DT 26935 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26935

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26935

Hints and tips by Libellule

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

Its a bit like musical chairs this week, Gazza is taking a few well earned days off, and I have stepped in to cover for him. Its always a pleasure to blog Giovanni, dissecting the word play makes you realise just how good a setter he is. This is an entertaining puzzle thats not overly difficult. The three long anagrams provide good access to the puzzle if you manage to crack them early.

The answers are between the curly brackets and can be revealed by highlighting them.


1. Lass declared so wicked in ancient documents (4,3,7)
{DEAD SEA SCROLLS} – An anagram (wicked) of LASS DECLARED SO are a collection of biblical manuscripts found in area now known as the West Bank.

9. Apes a composer of anthems and madrigals (7)
{GIBBONS} – Another word for apes specifically those with long arms and no tail found in southern Asia and the East Indies is also a composer from the late Tudor and early Jacobean periods.

10. Gangster and sweetheart getting everywhere (3,4)
{ALL OVER} – A phrase that can mean in many places is constructed from the two letter first name of a gangster and then another word for a girlfriend or boyfriend perhaps.

11. Inedible 25 and bread sent back (3)
{NIT} – A name for the 25d of a louse that can be found in your hair, is also a slang term for money reversed (sent back).

12. Raymond slithers, says Spooner? Anyone would, making these trips! (6,5)
{SLEIGH RIDES} – Turn Ray Slides into a spoonerism to get the sort of trip you might make with a horse or reindeer over ice or snow.

14. Husband, not totally passionate, to become less sympathetic (6)
{HARDEN} – H (husband) and a word that means expressing or characterised by intense desire or emotion with the last letter removed (not totally) produces another word that means to become unfeeling, or callous

15. Happen to meet tramp needing drink by front of Odeon (4,4)
{BUMP INTO} – A three letter word for a hobo, followed by how you might order a beer, and then the first letter of Odeon. Definition, happen to meet.

17. Maiden with opportunity to fling old shoe (8)
{MOCCASIN} – A type of shoe worn by native Americans is made up from M (maiden) followed by a word that means an event or happening with O (old) removed.

19. Short account in which African dictator appears to be bitter (6)
{ACIDIC} – Place the first name of a Ugandan dictator inside ACC (short account).

22. An adherent about fifty who is terribly behind the times? (11)
{NEANDERTHAL} –An anagram of AN ADEHERENT is placed around L (fifty) to get a human species so behind the times, that it is extinct.

23. Spring in a European country, not at home (3)
{SPA} – A word for a mineral spring consists of the name of a European country with IN (at home) removed.

24. Heating wire in iron, say (7)
{ELEMENT} – The resistance wire in an electrical appliance such as a heater or an oven for example is also a substance that you might find in the periodic table.

26. Belief Greek character’s got in head (7)
{OPINION} – A word for a belief or conclusion can be made by placing the 16th letter of the Greek alphabet inside a vegetable that can be used as a slang term for head.

27. Gargle one nurse prepared for medical officer (7,7)
{SURGEON GENERAL} – An anagram (prepared) of GARGLE ONE NURSE is also a chief medical officer.


1. After party drink those people annoy someone who denies others pleasure (3,2,3,6)
{DOG IN THE MANGER} – A person who prevents you from enjoying something that they themselves have no need for is constructed from a two letter word for a party, a three letter word for an alcoholic drink, a four letter word for “those people” and then finally a five letter word for a feeling of displeasure or hostility.

2. Judge arrives having snatched quick meal (7)
{ARBITER} – Place an informal word for a light meal or snack inside ARR (arrives) to get a type of referee.

3. Words he’s apt to get wrong as elected representative (4,7)
{SHOP STEWARD} – An anagram (to get wrong) of WORDS HES APT is a union member who is elected to represent fellow workers in negotiating with the management.

4. Some plans were on offer to find a way out (6)
{ANSWER} – A word that defines the correct solution to a problem is hidden between the words plans and were.

5. Carol sung badly — son out making loud noise (8)
{CLANGOUR} – An anagram (badly) of CAROL and SUNG with S removed (son out).

6. Solemn person to cry in the East End (3)
{OWL} – A person who behaves in a solemn manner is a long plaintive cry with the H removed.

7. What you get at a noisy gig may be well-worn (5-2)
{LIVED-IN} – Split (4,3) A word that means not recorded followed by a loud discordant noise (noisy gig) produces a phrase that means subject to regular use.

8. This water swirling accounts for lost branch line (7,7)
{BRISTOL CHANNEL} – An anagram (accounts for) of LOST BRANCH LINE is also an inlet of the Atlantic Ocean between southern Wales and south-western England.

