DT 26562 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26562

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26562

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

I’m running a little late this morning, largely due to an early morning appointment. Here’s another excellent puzzle from Ray T.

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    Naming compiler in terrible rant on clue (12)
{NOMENCLATURE} – a word meaning naming or terminology is created by putting a short word representing the compiler (2) inside an anagram (terrible) of RANT ON CLUE

8a    Policeman’s bad run following diamonds (7)
{OFFICER} – this policeman – Dibble, perhaps! – is derived from a word meaning bad or rotten (3) then R(un) preceded by a slang word for diamonds

9a    It’s the sack for a public employee (7)
{MAILBAG} – the postman uses it to carry letters

11a    Patient initially prone and docile (7)
{PLIABLE} – P (Patient initially) is followed by an adjective meaning prone or likely to get a different adjective meaning docile or accommodating

12a         Current’s boiling lacking resistance (7)
{TOPICAL} – a word meaning current or up-to-date is derived by dropping the R (lacking resistance) from an adjective meaning  boiling or sweltering hot

13a         Material increase reported (5)
{SERGE} – this strong twilled fabric sounds like (reported) an increase or upswing

14a         A large bird fed every second (9)
{ALTERNATE} – a charade of A, L(arge), a long-winged aquatic bird and a word meaning fed gives a word that means every second occurrence – not every second in time!

16a         Dress up bride, more excited (9)
{EMBROIDER} – this word meaning to dress up or embellish is an anagram (excited) of BRIDE MORE

19a         Stiffen, cementing retaining wall (5)
{FENCE} – hidden inside (retaining) the first two words of the clue is a wall or barrier

21a         Ran and went off on time (7)
{TROTTED} – a word meaning ran or jogged is derived by putting a word meaning went off or decayed after T(ime)

23a         Pressing business to attend to (7)
{IRONING} – a cryptic definition of clothes that are to be pressed

24a         Like the man after seconds before single dish (7)
{SASHIMI} – put synonyms for “like” and “the man” after S(econds) and before I (single) to get a Japanese dish of thinly-sliced raw fish served with soy sauce, grated radish, etc.

25a         Circular model embracing one fatty (7)
{ADIPOSE} – put a short word for a circular or notice and a verb meaning to model around I (one) to get an adjective meaning  fatty or tubby

26a         Guitar gear smashed with passion about arena (12)
{AMPHITHEATRE} – a charade of gear used with an electric guitar, a verb meaning smashed or thumped, passion or ardour and one of Crosswordland’s words for “about” gives an arena


1d           More chic French end up on stage (7)
{NIFTIER} – to get a word meaning more chic start with the French for end, reverse it (up) and add a stage or level

2d           Sick equine holding carriage (7)
{MACABRE} – a word meaning sick or gruesome is created by putting a female equine (perhaps a refugee from today’s Toughie!) around a hackney carriage

3d           She gives us a minder perhaps (9)
{NURSEMAID} – in this semi-all-in-one clue, she is an anagram (perhaps) of US A MINDER

4d           Control turned on taking motorway (5)
{LIMIT} – a word meaning to control or restrict is constructed by putting a word meaning turned on or illuminated around the London to Leeds motorway

5d           Tourist, one leaves money around end of dinner (7)
{TRIPPER} – this tourist is derived from a person who leaves additional money, after a meal perhaps, around R (end of dinneR)

6d           Hitch vehicle following trailer? (7)
{REBECCA} – this famous film directed by Hitchcock was preceded, the previous week, by a trailer

ARVE Error: need id and provider

7d Opinion about potty son, one’s all there (6,6)
{COMPOS MENTIS} – put an opinion, like the ones entered below the main post, around PO(tty) and S(on) and add I’S (one’s) to get an expression meaning “all there” or “of sound mind”

10d         Birds on ledges with gale storming (6,6)
{GOLDEN EAGLES} – these large birds of prey are an anagram (storming) of ON LEDGES with GALE

15d         Stop white ant engulfing North America (9)
{TERMINATE} – a word meaning to stop is constructed by putting a so-called white ant, a pale-coloured insect of the order Isoptera which is only superficially like an ant, around the abbreviation of North America

17d         Mafia’s rise includes death, bud (7)
{BLOSSOM} – reverse (rise) a nickname for the Mafia around (includes) death or demise to get a word meaning to bud or develop

18d         Bird over street’s gorgeous (7)
{OSTRICH} – the largest living bird is a charade of O(ver), ST(reet) and gorgeous or rich

19d         One dealing in stocks (7)
{FLORIST} – this tradesperson deals in carnations and roses as well as stocks

20d         Offensive sound ringing gong (7)
{NOISOME} – to get a word meaning offensive put a sound (5) around (ringing) a gong or award

22d         Stray daughter on crack (5)
{DRIFT} – a word meaning to stray or wander is a charade of D(aughter) and a crack or split

All done, now it’s back to assembling the flatpack furniture!

