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DT 26604

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26604

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment **

I had no particular favourites in this very ordinary back-page puzzle.

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    How one might describe daughter exciting males? (6)
{DAMSEL} – to get this young girl follow D(aughter) with an anagram (exciting) of MALES

5a    Distant commander with a touch of levity? That’s ridiculous (8)
{FARCICAL} – a charade of distant (3), a Commander-in-Chief, A (from the clue) and L (touch of Levity) gives a word meaning ridiculous

9a    Reduce in importance a neat duvet filler’s principle? (3,4,2,4)
{CUT DOWN TO SIZE} – a phrase meaning to reduce in importance could be what is done when filling a duvet

10a    Old man taking in a number with sheep in wide survey (8)
{PANORAMA} – put the old man (2) around (taking in) A, a two-letter abbreviation for number and a male sheep to get a wide survey or view

11a    A vote celebrity reversed for one making cuts (6)
{AXEMAN} – start with A from the clue, add the mark used on a voting paper and finish with a celebrity reversed – the result is someone who cuts – no friend of Anne Boleyn or Catherine Howard!

12a    Mean French product in the UK? (6)
{IMPORT} – a double definition – meaning and a foreign product used in the UK

14a    Cadet due to get new order instructed (8)
{EDUCATED} – an anagram (to get new order) of CADET DUE gives a word meaning instructed or taught

16a    Station familiar to Aussies? (8)
{VICTORIA} – a London station and an Australian state

19a    Bashful note about old wolfish type (6)
{COYOTE} – put an adjective meaning bashful and the seventh note of the scale in sol-fa notation around O(ld) to get a wily prairie wolf

21a    Sing in picturesque alleyway (6)
{SQUEAL} – a word meaning to sing or inform is hidden inside the last two words of the clue

23a    Secure form of transport around centre of Paris for a crawler? (4,4)
{LAND CRAB} – a word meaning to secure, as in to secure a deal, is followed by a form of private hire transport around the middle letter of PaRis to get a crawling crustacean

25a    Green divorcee consumed by exotic recipe in end (13)
{INEXPERIENCED} – an adjective meaning green or untrained is created by putting a divorcee or former partner inside an anagram (exotic) of RECIPE IN END

26a    Aim held by figure leading outsiders from crazy political faction (8)
{TENDENCY} – put an aim or object inside a figure or number and the outside letters of CrazY to get a political faction, like the one based around the Militant newspaper

27a    Tidy part of scene at engagement (6)
{NEATEN} – a verb meaning to tidy is hidden inside the last three words of the clue


2d    Welcome a learner around cricket club with purpose (7)
{ACCLAIM} – an enthusiastic welcome is created by putting A L(earner) around the abbreviation of a Cricket Club and adding a purpose or intention

3d    Catchers of fish brought up to avoid river disagreement (3-2)
{SET-TO} – reverse (brought up, as this is a down clue) some aquatic fish-eating carnivores and then drop (avoid) the R(iver) to get a disagreement

4d    Mind careless talk of hero overlooking hotel (4,5)
{LOOK AFTER} – a phrasal verb meaning to mind or care for is an anagram (careless) of TALK OF (H)ERO wiythout (overlooking) the H(otel)

5d    Supporter with, we hear, reasonable display of enthusiasm (7)
{FANFARE} – a charade of a supporter, of a football team maybe, and a word that sounds like (we hear) a synonym of reasonable gives a display of enthusiasm, typically to introduce something or someone important

ARVE Error: need id and provider

6d    Wine and port a judge knocked back (5)
{RIOJA} – to get this Spanish wine, no doubt one of Pommers’ favourites, there is no need to squash grapes, just start with a Brazilian port and then reverse (knocked back) A (from the clue) and J(udge)

7d    It comes first in time shown by railway journey plan (9)
{ITINERARY} – a charade, starting with IT and following with IN, a time and the abbreviation for R(ailwa)Y, gives a journey plan

8d    Mean woman in maturity (7)
{AVERAGE} – the mean or mid-point is derived by putting a woman’s name inside maturity or elderliness

13d    Old conservationists, muscular types with director, showing an improvement? (2,3,4)
{ON THE MEND} – time for another charade! – O(ld), the abbreviation for the organisation responsible for conservation of historical buildings, muscular types and D(irector) combine to give a word meaning showing an improvement

15d    Peacekeepers beginning to concentrate on church service? There’s indifference (9)
{UNCONCERN} – this charade joins together the world’s peacekeepers, the first letter of (beginning to) Concentrate, ON from the clue, the Church of England, and the senior military service to get a word meaning indifference

17d    Probe elected part of church reportedly (7)
{INQUIRE} – to get a verb meaning to probe start with a word meaning elected (2) and follow it with a word that sounds like (reportedly) the part of a large church between the high altar and the nave

18d    Dislike source of rocking in galley at sea (7)
{ALLERGY} – a dislike or aversion is created by putting the initial letter (source) of Rocking inside an anagram (at sea) of GALLEY

20d    Pair almost (7)
{TWADDLE} – most of (almost) the number in a pair is followed by a verb meaning to become confused to give boring talk or drivel

22d    Flower raised in row with no end of care (5)
{LUPIN} – to get this flower put a word meaning raised (2) inside a row or series without the final letter (end) of carE

24d    Couple of firms associated with a drink (5)
{COCOA} – he abbreviation for a firm is repeated and followed by A to get a bedtime drink.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

Come back Ray T!

