DT 26116 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26116

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26116

A full analysis by Big Dave

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ****

One of the best Saturday Prize puzzles for quite a while has no answer of less than six letters. Most of the recent puzzles from Cephas have been pangrams – that is all 26 letters of the alphabet are used – and this one is no exception.


1a    Endorse cards carried by hiker (8)
BACKPACK – a charade of a BACK (to endorse) and PACK (a set of cards) gives something that could be carried by a hiker

5a    Container inside another holding nothing (6)

9a    Herb’s divine article (8)
ANGELICA – this herb is simply ANGELIC (divine) with A

10a    A fib about artillerymen in part of Nigeria once (6)
BIAFRA – About signals an anagram of A FIB is followed by RA (Royal Artillery) to give a part of Nigeria

11a    Check joystick (7)
CONTROL – a double definition

12a    Time when one is out of work (7)
LEISURE – a cryptic definition

13a    Question Tom ordering air-raid precaution (8,3)
MOSQUITO NET – an anagram (ordering) of QUESTION TOM give a protection from flying insects

16a    Slightly drunk blonde (5-6)
LIGHT-HEADED – a double definition, the second part of which is a bit cryptic

21a    Cry about donkey at festive occasion (7)
WASSAIL – put WAIL (cry) around ASS (donkey) and the result is a seasonal festive occasion

22a    Greatest current asset of the People’s Republic (7)
YANGTZE – one of my favourites is this cryptic definition of a Chinese river, although you need to know that this puzzle is pangrammatic in order to choose between this spelling and YANGTSE

23a    Cast off (6)
EXEUNT – an instruction for all the cast to leave the stage – “Exeunt, pursued by a bear” was famously used in The Winter’s Tale

24a    Such confusion enveloping bird in large flower (8)
HIBISCUS – an anagram (confusion) of SUCH is to be placed around (enveloping) an IBIS (bird) to get a large flower

25a    Sweltering bridge player truly confused (6)
SULTRY – a word meaning Sweltering comes from S (South / bridge player) followed by an anagram (confused) of TRULY

26a    May be used by speakers at station? (8)
PLATFORM – a double definition – someone who is speaking to an audience would often use this, and it can be found at any railway station


1d    Local office out on a limb? (6)
BRANCH – this double definition is a bit of an old chestnut – the local office of a large organisation or a limb of a tree

2d    Powerful businessman (6)
COGENT – a word meaning powerful is a charade of CO (company / business) and GENT (man)

3d    Quietly I left determined wayfarer (7)
PILGRIM – wordsum time – P (quietly) I L(eft) and GRIM (determined) adding up to this wayfarer

4d    Light boat providing cover for sea-creature (11)
COCKLESHELL – a light boat, made famous by the film Cockleshell Heroes, could provide a SHELL (cover) for a COCKLE (sea-creature)

6d    Soulful believer, saint I’m converting (7)
ANIMIST – someone who believes in the attribution of a soul to natural objects and phenomena is an anagram (converting) of SAINT I’M

7d    A loud and voluble flush (8)
AFFLUENT – A F (loud) and FLUENT in speech (voluble) gives a word meaning flush, in the sense of well-off

8d    Attempt to include a singlet in disguise (8)
TRAVESTY – a TRY (attempt) is placed around (to include) A VEST (a singlet) to get a disguise, especially of a man as a woman or vice versa

12d    Price of cleanliness? (7,4)
LAUNDRY BILL – a cryptic definition

14d    Unblemished foreigner starting without rules (8)
FLAWLESS – a word meaning unblemished comes from F (Foreigner starting) and LAWLESS (without rules)

15d    Yellow and white container (8)
EGGSHELL – a cryptic definition

17d    Coach and carriages about to turn up (7)
TRAINER – a word meaning a coach, in the sense of a person who prepares athletes for completion, is built up from TRAIN (carriages) followed by RE (about) reversed (to turn up)

18d    He draws when one is open-mouthed (7)
DENTIST – a cryptic definition

19d    Cuts up firm plaster (6)
STUCCO – CUTS is reversed (up because this is a down clue) and followed by CO (firm) to give a kind of plaster used to coat exterior walls or make architectural mouldings

20d    Black missile thrown overboard? (6)
JETSAM – our final charade combines JET (the colour of a rich black highly-polished variety of lignite) with SAM (a Surface-to-Air Missile) to get items thrown overboard from a ship and subsequently washed up on shore

5 comments on “DT 26116

  1. why have you given out all the answers when the puzzle is not due to the DT until Thursday 31st? most irregular and possibly illegal!

    1. Welcome to the blog

      I doubt it’s illegal – if it was then you’d have to shut down AnswerBank! I was unaware of the changed closing date – we don’t get that kind of info on CluedUp, which still says:

      # What address do I mail my Saturday prize crossword to?

      You can mail your prize crossword to:
      Telegraph Media Group
      PO Box 601
      SW1W 0WW
      by first post the following Thursday. Envelopes must be sealed and marked Prize Competition

    2. I should have added that the Telegraph make their puzzles so easy on a Saturday to encourage a large number of entries – unlike any of the other quality newspapers.

  2. Many thanks for your prompt reply. Just thought you might like to know.
    For your info the deadline for the current prize (26,121) is Wed 6th Jan first post.

    In the forlorn hope that I might one day win a DT Watermans fountain pen, I regularly send in my solution (when I remember!). Pure lottery of course. I wonder what their average entry is?

    Happy New Year to you and your membership, and thanks fo your continuing help, much valued – a great site.


    1. Thanks – I’ll keep DT 26121 back until Jan 6th.

      As far as the number of entries is concerned the Telegraph won’t release any figures but it is believed to be in the region of 10,000 which means you might win the top prize once in every 200 years.

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