DT 26585 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26585

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26585

Hints and tips by Falcon

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

We have been served up a very solid offering today by Jay. Personally, I found it to be a bit more difficult than his typical fare. Nevertheless, I solving it was a thoroughly enjoyable exercise – and I toyed with the idea of giving it another star in that category.

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.


7a & 11a Developing metal toys, he makes a pile (7,4)
{STATELY HOME} – a massive or imposing building (a meaning for pile that is new to me, but one which I did find in both British and American dictionaries) is an anagram (developing) of METAL TOYS HE.

8a Panama protects a little place for living (7)
{HABITAT} – the natural home of an animal or plant is a charade of A plus a synonym for little contained in the sort of Panama that might protect your head from the sun.

10a Where people subject to cuts might be singing (6-4)
{BARBER-SHOP} – you would need to remove your Panama to get a cut at this business establishment which is also a type of singing in which four persons (almost always men) sing in close harmony without musical accompaniment.

11a See 7 across

12a Argument concerning internal affairs (8)
{DOMESTIC} – a household row and the type of call which, as I understand, is much dreaded by police officers.

14a Universal foundation (excludes East Timor initially) (6)
{COSMIC} – this foundation, applied by ladies when they ‘put their face on’, produces a synonym for universal when the initial letters of E(ast) T(imor) are removed.

15a We compile no rubbish for coppers (11)
{POLICEWOMEN} — these female police officers are created from an anagram (rubbish) of WE COMPILE NO.

19a Back in a tick (6)
{SECOND} – to back or support (e.g., a motion or a duellist) may also be a short period of time.

20a I live on the left of family’s hearth (8)
{FIRESIDE} – another term for hearth is formed by placing a charade of I plus a synonym for live or dwell after (on) the first (leftmost) letter of F(amily).

22a Country post in which one gets demoted (4)
{MALI} – a republic in East Africa is formed by moving the I from the third position to the fourth position in the kind of post that would normally be delivered to my door (but currently is not due to a labour dispute).

23a Sign on new nursery (10)
{GREENHOUSE} – a glass building in which plants that need protection from cold weather are grown could be constructed by adding a twelfth division of the celestial sphere to an adjective meaning young, inexperienced or easily fooled.

25a Nice one! Clever but weird (7)
{UNCANNY} – the word for one in Nice is followed by an adjective meaning wise or shrewd to produce a synonym for weird, strange or mysterious.

26a Encouraged, kicked around ideas at last (7)
{BOOSTED} – start with a synonym for kicked and then insert into it the last letter of (idea)S to get a word meaning raised or encouraged.


1d A bit more than old spirit (7)
{ETHANOL} – this spirit (which one may either drink or use to fuel one’s automobile) is hidden (a bit) in morE THAN OLd.

2d Small boat’s bit at the end (4)
{STUB} – a short piece of something that remains when the rest of it has been used up is a charade of S(mall) plus a slow and often clumsy boat.

3d Drink from Irish county town, originally (6)
{CLARET} – the recipe for making this French red wine calls for us to start with a county found on the west coast of Ireland to which we must add the first (original) letter of T(own).

4d Look endlessly before cooking a chop — or soup (8)
{GAZPACHO} – to create this spicy Spanish vegetable soup (which is customarily served cold), we trim the final E from a word meaning to stare fixedly, usually for a long time and then append an anagram (cooking) of A CHOP.

5d One trained to assist hero in flight? (3,7)
{AIR HOSTESS} – according to a 1967 memoir, this member of the aircraft cabin crew might make the tempting offer of “Coffee, Tea or Me?” However, in today’s puzzle, she is merely an anagram (in flight) of ASSIST HERO. – This clue would seem to be a semi-all-in-one cryptic definition, and one might conceivably argue that the anagram indicator is “trained” rather than “in flight” – although I favour the latter.

6d Person who serves the legal profession gained in hearing (7)
{BARMAID} – this person, who may very well serve more than barristers and the like, is a charade of a term for the legal profession plus a word that sounds like (in hearing) a synonym for gained.

9d Peanuts may be yellow and provide nourishment (11)
{CHICKENFEED} – an insignificant or paltry (or, perhaps, poultry?) amount is a word sum of an adjective meaning cowardly and a verb meaning to provide nourishment.

13d Green energy firm showing sound reasoning (10)
{ECOLOGICAL} – an adjective meaning beneficial to the natural environment is also a charade of E(nergy) plus an abbreviation for a business enterprise plus an adjective denoting that an argument or position has been correctly reasoned or thought out .

