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DT 26502

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26502

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment **

This pleasant puzzle from an as-yet unknown setter should satisfy those who find Ray T too difficult.

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    Politician well-chosen, a Tory maintains (7)
{SENATOR} – this Roman or US politician is hidden (maintains) inside the clue

5a    Clutched top of glass, extremely drunk (7)
{GRIPPED} – a word meaning clutched is a charade of G (top of Glass) and a slang term for being extremely drunk

9a    Most men ordered seconds (7)
{MOMENTS} – an anagram (ordered) of MOST MEN gives these seconds

10a    Doctor offers to bandage first of the stabs (7)
{EFFORTS} – put an anagram (doctor) of OFFERS around (to bandage) T (first of The) to get these stabs or attempts

11a    A conservationist seizes me — time for sympathy (9)
{AGREEMENT} – put A and a conservationist around (seizes) ME and add T(ime) to get sympathy or harmony

12a    Temporarily stopping? Pa’s abandoned exercising (5)
{USING} – start with a word meaning temporarily stopping and drop the initial PA (Pa’s abandoned) t get a word meaning exercising or implementing

13a    Frames for carrying pails by the sound of it — they’re yellow (5)
{YOLKS} – what sounds like frames for carrying pails are actually the yellow parts of eggs

15a    Figures percussionist might have them (9)
{TRIANGLES} – these geometric figures are also musical instruments, shaped like said geometric figures, that are struck to make a sound

17a    Held up and dangled (9)
{SUSPENDED} – a double definition – held up as in postponed and dangled as in hung

19a    See a damaged Lowry initially put here? (5)
{EASEL} – an anagram (damaged) of SEE A is followed by L (Lowry initially) to get somewhere that said damaged Lowry could be put

22a    Fierce stare from large alien (5)
{GLARE} – this fierce stare is an anagram (alien) of LARGE

23a    Coe is developing links and associations (9)
{SOCIETIES} – an anagram (developing) of COE IS followed by some links gives these associations

25a    See red clump in SW river? (7)
{EXPLODE} – a verb meaning to see red or lose one’s temper is created by putting a verb meaning clump or trudge inside a river in the south-west of England

26a    Shine end of light on shellfish (7)
{TWINKLE} – a word meaning to shine is a charade of T (end of lighT) and a shellfish

A blast from the past!

ARVE Error: need id and provider

27a    Appropriate time to wake up Queen (7)
{TROUSER} – a slang word meaning to appropriate or steal is built up from T(ime), a verb meaning to wake up and a single-letter abbreviation for Regina (Queen)

28a    Wants attractive house round heart of Seville (7)
{DESIRES} – these wants are constructed by putting an estate agent’s for an attractive house around I (heart of Seville)


1d           Brief description of July, we hear? (7)
{SUMMARY} – this brief description sounds like a way of describing July and August

2d           Perhaps 1 mule ran off (7)
{NUMERAL} – 1 is an example of this, as are 2, 3, 4 etc. – it’s an anagram (off) of MULE RAN

3d           Sent out to wrap Ellie’s first present, perhaps? (5)
{TENSE} – put an anagram (out) of SENT around (to wrap) E (Ellie’s first) to get the form of a verb to indicate the time of the action (present, perhaps)

4d           Relaxed, having trapped muscle — it’s appreciated (9)
{RESPECTED} – put a word meaning relaxed around the shortened form of either of the two muscles situated on either side of the top half of the chest to get a word meaning appreciated

5d           Excellent Greek nosh (5)
{GREAT} – a word meaning excellent is a charade of GR(eek) and a verb meaning to nosh

6d           Form fine clue about navy’s power (9)
{INFLUENCE} – put an anagram (form) of FINE CLUE around N(avy) to get power or authority

7d           Not all biased (7)
{PARTIAL} – a double definition – not all and biased

8d           Stoops to check second plans (7)
{DESIGNS} – put a word meaning stoops or condescends around (to check) S(econd) to get these plans

