DT 26674 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26674

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26674

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

We have an enjoyable but not too strenuous puzzle today from a mystery setter. Let us know how you got on with it.
If you’re still stuck on a clue after reading the hint you can reveal the answer by highlighting the space between the curly brackets.

Across Clues

1a  Perhaps a recital to be broadcast (7)
{ARTICLE} – an anagram (to be broadcast) of RECITAL gives us something of which “a” is an example (perhaps).

5a  Rodent in middle of the stream, swimming (7)
{HAMSTER} – this rodent comes from the middle letter of (t)H(e) followed by an anagram (swimming) of STREAM.

9a  Provide with witty remark after end of lecture (5)
{EQUIP} – a verb meaning to provide with is formed from a witty remark after the last letter of (lectur)E.

10a  Fully informed until race (2,2,5)
{UP TO SPEED} – a phrase meaning fully informed (after having been briefed, say) is a charade of a synonym for until and a verb meaning to race.

11a  Socially acceptable behaviour in conference (10)
{CONVENTION} – double definition.

12a  Artist left after nothing said (4)
{ORAL} – the definition here is said or spoken. The usual abbreviation for an artist who has been admitted to the Royal Academy is followed by L(eft) and all that goes after O (zero, nothing).

14a  Had the tenner changed immediately (5,3,4)
{THERE AND THEN} – a phrase meaning immediately can be formed from an anagram (changed) of HAD THE TENNER.

18a  A hardware shop should have them, the basic facts (4,3,5)
{NUTS AND BOLTS} – double definition – what may literally be bought in a hardware shop is a metaphor for the basic facts, with no frills or spin.

21a  Old oath used in England, oddly (4)
{EGAD} – a semi-all-in-one – this is a mild oath, much used in the past but not heard these days. Pick out the odd letters of England.

22a  Food store still delivers, we’re told (4-6)
{DEEP-FREEZE} – a place where food is kept is a charade of a synonym for still (in the description of a profound sleep, for example) and what sounds like (we’re told) a verb meaning delivers or releases.

25a  What can make car chap has to get round to? (9)
{AUTOMATON} – this is a machine which can make things in a predetermined and repetitive way. Start with a synonym for car and follow this with another word for chap containing TO.

26a  An endearingly attractive accent (5)
{ACUTE} – an indefinite article (clued by “an”) is followed by an adjective meaning endearingly attractive to make an accent used in French and other modern languages.

27a  Lose heart, as pride injured (7)
{DESPAIR} – an anagram (injured) of AS PRIDE.

28a  One demanding caution initially, at the front in tank (7)
{CISTERN} – I (one, in Roman numerals) is followed by an adjective meaning demanding or unbending. Then, all that is preceded (at the front) by the first letter (initially) of C(aution) to make a tank.

Down Clues

1d  Firm action (6)
{AGENCY} – double definition – a firm or company (typically one that brings two parties together, for example in the areas of recruitment or letting) and an action or intervention producing a particular effect.

2d  Absentee, not wholly faithful worker (6)
{TRUANT} – a semi-all-in-one clue – this absentee is an adjective meaning faithful without its final E (not wholly) followed by one of the usual Crosswordland workers.

3d  Policeman brains snake (10)
{COPPERHEAD} – a slang word for a policeman is followed by another word for brains (as in the phrase “use your ____”) to make a venomous snake, similar to the rattlesnake.

4d  Explode some powder up there (5)
{ERUPT} – a verb meaning to explode (like a volcano) is hidden (some) in the clue.

5d  A delicate matter in New Jersey, say? (3,6)
{HOT POTATO} – a tricky problem (delicate matter) that you really want to pass on quickly to somebody else is a synonym of new or fashionable followed by what a Jersey can be (not a cow or a sweater – this is normally followed by Royal).

6d  Fail to get a maiden (4)
{MISS} – double definition.

7d  People in authority admitting leading a form of government (8)
{THEARCHY} – a vague word for the nameless people in authority (who are to blame for everything that goes wrong) includes (admitting) an adjective meaning leading or principal to make a form of rule by divine beings (obviously this requires a lot of priests to “interpret” the godly laws and the first law that the gods reveal, naturally, is that the priests are to be obeyed in all matters).

8d  Fragrant old tree chopped up around noon (8)
{REDOLENT} – this adjective meaning fragrant or with a suggestion of is an anagram (chopped up) of OLD TREE with N(oon) inside.