16d Poor Indian chap accommodating one (8)
{INDIGENT} – a word meaning very poor or needy is formed from the International Vehicle Registration code for India and a synonym for chap or fellow between which is inserted the Roman numeral for one.

17d Master, hemmed in by controls, stays on (7)
{REMAINS} – introduce one holding a graduate degree in Arts into the type of controls used to guide a horse and the result is a verb signifying ‘stays in the same place’.

18d Journey viewing goodbyes as very regular (7)
{ODYSSEY} – the prototype for this type of long and adventurous series of wanderings was undertaken by Ulysses on his ten years’ journey home to Ithica after the fall of Troy. We may view the solution by extracting the even (regular) letters from (g)O(o)D(b)Y(e)S  (a)S  (v)E(r)Y.

21d Matrons dashing around with no time for redemption (6)
{RANSOM} – The solution is a word that one would likely be more apt to think of as meaning money demanded in return for the release of a kidnapped person or for the return of property. However, it seems that the word also has the religious connotation of atonement or redemption (new to me). The wordplay is an anagram (dashing around) of MA(t)RONS with T(ime) removed.

24d Oven ring with a split cover (4)
{OAST} – this oven or kiln for drying hops is a charade of a letter that resembles a ring plus A plus the first and last (covering) letters of S(pli)T.

There are many fine clues in today’s puzzle making it difficult to single out a favourite. However, I think I will go with 5d.

The Quick crossword pun: {Lauren} + {hoarder} = (law and order}

65 comments on “DT 26585

    1. I was wondering about subscribing, and not buy the paper, but there always seems to be problems on this site.

      1. To be fair it has been fine since I subscribed last year until about a week ago (with some smaller glitches occurring a little before). It has only been the last week and in particular the last 3 days where I have started to gnash the teeth.

  1. If the DT website were only down it would less frustrating. When it is up, it is displaying all sorts of annoying quirks such as refusing “Submit”, “Save” and “Exit” requests and therefore losing work done. It’s been like this for a few days now. Oh well, perhaps I’ll play with the Grauniad.

  2. I managed to print this off, but not get back on to submit. Thanks to Jay for a stiffer challenge, and to Falcon for the review (and for pointing out that I had the wrong country for 22a – I thought at the time that Bail was a rather tenuous synonym for Post!).

  3. I was kindly sent a copy but then managed to get online (but not submit!). Certainly a hard puzzle to get into but as ever with Jay, a few checking letters help get you thinking the right way and eventually I solved this quite quickly (whatever Telegraph Puzzles eventually says!). 13d and 12a were favourites in the usual high quality crossword. Thanks to Jay and to Falcon for the review.

  4. Usual enjoyable stuff from Jay – perhaps a bit tougher than normal. I managed to print this off this morning, but I guess I will be posting yet another awful time, seems that the site has died again.

    1. I saved, went out and came in again to submit and I have joined the legion of cheats in solving just under 2 minutes. Yay for me!!

    2. I’m now having the same problem with the Toughie – been trying for nearly an hour to submit! They’ve been mailed, but no reply!!

        1. I’ve just managed to submit! It must be the stroppy telephone call 5 minutes ago that did it!

  5. Very enjoyable but tough going until some checking letters were in. I do enjoy the slightly tougher puzzles as I get a greater satisfaction from solving them. 25a was my favourite, but honourable mentions for many others. I don’t have an issue with the website since I do it the old fashioned way with newspaper and pen! Many thanks to Jay, and to Falcon.

  6. I got online!!! Found some clues quite tricky and needed your blog to understand why the word was correct!! cannot submit it though!! I have sent how many emails but nothing has improved :( Thanks to the setter and Falcon!

    1. Message from the Telegraph:
      Thank you for contacting the Telegraph Media Group
      I can confirm that there are currently issues with the Telegraph Puzzles service and this is causing the site to at times run very slow/not allow login.
      We are doing our utmost to have this completed and back to normal as soon as possible so as to cause the least disruption.
      The site is currently up and running however this has been intermittent
      I do apologise for the inconvenience caused
      Yours Sincerely, //

      Hopefully a new server is on its way!

      1. I submitted this one shortly after midnight – no problems. Just did the Toughie, and 30 mins later still can’t submit.

        I emailed them yesterday and got a similar response to that one.

        1. Do you mean the DT paper or the crossword? If it’s in the crossword I’ve missed it and, although I read the paper, I don’t read every single bit in it.

