DT 26525 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26525

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26525

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Pommers is flying to the UK today, so I am filling in for him.  Another fine puzzle from Jay, which I enjoyed as much as ever.

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    Cast off for a change — but where to? (8,4)
{DRESSING ROOM} – a cryptic definition of where the cast of a play change their costumes

9a    Satellite tribe dressed in gold (7)
{ORBITER} – another word for a satellite comes from an anagram (dressed) of TRIBE inside the heraldic term for gold

10a    Soldiers’ brisk jog (7)
{REFRESH} – a charade of some soldiers and a word meaning brisk or bracing to get a verb meaning to jog the memory

11a    A 9’s unusual input into cover for schoolbook (7)
{SPUTNIK} – this Russian 9 across was the first of its kind, back in 1957 – put an anagram (unusual) of INPUT inside the outside letters (cover) of SchoolbooK

12a    A married man is to make economies (7)
{HUSBAND} – a double definition – a married man and a verb meaning to make economies

13a    Pigment that’s hot in molten core (5)
{OCHRE} – to get this pigment put H(ot) inside an anagram (molten) of CORE

14a    A nasty argument chasing last of buskers from a London street (6,3)
{SAVILE ROW} – put A and words meaning nasty and argument after (chasing) S (last of buskerS) to get a London street, famous for its traditional men’s bespoke tailoring

16a    Where I might grow river grass? (9)
{FLOWERPOT} – this container used for growing a plant is a charade of another word for a river and grass or marijuana – the first part of the charade is more usually in the wordplay, as a river, than in the answer!

19a    Sight first seen in the outskirts of Virginia (5)
{VISTA} – this sight or outlook is created by putting the abbreviation of first inside the outside letters (outskirts) of VirginiA

21a    Withdraw deal given to unprotected crew (7)
{RETREAT} – a word meaning to withdraw or pull back is created by putting a verb meaning to deal or handle after the inside letters (unprotected) of (C)RE(W)

23a    National airlines collapse with no end of competition (7)
{ISRAELI} – this national of a Middle Eastern country is an anagram (collapse) of AIRLI(N)ES without the final letter (no end) of competitioN

24a    Smartly turned out worker by the Spanish, say (7)
{ELEGANT} – an adjective meaning smartly turned out is derived by putting a worker insect after (by) the Spanish definite article and the Latin abbreviation for say / for example

25a    Invite misery, revealing list (7)
{ITEMISE} – hidden inside (revealing) the first two words of the clue is a word meaning to list or record

26a    What to use to calculate climb after slipping? (7,5)
{SLIDING SCALE} – an alternative name for a ruler marked with logarithmic scales used for calculations is created by putting a word meaning to climb after a synonym for slipping

I feel a Little Richard hit coming on!


1d    Corrupt young lady coming out with a socially acceptable church (7)
{DEBAUCH} – to get a verb meaning to corrupt start with a young lady who is making her first appearance in fashionable society (coming out) then add A, the single letter used for socially acceptable and finally CH(urch)

2d    Understanding net changes, go in without finishing (7)
{ENTENTE} – to get an understanding or agreement put an anagram (changes) of net in front of most of (without finishing) a word meaning to go in

3d    Begins increased industrial action? (7,2)
{STRIKES UP} – a word meaning begins suggests an increase in industrial action

4d    The main point of Russian Orthodoxy (5)
{NORTH} – a compass point is hidden inside the last two words of the clue

5d    Judge America left in denial (7)
{REFUSAL} – charade of a judge or arbitrator, the United States of America and L(eft) gives a denial

6d    Exercises in broadcasting out-of-doors (4-3)
{OPEN AIR} – put these Physical Exercises inside a word meaning broadcasting (2.3) to get a phrase meaning out-of-doors

7d    One aggravates the situation and posts dummy to England (once) (4,9)
{JOB’S COMFORTER} – this person who aggravates the situation is a charade of posts or positions and an old-fashioned word for a dummy

8d    Politicians who can’t be said to be worried? (6,7)
{SHADOW CABINET} – these politicians are an anagram (worried) of WHO CAN’T BE SAID

15d    Revisit — if plastic turns into glass (9)
{VITRIFIES} – an anagram ()plastic of REVISIT IF gives a verb meaning turns into glass

17d    Old head of English pinching cash machine — a student gets porridge! (7)
{OATMEAL} – put O(ld) and the first letter (head) of English around (pinching) a cash machine then add A and a student to get some porridge

18d    Green’s new leader embracing a bit of mystery (7)
{EMERALD} – this shade of green is created by putting an anagram (new) of LEADER around (embracing) the first letter (a bit) of Mystery

19d    Name of girl crossing Scottish mountain plant (7)
{VERBENA} – put a girl’s name around (crossing) a Scottish word for a mountain to get a herbaceous plant which bears heads of bright showy flowers

20d    Manchester, I learn, is somewhat barren (7)
{STERILE} – hidden inside (somewhat) the first three words of the clue is a word meaning barren

22d    Giant bird — a nuisance at first (5)
{TITAN} – this giant is a charade of a bird, A and the first letter of Nuisance

Pommers should be back next week.

