DT 26556

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26556

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ****

A peek at the Quick crossword confirmed for me that this was Ray T’s handiwork. Not as risqué as some, but still very enjoyable.

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    Cryptic shone out producing brilliant spectacle (12)
{PYROTECHNICS} – an anagram (out) of CRYPTIC SHONE gives a brilliant spectacle – a firework display

9a    Held in chains, is tentatively pressing (9)
{INSISTENT} – hidden (held in) three words in the clue is a word meaning pressing or demanding

10a    There you are in France (5)
{VOILÀ} – the French for “there you are”

11a    ‘Plod’ taking hard line (6)
{THREAD} – take a verb meaning to plod or trudge and insert H(ard) to get a line or string

12a    Cracking, grassing about larceny tip (8)
{RATTLING} – a word meaning cracking or strikingly good is created by putting a word meaning grassing or informing around L (Larceny tip)

13a    About to trap snake, died and croaked (6)
{RASPED} – put Crosswordland’s two-letter word for about around a snake and then add D(ied) to get a word meaning croaked or screeched

15a    Demolishes meals holding can-opener (8)
{SCUPPERS} – to get a word meaning demolishes put some evening meals around C (Can opener)

18a    Tighten, say, before wee analysis (8)
{SCRUTINY} – start with a word segment that sounds like to tighten and then add wee or very small to get an analysis or examination

19a    Paper, ‘The Yorkshire Post’ (6)
{TISSUE} – this type of paper is a charade of T’ (the Northern abbreviation of the) and to post or publish

21a    Retired and rues time worked (8)
{EMERITUS} – a word meaning retired, especially denoting a retired professor, is an anagram (worked) of RUES TIME

23a    ‘Sun’ with sizeable model (6)
{SAMPLE} – combine S(un) with a word meaning sizeable or substantial to get a model or specimen

26a    Vision emerging naked, upon shell initially (5)
{VENUS} – take the initial letters of the first five words and then read this all-in-one clue again to get the definition

27a    Collect silver for example, in jar (9)
{AGGREGATE} – to get a word meaning to collect or form into a group start with the chemical symbol for silver and then put the Latin abbreviation of “for example” inside a word meaning to jar or irritate

28a    Garter men undo, endlessly excited finding stocking? (12)
{UNDERGARMENT} – an anagram (excited) of GARTER MEN and UND(O) without its final letter (endlessly) to get a stocking or other article of clothing worn under another


1d    Writer penning old clue (7)
{POINTER} – put a famous English playwright (responsible for The Caretaker and The Homecoming among others) around (penning) O(ld) to get a clue or indication

2d    It’s regularly seen in flight (5)
{RISER} – a number of these are found in a flight of stairs

3d    Will try Tory leader putting in last word (9)
{TESTAMENT} – a will determining the disposition of someone’s property

4d    Revolutionary food starter from Heston Blumenthal? (4)
{CHEF} – a charade of Crosswordland’s revolutionary and F (Food starter) gives Heston Blumenthal or someone in the same profession

5d    Thick hair trailing behind half naked bird (8)
{NUTHATCH} – put a mass of thick hair after the first half of a word meaning naked to get this bird that feeds on seeds etc.

6d    Yearn for bloke to be on time (5)
{COVET} – a word meaning to yearn for or lust after is a charade of a bloke and T(ime)

7d    Severe piles? Sit differently! (8)
{PITILESS} – a word meaning severe or cold-hearted is an anagram (differently) of PILES SIT

8d    Dish providing full stomach? (6)
{HAGGIS} – this Scottish dish is cooked inside a sheep’s stomach – after it has been removed from the sheep!

14d         Officer material with a neat exterior (8)
{SERGEANT} – this non-commissioned officer is a charade of a strong twilled material, A and the outside letters (exterior) of N(ea)T

16d         Resistance by one vessel captured by fellow pirate (9)
{PRIVATEER} – put R(esistance), I (one) and a vessel used for fermentation inside (captured by) a fellow or equal to get a pirate – International Talk Like A Pirate Day falls on Monday, September 19th this year

17d         Raise single new young animal getting fed (8)
{INCUBATE} – a word meaning to raise or hatch is a charade of I (single), N(ew), a young animal (lion or fox, for example) and fed or consumed

18d         Perform with wife in twist (6)
{SWERVE} – put a word meaning to perform a duty around W(ife) to get a twist or sudden change of direction

