DT 26746 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26746

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26746

Hints and tips by Prolixic

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BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ****

Good morning all. Gazza is having a lie-in today and offered me the opportunity to blog one of the weekday puzzles. After a run of fairly gentle crosswords our setter today has given us a more meaty offering for us to get our teeth into. Fortunately, no turkey in this crossword just a lot of tricky wordplay for us to savour.

My favourite clues are shown highlighted in blue. Top of the Pops for me today was 26a.


1a Attempt to get one’s own way with nasty trinket first (5,9)
{CHARM OFFENSIVE} – A phase meaning an attempt to get one’s own way comes from a word meaning nasty preceded by a word for a trinket such as may be found on a bracelet to bring good luck.

9a Teleprompter showing report of traffic jam (7)
{AUTOCUE} – A word for a teleprompter is a homophone (report of) a traffic jam (a line of cars).

10a Soft toy rabbit (7)
{PRATTLE} – A word meaning rabbit (as in chatter) comes from the abbreviation for soft followed by the name of a toy used by babies and football supporters of old.

11a Metallic thread not unknown in angler’s fly (4)
{LURE} – A word for a fisherman’s fly comes from the proprietary name of a metallic thread after removing the X from the end (not unknown).

12a 11 fields unexpectedly in bloom (5-2-3)
{FLEUR-DE-LIS} – A type of flower comes from an anagram (unexpectedly) of the answer to 11a and FIELDS.

14a Revolutionary check involving two pawns to create pincer (6)
{NIPPER} – A word for a pincer comes from reversing (revolutionary) a word meaning check (as is stop) and putting two Ps inside (involving two pawns).

15a Tobacco tin with flower on the side (8)
{CANASTER} – A word for a type of rough-cut tobacco comes from a word meaning tin followed by the name of a flower commonly referred to as the Michaelmas Daisy.

17a Nothing missing from note I bash out for the missus (8)
{MEMSAHIB} – An Indian word for a married European woman comes from a word for a note with the final O removed (nothing missing) followed by an anagram (out) of I BASH.

18a Dumpling gained weight (3,3)
{WON TON} – A type of Chinese dumpling comes from a word meaning gained followed by a weight equal to 20cwt or 2240lb.

21a French novelist second to go on about limits of ripening cheese (10)
{GORGONZOLA} – A type of cheese comes from the name of a French novelist (first name Emil) after (second to) the words GO ON from the clue around the first and last letters (limits of) ripening.

22a Some insurrectionists arraigned despot (4)
{TSAR} – A word for a despot is hidden inside (some) insurrectionists arraigned.

24a Difficult journey with Blatter taking in Switzerland against Luxembourg (7)
{SCHLEPP} – A Yiddish word for a difficult journey comes from putting the IVR codes for Switzerland and Luxembourg inside the first name Mr Blatter (president of FIFA).

25a Nice green I go in dizzy attack (7)
{VERTIGO} – A word for a dizzy attack comes from the French word for green (Nice green indicating how a resident of Nice would say the word green) followed by the I GO in the clue.

26a Company engaged in dodgy coins crime is getting what it deserves? (8,6)
{ECONOMIC CRISIS} – Put the abbreviation for a company inside an anagram (dodgy) of COINS CRIME IS to find a phrase that described a financial meltdown (which is what such a company would deserve).


1d A Poet Laureate appearing in outstanding feature on ‘Sir Bruce Forsyth — Comedy Great’ (7)
{CHAPLIN} – A comedy great of the silent film era comes from putting the A from the clue and the abbreviation for Poet Laureate inside that part of the face for which Sir Bruce Forsyth is noted.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

2d Champion hit with mysterious torpor capturing hearts for appearing human (15)
{ANTHROPOMORPHIC} – A word meaning appearing human comes from an anagram of CHAMPION and TORPOR around the abbreviation for hearts.

3d Old lady joining church club (4)
{MACE} – A type of club comes from a two letter word for an old lady followed by the abbreviation for the Church of England.