13d  Leaders, real idiots in disarray (10)
{EDITORIALS} – these leaders appearing daily in the papers are an anagram (in disarray) of REAL IDIOTS. Nice surface and very appropriate during the party conference season.

15d  Dog inflamed crossword compiler (3,6)
{RED SETTER} – a type of dog is a charade of an adjective meaning inflamed or flushed and a crossword compiler.

16d  Popular batting order (2,6)
{IN DEMAND} – the definition here is popular. It’s a description of a team currently batting followed by a synonym of order or stipulation.

17d  Book about knight and time on one idyllic island? (8)
{ATLANTIS} – a book of maps contains the chess abbreviation for knight, T(ime) and I (one). The whole thing is a legendary island written about by Plato on which Francis Bacon later placed a utopian society.

19d  Study training scheme (6)
{PERUSE} – put together the abbreviation for gymnastic training and a scheme or devious plan to make a verb meaning to study or read carefully.

20d  Number crossing mouth of Red River (6)
{SEVERN} – put a single-digit number around (crossing) the first letter (mouth) of R(ed) to make a river that discharges into the Bristol Channel.

23d  Fear of God? (5)
{PANIC} – a frantic fear could also, cryptically, be an adjective relating to the Greek god of pastures and woods. The question mark indicates that the second definition is a cryptic invention rather than a real word.

24d  Novel set in Salem, Massachusetts (4)
{EMMA} – nothing to do with witch trials, this novel hidden (set) in the clue is by Jane Austen.

My favourite clues today are 21a, 2d and 13d. Let us know what floated your boat.

Today’s Quickie Pun: {GUESSED} + {LISZT} = {GUEST LIST}

41 comments on “DT 26674

  1. Fun puzzle today but no great problems. Nearly managed to create one or two though by misreading 1D as Film Action, and (for some inexplicable reason) thinking ‘End of lecture’ was L – must have been before the coffee kicked in.

  2. I was a bit slow to get going on this one but then did it without too much difficulty – can’t blame the slowness on lack of caffeine – have been drinking coffee since 7.00am! Nothing too difficult although for some reason 19d was the last one and took quite a while. I liked 5, 18, 21 and 22a and 3, 5, 13 and 15d. With thanks to the setter and to Gazza.
    Gazza – the hint for 26a says “an” followed by four letter word for attractive.

    1. Kath,
      26a is what I meant to write although I agree it’s a bit clumsy. You’re supposed to read it as : An indefinite article (clued by “an”) …

        1. No problem. I’ve edited it now to try to make it a bit clearer. I always have difficulty in writing hints for “a” and “an” without using the actual words.

  3. Not too difficult today but I enjoyed it. 19d was the last to go in for me too, the checking letters didn’t help much – a very clever clue I thought. I can’t make up my mind whether the definition “people in authority” is rather obscure for the relevant part of the answer (7d). Now that I understand the wordplay for 23d, it has to be my favourite. The Toughie is a breeze today as toughies go so well worth having a crack at it. Thanks to the setter and Gazza.

    1. I really liked 23d too – think I left it off my list. Might have a look at toughie later but grass to cut, dog to take for walk and possibly a bonfire first. Very quiet here today.

    1. Supposedly the update to the web site should be done by the 7th Oct.
      I have emailed you a copy.

  4. Enjoyably unstrenuous thank you Tuesday Mysteron. My favourite wa 21a – surely an expression that should be brought back into daily use? Thanks to Gazza for the review – lovely picture at 5a.

    The Toughie is equally unstrenous but has some fun moments so give it a go. If you want strenuous, I suggest the Guardian, Independent or FT.

      1. That’s twice this week we’ve had a photo of a snake. It’s bad enough having the words in the crosswords, without pictures too. It’s quite spoilt my day!

          1. I’ve tried very hard to get over it: stroked a harmless one at a ‘meet the nasties’ session at a zoo; spent 10 days working deep in the country in S Africa, home to the puff adder and cape cobra (the nearest town with any sort of hospital was 2 hours drive away, and these two kill much faster than that), but I just can’t overcome the phobia.

  5. Not desperately impressed by 25A but otherwise a nice gentle work out for the agin grey matter.

    Now then – it was my birthday yesterday and the present Mrs G. bought me an iPad. So – should I be tempted to do the DTel Crossword online? Views thoughts advice would be very welcome.

