DT 26063 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26063

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26063

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

Another excellent start to the week from our Monday Maestro.

Leave a comment telling us what you thought. You can also add your assessment by selecting from one to five stars at the bottom of the post.


1a Cut and ran (6)
{SCORED} – I found this double definition quite interesting as when an early method of recording a run was to cut a notch in a stick

Time for a musical interlude:

ARVE Error: need id and provider

4a On the one hand, they’re instrumental in cutting (8)
{SCISSORS} – a cryptic definition of these two-bladed instruments that are operated single-handedly

9a Fighting a case (6)
{ACTION} – a double definition of a phase of fighting a war or a court case

10a Move faster on the esplanade (8)
{SEAFRONT} – an anagram (move) of FASTER ON gives an esplanade

12a Deck or dock made shipshape (4)
{TRIM} – this one is a triple definition!

13a Flinch, though still game (5)
{QUAIL} – a double definition in which the game refers to a small bird of the partridge family

14a Celebrity only seen at night? (4)
{STAR} – a double definition

17a They restore plush to order (12)
{UPHOLSTERERS} – this all-in-one clue is based on an anagram (to order) of RESTORE PLUSH

20a Yet brunettes may also enjoy it (3,2,3,4)
{FUN OF THE FAIR} – a cryptic definition of this phrase meaning all the amusements of the occasion – this phrase is usually preceded by “All the”, but that doesn’t detract from this clue

23a He employs American to precede the queen (4)
{USER} – this employer is a charade of US (American) and Elizabeth Regina (the Queen)

24a Freely born with vote in New York borough (5)
{BRONX} – an anagram (freely) of BORN precedes the mark used to record a vote to get this New York borough

25a Animal enthusiast out West (4)
{FAWN}  – to get this animal you need to put an enthusiast outside W(est)

28a Young female accompanist (8)
{CHAPERON} – a cryptic definition of this person who accompanies a girl or young woman to social events for protection, restraint, or appearance’s sake

29a Artist’s back pay? (6)
{REWARD} – this pay, or gain, is a semordlinap semordnilap (a word which when reversed gives another) of an artist [thanks for correcting my spelling Toby – believe it or not I checked it by reading it backwards and still got it wrong]

30a Star skater is knocked out (8)
{ASTERISK} – Here a star (*) is an anagram (knocked out) of SKATER IS

31a Follow a race tip (6)
{ATTEND} – a word meaning to follow is a charade of A TT (a motor-cycle race) and END (tip)


1d Renowned solicitor to open proceedings (5,3)
{START OUT} – the renowned solicitor is a STAR TOUT; move the space along and you have a phrasal verb meaning to open proceedings

2d Dismissed just for being unqualified (8)
{OUTRIGHT} – a charade of words meaning dismissed and just gives a word meaning unqualified, in the sense of unconditional, unmitigated

3d Tender raised for London statue (4)
{EROS} – tender is SORE which when reversed (raised) gives a London statue

5d An estimate of how resourceful one is (6,6)
{CREDIT RATING} – a cryptic definition of this estimate of one’s ability to repay borrowed money

6d Riddle involves a Kipling poem, in a way (4)
{SIFT} – the definition of a riddle as a large coarse sieve and to riddle as to use this sieve has caused trouble in the past – by the way, it is found by putting IF (a Kipling poem) inside ST (street / way)

7d How a witness may appear to Noah in new guise (2,4)
{ON OATH} – how one gives evidence in court is an anagram (in new guise) of TO NOAH

8d It joins in operations (6)
{SUTURE} – a cryptic definition of a thread used to stitch a wound

11d They have lots to attract buyers (7,5)
{AUCTION ROOMS} – a cryptic definition of these places where buyers can bid for items in a sale

15d Defy loud yob (5)
{FLOUT} – a word meaning to defy is derived from F (Forte / loud) and another word for a yob

16d Heavenly butter, this (5)
{ARIES} – the Ram is a constellation and an animal that uses its horns to butt

18d Vehicle quickly becomes a hardtop (8)
{CARAPACE} – a charade of a vehicle and APACE (quickly) gives this thick hard shell, made of bone or chitin, of a crab, tortoise etc.

19d Secret society set up racket inside island (8)
{TRINIDAD} – inside this Chinese secret society put DIN (racket) reversed (set up) and you get this Caribbean island – another one of my pet hates where A B in C means B in A = C; I prefer something along the lines of “Secret society with racket set up inside island

21d Turning points in making purchases (6)
{FULCRA} – I know this will not receive universal acclaim but I loved this cryptic definition of the fixed points on which a lever moves in order to get a purchase on an object

22d Know-all makes notes in exercise book (6)
{PEDANT} – one meaning of this word is an over-educated person who parades his or her knowledge – to get there put D and A (notes) inside PE (Physical Exercise) and NT (New Testament / books) – the debate continues as to whether this is “fair” as there are 49 combinations of two notes from A thru G and then Do, Re, Me, Mi etc make it even more

26d Not a cheap term of affection (4)
{DEAR} – a double definition

27d The finest — and worst (4)
{BEST} – another double definition – on the one hand “simply the best” and on the other to worst means to get the better of in a contest – isn’t English a funny language at times?