4d The Spanish grumble about lacking resolve (6)
{FEEBLE} – A word meaning lacking resolve comes from reversing (about) the Spanish word for “the” and a word meaning grumble.

5d This is Wedding Ale so sup boisterously (8)
{ESPOUSAL} – A word meaning wedding comes from an anagram (boisterously) of ALE SO SUP.

6d Photo with women’s clothing on is a plant (10)
{SNAPDRAGON} – A type of plant comes from a word for a photo followed by a phrase (4-2) that might describe a man wearing women’s clothing.

7d Significant numbers consumed by Page 3? (5,10)
{VITAL STATISTICS} – A phrase for significant numbers might describe the characteristics of the pictures seen on Page 3 of the Sun.

8d Y-reg Seat half rebuilt in spring (6)
{GEYSER} – A word for a type of spring comes from an anagram (rebuilt) of Y-REG SE[at] (Seat half).

13d Education Secretary claims new team working to make progress (3,1,4,2)
{GET A MOVE ON} – A phrase meaning to make progress comes from putting an anagram (new) of TEAM inside the surname of the current Education Secretary and following this with a word meaning working.

16d Relief from tension for one in daze over plan backfiring (8)
{DIAZEPAM} – The name of a drug that provides relief from tension comes from an anagram (over) of DAZE with an I (one) inside and following this with a word for a plan reversed (backfiring).

17d Teaching of Wise Men derived from periodical practice (6)
{MAGISM} – A word for the teaching of Wise Men comes from the diminutive form of the word magazine followed by the suffix meaning practice, condition or system.

19d Strait formed by two rivers on the edge of Oxfordshire engaged in swan-upping (7)
{NARROWS} – A word for a strait (a thin stretch of water) comes from reversing the word SWAN (upping) and putting inside the abbreviation for river twice (two rivers) and an O (edge of Oxfordshire).

20d Cavils about Eastern European (6)
{SLAVIC} – A word meaning Eastern European comes from an anagram (about) of CAVILS

23d Brother down south seen now and again in Burberry (4)
{BRER} – A word for brother used in the South of the USA comes from the odd letters (seen now and again) in BURBERRY.

The Quick crossword pun: {weal} + {metre} + {gain} = {We’ll Meet Again}

58 comments on “DT 26746

  1. Oh dear, at least a four star for difficulty for me. Far far too tough I’m afraid. Can’t even get the answers from the hints. Must be post Christmas torpor. Not good.

  2. I thought this was a good puzzle on the whole, despite a couple of dodgy clues. Thought 24 was a bit far fetched – I wonder what Mary and Kath will think of that one. I was pleased to see that the last 2 words in 1d did not refer to Sir B. Favourite was 1a and I had Chambers to thank for 2d. A good contest after yesterday’s rubbish.

    1. Surely not another vote of no confidence – the only problem I had with Mr Blatter was that I didn’t know his first name only had one “P”! :smile:

      1. Quick correction here on second reading – didn’t know that his first name had two “P”‘s! :smile:

  3. I thought this was a fair test. Not too many anagrams and those that there were were interesting.

    My only beef really is the accompanying hints pics – Messrs Gove and Blatter are all very well but I could have done with a little something to help me solve 7D

  4. As I said to Mr CS at the breakfast table, I can hear the ‘muttering’ about this one already and I wasn’t wrong!! I thought this one quite tough, definitely worth the 3* given by Prolixic. I actually had to leave two clues to cogitate which doesn’t happen often with a backpager. Thanks to Prolixic for the hints and the Mysteron for a bank holiday brain stretcher.

    I am currently in the middle of sorting out a roast dinner for 10 and that is going to be my excuse for finding the Toughie tough in places too. I will await the view of BD in due course. I am now going back to sort out the Yorkshire puds.

