DT 26751 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

DT 26751

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26751

Hints and tips by Libellule

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

May I take this opportunity to wish all of the setters, the bloggers and the solvers a happy New Year! A quite enjoyable crossword today, but 11 anagrams?

You can find the answer by highlighting the space between the curly brackets.


1. Strengthen dispute in Japanese currency (7)
{STIFFEN} – Put a four letter word for a petty quarrel inside one hundredth of a yen to get a word that means to make more rigid.

5. Give a hand when son is on time (6)
{ASSIST} – AS (when) S (son) IS and finally T (time).

8. It holds wine for a service in church (6)
{CARAFE} – A glass container for serving wine is constructed from A and then one of the armed forces inside CE (Church of England).

9. Traveller terribly wary about food (8)
{WAYFARER} – An anagram (terribly) of WARY is placed around a word that describes food and drink. Result someone who travels, especially on foot.

10. Blameless in disorder, left out from group (8)
{ASSEMBLE} – An anagram (in disorder) of BLAMELESS with an L removed (left out) produces a word that means to come or bring together.

11. Has the wrong case (6)
{SHEATH} – An anagram (wrong) of HAS THE.

12. Depressed, having no liquor left? (3,2,7)
{OUT OF SPIRITS} – A phrase used to describe being dejected or downhearted could also describe not having any strong drink left.

15. Starts out in our police force, it’s back-breaking! (3,4,5)
{THE LAST STRAW} – An idiom from an Arabic proverb that refers to the final annoyance or setback after a number of others that ultimately proves intolerable is an anagram (out) of STARTS inside a two word phrase that can be used to describe the police.

18. Animals unleashed on society? (6)
{STRAYS} – If dogs were wondering around without leads or collars – they would be? Is this just a cryptic defintion or is there more too it?

20. He trains regularly before work (8)
{COMMUTER} – One for Prolixic. Was this crossword a one stopper or a two stopper?

22. Drink to the end of the rooster? (8)
{COCKTAIL} – A mixed drink usually made from multiple ingredients is what you would also find at one end of a male chicken.

23. Unexpected result of Parnell’s policy (6)
{ULSTER} – An anagram (unexpected) of RESULT. Parnell being an Irish nationalist leader who led Ireland’s Home Rule Movement.

24. You start on green — get set — go! (6)
{ENERGY} – Take the first (start) letter of you and then add it to an anagram (get set) of green to get a word that means vigour or power.

25. Turns to stare about (7)
{ROTATES} – An anagram (about) of TO STARE.


1. Rare disputes with sweetheart (6)
{SPARSE} – A word that means not dense or scanty is made up from a word for arguments or wrangles followed by the middle letter of sweet (sweet heart).

2. I am a long time getting the likeness (5)
{IMAGE} – IM followed by a period of history for example is a reproduction of a person or an object.

3. Feels a bit irritated by trifling annoyances (4-5)
{FLEA-BITES} – An anagram (irritated) of FEELS A BIT.

4. Sign of repentance in spring? (3,4)
{NEW LEAF} – Something you might turn over if you were to change your attitude or conduct is also something you are likely to see returning to deciduous trees in spring.

5. In the bay wrecked ship sunk deep (5)
{ABYSS} – An anagram (wrecked) of BAY followed by SS (ship).

6. A guy in a field (9)
{SCARECROW} – The sort of guy that is used to frighten birds away….

7. Cast Pete in play and watch (8)
{SPECTATE} – An anagram (in play) of CAST PETE.

12. Well-filled vessel (3-6)
{OIL-TANKER} – Travelling via the Suez Canal from the Middle East to Europe perhaps.

13. Set up strike — a rise is most important (9)
{PARAMOUNT} – Reverse (set up) a three letter word for a quick light blow, and then add A and finally a word that means to climb or ascend. Definition, most important.

14. Nuclear power cut causes strike (8)
{SHUTDOWN} – Double definition, to reduce the power level of a nuclear reactor to its lowest possible value or the closing of a factory for example.

16. Mundane cryptic clues are pointless (7)
{SECULAR} – An anagram (cryptic) of CLUES ARE with the last letter (E) removed (pointless) is also a word that means worldly.