Cricket and music are such rich veins for setters to tap that they will always be with us.  Most of the terms used can be guessed and checked in a dictionary by those who don’t know them already.  For example, under run as a transitive verb Chambers has “to perform, achieve or score by running”.

57 comments on “DT 26063

  1. Todays clues were the worst I have read in a long time.
    21d making purchases( surely ****** are points of support not purchase
    22d I can’t see where ‘notes’ comes into the answer
    27d, what has ‘worst; got to do with the clue.
    Have I just got out of the wrong side of the bed this morning ?

    1. The only one I can comment on – because I understood it!!! – is 27d. Double definition. Chambers Crossword Companion lists the word under worst and of course also under finest.

    2. . A bit of a curate’s egg, this one; I enjoyed many of the clues, especially 24a and 16d, but some of the others had me completely stumped. I worked them out eventually, but not yet having all BD’s helpful hints am still puzzled. Why 31a, 19d and 21d for instance?

        1. Thanks, Gazza. I guessed ‘Trinidad’ quite early on but couldn’t think why. Some indication of the Orient would have helped.

    3. Re 21d, if you want to obtain leverage (purchase = “the advantage given by a device such as a pulley or lever”) you need a pivot point for the lever.

    4. Nubian re 22d
      PE = exercise, NT = New Testament (book), placed around DA musical notes as in FACE or EGBDF by the look of it.

      1. Libellule
        I don’t have a problem with PE or NT but it could hae said something like no new DNA, although I am aware of musical notations and keys I still think ‘notes’ is a stretch.

  2. I am looking forward to the downs as really struggled with 16d. I have the answer but I don’t know why. Because of that it took me longer than normal to finish the Monday puzzle. Really enjoyed 20a and did not like 16d.

    1. Lea .. ref 16d Aries is a constellation and the first sign of the zodiac, also called “The Ram” … so a butter! :smile:

        1. Now that I have thought about it more – nice clue – obscure but once it clicks it’s worth it. Thanks for the info.

  3. A real snorter to start the week on a high, with several imaginative clues.

    20a amusing, 28a clever use of the word accompanist (it threw me for a while),
    1d I groaned when finding answer!! 18d clever clue.

    On the downside I thought DA for notes on 22d was poor, (assuming I’m right).

    Overall well worthy of 4 **** in my book.

  4. Cracking start to the week. Some really nice clues and a good mixture of straightforward ones and those that need a little more teasing out. My favourite was 1d.

  5. I have just wasted 15 mins. of my life trying to see how 19d could be ‘granddad’!! The penny has just dropped.

  6. I found this quite difficult for a Monday, but managed to get all answers except 1a. The first time I haven’t completed the crossword in a long time! My imagination can’t make the leap required to accept “scored” as a synonym for “ran”. Can anybody elaborate on Big Dave’s hint?

    1. I didn’t think I needed to expand!

      I batsman is said to score a run in cricket – put it in the past tense ans you have the answer.

      1. Yes Dave, but the past tense of “to score a run” is “scored a run”, not “ran”. Without your hint, I don’t see how anybody could make that connection – even though you did!

        1. I could write an essay on this if I’m not careful!

          When a batsman is said to have scored three it can also be said that he ran three.

          Explaining some cricket terms is a bit like trying to explain the offside law in football. Try explaining how someone can have a net and you will see what I mean.

        2. … but not if he score a four as a boundary!

          If anyone cares to provide a feature on cricketing terms I would be deighted to add it to The Mine, but beware, it is potentially a minefield (pun intended).

          1. They used to sell posters in tourist shops entitled “Cricket as explained to Americans” and it went along these lines: Cricket is a 5 day game where both teams wear white and one team goes out and they are in till they’re all out then they go back in and the other team goes out and they’re in till they’re all out then they go back in and the team who scores the most wins, unless, of course they run out of time when it’s a draw.

            1. Way off topic, but all this banter reminds me of this joke:

              There were a family of skunks: mother skunk, father skunk and two baby
              skunks they named “In” and “Out”

              Now sometimes In was in and Out was out.
              Sometimes In was in and Out was in too.
              And sometimes Out was in and In was out.
              And sometimes Out was out and In was out too.

              One day, In was out and Out was in. Mother skunk said “Out, you go out
              and bring In in.”