The Quick crossword pun: {goal} + {de luxe} = (Goldilocks}

58 comments on “DT 26525

  1. Mr consistently good comes up trumps again! Very enjoyable to solve and not too tricky. Favourite clues were 8d and 23a. Thanks too to BD for the review.

  2. Very enjoyable today. Have never heard of the answer to 7D, but worked it out from the question, good old Goggle confirmed it again (where would we be without them). No clue really stands out today for me, but I enjoyed 11A (nice to see that in), 2D, 6D, 15D, 17D and 22D (even if my first thought was ROC). I would normally say that I enjoyed 16A, but I didn’t understand the clue at all, honest officer.

  3. Good morning Dave from a cloudy damp West Wales I’m afraid all the sunshines gone away! I thought this at least a 3* for me, needing help from my ‘friends’ but not the blog, although I did need to understand 7d, I still don’t see the need for England in the clue??lots of clues I liked today, lots of inclusive clues, no real favourite though maybe 1a if I had to pick one, good luck everyone extremely ‘doable’ but not all the clues make sense in the reading but that’s just my opinion :-)

    1. I think the England part of the clue indicates that the word was in use in old English rather than the word Dummy in new English. Clear as mud I guess.

  4. Good morning all! Lovely crossword today – needed the hints to understand 4 and 7d – seem to be getting really bad at missing these “hidden in the middle” kind of clues, especially when the answer is on two different lines, if that makes sense.
    Favourites today include 1 and 16a and 6 and 8d. I remember a clue a very long time ago “Delighted MP’s” with 8d as the answer.
    With thanks to Jay and BD.
    Chilly here today but no rain, yet! Might have to go and cut the grass …. :sad:

  5. As Prolixic – they keep coming from Jay with amazing consistency. 8d was a firm favourite but I was also confused on 7d, particularly as I had never heard of the phrase.
    Thanks to Jay and to BD.

    1. I know the phrase well Gnomey, it is someone who thinks they are consoling someone or trying to make things better but only make it worse, it comes from the bible when I think there were two or three people who tried to comfort Job?

    2. Four. Self-righteous conceited peddlers of cheap theology. Fascinating, if miserable, book. Fantastically obscure Hebrew so don’t be surprised if two translations give widely different understandings of any particular verse.

  6. Usual Wednesday cryptic from Jay thank you to him and to BD for the hints. No particular favourites, just a good start to the day.

    In an email earlier today, I described the Toughie as tough, entertaining with lovely d’oh moments. It took me a while to get to the end of it but is worth a go. If you don’t give it a go, have a look at the review later to see what Gazza chooses to depict 5d :D

  7. I’m in the 7d club as well. Lots to enjoy in this and a pleasure to solve. Don’t know why I didn’t spot 25a earlier. Sometimes you can’t see for looking! 14a possibly my favourite. Thanks to the setter and BD. It’s turned chilly in Devon…

  8. Great stuff this morning! Last in was 7d which I got on the wordplay of the first 4-letter word. I wasn’t aware of the pacifier bit so have learned again! It’s kind of funny it took me so long because I have been studying that “miserable book” for a few years now and have grown accustomed to the sort of consolation Elifaz and friends have to offer.

    I liked 16a and 14a where I first wrote “Rotten Row” until I realised that a) it leaves the indicated “S” in the clue unaccounted for b) the checked letter from 3d just had to be an S and c) there is the initial “A” of the clue which needs a home, given that Jay is about the most precise compiler I know.

    All in all, not a one coffee solve: last in when I entered the office and it hit me between the eyes.

    Thanks to J & DB!

      1. I had Rotten Row before I got 3d and realised it was wrong – probably because I worked near there for most of the 1970s!

        1. I really didn’t know that in fact I don’t know much about London at all only ever been twice :-)

            1. I was misled into Rotten too. I agree Skempie about avoiding cities. Birdsong is sweeter than traffic noise, and flowers have it over exhaust fumes, which is why a breathe a big sigh of relief when I get home after a day in town (happily, rare).

              Good to see something which made me think of knitting (1a), even though the answer had nothing to do with that gentle craft. Makes a change from cricket. More knitting, please!

  9. A super puzzle, although I thought the surface reading of 7d was not the best!
    Many thanks to Jay, and to BD for the notes.