  7. I’m a paper and pen girl too….sooo much more reliable; as long as the paperboy does his job. A lot of head scratching this morning but eventually only needed hints on 14a and 25a and the explanation of the “sign” on 23 was helpful. My favourite today was 9d

  8. YOu can’t beat the paper – puzzle fun and more. I found this quite difficult for a Jay but got there in the end. Thanks to Jay and Falcon.

    The Toughie is very tough today (well I think so) – I still have 2 to get. Give it a go and see if you do better than me.

  9. Pen and paper for me too (good excuse to get a bit of exercise and toddle down to the paper shop). Very enjoyable today with not too many problems. 22A, 4D,18D very enjoyable and my favourite today was 25A.

    Jezza, Bali??? Shame on you.

  10. I do it on paper with a pen too. I found this much trickier than is usual for a Wednesday but, at the time, put it down to feeling a bit knackered – middle of night phone call from my Mum – to say that she’d lost her phone ………… ??! Oh dear! :sad: Anyway, glad to find that others thought it was a bit more difficult and that it’s not just me! Finally finished it and only needed the hints to explain a couple – 23 and 25a. Lots of clues that I really liked – 7/11, 12, 19 and 25a and 4, 9 and 13d. Thanks to Jay and Falcon.
    Absolutely piddling it down in Oxford – the kind of day when a dog walk seems like a less than good idea – should have got a goldfish instead!!

  11. I’m a paperboy, so no problems getting the puzzle. However, I did have problems solving it – a lot more difficult than usual on Wednesday. Lots of excellent clues – especially 5d & 9d.

    PS! Falcon, I think the solution to 15a should be plural. Thanks for explaining 23a!

      1. Oops! That was certainly a bit of carelessness on my part. Thanks to Franco for detecting the error and to Big Dave for fixing it.

  12. Bit tricky this one, needed lots of help from the blog. I agree best clue is 5d but really didn’t like 23a at all, just didn’t work for me.
    Learned a new word today tho, 16d, never come across that before. Bit too difficult for me to really enjoy but thx to all concerned.

  13. I stopped buying the paper (apart from Saturday) when the DT sacked half of its journalists including the brilliant Craig Brown & Sam Leith making Bryony Gordon the hardest working contributor on the paper!
    The final straw was when the price rose to a £1 – I wish I could get that sort of price increase through with my customers….also as a Yorkshireman I object to paying something like £260 a year for the crosswords.
    Thanks to Cryptic Sue I subscribed to the online version & have never looked back – plus I can catch up on all the news at the same time.

    1. Spindrift,
      You can still get a dose of Craig Brown in Private Eye (thankfully)…

    2. Hi Spindrift – It’s 25% cheaper if you get it every day and use their voucher system.

    3. I can get the paper for 40p which helps. I subscribed to the online version over Christmas to get the special puzzles and use it for the Sunday puzzles mainly, or when I am at home and can’t be bothered to go out for a paper.

  14. Not a very inspiring puzzle today but I did like 16d. All the rest were OK but no pennydrops. In 23, house, in this usage was a new one but I found it in my Chambers 1983 edition, no prob.

  15. Glad I wasn’t blogging today! Took me 6 attempts over about 40 minutes to get into the web site – I’d have been in a fair old panic by then and emailing all and sundry to scan the paper and email it to me!
    Anyway, apart from that a definately tougher than normal puzzle which I quite enjoyed. Agree about 5d being favourite.
    Thanks to Jay and Falcon

  16. Having been travelling for the last six weeks so no Telegraph, over four euros in Portugal so I am just getting back inti the swim of things. Thought yesterday tough but today I found pretty straight forward. 25A leaves me puzzled though. I solved this with the checking letters in place but where does the ‘un’ come from?
    I still rely on the paper each day, collected by me rain, hail or shine, with which I have a love hate relationship. The price is a complete rip off. The comments in the above blog are not and advert for the online version of the paper or the crossword site either. The main editor appears to have a low regard for crosswords generally, throwing them off the back page at the drop of a hat

    1. Falcon explains the UN in 25a – it’s one in the language they speak in Nice :)

  17. Un comes directly from the clue, Nice refers to the city, not to ‘very pleasant, so Nice one is Un (French for one)

  18. I always print the puzzles out from the website and that seems to be working OK – it is for me, anyway. Wish I could say the same for this site… having sussed out the other day that I was seeing a different header from everyone else, I now don’t have one at all – the sites lost all formatting and everything’s in Times New Roman!! But at least I can still read it.
    Today’s puzzle was definitely tough – just wasn’t on Jay’s wavelength at all and had to resort to the hints to get started. Got there in the end. What a contrast to Monday! If they keep getting harder at this rate, Friday’s is going to be impossible!! :-) Thanks to Jay, and to Falcon for the much-needed hints.