              Within just moments Out had brought In in with him. Mother skunk was
              amazed and said “Out, how in the world did you find In so quickly?:

              “Easy Mother,” Out replied, “In stinked.”

    2. Same problem Vince but when I saw the explanation it made sense.

      Double definition where you cut something (make a notch) and also score (a run in cricket).

      Enjoyed this one more than last weeks Monday. Favourites were 28a & 1d. I thought that 21d was pushing it a bit but now quite like it.

      1. I understand the connection Big Dave is making, but if that’s what the compiler intended, I think it’s a false connection. If the past tense of scoring a run is ran, what is the past tense of scoring 2 runs? This may be somewhat pedantic, but somebodt once said that this is a blog for pedants.

          1. Thanks for you support, Nubian, but if you read Big Dave’s further explanation, above, it seems you have to be a cricket fan to make sense of this and some other cricket terms that have come up in the past. Seems unfair on solvers who are not!

            1. Adding fuel to BD’s hint for 1a, a “cut” is also a common term for a batting stroke in cricket, so if the batsman cut the ball and ran he will have “scored” one or more runs. :smile:

  7. Yuck…….not for me today, I felt that it was worthy of 4 stars and the only clue i really liked was 20a :) did about 3/4 without your help but would never have finished it, thanks once again :)

  8. Quite a decent puzzle to start the week, but a tad too many cryptic definitions for me. I can’t see the problem over the “ran/run” debate.

      1. Sarumite

        Thanks for that – WordPress provides special support for imbedded youtube videos in comments. Not so with images, for some reason.

  9. Did not enjoy this at all whilst there were some really good clues (17a), there were some quite dodgy ones – (27d) still don’t see how the answer fits with worst – sounds rather convoluted to me! The most impressive thing for me was BD’s word semordlinap – Are you sure you haven’t just made that up BD?

    Pedant that I am, I have just checked up and your spelling is a typo! I am sure you know the route of this word BD but for the other blogger out there, who like me has never heard of it, it is palindromes spelt backwards. A word I shal cherish and try to get into everyday conversation at the earliest opportunity!

    Many thanks for your help BD, without it I only finished half of them today.

    1. Pedant that I am, Toby, it should be the “root” of this word!

      I have corrected the typo. As you now know, I did not make it up.

  10. Hmmm! Bit of a mixture of very easy and downright ridiculous. What on earth is a STAR TOUT? 20a was fun if obvious but I always thought it was CHAPERONE with the e on the end. Got 21d but completly failed with 19d, forgot about Triads – not sure if they are really classified as a secret society rather than a criminal group like the Yardies.

    1. Barrie

      I put in star tout to try and explain the wordplay. Star = renowned makes little sense unless you realise that star in this context is an adjective. A tout is someone who solicits for custom in an obtrusive, aggressive or brazen way.

      Chambers defines a Triad as any one of many Chinese secret societies and chaperone as an alternate spelling for chaperon (rather than the other way around)

      You need to be able to read these clues with a degree of lateral thinking if you don’t want the setter to continually defeat you.

      1. Thanks Dave for the explanation. Thats the trouble with being scientifically trained, you develop serial cause to effect thinking. Must try to think ‘out of the box’!

  11. Liked today’s especially “Trinidad”. Why can’t puzzles like this be set on Saturdays? Far better in my view. A good crossword to kick-off the week but then again it ought to have been since the ‘paper has gone up to a quid from 90p!

    1. If you purchase the Daily and Sunday Telegraph papers on a regular basis Little Dave, why not take out a subscription.

      I currently pay £68.90 per quarter (in advance) and receive vouchers for these papers. A sizeable and worthwhile saving!

  12. :-( and I thought I was getting better! Would have only got about a third without your help, so thanks. Liked 21d though.

  13. Struggled a bit. may take Peter’s advice (26,062). Didn’t realise paper had gone up! that’s gonna mess up my accounts this week. Me thinks the cricket debate will rage on until the next ashes test. Bythaway does BD’s kitchen have any good recipes about fruit crumble?

      1. BD

        Whilst a recipe for a crumble for diabetics would be most sincerely appreciated by myself, one for a Diabetic Crumble would be very interesting. Never knew crumbles had insulin!

  14. I have only just started this lark in the last 2 weeks and have so far completed 5 or 6 (usually with Daves halp for the final 1 or 2 answers) However today was a b******d – the hardest one I have encountered so far, and I needed Dave for at least 10 or 12 and even now haven’t finished it!
    I would hate t meet a 4 o 5*

    1. Hi Trotters and welcome to the blog.
      If you’ve only been doing crosswords for 2 weeks you’re doing exceedingly well.

  15. Having completed the last five crosswords I found this one virtually impossible. For me one of the hardest ever. For several of the clues it was still difficult to understand even after your explanation. Ten star difficulty!!

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