14d         Lots keen to organise delays, ultimately — they hold us up (9)
{SKELETONS} – an anagram (to organise) of LOTS KEEN is followed by S (delayS, ultimately) to give the internal frameworks of bones that “hold us up”

16d         Showed one within charged with crime (9)
{INDICATED} – a word meaning showed or pointed out is created by putting A (one) inside a word that means charged with a crime

17d         FBI agents in regular division (7)
{SEGMENT} – put the way FBI agents were described in gangster movies inside a word meaning regular or fixed to get this division or portion

18d         The key to clean locks? (7)
{SHAMPOO} – a cryptic definition of a liquid preparation containing soap, for washing the hair

20d         Sons watch someone hard to get rid of (7)
{STICKER} – a charade of S (the abbreviation for son or sons) in front of a pocket watch to give someone who is hard to get rid of

21d         Passage from cellist ensures the audience does this? (7)
{LISTENS} – hidden inside (passage from) the clue is what the audience does

23d         The woman starts to escape, running clear (5)
{SHEER} – start with the female pronoun and add the initial letters of (starts to) Escape Running to get a word meaning clear or see-through

24d         Leaves work site around ten (5)
{EXITS} – a word meaning leaves or departs is created by putting an anagram (work) of SITE around the Roman numeral for ten

Back in a minute with the remaining downs.

If you found this one too easy, have a go at today’s Toughie – the first one by Dada (John Halpern), aka Paul in the Grauniad.  He revealed all on Twitter – thanks to Qix for pointing this out to me as I missed it.

If you live in the North West then you can see John at the Guardian Extra event in Manchester next Thursday.
Unlock the Secrets of the Setters

The Quick crossword pun: (loafer} + {bred} = {loaf of bread}

Even if you don’t do the Quick crossword, you can still have a go at the pun by revealing the first two words.

62 comments on “DT 26502

  1. Great puzzle today. Top RHC put up a fight, I don’t believe I have ever been drunk to the stage of being as in 5a, it’s a new one on me and being an old sailor I have been in some states not just the USA.
    Thanks to B Dave and Ray T

    1. Nubian, I believe that I saw you well ripped in San Juan, Puerto Rico, in about 1970-few.

  2. This was one of those puzzles that I started off not liking, but warmed to as I progressed.
    Favourite clue – 27a, even if I have seen it somewhere before in a different guise.
    Thanks to setter for the enjoyment, and to BD for the review.

    1. I’m with you Jezza. 27a was my last to go in, and I had a little titter at the same time.

  3. I hope this puzzle won’t be judged too harshly after yesterday. It was enjoyable.
    Favourite clue was 17d.
    Thanks to setter and BD.

  4. I enjoyed this one very much – started off slowly with only two or three answers going in after first quick read through of all the clues. I am completely stuck on 2d – can’t even think of a single word that would fit with all the letters I have, let alone something that would fit the clue! Oh dear!! Maybe it’s a name … ? Will just have to be patient!!
    I’ve never heard of the slang term for drunk in 5a but it had to be what it is.
    Quite a lot of clues that I liked today – 10, 22 and 27a and 3, 5, 7 and 18d.
    Thanks to the setter and to Big Dave – will keep watching out for those down clues to put me out of my misery with 2d!

      1. Thanks Jezza and David R – how stupid (me, I mean, not you two) – wrong kind of 13a! No wonder I couldn’t do 2d!
        :sad: and :oops:

  5. Good puzzle today, only gripe I’d have is that the only time I’ve heard of the ‘extremely drunk’ in 5a was in Australia, and it didn’t refer to drunk at all. Enjoyed 9a, 17a, 22a (last one in), 27a and 17d.

    Looking a bit dodgy for England I’m afraid.

  6. Crypticsue is being corporately trained today but she has asked for a message to be passed on to those who follow her Toughie Tips to the effect that she highly recommends today’s Toughie (as do I).

