DT 26666 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

DT 26666

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26666

A full review by crypticsue

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

This week Cephas presented us with one of those seems-tricky-while-solving/took-the-same-time-as usual puzzles , but that’s one of the joys of cryptic solving, one never knows how each puzzle will work out.  Thanks to Cephas once again.   

For me, one of the highlights of a Cephas puzzle is the variety of words he uses as anagram indicators.   A description of my favourites this time would be a  curious, comic extravaganza of disrupted madness!

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           What birds do to cause depression? (4,4)
CAST DOWN  – an expression meaning to depress mentally could also describe what birds do when they moult, down being their soft feathers.

5a           Music or a good book? (6)
GOSPEL  -a very nice double definition –  (a) ardently religious music developed from black American spiritual music.  (b)  A narrative of the life of Christ, especially one included in that good book, the New Testament.

9a           Comic actors start to interpret cubic puzzle (8)
ACROSTIC  – A puzzle where the first or last letters of each line spell a word or sentence is an anagram (comic) of ACTORS followed by I and C (the ‘start’ of interpret and cubic).

10a         Pious Oriental quintet seen on day out (6)
DEVOUT –    Put E (eastern or oriental) and V (the Roman numeral V represents a five or a quintet)  after (on) D (day)  and before OUT (from the clue).

11a         Make announcement and dry up (4,3)
GIVE OUT  – Another double definition:  to make an announcement or to expire or run out.

12a         One flying from Granada via Torremolinos (7)
AVIATOR –   A pilot who flies an aircraft is hidden in GranadA VIA TOR remolinos.

13a         Groundbreaker needs direction — street disrupted (11)
TRENDSETTER – Someone who helps to give a new direction, especially in fashion, is a charade of TREND (direction, general tendency) and an anagram (disrupted) of STREET.

16a         Get agitated and drop litter (4,7)
HAVE KITTENS –    Metaphorically to  get very angry  and fly into a rage;    literally to give birth to a litter of baby cats.

21a         Share a CV — pure madness! (5,2)
CARVE UP –   An anagram (madness) of A CV PURE produces an expression meaning to divide up or share, especially ill-gotten gains.

22a         Fifties pop coming from the French boat first (7)
SKIFFLE  –   A strongly accented form of music played in the 1950s, played on guitars, drums and unconventional instruments such as washboards, is a charade of a SKIFF (a small light boat) followed by LE (the in French).    Bet I wasn’t the only one singing old Lonnie Donegan songs as they went about their day!!

23a         Protection for the viewer (6)
EYELID  –   A cryptic definition of the moveable skin that covers your eye or ‘viewer’.

24a         Bit of fish found in man’s pouch (8)
CODPIECE  –  A pouch worn in the front of tight breeches if split 3, 5 would indeed be a COD PIECE, or bit of fish.  And this is one I definitely won’t be illustrating!

25a         In decline, Bob gives way to George, initially, in shelter (6)
REFUGE  –  A shelter from danger or trouble is a REFUGE  –   Remove the S (an abbreviation for a Shilling, which in my youth was known as a Bob) from REFUSE (decline to accept) and replace it with G (gives way to George initially).

26a         Drew from the decks (8)
SKETCHED  –  An anagram (from) THE DECKS produces the past participle of a verb meaning to make a rough outline drawing.


1d           Accusation of assault? (6)
CHARGE –   Another double definition – to make an accusation  or to attack or assault.

2d           Tried hard to get right within range (6)
STROVE –  Another way of saying tried hard is obtained by inserting R (right) into STOVE  (a range cooker such as an AGA is a type of stove).

3d           Detective’s wrong to misrepresent (7)
DISTORT  – A verb meaning to misrepresent is a charade of DIS (Detective Inspector’s)  and TORT (a  legal term for a wrong or injury)

4d           Flying visit with topless extravaganza (7,4)
WHISTLE STOP –  A rapid tour involving many quick visits to a lot of places in a relatively short period of time, quite often by a politician at a time of an election,  is an anagram (extravaganza) of WITH TOPLESS.

6d           Past confused me, I note (3-4)
ONE-TIME  An adjective meaning past or former is an anagram (confused) of ME I NOTE.

7d           Gland that’s prone to lose resistance (8)
PROSTATE –  My late mother-in-law,  who  was a great one for malapropisms, always referred to this gland as the prostrate, which as everyone knows actually means prone or lying with one’s face on the ground.   Removing the R (lose resistance, R being the symbol for electrical resistance) soon gets us the correct part of the male body.

8d           Scholarly author’s last to be taken in by false reality (8)
LITERARY  – an adjective meaning scholarly, or knowledgeable about literature  –   an anagram (false) of REALITY with R (author’s last) taken in or inserted.

12d         Curious odd bore asks for personal A-Z (7,4)
ADDRESS BOOK  –  Another lovely anagram indicator curious­  tells you that an anagram of ODD BORE ASKS will give you somewhere you keep the details of your personal contacts.

 14d         Battered shell-like car Keith crashed (5,3)
THICK EAR –  Shell-like is a slang  term for someone’s ear  and a child might often be threatened with a battering or  blow to the ear, ie a THICK EAR, as a form of punishment.   It’s an anagram (crashed) of CAR KEITH.

15d         On part of tree on the other side (8)
OVERLEAF  –   Split 4, 4, OVER LEAF, on or above the leaf (part of a tree).   As an 8 letter word, it means on the other side of a page of a book.

17d         Retaining custody (7)
KEEPING – KEEPING has many definitions  and the clue gives two – retaining  or preserving something;  keeping in custody or care.

18d         Cut favourite little piece (7)
SNIPPET –  SNIP (cut) and PET(favourite) joined together make a SNIPPET ,a little piece or scrap.

19d         Australian gets flirty once more (6)
AFRESH  – An adjective meaning once more or anew is a charade of A (Australian) and FRESH (an informal term that I haven’t heard for many a long year in this connection where it means amorously over free)

20d         Saw be arrested (6)
BEHELD –  A rarely-used these days synonym for saw is a charade of BE (from the clue) and HELD (kept in a place of confinement).

I’ll be back next week  to see if the Mysteron has used any anagram indicators I haven’t seen before!

4 comments on “DT 26666

  1. I thought that this was bit harder than what we normally get from Cephas (perhaps because I solved it with one eye on the Rugby World Cup). I didn’t like 17d because the two definitions seem almost identical.
    Thanks to Cephas and to Crypticsue for the excellent write-up (although I might have found a more stimulating picture for 4d :D ).

    1. Should any clues with the word ‘topless’ come up in the near future, I will be sure to look for a picture of a gentleman who has forgotten his T shirt :D

  2. Enjoyed this one especially the anagram indicator at 4d thanks to Cephas for the entertaiment and to Crypticsue for the review.

  3. Hi Sue
    Thanks for a nice review of a nice puzzle. Had to read it to remind me of the puzzle – age and short term memory you know! Now, what was I saying?
    Oh yes, agree about the clever anagram indicators!
    Thanks to Cephas for the entertainment, I do like his puzzles.

Comments are closed.