn’t it, you know. Ah ha, unprecedented in the modern game – never been booked. Wasn’t he? Ha, you know, excellent TV pundit; crisp thief? – ahahahaha! Rarely wears a tie, but still remains a marvellous ambassador for the game, you know. Er, nice man, nice face, boyish charm with a hint of grey at the temples, but can you imagine that face contorted in the throes of sexual ecstasy?”

16. Occasion when victory must be obtained quickly? (2,4,2,4)
{NO TIME TO LOSE} – A cryptic definition that refers to an idiomatic phrase where not a second must be wasted.

19. In factory one is easily modified (6)
{PLIANT} – A word that means easily bent or altered is constructed from another word for factory with I (one) inside it.

21. Ladies to move far from others (8)
{ISOLATED} – An anagram (move) of LADIES TO gives a word that means set or kept apart from others.

23. Senior counsel competent enough to approach the case in stages (4,2,2)
{LEAD UP TO} – A word for a lawyer in charge of a case in court is followed by two words used to describe whether someone is capable of something. When put together they create a phrase that describes a result approached by a series of steps.

24. Lost, as a dog may be (6)
{ASTRAY} – A word meaning away from the correct path or direction could also be a lost dog.

25. Starting cold, take syrup mixture in sunny island (6)
{CYPRUS} – Take the first (starting) letter of cold and then add an anagram (mixture) of SYRUP.

26. The lamb’s tender (8)
{SHEPHERD} – Not a word that defines perfectly cooked lamb, but actually a person who looks after them.


2. Prophet is first-class, given a head start (6)
{ISAIAH} – An Old Testament prophet, IS, an adjective that describes something that is first class or excellent, and then the A followed by the first letter (start) of head.

3. Remains to give support (5)
{STAYS} – Double definition. A word meaning to stop moving is also another word for a corset.

4. Totaliser beaten by great logician (9)
{ARISTOTLE} – An anagram (beaten) of TOTALISER is also a Greek philosopher credited with the earliest studies of formal logic.

5. It’s most expensive, darling (7)
{DEAREST} – Another double definition.

6. Start court proceedings (5)
{SERVE} – How you might start every point in a game of tennis for example.

7. Bill is not keen about raising it (9)
{ADVERTISE} – A word describing the showing of a public notice, is made up from a reversed (raising) IT inside another word for unfavourable.

8. Daring kind of chap that makes the headlines (4,4)
{BOLD TYPE} – How a headline is printed could also be a type of person who is prepared to take risks.

13. Dine with Ralph, prepared to flirt (9)
{PHILANDER} – An anagram (prepared) of DINE and RALPH.

14. Drink most commonly sold in bars (9)
{CHOCOLATE} – An old chestnut. This sort of drink nowadays typically comes in a tin from Cadbury’s.

15. The dog on the line is mine (8)
{COLLIERY} – A herding dog and the usual abbreviation for railway produces another word for a coal mine.

17. Portentous doctor lifted one with commonsense (7)
{OMINOUS} – Reverse (lifted) the abbreviation for Medical Officer and add I and another word for good sense.

18. Go off to find another partner (6)
{REPAIR} – A word meaning to go somewhere could also be word that describes two people getting together again.

20. Upset about work, drinks! (5)
{TOPES} – Reverse (up) SET about OP (opus – work) is also a word for drinks.

22. Head of Harrow? (5)
{AITCH} – The first letter of Harrow is an?

32 comments on “DT 26445

  1. A nice gentle introduction to the week. Didn’t find it too taxing. Favourites for me were 20d and 22d.
    Thanx to Compiler and Libellule.

  2. I found it a tad harder than normal but also think I am a bit crossworded out at the moment.
    Thanks to Libellule and to Rufus – Favourite was 6a.

  3. Well I rather liked this.

    Needed Libellule’s help with 7 clues after doing most of the puzzle on the train.

    Thanks to the setter and Libellule.

  4. 18d had me stumped. I did not know the meaning of “repair” as “depart”. In the end I did fill it in on strength of the clue which I had seen before. Learned something today!
    Today’s favourite definitely 16a: beautiful surface reading!