  7. Nearly got there, with lots of help. Needed the answers for a few and having an error in SW corner didn’t help. Sorry to say that I didn’t enjoy this much and it didn’t grow me on either.

    Thanks to setter and BD. Horrid day in Oxford, dull and chilly.

      1. It popped out briefly about ten minutes ago, think it might be back at the weekend. Mary’s hogging it again I expect …

        1. Had it here this morning Geoff it was lovely and warm from about 9am til about an hour ago now it is wet and gloomy!

  8. Agree with Dave’s “Desmond” rating. Nothing to complain about, but no real sparkle either. This “Egbert” shows promise, however. Just needs more clues of similar quality to 17a and 27a to lift the rating to 3/3

  9. I found this hard going, and that’s not a criticism; there were several clues where I was scratching my head, but it eventually all dropped into place. 13a was my last in. 17d and 27a my favourite clues. Thanks to setter and BD

  10. Like others being drunk in 5A a new one for me, that apart I quite enjoyed this one. It took me a little longer than this weeks other offerings.
    Thanks to mystery setter and Big Dave for the hints.

  11. I completed it but really struggled with the SW corner. The absolute topper clue was 25a See red clump in SW river? (7) with plenty of misdirection with one adverb masquerading as an adjective and a verb masquerading a noun. Minimally minor niggly pedantic remark: the question mark is superfluous IMHO.
    I filled in 27a but could not trace the slang. Is it cockney rhyming?
    18d must be correct but I am not aware of any sort of key that you smear in your hair although I vaguely remember that perhaps you clean dogs with a concoction with that brand name…

    Favs: 25a as mentioned, 17d for ingenious word play. I must remember that FBI stuff. I came across it before and remember having struggled then as well.

    Diff: **** (north face **, southern regions *****)
    Enjoyment: *****, i.e. a good time was had by all.

    Thanks to setter and blogboss!

    1. Cockney rhyming slang? I think not – just slang. To appropriate = to steal/pilfer/etc. Stealing something and hiding rapidly = putting into a pocket. Pockets are commonly found in a pair of trousers, so to cut a long story short, to appropriate = to trouser. Simples. (It might help if you think of the word trouser as a verb rather than a noun)

  12. Returning slightly shell-shocked from an office away morning (apparently I am ‘gold’ which, apart from other characteristics means that I have a sense of history, steadfastness, a value of order and predictability which would definitely all apply to crossword solving.

    I solved the Cryptic quite early on this morning but it didn’t take long and I did enjoy the solve so thanks to the mystery setter and to BD. My clue of the day was 27a, whether its cockney slang or not.

    1. CS – No disrespect to your organization but since leaving the “big” businesses and starting on my own I can say that I miss the “away day” not a jot. I find that the day goes quickly enough without having to stand in a field with a bunch of other “execs” building a raft to cross a river which only exists in the minds of HR (Holiday Request) numpties! Rant over now back to work.

      1. I am with you Spindrift – have spent many years in offices functioning perfectly well without needing to know what colour my personality is. Sat there all morning muttering under my breath and now have to listen to people going on about how busy they are! These same people wanted us to have an away day. Still there wasn’t any role play, so that’s one mercy!

        1. and now I expect you’ll have to play catch up & have your lunch “al desko” unlike Pommers…

          1. Lunch was included in the non-jollity. Certainly couldn’t have been alfresco here – fourth day of very cold mist.

  13. Pommette and I found this a pleasant solve over an al fresco lunch, even if not very taxing.
    Temperature over 20C for the first time this year – perhaps Spring has sprung!
    27a my favourite too.
    Thanks to the setter and BD

    P.S. I also recommend the other puzzle!

    1. What a concidence! Mrs S & I also enjoyed an al fresco lunch – fish n chips in the car by the Trent watching the swans while trying to avoid hypothermia & frostbite.