20d         Mount woman then sleep (7)
{EVEREST} – this mountain is a charade of the first woman and a sleep

22d         Author surrounded by nibs, envelopes… (5)
{IBSEN} – this Norwegian playwright is hidden inside (surrounded by) the rest of the clue

24d         Dish consumed after case of Pomerol (5)
{PLATE} – this flat circular dish is created by putting consumed or fed after the outside letters (case) of P(omero)L

25d         Go half crazy, flipping excited (4)
{AGOG} – take GO and either half of a word meaning crazy (like an allegedly popular Lady) and reverse them (flipping) to get a word meaning excited

Great stuff as usual.

The Quick crossword pun: {hammer} + {dais} = {Amadeus}



  1. Nubian
    Posted May 19, 2011 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    Very enjoyable puzzle with lots of entertaining answers. A joy.
    Thanks to B Dave and Ray T

  2. Posted May 19, 2011 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    7d was a cracker!. Once again a class puzzle – a few head scratchers certainly but much fun. Thanks to RayT and to BD for the review.

  3. Jezza
    Posted May 19, 2011 at 11:26 am | Permalink

    A good entertaining puzzle – Favourite clues 7d, and 20d.
    Thanks to RayT, and to BD for the review.

  4. upthecreek
    Posted May 19, 2011 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    i haven’t been on duty much lately but when i saw this was RayT I thought I would give the gardening a miss. Very enjoyable as usual with favourite 7d – brilliant. Also liked 4 5 818a 19 and 20. Also loved the quick pun. Thanks a lot, Ray, now back to the garden!

  5. andy
    Posted May 19, 2011 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    Agreed 7D favourite, One of those clues that makes you laugh involuntarily and fellow passengers think you may have forgotten your medication. Highly entertaining puzzle as ever from RayT. Thanks to BD for the review.

  6. BigBoab
    Posted May 19, 2011 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

    Great fun from RayT today, far too many great clues to pick one out but I tend to disagree with most of the above re 7d, a simple anagram does not make a great clue even when it makes you smile. Thanks RayT for a cracker and BD for the review.

  7. Lostboy
    Posted May 19, 2011 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

    So 2d is not “Rotor” then, which seemed obvious to me.
    No wonder i can’t finish it.

    Otherwise, i enjoyed this puzzle.

    • andy
      Posted May 19, 2011 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

      I too had that to start with , but solving 9a meant a bit of crossing out.

  8. AlisonS
    Posted May 19, 2011 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

    Several smiles today, so thanks, Ray. I agree with those above who liked 7d – it may be a simple anagram but the surface reading is brilliant! Also liked 8d and 19a. Thanks to BD for the review.

  9. Digby
    Posted May 19, 2011 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

    Apart from 2 or 3 not-very-well-concealed anagrams (1, 21 & 28) this was just a crossword should be – challenging and amusing, with a couple of Dohhh!! moments. I’m finding the Quickie more difficult than the Cryptic for a change – thanks RT & BD.

  10. Franny
    Posted May 19, 2011 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

    This took me longer than usual and I needed all the help I could get, but the highly amusing clues kept me going, and the feeling of achievement when I’d finished was great. I agree that 7d was one of the best and funniest, but I also enjoyed 18 and 28a. Many thanks to Big Dave for his analysis and to Ray T for the mental exercise. :-)

  11. pommette
    Posted May 19, 2011 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

    An excellent puzzle.
    I thought 26a was one of the best clues I’ve seen for a long time as the suface reading perfectly describes Botticelli’s famous painting of this lady. If you’re not familiar with it have a look here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Birth_of_Venus_(Botticelli)!
    Also 7d gave me a chuckle!
    Many thanks to RayT and Big Dave.

    • pommers
      Posted May 19, 2011 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

      That was from me – pommette’s been using my computer again!

      • Posted May 19, 2011 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

        I’ve added your link to the main post – thanks for pointing it out.

  12. brendam
    Posted May 19, 2011 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

    Pommette thanks for the link, I don’t think I’ve seen that picture since I left High School at age 12 and what memories it brings back!!! Good puzzle but took me longer than usual. Liked 18a and 17d Many thanks to RayT and B.D., Tried the Toughie but only solved a few, gave up and did it with Bufo’s help!

