DT 26146 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26146

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26146

Hints and tips by Rishi

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Neat, clean, delectable – some words to describe today’s offering from our Monday maestro. Most of the clues are easy. Some have slightly tricky bits of play.

At one stage I had six clues to go. They were: 28a, 30a and 8d, 21d, 26d, 27d. Of these, the very last to go in were 30a and 26d.

The clues that I liked most are: 9a, 11a, 18a, 5d, 15d, 20d, 25d – all of which have smooth surface reading.

All the answers are here – except that they are hidden. To see any, please drag the mouse over the white space between  the curly brackets.


1a Fear landing accident may be the big finish (5,6)
{GRAND FINALE} – Anagram of FEARLANDING (‘may be’ is anagram indicator). Definition: ‘big finish’.

9a Expert seen about new skin problem (4)
{ACNE} – Word for ‘expert’ around abbreviation of ‘new’. Definition: ‘skin problem’.

Skin problem

10a Surveillance needs excellent eyesight (11)
{SUPERVISION} – Word sum of word for ‘excellent’ and ‘eyesight’. Definition: ‘Surveillance’.

11a Ill-used, sought damages (4)
{SUED} – Anagram of USED (‘ill’ is anagram indicator). Definition: ‘sought damages’.

14a Anger with a disease (7)
{CHOLERA} – Word sum of word for ‘anger’ and A (a). Defintion: ‘disease’

16a Loud and biased form of amusement (7)
{FUNFAIR} – Word sum of F (abbreviation for ‘fortissimo’, musical term meaning ‘loud’) and a word for ‘biased’. Definition: ‘form of amusement’, rather a source of merriment.

17a Jet offering return excursions (5)
{SPIRT} – Reversal of a word for ‘excursions’. Definition: ‘jet’. I understand that ‘spurt’ is a variant spelling of this word.

18a Not quite willing to study (4)
{READ} – A word for ‘willing’ left unfinished (indicated by ‘not quite’). Definition: ‘study’

19a Number four iron taken out (4)
{FIVE} – Fe (the symbol for ‘iron’) around the Roman numeral for ‘four’. Definition: ‘Number’.

20a Climb Everest, say (5)
{MOUNT} – Double definition – Climb/ Everest, say (for example)

22a Anger when a counterfeit coin has gone into circulation (7)
{DUDGEON} – Word sum of a word for ‘a counterfeit coin’ and an anagram of GONE (‘into circulation’ being the anagram indicator)

23a Toss in a chit for wine (7)
{CHIANTI} – Anagram of INACHIT (‘toss’ being anagram indicator). Definition: ‘wine’

24a Right-minded man’s essay about love (4)
{TORY} – A word for ‘essay’ (v.) around O (‘love’ as in tennis score). Definition: ‘right-minded man’, a reference to his  politics rather than his morality.

28a Justification for V-sign (11)
{VINDICATION} – Word sum of V (V) and a word for ‘sign’. Definition: ‘justification’.

29a Thrash in the return game (4)
{FLOG} – Reversal of a word for a ‘game’. Definition: ‘thrash’.

30a A convict’s free time (7,4)
{RELEASE DATE} – Word sum of a word for ‘free’ (v.) and a word for ‘time’. Definition: all-in-one, that is, the clue re-read as a whole.

2d Organised tour flight (4)
{ROUT} – Anagram of TOUR (‘organised’ being the anagram indicator). Definition: ‘flight’ (as might be taken by an utterly defeated army).

3d They disapprove of one’s make-up (4)
{NOES} – Anagram of ONES (‘make-up’ being anagram indicator). Definition: ‘They disapprove’, in voting, for instance.

4d Approves of indications of support (7)
{FAVOURS} – Double definition – Approves of / ‘indications of support’

5d Sent to restore a bird sanctuary (4)
{NEST} – Anagram of SENT (‘to restore’ being the anagram indicator). Definition: ‘a bird sanctuary’.

Where birds live

6d Sentry gives a verbal warning (4,3)
{LOOK OUT} – A word for ‘sentry’ , when the hyphen is removed, gives a phrase that the sentry might utter when he sees something or someone suspicious.

7d Legal charges (11)
{ACCUSATIONS} – Straightforward definition, unless you see cryptic element in the word ‘charges’ in the sense of ‘persons in one’s care’ and are ready to go astray

8d It’s the law in France (11)
{GENDARMERIE} – Another barely cryptic definition, ‘the law’ being not the rules but the force that enforces the rules – in France, and so a French word that might have passed into English.

12d Rigid with fear? (6,5)
{SCARED STIFF} – Cryptic definition describing the state of a person who is thoroughly frightened. ‘Rigid’ suggests that rigor mortis is set in such a person and so some grave thoughts are required in solving this clue.