  14. Nice puzzle. Thanks setter and BD. Fav 27a. Also liked 19a 25a, 18d. The drunk word in 5a is new to me too.

  15. Afternoon Dave, printed this eary but had things to do, an afternoon crossword is not the same somehow and finished it lazily with your help for 3 or four clues! fav clue for me 1d
    Happy St Patricks Day everyone, may the luck of the Irish be with you :)

    1. Agree – if I do the crossword in the afternoon it’s just not the same – I’ve never really worked out why!

      1. Hi Kath I guess the brain just goes into meltdown after a certain time :) late today been back to vets, turns out Angel has a chronic infection in her paw and lip called Pseudomonas which is highly resistant to antibiotics, she is now on what is apparently the correct one for 20 the next days, so after 4 wrong lots, and one expensive biopsy and blood test procedure, I hope she is finally on the correct thing!!

        1. Oh good – at least she hasn’t got something REALLY beastly, although Pseudomonas is bad enough. Perhaps if the infection is on her paw and lip it is being perpetuated by her licking her paw – just an idea? Anyway, do hope that she is better soon.


      2. I find my cryptic brain cells seize up post 3 pm. Always have done. No idea why, it’s just one of the weirdities of crossword solving.

        1. Weirdities now that’s a nice word :) sorry about the mist but I haven’t got the sun honest!

        2. I agree ladies so I don’t think I am even going to start it. Only getting to the computer now so think I’ll leave it till tomorrow and look forward to Giovanni.

  16. I did enjoy this puzzle and commiserations to crypticsue on the day. Mine was a free round of golf, a 3&2 win and 3 pints of Guiness for the front nine, back nine and the overall win. Thanks to BD and the setter.

  17. Well I enjoyed this one – couldn’t get around to it until just over an hour ago and, despite nodding off occasionally (just been one of those days!) I finished it in the one sitting – with a little help from my electronic friend as could fit only one word in to 27a and had also never heard the slang version! Ditto 5a, but it was the only word which made any sense in context. Most enjoyable of the week so far for me – but that’s probably because I DID IT! Thanks to mystery setter – and to BD – didn’t need him to-day but checked anyway – always enjoy the hints. (The sun moved to Berkshire this afternoon, by the way!)

  18. I found this to be a very basic puzzle indeed almost elementary!
    BTW Big Dave – re 16d – it is A not I that goes in the verb.

  19. A little better than a Ray T but still only managed 8 answers, much too tough for me I’m afraid.

    1. I really enjoyed the puzzle today but, as far as I’m concerned, NOTHING beats a Ray T puzzle!

  20. The worst yet ! Head colds really seem to slow me down! That and never having heard of 27a ! Also slogged away at Feds for 17d.

    Hope for better tomorrow. Very many thanks for the tips Dave!

    1. Just keep ‘perservating’ – everything will be easier when the cold gets better. Are you sure that you haven’t got ‘man flu’?!!

  21. An ok puzzle, BUT I wish we could have Ray T every week.
    His are almost always the most enjoyable of the week/fortnight for me. G on Friday v good too. Liked 8 & 10a of today.

    1. Absolutely agree with most of the above, although I do find Giovanni on Fridays the most difficult.

  22. Hello After Eighters. Enjoyed this one today. Thought 14d really good even if an anagram. Anyone about this evening?

    1. Yes – around now but not for long. Been gardening all afternoon, have had supper and we are now about to go to bed.
      Made SUCH a stupid mistake with 13a that I ended up with an ‘unsolvable’ clue at 2d – see comment 4 – oh dear – how dim can one be?!!

  23. We found it hard to get started on today’s puzzle (or rather yesterday’s – we always do it one day in arrear), but once we solved a couple of clues it began to unravel. I liked 1d (clever word play there),14d and 15a, although the word ‘them’ seems to be superfluous in the latter clue. Grey and dismal here in Banbury – moving our boat down towards Thrupp today. Maybe it will brighten up!

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