The Quick crossword pun: {tuck} + {healer} = {tequila}

85 comments on “DT 26562

  1. OMG, got just a single clue, what a horror this one is for me. Def not my week this week.

  2. 9A across reminds me of the only crossword related joke I know & which I used ad nauseam with unknowing participants:

    A word for what the postman carries?
    How many letters?
    Bloomin’ hundreds!

    Boom! Boom!

  3. I look forward to Thursday as I really enjoy RayT’s work and this was no exception. It was a bit on the difficult side and I had to look up 24 as it was new to me. Best were 2 7 16 19a 19d 25 and 26. Thanks a lot, Ray.

  4. Clearly Ray T (see single word-clued Quickie, and amusing pun). Most enjoyable with some nicely misleading clues, such as 19d which pointed me towards “cows”. l also liked 12a. Looking forward to the rest of the revue once BD has lunched!

  5. I found this very difficult, probably 4* in my estimation. I’ve finished it but there are some answers that I don’t fully understand: 23a – not as definitive a clue as some used in recent puzzles that required the same answer, 6d – I get the trailer bit, but hitch and vehicle??, 7d – I don’t understand the 3 letter abbr required in the middle to mean potty son, 18d – O= over? (Cricket perhaps?), rich = gorgeous? (tenuous), 20d – why does gong = om?
    Apart from those, I enjoyed this puzzle very much although it was very tough. Liked 14a, 26a, 1d and quite a few others. Many thanks to setter and BD.

    1. 7d – PO is an informal term for a chamber pot, or potty, and the S is short for Son.
      20d – gong is another word for a medal. OM is short for Order of Merit.

    2. Roland – Re 6d: Hitch at the front of the clue hides a capitalisation – it is the nickname of a famous film director. Vehicle can mean ‘a medium for expressing or performing something’ (i.e. a film!). Think of ‘trailer’ in the context of advertisement.
      Hope that helps – it was my favourite when I finally worked out why!

      1. Many thanks – I sort of see it now – but I thought “trailer” referred to Rebecca being a trailing plant?

    3. I agree with you about this, and my answer for 6d is probably wrong. But the ‘om’ in 20d I think is the Order of Merit: a medal, and therefore a ‘gong’. Hope this helps. :-)

  6. I thought this was a little more than a 2 star for difficulty, but all of it fairly clued. Excellent puzzle, many favourites, but the two I put a tick against at the time were 14a, and 26a.
    Many thanks to RayT – more of the same please!

  7. A fine if not overly tough puzzle today. The only real problems were understanding 19d (OK when I found an alternative meaning for stocks) and 6d (which slammed down like a sack full of pennies!)
    Thanks to RayT and to BD.

  8. I know this is probably a Jay puzzle and I will get a rocket from all and sundry but some of the clues really do belong in the toughie. 6d being a case in point.
    Nothing wrong with the clue but to complete a general DT puzzle with clues of that quality and difficulty is asking a bit much. I may be wrong but coupled with 1d (does that really mean chic ?) which I always thought as quick and agile this was quite a test.
    1a was of course brilliant.
    Thanks to Jay and B Dave for allowing the spleen venting, I feel much better for that

  9. I found this very tough going, but with a bit of help and several pauses to rest the brain, I managed to finish. I started badly by putting ‘postbag’ at 8a. I’m still not sure how 7d fits the clue and probably have a wrong word at 6d, so I’m looking forward to the rest of BD’s analysis.
    Thanks to him and to Ray T for a really stiff workout. :-)

    1. Franny, You’re not alone with 6d (see gnomey’s reply to to Comment #5). If you are still having problems, try looking up the films made by the said director.

    2. Hi Franny, I made the same initial error on 9a. 6d is a girl’s name, and the title of a film by “Hitch” as per explanation above from Gnomey. 7d – if you’re struggling with the POS part, again, explained above by Jezza.