13. Rogue — troubled parson is about to phone one (11)
{RAPSCALLION} – An anagram (troubled) of PARSON is placed around a word that means to phone someone and I (one) to get a word for a rascal or scamp.

16. Let biro flow — time to get stuck into that text (8)
{LIBRETTO} – An anagram (flow) of LET BIRO with T (time) placed inside.

18. Talk over water in the Loire valley? One may well have wine! (7)
{CHATEAU} – A word that describes an informal, light conversation is followed by the French word for water. This could also be an estate where wine is produced.

20. Sir does puzzle in several papers (7)
{DOSSIER} – An anagram (puzzle) of SIR DOES.

21. ‘Inadequate cast no good’ (press) (6)
{THRONG} – A word for a large group of people crowded closely together (press) is constructed from a word that means to hurl or fling with the last letter removed (inadequate) followed by NG (no good).

25. Food? Say grace initially (3)
{EGG} – EG (say) and the first (initially) letter of grace.

The Quick crossword pun: {babble} + {onion} = {Babylonian}

56 comments on “DT 26935

  1. A very nice start to our holiday – thanks to The Don and to M. Lib.
    Off on a round Great Britain odyssey – back with you in a couple of weeks.

  2. Lovely puzzle.
    Last in 9a – googled “Gibbons Madrigals” and Lo and Behold.
    Only ever knew that name as the Decline and Fall man.
    Many thanks Giovanni and Libellule.

  3. Would have liked more of a challenge for a Friday (simplest Friday I can remember) but pleasant enough while it lasted. 2*/3* for me.


  4. Well, that was somewhat easier than last Friday! Finished it all by myself, didn’t even have to use a letter hint. My favourite was 12a, once I read the explanation here.

    Thanks to Libellule for that, also 17a, 26a and 1d.

    It’s also the first time that I’ve seen “accounts for” (8d) to signify an anagram.

  5. This did not take long to complete, but I did enjoy it very much.
    Thanks to Giovanni, and to Libellule for the review.

    Now for the toughie, which will probably keep me occupied for some time.

  6. What a fabulous crossword. Haven’t enjoyed one as much as this for a while. Brilliant. Too many favourites to mention but if arm-twisted 18 is the one for me. 11 nearly made me throw up!

  7. Friday is the new Monday – at least today is! Finished before lights out last night – bet that won’t happen again for a long time. Absolute favourite 13d.

  8. What a lovely puzzle – I REALLY enjoyed this one. I thought it was pretty straightforward for a Giovanni so would probably give it a bit less than 3* for difficulty but at least 5* for enjoyment, for me.
    Am I the only twit who got the 27a anagram instantly – but swapped the words round which made things a bit tricky for a short time – hospital background is my excuse!! I wasn’t aware that I knew the word for the 13d rogue but since it popped straight into my head I suppose that I’ve met it before.
    SO many favourites today – 12, 15 and 27a and 1, 3, 7 and 18d.
    With thanks to Giovanni for a really brilliant puzzle and to Libellule.

    1. Kath – I did the same for 27a, then, having erased it, started putting in ‘back to front’ again!

    2. I did the same thing with the surgeon. Once I realised, everything else fell into place nicely. I didn’t think I’d be alone in this, as both are equally acceptable, and I don’t think it makes us twits. I was trying to put baboons for the apes as well, but again soon realised the error of my ways. No excuse for this one, as I couldn’t make it fit the clue, although it fit the intersecting letters perfectly!

      1. I have to say that I think it probably does make us twits! The clue is pretty clear about the “officer” bit – ie something to do with the services. Never mind – we both sorted it out in the end! :smile:

  9. Usual Friday fun from The Don!

    Faves : 9a, 10a, 12a, 1d, 8d & 18d.

    Re 12a – surely Reginald???

    1. No – if you have done what I think you’ve done (what I started off with) the first word of your answer is wrong! :smile:

  10. Slightly easier than usual thank you Giovanni. Very enjoyable. Thanks to Libellule too.

    The Toughie is tough but gettable.

    Well done Kath Grainger!!

    PS: Does anyone else feel like the people in the Matt cartoon today? Sums up Olympic viewing very nicely :)

      1. Jezza, if you had only one to parse well done you, intrigued to know which. Have finally got last the last two and am mortified, with a very big d’oh, double d’oh, should have gone on the you you you you you and you

          1. That one had me for ages, until a work colleague commented, is it summink to do with Father Ted, and she had never attempted a cryptic clue in her life!!

  11. Not hard, but really enjoyable. Great wordplay. Thanks to Libellule (didn’t need you, but glad you did so well) and Giovanni.