17. Festivities involve five in lively dances (6)
{REVELS} – Put V (Roman numeral) inside lively Scottish dances to get boisterous celebrations.

19. Doubtful, being kept somewhat in the dark? (5)
{SHADY} – Of dubious character or honesty or concealed or hidden.

21. Overturned unanticipated defeat (5)
{UPSET} – Double definition, to tip over or capsize or to defeat unexpectedly.

The Quick crossword pun: {wringer} + {belle} = {ring a bell}

49 comments on “DT 26751

  1. Beyond me how this can be a 2 star for difficulty. I’ve been staring at it for an hour and got two clues! I’ll try again later but at the moment it looks like a 4 star difficulty for me.

    1. Eventually (with Libellule’s invaluable help) completed it but did not find it a very easy or indeed satisfactory, too many weak clues such as 18a and 12a which don’t read well. One good clue though was 12d.

    1. I did the same. I didn’t think it was right, other than matching rooster in the clue, but I just couldn’t get beyond this raucous bird which rather mucked up the bottom left. But with the hints, all became clear. Thanks Libellule et bonne année.

  2. A typical straightforward but enjoyable start to the crosswording week. A good thing really as I just ‘sat down to do the edges of the Christmas present jigsaw’ and an hour and a half later still hadn’t been out to get the paper! Thanks to Rufus and Libellule too.

    Hope everyone has got the perfect sunny bank holiday that we have in East Kent.

  3. ……. and I would have done much better had I not put “barrel” for the second word of 12d. :sad:
    Apart from that minor mishap I think 2* is about right – no other problems once I’d seen the error of my ways!! The top left hand corner took slightly longer than it should have done if I had known the Japanese currency – all I could think of was “yen”.
    No real favourites today – perhaps 20 and 23a.
    With thanks to Rufus and Libellule.

    1. Oh good – so nice to know that I’m not the only one!! My “barrel” only messed up two of the other clues in that corner – your “bucket” mucked up three!! Oh dear!! Happy New Year to you. :smile:

  4. Received Seiko CW solver
    Finding it the most cussedly irritating machine Ive ever used.
    Should I persevere or go back to books?
    comments please.

    1. Dear AnnB – I have the Seiko “Concise Oxford English Dictionary with Thesaurus & Spellchecker” which includes a crossword and anagram solver, and I wouldn’t be without it!

        1. I don’t have any of these gadgets so not much use here. As far as is it “legal” goes, I can’t see that it matters. If you’re happy with it (which I’m jolly sure I would be if I had one) then why not? I don’t think that it’s in any way cheating as there’s not much point in cheating yourself is there? This is supposed to be fun, a way of learning new words and using the “little grey cells” all at the same time. :smile: I’m sure others will disagree with me!!

        2. I don’t see that it’s any more “illegal” than searching dictionaries of the internet – it’s just a lot quicker sometimes! You just have to be disciplined and use it as a last resort and not gaily plug everything into it! Anyway, it doesn’t know everything!!

    2. AnnB, definitely persevere with the Seiko (COED?).

      It will become your best friend! Very low maintenance – just new batteries now and again!

  5. I was convinced it was a bucket. The yen threw me too. Shoulda known better after lunch yesterday in japanese restaurant. Good start to the week, but found my concentration level low. Must try harder.

  6. Have to admit I got fed up towards the end and used the hints for the last two or three. Must be the post new year blues or something.
    Thanks to Rufus and Libellule.

  7. Enjoyable and untaxing Monday morning fare, too many anagrams but otherwise quite good fun, thanks to setter and to Libellule.

  8. Happy New Year one an all from a beautfully sunny Hertfordshire. I found today’s challenge very straight-forward 20a being my favourite as I am one. I agree that there was rather a lot of anagrams but overall this eased me into the week.

  9. Not too taxing though I had to look up Purnell!! and am not at all happy about 18a – very stange clue I thought, where does society come into it? Also wanted to put cockerel in 22a which didn’t help 19d, but got there in the end. Thanks to setter and Libellule for the hints. Bright and sunny in Berkshire too, but quite a chilly wind.