      1. Thanks Roland and Jezza. I got Rebecca as it was the only word that fitted, now understand about Hitch but still don’t understand where the trailer fits in. As for 7d, I’m grateful for the explanation — would never have found it by myself.

          1. I tried googling ‘Rebecca Plant’ to see if it trailed, and found that she’s a history professor in San Diego. There is, however, a variety of violet called Rebecca — not a trailer!

            1. There’s also Clematis Rebecca, and I think most Clematis’ (Clematises, Clematisi, Clemati ??) trail.

        1. Interestingly, Rebecca is a hebrew name, which means to bind, or fasten (which is another synonym for hitch) :)

          1. Really?? Is it fair that we should need to know the literal translation of hebrew names I wonder?

              1. Oh OK – I still don’t understand the trailer reference then – unless it is a trailing plant.

          2. Err, Jezza, you sure about that?
            The Hebrew רבקה is from the root רבק which is rather obscure.
            It is found, if memory serves me right in my namesake’s book of Amos and in a very famous verse in Malachi, in both places connected with a word for calf or young bull. Most commentators take it to mean “stall”. I suppose that a stall can be said to “bind” the animals inside but the connection is not very clear.

            The root רבק is possibly cognate to רוק which is very well known and carries the basic meaning of “empty”. It can be said to apply to the biblical matriarch because she was barren for many years after she married.

            Anyway, it seems doubtful to me that the Beamer would have relied on or even alluded to so obscure a reference. Even The Times wouldn’t go so far :-)

            Ingenious idea, though. How did you hit(ch) on that?

            1. The extent of my research went as far as entering Rebecca into dictionary.com. :)

    3. Re 7d – A synonym for opinion, as in a remark or an observation, goes around (about) PO(Potty)S(on), and is followed by IS (One’s) – definition ‘all there’.

    4. A good clue I thought. A word for a remark or expression of an opinion goes around ‘PO’ and ‘S’ (as others have said), followed by crosswordland’s usual rendition of ‘ones’, and the answer means that one is ‘all there’ – i.e. of sound mind or having mastery of the mind.

  10. This is probably at least a 4* for me – Ray T at his most devious – that’s not meant as a criicism at all! I STILL can’t do 6d and don’t quite understand 7d but am just beginning to get there, I think. Clues that I particularly liked today – 1, 14, 24 (that one took a while) 25a and 2, 10 and 20d. Best of all 26a – complicated or what, but completely possible to work out. A bit of help with 6d would be very much appreciated – the only word that I can think of that would fit with the letters that I’ve got, assuming they’re right, is a girl’s name? Thanks to Ray T for making “the little grey cells” work overtime and to Big Dave.

  11. Phew!! That was a real workout, at least a 3* for difficulty IMHO. But what joy when the penny drops! Thanks to RayT and B.D. Favourites are 14 and 24a, 15 and 19d

  12. Wow, that was delightful!!
    Last in was of course 6d which just had to be the Daphne du Maurier dead woman. Only after reading the clue, oh, 613 times, the penny dropped. The most brilliant misdirection stunt I have seen for a long time. The vehicles CAR and CAB are among the letters and I kept on trying to get a following or a trailer out of the rest of the letters, taking hitch as an anagrind. The question mark was finally what made me look at the clue with fresh eyes.
    Hitch in the surface a verb but in reality a proper name. I kept thinking of the book, not the film.

    I still don’t get 23. What business do we attend to??? Anyone offer light?

        1. Me too – strange, isn’t it, that the only questions about it have come from the chaps – I’m really not sexist!! :smile:

  13. Can’t get to grips with this setter at all, any chance of the rest of the clues so I can perhaps learn?

    1. Thx for that, I have now completed it with huge amounts of help and a feeling that unaided I would have never ever have got 14a, 21a, 24a (never heard of this dish), 25a, 26a, 5d, 6d and 20d.
      Todays was so far out of my range, it could have been set by a Martian!!

      1. Hi Barrie its great to see you back after such a long time, I wont be here myself for the next ten days or so but just had to say Hi! :-)

  14. Gosh, that was a work out and a half!! The quickie wasn’t all that simple either…………………Thanks Ray T and BD, off to cast a beady over the toughie, surely can’t be harder than the cryptic……..and don’t call me shirley!

      1. Thanks a million Dave! I must have had too much Chardonnay last eve, my brain is addled to say the least

          1. Thanks Matt – that’s what Gnomey said above. If that’s the case, I don’t think it’s a great clue. I was looking for something more – it appears in vain.