  12. Very enjoyable crossword but a bit on the easy side for a Friday, many thanks to Giovanni and to Libellule.

  13. Excellent offering as usual from Giovanni, would have got 5 stars from me if it wasn’t for 6d which makes no sense to me at all. Why is a solemn person an owl? I know Chambers gives it but just don’t see it. Best clue for many a long time for me was 12a, lovely.

    1. Sorry if I could make one last comment, wouldn’t sharp or tart have been better than bitter for 19a? There are lots of acidic flavours that are not bitter.

  14. My kind of puzzle. Not only can you get the answer from the clues, but when you get the answer you know it is right because the clues are so well written. Thoroughly enjoyed it. Thanks Giovanni – keep them coming. Libellule, I didn’t need your help but I always enjoy reading the hints, thank you.

  15. Really enjoyed this, all fell into place with a little thought.
    Thanks to Libelulle for the review.
    Thanks to Giovanni.

  16. Full day in the Lakes yesterday – Pike of Blisco – Crinkle Crags and Bow Fell for those that know the area, so I still have yesterdays to do. Today I thought it was a good standard I agree with ***and **** Last in was 11a. Many thanks.

  17. Thank you Giovanni and Libellule. Only just finished – excuse is grandchildren staying plus dog and returning them to their owners on the other side of the Pennines. Liked the long anagrams particularly.

  18. Easiest Friday for ages. Loved the three big anagrams, plain sailing from there. Am gearing up for the Friday toughie, which usually has me promising I’ll never do a crossword again! All in all a vintage week.

  19. I think that ‘TIN’ refers to the size of bread rather than money. I apologise if this point has already been made but I have not read the comments and I’ve only just finished

  20. Not done this one due to Olympics – which may be the case for the next 10 days!

    Cyclists done brill. Jess Ennis on a roll and Big Ben on pole for Sunday (best bit of match racing I’ve seen for many a long year!).. Just waiting for Victoria Pendleton to come good now. Don’t get much better!
    Lost interest in the Test Match!

        1. A long way behind! Glad to see ‘Sir’ Bradley there to support the team. And the men’s pursuit team were nothing less than AWESOME! They just look like a well-oiled machine, and I don’t mean they’ve had a few :lol: Brilliant performance!

          1. Good morning Lydia T Pott,

            I think it is wonderful that we are lucky enough to see all these young people from all over the world in our country doing all this ! Once in a lifetime stuff. Our judo girl with the silver and the young lady from Hong Kong last night in the Keiron – it means so much to them – witness Hoy, Pendleton, Granger etc on the podium. Fantastic !

            Question for you Lydia – What if Mr. Happy wins at Wimbledon on Sunday ? !

            Has anyone booed their own National Anthem before ?

            Enjoy the next week !

  21. I’m with Collywobbles. I remember my mother ordering a ‘small tin’ or a ‘large bloomer’ depending whether or not we were expecting company. Mainly enjoyable apart from 6d, which had a note of desperation about it.

    1. Welcome to the blog Watford.

      I don’t think there is any need to take sides – both methods of resolving the clue work equally well a) bread->loaf->tin or b) bread->money->tin.

          1. I did look it up in Chambers but it doesn’t explain how tin gets to money except to say that it is slang. I think that bread/loaf is closer

            1. Because tin is a synonym for silver. Alchemists called Jupiter both tin and silver because white was the colour sacred to him as the bringer of light.

  22. Just to get away from the Olympics briefly ….
    Ever since I finished today’s crossword I have been wondering what makes a really enjoyable puzzle. There’s no doubt from all the comments today that this was one. I don’t think that it’s anything to do with ease/difficulty – so what is it? Answers below from anyone who is not glued to the TV!!

  23. By the way – where is Mary? Hope that she’s OK – she is either absent or very quiet, for her, at the moment. :smile: to you, Mary.

  24. After a whole day of athletics, sailing, rowing and cycling I’m fair knackered! Oh, and Andy done good in the tennis as well, but I didn’t see much of that. At one point today pommette had the athletics on theTV in the kitchen while watching the tennis on her computer and I had the cycling on the TV in the lounge while followng the TMS commentary on my computer – how sad can that be? Do we need a bit of counselling or just a lie down in the darkened room for the next 10 days?
    Going to bed now because a busy day again tomorrow :grin:.

  25. Thanks to Giovanni & to Libellule for the review & hints. I thoroughly enjoyed it, some great clues. Started with 1a, finished with 26a. Favourite was 1d. Late blogging due to doing the Squash Ladder Leagues.

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