13d Girl taken by pirate’s weaponry (3,3,5)
{BOW AND ARROW} – the girl could be the delectable Ms Ventham (or maybe a fish called this!) and she is taken in by to BORROW, a euphemism used by many to try and justify to themselves the pirating of music, to get primitive weaponry – this is almost certainly the clue that will cause the most problems today and Rishi asked me to interpret the wordplay BD

15d Expert clad in an item of protective clothing (5)
{APRON} – A word for ‘expert’ in AN (‘an’) gives a word for ‘protective clothing’ such as a chef might wear.

16d Old money of European country drops a point (5)
{FRANC} – Take the name of a European country and delete E (‘a point’) to get the former currency of that country as well as a couple of others.

20d Doctor tries new sort of lock (7)
{MORTISE} – Word sum of MO (abbreviation for ‘medical officer’ from ‘doctor’) and anagram of TRIES (new being the anagram indicator). Definition: ‘sort of lock’.

Sort of lock

21d Possibly what half-bricks get to make them so? (7)
{THWACKS} – Word sum of anagram of WHAT (‘possibly’ being the anagram indicator) and half (the latter half, to be precise) of the letters of BRICKS. Definition: All-in-one, that is, re-read the whole clue. The answer word, if administered to bricks, would render them half-bricks – literally that is!

25d Axe commercials on the radio (4)
{ADZE} – A word for ‘axe’ (n.) is a homophone (‘on the radio’ in the sense of ‘to the listener’ being the homophone indicator) of ‘commercials’ in thes sense of pulicity stuff .


26d Boss seen in a boiled shirt (4)
{STUD} – Don’t look for any hidden word here! A word for “boss” is something that might be actually seen in ( or is it on?) a ‘boiled shirt’ (a phrase that is new to me and which, I understand, is a ‘dress shirt’). Ordinary shirts would have only buttons, it seems.

Fastener for clothing

27d Craft exhibited by circle in club (4)
{BOAT} – O (‘Circle’) in a word for ‘club’ (as used in games). Definition: ‘craft’ in the sense of ‘water vessel’.

How did you fare with this crossword? Which clues were your faves? And were you disconcerted by any clue? Leave a comment and we will be pleased to read it.
You can also add your assessment by selecting from one to five stars at the bottom of the post.

58 comments on “DT 26146

  1. I dragged the answer to 21d from the back of my brain somewhere and it turns out to be my favourite clue!.
    Struggled on 13d – I don’t know why once you look at the answer!.

    Thanks to Rishi for the review and to Rufus for the great crossword.

  2. I thought this was a very gentle start to the week, haven’t counted but there seemed to be a lot of anagrams. Fav clues 21d and 12d.

    1. As per my reckoning, of the 32 clues in this crossword, only six are whole-word/phrase anagrams – in the light of existing norms among crossword setters that is not overdoing it, I think.

      The feeling that there are too many anagrams may be due to the fact that of those that are there, not only the first Across clue but also the first two Down clues are anagrams.

      Not only that, two of these are anagrams of four-letter words.


      Do you think that a crossword setter should avoid the first Ac or Dn clue to be an anagram?

      Do you think that the anagrams must be only of long word/phrases and that anagrams of four-letter words had better be avoided?

      1. Didn’t try this puzzle but would say NO to both – there do seem to be some setters who want to ensure that 1A is a hard clue and would probably avoid an anagram there, but other setters have no particular reason to avoid an anag there. Anags of four-letter words must count as pretty easy, but I believe that’s part of the brief for the Monday setter. For short anagrams, the fact that multiple anagrams are fairly common – lager/Elgar/regal/large/glare for example – can balance the effect of 5! being much smaller than 15!

      2. Not at all, Rishi. So far as I’m concerned the fewer constraints on the setter – besides a decent editor who is on our side – the better.

        I wouldn’t even mind a crossword with 15-20 anagrams so long as they are good and it only comes once every 10 years or so.

      3. Not a problem at all. I think I must have had a run where I solved all the anagram (or part anagram) clues 1 after the other , as I said didn’t count, just my sense. My quickest solve of 2010 by far.

  3. Agreed it was a gentle start, and didn’t do a lot for me. 8d left me with a minor quibble – there is no such thing as THE law in France, because there are the national police, municipal police and Gendarmerie with overlapping jurisdictions. I also think 21d was a good clue.

    Harry Shipley

  4. Not too difficult start to the week.

    13d & 21d were two of the most difficult clues for me. But, when I got the answers, they didn’t seem so difficult after all!

