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DT 100013

Daily Telegraph Christmas Day Cryptic No 100013

A full review by Tilsit

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Merry Christmas to everyone!

We have a special puzzle for today and it’s a nice straightforward one from our Editor himself. It’s available online only for Telegraph subscribers, as is the annual Christmas Double Toughie by Elgar. The lovely Crypticsue will be along with the blog for that one, once you have had a little time to wrestle with the challenge.

Today’s cryptic is not a prize puzzle, so you have a full blog. Prize puzzles are back tomorrow and next Saturday, we’ll return to normal.


1 Crossing river, crash merits my angry greeting (5,9)
MERRY CHRISTMAS A seasonal greeting is revealed from an anagram (angry) of CRASH, MERITS MY containing (crossing) R for river.

9 Engineers with demand for salvage (7)
RECLAIM The standard abbreviation for the (Royal) Engineers from the army and something meaning demand.

10 Piece of music for beginner? (7)
PRELUDE A cryptic definition for a piece of music that starts a larger piece.

11 Demand work for the audience (4)
NEED Something meaning demand sounds like a word meaning to work (bread, etc).

12 Branch getting nothing for a carriage (10)
DEPORTMENT Take a ten-letter word meaning a branch of a company or a type of store and swap the A for an O to give you the answer.

14 Adult upset squire (6)
RISQUE An anagram (upset) of SQUIRE gives something meaning for adults only.

15 Government initially trusted soldiers (8)
REGIMENT You need a word for a type of government and add the first letter (initially) of TRUSTED to give you a name for a large group of soldiers.

17 Retsina I served up is most watery (8)
RAINIEST An anagram (served up) of RETSINA plus I gives you a very wet word.

18 Newspaper with name for rabble (6)
RAGTAG The name for a low-market newspaper, plus something meaning name gives you a word for a group of assorted people.

21 Dazed from jab, perhaps body needs day for rest, ultimately (5-5)
PUNCH-DRUNK A clue that appears almost topical, however here the jab is something associated with sport. A word for what a jab is in sport, plus a word meaning body wither you replace the last letter of REST with the abbreviation for day.

22 Determination that might make roads safer? (4)
GRIT Two definitions, one meaning determination, and this word can also be something you use to make a road safer in the winter.

24 They attack Republican helpers (7)
RAIDERS Take an abbreviation for Republicans and something that is a word for some helpers.

25 Transport a posh prisoner arrested by that man (7)
HAULAGE A word for a type of (road) transport is revealed by taking A plus an abbreviation meaning posh that was popularised but not invented by Nancy Mitford; add to this a word for a prisoner and wrap it around a male pronoun. For more info on the posh abbreviation, try this:


26 Those in charge at Waterloo, etc? (14)
STATIONMASTERS Forget battles, if you know what I do for a living, you’ll know I speak to these people almost every day at Waterloo, Clapham Junction and at the marvellously named Bat and Ball Station in Sevenoaks. So, you are looking for a cryptic definition for people who run these places.


1 Craftsman, perhaps one employed by Silas? (7)
MARINER A cryptic definition, someone who looks after a type of craft, is revealed by taking the abbreviation for one in Roman numerals, and putting it inside a fictional person named Silas, created by George Eliot.

2 Boffin‘s rum — escort necks it (twice) (6,9)
ROCKET SCIENTIST A slang term for a boffin is an anagram (rum) of ESCORT, NECKS and two IT’s

3 Some time with unknown listener (4)
YEAR Take one of the two letters often used to represent unknown quantities (that are next to each other in the alphabet) and add a word for a listener.

4 Check basket (6)
HAMPER A word that can mean to check or restrain, and a type of basket often used at this time of year.

5 The setter’s right and wrong (8)
IMPROPER A way of describing how a setter would describe themselves as doing something appropriately when put together into one word means the opposite.

6 Dramatic recital that nearly goes badly (10)
THEATRICAL An anagram (goes badly) of RECITAL and THA (that, nearly i.e., incomplete) gives an adjective meaning dramatic.

7 Bandits here menaced amateurs playing (9,6)
AMUSEMENT ARCADE A place where you will find bandits associated with gaming is an anagram of MENACED AMATEURS.