    1. Addicted,
      Re, 18a Gazza suggested for 18. Animals unleashed on society? (6), that Unleashed = STRAY + S (society)

  10. I’m with Nubian – I was losing the will to live by the time I put something in for 18a, which was last in for me. I’m less surprised now that I’ve seen the comments about 18a. Enjoyed most of the puzzle, pity about the SE corner!

  11. I still think 18a is very weak despite chelpful omments above. Not too sunny this afternoon after a bright start. 18 across was my nemisis. Seiko gave me stoats!

  12. Thank you Libelulle and Rufus. I enjoyed this as a gentle Bank Holiday crossword to get me back into the swing of things. I would not have finished it without Hints and Tips as I got a bit stuck after completing about 75% most of which was in the top half.

    A very Happy New Year to one and all!

    p.s. I was given two Crossword Solving aids (books) for Christmas so hoping to become a little more independent although l have to say l get a lot of enjoyment out of Hints and Tips too

  13. Thanks to Rufus for a gentle, enjoyable puzzle, and to Libellule for the review. Happy New Year to you both!

  14. An enjoyable and not too difficult puzzle to brighten a cold, dark and rainy Monday. I didn’t realize there were so many anagrams — some I noticed, some not. I slowed myself down by putting ‘bucket’ at 12d. Remembered a poem about an ‘old oaken bucket that hung in the well.’ And I found 15a quite by chance — needed the hint to understand it. There were a number of enjoyable clues for me, especially 8,12, and 23a and 4 and 13d. Many thanks and all good wished to Rufus and Libellule. :-)

    1. I couldn’t find the version by Tommy Sands, but this one is better!


  15. Thanks to the setter & Libellule for the review and hints. I quite enjoyed this one, I wasn’t aware of the high number of anagrams. Was beaten by 1d, thought it was an alternative spelling of scarce, doh! Favourites were 23a & 12d. Happy New Year to all.

  16. Thank you Rufus. Enjoyed this to-day. Nice gentle start to week .Could see 23a was an anagram but lustre didn’t fit!

  17. Can someone explain 20a please. I have all the checking letters but I can’t make the answ fit the clue!

        1. I don’t think anyone has called Prolixic a computer before!

          I am told that you can cut and paste the answer into a notepad app to reveal the answer on an iPad

          1. I’m not that calculating!

            With the iPad and iPhone if you have the iOS 5 operating system
            Installed, the is a little button in the address bar with “Reader” on it. If you tap it, it opens the blog with the answers revealed.

          2. Thats correct – hold select then copy and paste into e.g. Notes application.
            Failing that, slant the screen slightly and depevding on which blogger “whited out” the answers they are sometimes still semi visible.

    1. I think it’s just a cryptic definition of someone who lives some way from his (or her) work and doesn’t want to drive so takes the train instead. :smile:

  18. The usual enjoyable fare from Rufus – Happy New Year Roger!
    Faves : 1a, 12a, 15a, 22a, 23a, 3d, 4d, 12d, 14d & 16d.

    Dinner tonight is entrecôte au poivre with beans and carrots (leftover in fridge from last year) washed down with a half bottle of Rioja then blueberries and cream.

    Must get in a fresh supply of Sauvignon Blanc from NZ as have only half of a Sèvre et Maine left in the whites apart from a few bottles of Champagne. Plenty of red though.

    So to all of you – Beste Wensen voor het Nieuwe Jaar!

      1. I used to like fish en chips with vinegar in the good old days. Of course since I lived in GB, I have lived and worked in many parts of the globe and acquired the taste of lots of other countries’ cuisines – so I diverse my menus to cater for all sorts of dishes.
        The important thing is to enjoy what you eat – no matter how simple.
        As you get older many things have to be avoided for medical reasons.

  19. A fine Rufus but a bit heavy on anagrams, you’ll all know by now they’re not my favourites as I’m so bad at unravelling anything more than about 6 letters. At least most of todays were short or only part of the clue.
    Favourite definitely 22a – raised a big smile! It also was my last in and ruined at least 2 hands of bridge this afternoon because I was mulling over the clue instead of concentrating on the card play!
    Thanks to Rufus and Libellule.

Comments are closed.