  5. I liked this, but needed the blog for 24a. 15a was new to me (but able to be worked out). 25a – I was surprised to see nearly half the answer already in the clue. 1d gave me my biggest ‘laugh out loud’ moment for some time, when I eventually got it. Thanks to all involved.

  6. Sorry to disagree with most of you but I really didn’t enjoy this, so thanks to Prolixic for the hints because I ran out of patience with it! Blatter & Gove indeed!! I thought some of the readings were awful making no sense at all, however I did have three clues I liked, 1d, 10a and 18a, thanks for the hints Prolixic, wouldn’t have finished without you :-)

    1. With you all the way Mary! Not at all satisfying. Thx to Prolix for the hints except for the mistake in the hint for 24a, the COINS is plural and it also needs the IS to make it up to 14 letters, but at least you manged to finish the damn thing.

      1. Ditto, when a normal backpager streches to 2 pieces of A4 to print off via the web site – I start to get worried. Horses for courses I guess.

  7. Many thanks to the setter for a wee cracker of a crossword, I really enjoyed it, I loved 17a, 24a and 2d. Thanks Prolixic for a smashing review.

  8. Phew, made it in the end. Got started in the NE corner and worked around clockwise more or less. I liked 21a but mainly because I already had the Z in place and was worried what might fit before I read the clue!

  9. A very nice puzzle to get you thinking fter a couple of excessive days off – it certainly made me sit up and take notice!. Many thanks to the setter and Prolixic for the review – showing remarkable restraint and good humour at 7d!

  10. 15 a and 17 d were new words to me, so thanks to Prolixic for your most welcome help with those. I did enjoy those long clues on/near the edges, and had a good giggle at 1d. Thanks to the setter.

  11. Often meant to reply in this place as I have used BD’s hints for some time. Found this one tough but didnt help by taking the wrong half of 8d out and coming up with “Easter”. Didnt. help with solving that corner, but all finished now.

  12. It was a hard one, but very enjoyable. I know I’m a bit thick at times, but for some reason just couldn’t think of 3d! Got 2d quite quickly as there are less 15 letter words than 4. Hope you are all well and not too corpulent after Christmas. Thanks to the setter and Prolixic.

  13. Back to the gym this morning after 3 days off and the scales only registered 1 extra pound! I enjoyed this puzzle, it was tough but not overly so. Although I found myself referring to Chambers more than usual as some of the words were new to me such as 15a, 17d.

  14. Hm What a cracker. I can remember saying some time ago, that I was not a natural crossword solver. However I have discovered that it depends on who sets the puzzle, the time of day, mood etc but most of all practice. I still have no idea who sets any of these puzzles. To me they are just difficult – or easy. Sometimes I like an easy one, sometimes I find that an easy one gives me less satisfaction. Today I flew through most of these clues and was very pleased with myself. I did not get Schlepp, a} because I am not a football fan. (I thought it might be Sep or Cep) and b) I only had a vague idea that Switzerland was Ch and Luxembourg was L, but I was too lazy to look the codes up. This meant that I could not do half of 17d (I thought it might be Maguse, logical but wrong). I could not find Magism in the dictionary, but then my schoolboy Oxford Pocket 1956 has many missing words. So, overall, very enjoyable and thanks to Prolixic for the answers.

    1. I agree with all you say Bob, I Maguse’d as well ! Anyway it would be no fun if we could complete it every day. I would add my thanks to Prolixic and the setter.

  15. Tough for me today – the SW corner in particular. Solving from home with 2 noisy children is not ideal conditions.
    Thanks to setter, and to Prolixic.

    I think I will give the Toughies a miss until next Tuesday when I am back to work, and in my normal solving routine!

    1. If you don’t do this week’s Toughies, you will miss a Petitjean, a MynoT and the bound-to-be-wonderful end of year Micawber. Haven’t you got a shed in the garden to which you can retreat??

                1. This time last year, Micawber did a end of the year Toughie for 2010 and he is shown on the Toughie setters list to be doing the same this year. His puzzles aren’t ususally the toughest but are full of topicality, wit and excellent clues.