8 Go away and triumph over Italian (4,2)
BEAT IT An expression to ask someone to scarper is a word meaning triumph and a short abbreviation for Italian.

13 Penalty kick — accepting one’s hard on team (10)
PUNISHMENT A type of kick used in rugby and American football has inside it one’s in abbreviation form, and a word for a (male) team.

16 Dave’s press officer screens something hot and steamy (8)
ESPRESSO One of two hidden answers today (the other will be here soon). Hidden inside ‘DAVE’S PRESS OFFICER’ is a type of hot drink.

17 Rugby forward is comic character (6)
RUPERT The abbreviation for one of the two types of rugby and a word meaning forward is the name of a fictional creation from 1920 invented by Mary Tourtel and subsequently by Alfred Bestall and others. I used to find the creation dull as ditch water, but an aunt bought me the annual each year and the only thing I’d do with it was the magic painting pictures where you took a brush and water and painted it over the page to reveal coloured pictures.

19 Unhappy guests — about 50 without bottle (7)
GUTLESS An anagram (unhappy) of GUESTS going around the roman numeral for 50 gives toy a word meaning cowardly or without pluck.

20 Some began The Mikado song (6)
ANTHEM As promised, the second hidden answer. Hidden in ‘BEGAN THE MIKADO’ is a word for a ceremonial song.

23 Swear copper’s unscrupulous in the end (4)
CUSS The abbreviation for copper’s, plus the last letter of UNSCRUPULOUS, gives a word meaning to swear.

All in all, a fairly straightforward puzzle with only the clue at 21a that held me up briefly. Do have a go at the Elgar Double Toughie if you can, it’s not all that beastly today. Let us know your thoughts.

There is a quick puzzle today and your seasonal pun is SAN + TACK + LAWS = SANTA CLAUS.

Some music and this is one of my favourites, just wallow in this lovely version of an old favourite. I’ll see you next year or next Saturday, whichever comes first.

34 comments on “DT 100013

  1. A very straightforward Christmas crossword, ideal for a busy day in anyone’s house and especially one where the cook has to both solve and blog the Elgar special and the NTSPP

    thanks to the setter and Tilsit.

  2. Very enjoyable, great fun to start off the big day.
    I have to confess to writing out the fodder for 2d but hey it’s Christmas, and got 1d without needing the Silas reference, which I subsequently checked.
    My crackers go to 10& 21a plus 13,17&19d
    Many thanks to the setter and Tilsit and 1a to all.
    Ps.. had to laugh at today’s Davey cartoon.

  3. A lovely puzzle to start Christmas Day with no particular hold ups. I am a subscriber to the Telegraph but my electronic version does not give me a Toughie to try and have a go at – where should I look for it? I can only ever log in using a TS number and I’m not always given than option. Any ideas? Anyway, thanks to all and enjoy the rest of the day everyone.

  4. I loved this. As a bonus, Mrs YS sat down and completed it too, with a few hints from me. Great fun.

    My thanks to CL for all his excellent work throughout the year, and to Tilsit. I am unable to find the Elgar on the puzzles website. Any clues?

      1. Thanks John.
        Unfortunately , my better half had a mania for printing everything , so we don’t have a printer anymore.

  5. Nice straightforward Christmas Day offering from Mr Ed. Nothing too mind-stretching a lovely start that hopefully sets the tone for the day. A low-power sun tries to compensate for a bitter easterly outside. Inside the presents are opened, the turkey is cooked so on with the day.
    Thank you CL for today and a year of (sometimes masochistic) pleasure
    Grateful thanks for the hints Tilsit and Happy Christmas to BD and the reviewers who make this site a must-visit for so many

  6. Our esteemed editor being very kind to us with few brain cells having to be given up – 1.5*/4.5*.

    Candidates for favourite – 10a, 5d, and 13d – and the winner is 5d.

    Thanks to CL and his team for their sterling efforts throughout the year and thanks to Tilsit.