  15. Having discussed the day with the butler and checked the gardener was cleaning the swimming pool, I finished today’s easy puzzle in ** minutes. My brilliance is exceeded only by my modesty…

    1. Very funny … there have been a few postings not unlike that over the couple of years I’ve been using this site.

  16. A great puzzle from RayT!
    As others I’m not keen on 6d but the rest were very good!
    Favourite must be 7d.
    Thanks RayT and BD.

  17. What a work out today. I toiled with the Quickie and sweated for a long time over this one. I eventually put in the girl’s name as the only possible solution but had to come here to find out why. Now I kick myself. Brilliant! 5 stars for 6d.

  18. Wow! What a lot of reactions today.
    Last clues to be solved 19a and 19d. I found it generally quite difficult. 24a I had never heard of!
    I don’t get much fun out of it if it’s too difficult!

    1. Keep going, I thought the same about a puzzle last week that I had trouble with, but today was ok. They only seen fun when they’re solvable :-)

  19. Thoroughly enjoyed this today! Quite difficult but got the old grey matter working – we liked 19d!

  20. A proper workout for the grey matter today that’s for sure. 6d was a belter of a clue and last in for me though it clicked as soon as I had 9 which was my penultimate entry. I found this grid very “corner-y” (is that a valid phrase on here?) with bottom R and top L the easier ones. And a nod to the compiler for 26a, a four part charade, great stuff! Thanks to him (her?) and to BD.

  21. Having done Mon to Weds this week, I was a little more optimistic this Thurs, but was beaten by 24a and 25a. Liked 2d and 14a. 6d is clever once you have worked out why that is the answer, but the construction is a bit too obscure for me. Thanks to BD and Ray T.

  22. Tough going for me. Only got four on initial read through and sweated thereafter. Some very nice ones, 7d and 19d particularly. But I needed your help and am a little surprised (and perhaps a touch disheartened) by the 2* rating. This week has been relatively straightforward thus far I think this was a 4* for me – :/

  23. Evening all.

    Thanks to BD for the analysis and to all who took the time to comment. I’m glad that most of you enjoyed it.

    Also, welcome back Barrie, and greetings from my planet!


    1. Thanks for the fun puzzle Ray, would you possibly put us out of various miseries regarding trailing plants at 6d? I still only see the ‘Pearl and Dean’ trailer interpretation.

      1. Certainly. You were quite right that it was simply a reference to the film being preceded by the trailer!

        Occam’s razor…


        1. Thanks Ray – I was obviously looking for something more, and a trailing Clematis by the name of Rebecca seemed to satisfy my tortured mind!

    2. Thank you for an excellent puzzle, and for stopping by to say hello.

      Favourite clue was probably 7d.


  24. I always seem to struggle with a RayT and this one was no exception. Didn’t like 6d & ran out of time on 7d and 24a.Well into the 4 star difficulty bracket for me, somewhat less for enjoyment – a bit like Japanese food. Thanks anyway.

  25. This was a lot tougher than the usual Thursday offering from Ray T. Failed on 6d! But, I do like his puzzles!

    “Quick” Crossword is a bit of a misnomer on Thursdays – took me ages! But yet another excellent pun!

    BD. It would be interesting to see your Difficulty/Entertainment ratings for assembling flatpack furniture!

  26. I understand the reasoning behind every clue in this puzzle except 6d which completely floored me. I guessed the answer because of the ‘hitch vehicle’ bit (being the whole word), but I still don’t understand how ‘following trailer’ adds anything. Please help this lamebrain.

    1. Hi jaehancock
      Have a look at post #25 above from the setter and the replies to it. I can’t explain it any better – not my favourite clue either!

      1. Thank you Pommers. Your pointer has given me a little more insight into how the clue was set, but I’m still a little in the dark. Maybe I’m just thick, but I still don’t understand.

        1. You and me both!
          I think it’s supposed to be quite simple but comes out a bit mind-bending! ‘Hitch vehicle’ is supposed to represent a movie and that would be shown ‘after its trailer’ – OK but how the hell you’re supposed to guess Rebecca from that I haven’t a clue! Also who knows that Alfred Hitchcock was known as “Hitch”?
          Personally I thought this clue a poor one and it let the whole puzzle down. The rest was great.

          1. P.S. ‘VERTIGO’ (1958) would fit this clue as well so you have to have a checking letter to know which it is! Unfair IMHO!

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