  5. I liked this one too and managed to do it quite quickly without any help – no books or hints – something that doesn’t happen very often! :smile:
    Among the ones that I particularly liked are 6 and 13a and 14 and 22d – best of all, for me anyway, was 26a.
    Have poorly dog so off to the vet shortly. :sad: Back later.
    Thanks to Rufus and Libellule.

  6. not very impressed with this, as it happens, even when we managed to solve a clue just didn’t like the reasoning behind it. Also a clue which has been used recently – 15d (or am I just doing too many old crosswords to while away these long dark evenings!!) Quite liked 13a and 8d

  7. Lovely start to the week, fun crossword with some fabulous clues. My personal favourites were 13a, 16a, 26a and, for its simplicity, 22d. Thanks Rufus for a great wee crossword and Libellule for a great review.

  8. Enjoyed this one and finished all but 22down quite quickly. Then spent just as long again trying to work that one out! 26a was last but one to go in – the surface reading was very clever. Thank you Rufus and Libellule

  9. Another good start to the week – a very enjoyable crossword with some good clues – my favourite, 16a, took me twice as long to get as the rest of the clues put together! Thanks to Rufus and Libellule.

  10. A nice, gentle start to the crossword week, I thought. Something similar to 15d has been used quite recently [the definition being “mine”. Struggled a little with 10a until the penny dropped. Thanks to setter and Libellule for the review.

      1. Thanks Libellule and Gazza; that was the very clue I had in mind – although I would never have guessed it was as recent as that!

  11. I think the cold weather must be helping- only needed help with 4 today! Slightly embarrassed about not getting 7D tho :) Thanks as always for the hints.

  12. A splendid mix of clues, of which 18 was the last to be cracked. Many thanks to L & R for their typically professional start to the week.

  13. I got more than halfway on this one before needing some help, finding the top half went in more easily. 14d, which I did get, might be old chestnut for most, but it’s a new one for me and the wretched ‘mine’ caught me out again, and so soon after last time! Favourite probably 26a.

    Thanks to setter and Libellule.

  14. I liked this one a lot, everything just fell into place, except the fourth word of 16a. Took more time to think of that than all the others put together!! Favourites were 1 and 26a 8 and 22d. Lovely x-word, I wish I could do it allover again. Many thanks to setter and Libellule for the hints, although I didn’t need them today it’s always interesting to learn the thinking behind the clues.

  15. Either this was a bit hard for a Monday or else my brain is not functioning well. It did not help that I put depart for 18d. Favourite clues are 26a and (eventually) 18d.

  16. Thanks to Rufus for an enjoyable puzzle, and to Libellule for the notes.
    I put the answer in to 6d without even thinking about tennis; I was thinking more along the lines of to serve a writ upon someone to start court proceedings.
    Favourite clues, 6a and 18d.

  17. Pretty hard for a Monday I thought, the top was OK but the bottom was a struggle esp with a bizarre word such as 20d! Best clue for me 14d, really clever. Liked 5a as well. 18d was a bit of a stinker I thought!! Not the best of starts to the week.

    1. I had to have Libelulles help with a few today Barrie, just when you think you’re getting better…………………..!

  18. Overall an enjoyable puzzle, with plenty of good clues.

    Didn’t like 7d, though; the surface reading of the clue perhaps suggests confusion between two words, which differ in that one has a “D” inserted, and which have related, but not identical meanings. However, not a big deal.

  19. How ignorant am I, wanting to spell aitch with an H!!! Thanks to Libellule my mind was not in the right place today! Hope the dog is ok Kath??

    1. Thanks Mary – she’s not great but is, just about now, looking marginally better – oh dear! It’s like (or maybe even worse than) having a sick child! Good luck with the caravan – have to confess that I’m just a little bit envious – where will you go?

  20. I got stuck on a couple (thanks to Libellule for support) otherwise a good start to the week and quite enjoyable

  21. Relaxing start to the week with an added bonus of two more puzzles by our Monday Maestro in the Guardian and FT. Favourite clue was 26a.

    Many thanks to Rufus for the crossword and to Libellule for the review.

  22. Nice crossword today. Not easy but doable (is that a word?). Last 3 or 4 took quite a long time. Night all

  23. Another gentle lead-in for the week – thanks Rufus!
    I liked :1a, 16a, 26a, 2d, 8d, 14d & 18d. 22d was a good laugh!
    15d occurred last week didn’t it?

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