  10. Very enjoyable, and requiring a bit of thought. Great stuff.

    Nice review too, and a good point about 16A.

    Thanks to Jay and BD.

  11. Much more than a 2* for me and needed a lot of help along with several hints. Missed two hidden indicators, 25a, 20d and plastic would so never have occurred to me as an anagram indicator that I didn’t even look it up! Thanks to a few above for making England (once) make sense. Traces of sunshine and dry as yet, but have put back a few of the clouts I cast last week!

    Thanks to Jay and BD.

  12. Great puzzle today which lifted my spirits after going to see the Dentist and Hygienist only to find I was a day late. Cost me 33 quid, Grrrrr. These senior moments are really starting to bug me CSue.
    Thanks to B Dave and Jay

    1. Oh dear, that’s not good. I have the dentist next week and have reminders at home and here at work so I don’t forget! Is it a senior moment or subconsciously trying to put off the inevitable.

          1. Mine even send me an e-mail 24 hours before it’s due which is efficient only if I access my in box in time!

          1. We rarely get reminders about health appointments here in Spain. Maybe it’s deliberate so we have to remember ourselves, thus delaying the ‘senior moments’ syndrome ?

            1. My GP practices send me a text message 24 hrs ahead of any booked appointments. The next one due is a (fasting, oh dear) cholesterol test in six months.

  13. Many thanks Jay for a most enjoyable crossword, not overtaxing but very good fun. Thanks BD for a superb review.

  14. Half the solving time spent on 7a, of which I knew the second word, so just 2 letters needed and in the end I still had to resort to Mr Google. Never heard the expression……..if it had been a pangram, I might have got there sooner.

  15. A very entertaining crossword and the usual high standard we expect from Jay on a Wednesday. I’m with some of the others on the clue to 7d and don’t really understand the significance of the final three words of the clue. I have heard of the expression and was able to get it from all the checking letters and I was hoping the review might shed some explanation. Nevertheless, our Wednesday setter has come up trumps again. Thanks to setter and BD for the review

    1. A comforter used to be the word for what we now call a dummy (the Americans call them pacifiers). It is used more now to describe a comfort blanket or child’s snuggly toy. I think the setter was trying to explain to look for an old meaning for dummy.

    2. Rednaxela

      I expected that everyone would have heard of a Job’s comforter so didnt expand it. I did include “old-fashioned” in the explanation of comforter to cover the “English (once)” bit, but that obviously went over most peoples’ heads!

      1. Thanks to Skempie and BD for your useful replies. I had heard of Job’s comforter, but it was the explanation of “the English (once)” bit that had me baffled! However, I understand what you are saying about the old-fashioned [English (once)] usage. I’m sure I will experience more baffling moments!

  16. Very enjoyable and my sort of puzzle. A bit of a tease but solvable without having to slog through the East Wing of the OED. No particular favourite although 11a was neat. Spooky, but I also started this cw in the Dentist’s Waiting Room. Now there’s a thought, who remembers Spooky Tooth? Thanks to all.

  17. 7d reminds me of the old scriptural chestnut – smallest man in the Bible : Bildad the Shuhite.

    Why is plastic an anagram indicator in 15d?

    Thanks again both.

    1. Because if something is plastic (in the chemical sense of the word) it is malleable – ie it can be moulded and shaped (as can liquid plastic)

      1. That reminds me of the last father and son combination to play Test cricket for India – Javed Miandad

  18. I enjoyed today’s puzzle but am still stuck with the first word of 7d. I’ve learned so much about cryptic clues over the past year that I’m glad I stumbled upon this site. Keep it up BD!

    1. Hi Doug – welcome to the blog.
      All the answers are in the blog, but hidden so that you don’t see them accidentally. Just drag your cursor through the space between the curly brackets under the clue.

  19. Hi Gazza. I’m using a Blackberry to view the site and I can’t see the answers; a good thing really as it makes me have to think a bit more.

    1. Sorry Doug. The first word of 7d is “Job’s” – a reference, not to the founder of Apple but to Job, the Old Testament character.

  20. Thanks Gazza. The reply from Qix now makes a lot more sense!

    Is there any way of replying to this site without having to submit your name/email every time?

    1. I think that if your browser is configured to accept cookies those details are auto-completed.

      Not sure about browsing on a Blackberry, though.

  21. Still in the Caribbean. In the rain today!!!! A thoroughly enjoyable puzzle today. Needed blog for 16a. Got 7d but haven’t heard of it before.
    Thanks for the help xx

  22. 4D Telegraph (The main point of Russian Orthodoxy) Guardian 25,295 16D (Pole enthralled by Russian Orthodoxy) clued on the same day, does this happen often?

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