    1. The Telegraph Puzzles site uses Flash so is as much use as a chocolate teapot on the iPad as it does not run flash.

      However there is an app that enables you to download the backpage puzzles (but not, alas, the Toughie) here:


      You can also use the app to download the Independent cryptic.

      If you have a full DT subscription you can use the DT paper app to solve the DT crosswords (but not the Toughie) Mon – Fri, but not I believe at the weekends.

      There is another app that you can use to download the Guardian (including the Quiptic and Everyman) and Independent crosswords and the Globe and Mail (a daily cryptic set I believe by Roger Squires). Details are here:


    2. You should wait a few days to check that the DT on-line site is working properly as promised by the site manager. I anticipate much celebration on this site when it is finally fixed.

    3. Really couldn’t possibly comment on the pros and cons of iPads or the wisdom of attempting to do the crossword on line, given the current problems – could only comment on your use of “the present” Mrs G! Just reminds me of the wonderful (in my opinion anyway) Wogan who always referred to his wife as “the current Lady Wogan”!! :grin: Mornings have not been the same since he “retired” – nothing other than him could give me the giggles at 7.30am!!

  6. I agree that this wasn’t terribly taxing, but that can make a nice change on occasion, so thanks to the Mysteron. No particular favourites today, but a couple of small niggles: not sure that ‘still’ is an appropriate synonym in 22a, despite Gazza’s hint (I’d never describe anyone as being in a still sleep), and same for ‘demanding’ in 28a, but I haven’t got a hardcopy of Chambers to hand… anyone?

    I also love the picture for 5a – very cute – and the sunset for 20d is rather lovely, too. Thanks Gazza.

    1. 22a Against “deep” Chambers has “very still” (but not the other way round). Perhaps the setter was thinking of the proverbial phrase “still waters run deep”.
      28a Against “demanding” Mrs Bradford has “stern” (but not the other way round).

  7. Glad you all found this easy, I found it jolly tricky in parts. At least a 3 star for me. The SE corner was particulary difficult. We are still being very ecumenical with 7d and 23d. Would be nice to have a puzzle free of religious terms for a change. Best clue for me was 18a. Thx to Gazza for the clues which i needed a lot today although I’m not sure I fully understood the hint for 7d. :-)

    1. I got stuck on quite a few as well. Maybe if I’d perservated and given it a third shot, I might have got further, but a good lunch with a couple of glasses of wine put paid to my determination.

    2. Brian

      My understanding of the answer is

      Put a word for (leading) ‘arch’ inside (admitting) ‘they’ – (people)

      I’ve probably confused you more but hey ho…

  8. Relatively easy puzzle today – I nearly forgot to collect the DT this evening!!
    Faves : 18a, 2d & 17d.

  9. I only started this at 7 this evening and am tired. I had 3 or 4 hanging out because I was just staring blankly at the – I am very much a morning solver. A fun puzzler nonetheless so thanks to the setter and to Gazza. It did set my brian in gear as I solved the Toughie in about the same time.

    1. I’m a morning solver too – am beginning to think that when the clocks change, in three weeks or so, I will have to change my ways – will it effect my solving ability, such as it is? Have a horrible feeling that it might!

  10. Thanks to the mysteron & Gazza. A nice puzzle, with some good clues. Got stuck on 1& 19d. &Favourites 21 & 28.

  11. Congratulations CluedUp/DT Puzzles I have now completed a 24-hour transitional phase without being able to access a single puzzle. Yes, I’ve had my 2-month refund which I had to apply for – I hope someone’s monitoring the threshold of another refund…..we must be close.
    Unfortunately for me, the splendid service from BD’s site whereby considerate folk send out the relevant puzzle in pdf doesn’t help without printer access. I have become used to the interactive facilty.
    I have done many fewer crosswords in the last 2 months or so, if your nonsense continues much further I may have to move over from a daily pleasure which has lasted me these last 30 years, I don’t think that’s a good thing, Mr Phil McNeil………….

    1. I had a two month refund a couple of weeks ago and for some reason when I actually managed to get on to the site, the system had now decided that I have either cancelled my subscription or it has expired, neither of which is the case. I have sent another email and am awaiting developments.

      I thought subscribing was better than driving two miles there and back to the local shop and paying for the Sunday Telegraph (and others when the weather is bad or I am on leave) but I may be going back to ruining the planet.

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