  7. An easy entry into the day. I had a bit of trouble sorting the setter’s right’s and wrong’s and the music for beginners. 21a was bunged in not entirely parsed.
    Thanks to tilsit for explaining this and all the other puzzles over the year. and thanks to CL for his sterling work at puzzles HQ.
    It is about time I raised a glass or two to all the setters bloggers and the commentariat who have kept us all entertained for another year.🍗🥃🎂

  8. Very nice of Mr Ed to bring us a festive greeting crossword, such a shame that his workload doesn’t allow him time to pop into the blog as often as he did in the past.
    Didn’t know the ‘kick’ reference, thought it had more to do with horse-racing, so yet again this was something of a school day.
    My favourite was the neatly contrived 25a with a smile for 5d which no doubt Mr Ed has plenty of dealings with in his working life!

    Many thanks to him and to his small band of helpers for keeping our brains active – and also to Tilsit for delivering the review.

    1. You’re quite right, BL, but I would imagine all those who could change the hint are too busy now with their own Christmas festivities.
      Enjoy seeing your grandchildren and hope you get the chance to put your feet up afterwards!

    2. What the hint needs is the word crossing to replace the words in brackets as the anagram fodder is crossing the abbreviated river

      I’m too busy eating Christmas cake and watching a programme about Quentin Blake to do anything about it

      1. Thank you Senf. I wasn’t being picky, I just wanted to help anyone else stuck on that clue.

  9. Going to have to put this aside partly finished, as I need to get on with preparing for kids and grandkids arriving shortly. But want to take this opportunity to wish all the lovely people on this site a very Happy Christmas, those who post, those who lurk, the setters, and particularly are team of faithful bloggers who help us out every single day with the hints. You are all very much appreciated.

  10. As I printed this off, 1a solved itself! Alas, I can’t do any more, I’ve got to get ready to go out, it takes so long! I want to wish all of our friends here a very Merry Christmas, happiness and good health. You’ve all been such a source of enjoyment this past year, I look forward to more in 2022.
    In particular, I’d like to wish our Big Dave best wishes and hope that he’s fully recovered from his fall and is now hale and hearty. I love you all and will think of you when we toast absent friends.

  11. Lovely puzzle. 14a amused me, as did 5d, and 12a my COTD. Lots of fun to work, perfect for the day. Merry Christmas and many thanks to Tilsit, CL, and everyone connected with this essential Blog, especially Big Dave himself. ** / ***

  12. 1st Time I have posted but I have enjoyed the comments and gentle banter from this site over the years.

    This Christmas, as many others have been, it’s a life at sea for me installing fibre optic telecommunications cables under the ocean, generally between large land masses. I am currently on a small survey vessel off the coast of Corsica (“MV Arctic” see MarineTrafic.com) for yet another cable traversing the Med. I will be installing this one in a couple of years time.

    Obviously, it’s only the electronic version for me. The paper boy never delivers on time and it’s always wet.

    I found this particular crossword fairly easy but bizarrely, 1d took a while for me to twig.

    Thanks to the reviewers and bloggers for your inspired comments over the years.

    I may dive in with my tuppence worth now and again.

    1. Happy to see a new “face” on the blog. As I am in South Florida the paper boy never quite makes it here with the tree version either 😊.

  13. What a wonderful puzzle. Just right for Christmas Day. I completed it over the morning coffee while waiting for Mrs C to stir from her slumbers. Many thanks to the setter and to Tilsit for writing the blog on Christmas Day. Greatly appreciated, sir.

  14. Phew! A great Christmas gift after the travails of Thursday in particular. Great fun and quick for me to finish on the same day! Thanks to Tilsit and Setter – merry Christmas to one and all… */****

  15. A lovely solve, slower than it should have been because of post-prandial haze. Also had to trawl up my Telegraph password so I could sign in to the app on my new Kindle. Thank you Tilsit for the Fat Controller.

  16. Well done Tilsit for putting the review together. Nice & gentle & even within my capability after far too much food & wine.
    Trusting everyone had a lovely day.
    Thanks all

  17. Happy Christmas to all!!

    A nice present for Saturday in the form of this light and pleasant gift for us today.
    1*/5* today … It’s Christmas!
    Favourites include 1a of course, 18a, 26a, 2d & 23d with winner 26a for the potential misdirection.

    Thanks to setter and Tilsit and have a wonderful safe day with family and friends

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