  19. I also print the puzzle from the website. A5 size so I get two puzzles on a page. I can’t do the puzzle on screen. Am I a wierdo?

    1. Hi David
      No, not a weirdo! I also don’t like solving on screen. Never thought of printing A5 – that would save paper and ink. Thanks for the idea!

      1. Hi Pommers
        Turn off headers and footers and shrink to 80% in print preview (windows) seems to max the size to squeeze on half a sheet

    2. My aged eyes won’t manage A5 but I use all the printed one side junk mail I get, which saves paper if not ink!

      PS found this too tough for pleasure. Had to resort to hints (thanks Falcon) for the last 5 clues. The rest took much scanning of chambers dictionary and xword dictionary.

  20. Yep, another hard one, also not inspiring or satisfying roll on next Monday? Thanks to Jay and Falcon

  21. When I started, too thought that this was going to be a tougher than normal Jay crossword. However, as is often the case with his crosswords, after a sluggish start on the across clues, I was able to get plenty of the down clues and came in pretty close on a normal time for a Jay crossword. One of these days, he is going to fox us completely by setting the down clues first!

    All very enjoyable so many thanks to Jay for the crossword and to Falcon for the review.

  22. Site is working now, so I recommend nipping on quickly.

    I found this a challenging but very satisfying solve.

  23. I must admit that I found this offering to be reasonable tough. However, got there in the end. Some very good clues.
    Just one small query – why is the name of the compiler shown in the toughie, and not in the back page.
    Thanks to Falcon and setter.

    1. I don’t think anyone really knows about the names. The question’s been asked before and the answer usually is that the DT has always been anonymous. Why they chose to break that tradition and name the Toughie setter when it started is also a mystery – at least to me!

      1. I think that the DT makes a big deal of the Toughie being “the most difficult” crossword in newspapers. Mostly, of course, it isn’t, but perhaps having a mysterious pseudonym adds to the intended air of mystique.

        1. Agreed – I solve in the order of DT, Toughie and Times and on balance the difficulty level is in that ascending order if my solving times are anything to go by. The Saturday Times can often be the hardest (but most rewarding) puzzle of the week for me.

  24. 4d was my favourite … but only because I make a mean cucumber, mint and chilli one.

    1. Absolutely LOVE a great 4d but to enjoy it at its best it HAS to be properly hot weather and eating outside, preferably with lots of really cold white wine, surrounded by a beautiful garden, or patio, and knowing that there will be a fantastic barbecue to follow. :grin:

  25. Thanks to Falcon & Jay. I only got six clues initially. Thanks to Falcon for putting me out of my misery with some great hints :-)
    I just couldn’t get on the right wavelength today.
    Favourites were 10 & 20 across, probably as I managed to solve them :-)

  26. A rather harder puzzle today – many thanks Jay.
    My favourites : 8a, 14a, 26a, 2d, 4d, 9d, 18d &24d.
    Nice posting Falcon.

  27. Nothing personal, but I have decided I definitely don’t like Jay – well, his crosswords, anyway! Have sneaked lots of help from the hints and STILL can’t get going – UUUrrrggghh! On another topic, after reading the above, am glad I still have a daily paper delivered – much prefer paper and pen!

      1. The best writing implement for a crossword, in my opinion anyway, is one of the great “ruboutable” (oh dear – sorry – a terrible non-word but can’t think of any other way to describe it) biros. They come with a rubber on the other end and seem to last for a very long time (although I imagine how long depends on how many crosswords you do every day!!) :smile:

  28. PS Where the hell is Mary today? I know that she is off to France to do a duty visit to elderly mother-in-law but I thought that she said she was going on Friday – it can’t take anyone THAT long to pack ……

    1. Hi Kath, no other hectic stuff going on at the moment too :-) I did the crossword quite early, having managed to get on the site but didn’t find time to come back here! just to add my very humble opinion, I like to print the crossword off and do it in whatever colour pen comes to hand, if I’m not sure of an answer I write it in very lightly, needless to say there are quite a few ‘writeovers’!!! Packing normaly takes me 5 mins, collecting the stuff before hand can take me forever! :-) see you later, if I can ever get into ‘clued up’ today, at the moment I cannot get into it (again) PS I know its not funny but I also have experienced my mother calling me to say shes lost her phone!!! what can we do but :-)

  29. I agree with those who thought that this was more difficult than the usual back-pager. It was none the worse for that. The clueing was excellent, as always on Wednesdays, and I enjoyed this puzzle a lot.

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