  13. Spindrift
    Posted May 19, 2011 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

    With reference to 19a it is the common misconception that we Yorkshiremen abbreviate the word “THE” to a single “T”. In fact if you listen you’ll find that we dispense with it altogether & use a small gap instead – as in “Are you off to pub?” or for those of us who have read at least 1 book in our lives – ” Lion, Witch n Wardrobe”.

    Tha’ can allus tell a Yorkshireman, but tha’ can’t tell ‘im much

  14. Brian
    Posted May 19, 2011 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

    Oooh tough today, managed the anagrams and that was about it. Often struggle with Thursday’s setter, don’t follow his clues very well I’m afraid. I’ll have to read this blog and see if I can improve.

    • Brian
      Posted May 19, 2011 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

      Been through all the excellent clues above and I am beginning to understand but must take exception with 16d, a privateer was not a pirate, that was the whole point of holding a letter of marque!

      • Posted May 19, 2011 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

        The ODE includes the following:

        • a commander or crew member of a privateer, often regarded as a pirate.

        • Brian
          Posted May 20, 2011 at 9:36 am | Permalink

          Moot point. The admiralty defines a privateer:
          A Private person or ship authorised by a government by letters of marque to attack foreign shipping during wartime.
          To call them pirates would imply that the British government actively employs criminals :-)

  15. Mike in Amble
    Posted May 19, 2011 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

    I really enjoyed getting this puzzle out today. It certainly took me longer than usual, but all the more entertaining for having to work hard. I was watching a treecreeper this morning in the woods and hoping to see its ally the 5d. at the same time. No joy though :( By the way.. treecreepers can only go up trees foraging for insects in the bark but the clever little 5d is able to hop down a tree trunk as well…… A sure way to differentiate between the two. Thanks setter and BD.

  16. Sarah F
    Posted May 19, 2011 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

    Just started this, after becoming bored with a puzzle out of old DT book no. 30. This looks much more interesting, and the blog is so helpful, so have ditched the book and will see if I can do this one!

  17. Kath
    Posted May 19, 2011 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

    Great – loved it all – in fact the crossword was what cheered me up on an otherwise not good day! The clue that I had the most difficulty with was 21a – thought that the answer had to be a past participle so decided that it was an anagram of ‘and rues’ and ‘t’ (time) – wrong!! Along with most others I loved 7d. Also 10, 18 and 28a and 8, 17, 18, 20 and 25d. Thanks to Ray T for providing the bright spot today and to Big Dave for the hints.

  18. Nick
    Posted May 19, 2011 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

    An enjoyable puzzle. I found it quite hard today, but worth the effort.

    I enjoyed 18a 19a and 25d. I thought 20d was a bit weak, but more than made up for by the others.

    I can’t quite see the attractions of 7d – a good surface reading and link, but surely too obvious exactly where the anagram was?

    Last one in was 8d and I laughed aloud – couldn’t see the wood for the trees.

    Thanks to RayT and BD. 3* Difficulty, 4* Enjoyment.


  19. Derek
    Posted May 19, 2011 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

    A slightly tougher puzzle from Ray today!
    Faves were : 12a, 13a, 18a, 28a, 1d, 2d, 8d & 17d.
    No trouble with 19a being a Tyke!
    Thought that the fodder for 28a and 20d was slightly sexy!

  20. RayT
    Posted May 19, 2011 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

    Thanks again to BD, and to everybody else for your observations. Spindrift, I spent much of my life in Yorkshire, so I do take your point! Your comment reminded me of this:

    I don’t know if the link will work, so you may have to copy and paste …


    • RayT
      Posted May 19, 2011 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

      Ah, it works.


      • Spindrift
        Posted May 20, 2011 at 9:12 am | Permalink

        Thanks Ray T! McIntyre’s good but he’s still a soft southern jessie…

  21. paolors
    Posted May 19, 2011 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

    I found this so straightforward today I wasn’t sure it was by the master. But only Ray T could come up with a clue like 7d so it has to be. Many thanks to Ray T and BD.

  22. Don1991
    Posted May 19, 2011 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

    I hate to say this as Ray will almost certainly have his revenge next week, but this was one of his more straightforward ones. Nevertheless, very enjoyable to solve. Liked 7d which is a giggly clue and 17d. As an expat Scot it is to my eternal shame that 8d was last in and only after much head scratching.