                2. Sorry! – not a private club – Tilsit has mentioned that he is off for a few days break without Internet etc. so there was a gap on Friday’s Toughie review.

  16. Yes, it IS more meaty than recent puzzles,–not quite finished yet– but good to have a mental streching and to enjoy more complex word-play.

    Thanks to setter.

  17. I am doing this puzzle with my Mum (85) over Christmas. We both found it hard – despite being well trained in the nuances by my Dad – now sadly no longer with us. Some very obscure clues I think and I would still be only a quarter into it without the help here. Always good fun though and we welcome the extra help here which sometimes just lifts us over a difficult hurdle.

    1. I agree that this was quite hard. I used to do these with my Mum but she is 90 next birthday and seems to have lost the ability to do them. She was always the crossword solver in our family and sometimes she would have a clue that she couldn’t do and my Dad (like yours, sadly no longer with us) would come in, look at the crossword and, without even reading the clue, tell her the answer! This is a fantastic blog!! :smile:

  18. i really enjoyed todays offering and fully agree with the star ratings. A few unusual words, but all getable, added to the fun and it was not one of those themed efforts that i detest.
    Thanks to mysteron and to Prolixic for the hints and also for standing in for Gazza.

  19. Didn’t think I was going to get on with this one at all but suddenly it all fell into place & was very pleased with myself! Only needed help with 24a.

  20. MORE comings and goings here today which has not helped the concentration at all, then a little space miraculously appeared and I thought “CROSSWORD”! All fine and got going really quickly and easily and then, just as quickly, completely ground to a halt! Oh dear!! :sad: I’ve finally finished but had trouble with several of these – too many to enumerate! Lots of good clues, I thought. These include 9a and 5 and 19d. With thanks to the setter and Prolixic.
    I know I shouldn’t really ask this here (and don’t have any spare time to be sent to the naughty corner!) but could someone help me in putting my sister out of her misery (no, not like that) and telling us the answers to 15a and 6d in the quickie?

    1. Kath, for your sister in the Quickie!

      15a – Bunco or Bunko – (a word I’m not familiar with!) But Chambers says (US – a form of confidence trick in which the victim is swindled………)

      6d – I entered “Pith” – might be wrong, normally am!

    2. I am sure anyone who might be cross is tucking into leftovers now so I will just sneakily say ‘bunko and ‘pith’. Not being rude, you understand, just answering Kath’s question :D

    3. Thank you Franco, BD and CS – will now go and tell my sister to “put her out of her misery” – she’s already driving me mad as I told her about the “quickie puns” which, since she doesn’t do the DT quickie unless she’s here, she didn’t know about – she’s been singing the song ever since ….. ! :sad: Think it could be time for a very early bed …….

  21. well after a good start to the week i have to say i retired hurt !! when i saw the answer for 2d i nearly fainted
    18a was my fav…..

  22. Thanks to the setter & Prolixic for the review and hints. Only needed one for the first half of 18a, but still couldn’t get it! Will now be etched on my mind after working so hard to get the rest of the puzzle. Still, credit to the setter. Enjoyed it a lot. Favourites were 17,20, 24,28 acrosses.

  23. Back from the festive break with sister-in-law – too much food, too much booze, too little fresh air and hence the seasonal cold – thank the lord it’s all over! Picked up the DT with a sigh of relief and to my horror could do only NINE before resorting to the hints. Was it VERY tough or was it the incipient hangover?? So many thanks to Prolixic and here’s hoping for better luck tomorrow.

  24. Got back home yesterday and collected the DT from the bookshop along with Wednesday’s and did the two cryptics.
    Faves : 1a, 11/12a, 17a, 24a, 1d, 12d & 16d.

    With the family over Christmas, we got 80% of the jumbo GK L500.- Xword done when I left.

    Never send in prize puzzles as most British newspapers ignore inputs from overseas – only eception is FT.

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