The Quick crossword pun: {moos} + {tsar} + {cur} = {moussaka}

32 comments on “DT 26604

  1. Fairly enjoyable with a few clues I enjoyed (10A, 16A, 19A, 25A, 13D, 15D and 20D) my favourite of the day was 5A.

  2. Thanks to setter and to BD for a very reasonable crossword and review, I actually found the toughie slightly easier.

  3. Though there were no stand-out amusing or penny-drop moments, I still quite enjoyed this outing. Might just shade 3* for Enjoyment, but no real argument with BD’s assessment. Ta to him and Mr(s) X.

  4. I quite enjoyed this one – got in a bit of a muddle trying to justify 26a and screwed up the bottom right hand corner for a while by making 20d “prattle” even though I knew that, apart from the first two letters being the “pair” the rest of my answer was, somehow, not quite right!! Anyway, sorted that out eventually and finished in normal kind of time for me. I liked 5, 16 and 19a and 6 and 13d. Thanks to the setter and Big Dave.

  5. Don’t want to use the S-word again, but it really was. I did like 19a. Thanks to the Thursday Mysteron and BD.

    The Toughie is excellent today – it won’t take you long but is very good. If you’ve finished that and are interested in that event takiing place on the Kent coast, the Guardian and Indy both have relevant themes.

  6. I thought that this was pretty decent, although pretty straightforward (*ducks*).

    A pangram too.

    Thanks to the setter and BD.

  7. Many thanks to the Setter for this morning’s entertainment and to BD for the review. 26a was my favourite clue.

  8. Once I had got shy out of my head for 19a it fell in place quickly. Quite good but not my fave one of the week.

    1. Ah. Shy was an issue for me as well. I was most upset when I had the ‘c’ in from 15d…

  9. This didnt take too long in the grand scheme of things but I quite enjoyed it as well. 1a was favourite. Thanks to the setter and to BD

  10. Thanks to Big Dave & the setter. I think I managed this ok without the hints, probably because it only had 2 star difficulty :-)
    I liked 5a, 7,13, 15 d, the answers were all made up of little bits. Favourite was 9a. Off to Sandwich tomorrow to watch the golf.

  11. I thought it was quite nice. Yes, probably slightly on the easier side, but not ridiculously so.

    I enjoyed it, but looking back through the clues for a favourite, not really many special ones. I’ll have 9a as a favourite, with a nod towards BD commenting that you probably don’t cut down to make a duvet.

    Thanks to the Setter and to BD for the review.


  12. Late in today, been enjoying the sunshine while it’s here :-) , must be me because I’m finding them all a little tricky this week!

    1. Me too! Tougher for me than our helpers would suggest. But once I’d had help for the last few, I wondered why I needed it so perhaps it really is just us. Thanks BD

    2. I agree and it is a bit discouraging to finish a tricky puzzle only to find it dismissed as a 2 star!

  13. I enjoyed this one today, completed it sitting on the beach at Aberystwyth, without hints or electronic aids. I’m really chuffed!

  14. Oh dear, I think I’m bogeyman this week – hated this! and haven’t really enjoyed one since the week-end. Maybe my brain is just not in gear? I just don’t like this modern trend the compilers have of using single letters – i.e. “o” means old – since when? Print off some oldies from the 80’s and try those – they may seem very easy but they read better and make much more sense. I did like 9a and 25a though. Moan over.

  15. I enjoyed this one. Popped along nicely; ground to a halt at golf time. 10 points out 20 back (very odd round!) and forced the last few answers in when I got home….and just enjoyed the video clip of F?n?a?e for the Common Man; thanks BD

  16. What day is it? I usually struggle on Thursdays but had no problems with this one so I’m confused!

    1. I think it’s Thursday ….but I may be wrong. I think that the usual Thursday compiler, RayT, has gone AWOL. Ask the DT Crossword editor – Why?

    2. Nora!. It is Thursday. Calm down!. All of the setters here can provide good quality crosswords of varying difficulty. It is the job of the Crossword Editor to select them for publication at the relevant time. Personally I thought that this was a good one for everyone so no need to be confused. Slightly easier than some Thursday setters but it still made me think a bit.
      What I am trying to say is that it is useful to solve the puzzle on face value without guessing the setter – it sometimes clears the mind and improves ones solving skills – I had it on the Toughie today and it was quite refreshing!

      1. I was the same with the MynoT Toughie, although the setter’s identity became obvious quickly!

      2. I don’t try to guess the setter, but almost always find Thursday’s puzzle the most difficult of the week. Having had an easy Thursday means that it will take a few days to regain my equilibrium and know what day it is when I wake in the mornings. Crossword-lag, I think it’s called.

    3. A very quick glance at the quickie clues on Thursdays usually makes it clear whether or not it is a RayT. His are almost always one word clues.

      1. RayT Quickie: Always one word clues and always one word answers! (So I have been told)

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