    27d was the other clue that gave me problems – because I’d never heard the term “boiled shirt”. It doesn’t appear in my copy of Chambers, so had to go online to find it.

    7d. Didn’t like this, as it was too straightforward.

    25d. I’ve never liked “on the radio” as an indicator for a homonym.

    Particularly liked 10a & 28a.

    1. I find the phrase ‘boiled shirt’ in my 1998 edition of the Chambers dictionary.

      After I solved the clue (from the definition ‘boss’ and the crossings), I had looked up the phrase in the digital version of the dictionary on my machine, though.

      This I mention because sometimes I find that though a term is in there, it is not found in the paper version.

    2. Oh dear. I actually remember using the term ‘boiled shirt’. It goes back a bit.

      But I don’t recall ever seeing spirt spelled that way. So although it was the first clue answered, it was the last to be filled in, tentatively, in pencil, with both an I and a U just in case.

    1. I tried, without success, to find a justification for that interpretation of pirate in Chambers and also failed to find a pirate of that name. The nearest I got was Captain Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean and the rhyme “Who killed Cock Robin” (I, said the sparrow, with my 13 down) but that was too far off the wall!

      Chambers does give borrowed as counterfeit, but that’s not quite the same as pirated (or is it?).

      1. Dave
        If you use the online Chambers Thesaurus. Go look up pirate – it has the synonym copy, then lookup copy and you find the synonym borrow….. its pushing it but it does seem to follow….

        1. With enough steps like that you could probably reduce the English language down to a vocabulary of one word (but don’t ask which one)!

          I checked in Bradford’s and the Chambers Crossword Dictionary, also without success. This is obviously an activity that we in crosswordland would never do.

          Perhaps Rufus will confirm his intended interpretation.

          1. Just a thought – how about Pirate = Plagiarize, in that case you would indeed be borrowing someone elses words for example.

            1. Prompted by an email from gnomethang I have just rechecked pirate in Chambers Thesaurus and found the following:


              copy, reproduce illegally, steal, pinch, plagiarize, poach

              FORMAL appropriate

              COLLOQUIAL borrow, crib, lift, nick, knock off

              I’m not sure how I missed this at 1am this morning!!

              1. This clue was the sticking point for me in an otherwise enjoyable puzzle. I only understand it having read this blog.

  5. I am afraid I did not find this a ‘user friendly’ puzzle.
    Some may like it but I found some of the clues particulary obscure but maybe that is the way of Rufus and I should recognize the fact. All part of the learning curve I suppose.
    Obscure ?
    22a do we need the word coin?
    13d is ‘pirate’ the same as ‘++++++’? not in my book
    21d too obscure to mention..right out in left field
    25d ads ? give me a break
    26d boiled shirt ? thats another one I couldn’t iron out !

    What a start to the week

  6. I found this most enjoyable, with clues of varying difficulty, some quite simple with others more thought provoking.
    Precisely how it it should be by my reckoning … thank you Rufus.
    Am I the only one who thinks 19 across is a cracking clue? Also liked 16a.
    Not surprisingly, 13a was the last to be cracked, I had the answer but didn’t fully understand the wordplay initially.
    Thanks for an excellent review Rishi.

    1. 19a made me call my wife in to see this excellent clue whereas the word “Spirt” as an alternative for “Spurt” had me looking in the dictionary to see if I had interpreted the clue correctly.

    1. The answer is between the curly brackets – just select the space with your mouse. If you are using, say, an iPhone then let us know and someone will tell you how to access the answer.

      BTW it should have been obvious from the Cock Robin part of my comment above!

    1. Welcome to the blog Angel

      A lot of people will disagree with you. The Monday DT puzzle is the one that is most often recommended to anyone who is new to cryptic crosswords.

    2. Hi Angel, why would you think it was dull, was it too easy for you or too hard or neither, what constitutes dull for you??

  7. I finished it quite quickly (for me) but I would not say it was easy as I did not understand why my answers to 13d and 21d were right until I read this blog, and although 19a is fairly obvious I did not consider it to be fair – how about “Four iron taken out of hand”?

  8. A puzzle of two halves for me, some clues i really like e.g. 10a, 16a, 28a, 15d, 7d, others i found really hard to understand even on getting the answers, never heard a dress shirt called that and most dress shirts these days dont have them! didn’t like 13d but now i do understand the clue, it was a yes/no day for me today, thanks Rishi for the blog

  9. 13d, Crossword tools gives ‘pirate’ for ‘borrow’, thus with Wanda girls name, this should solve this fishy clue. liked 16a.

    1. Thanks for that Kram

      I tried to look it up in the Urban Dictionary and although it was not there I did find this gem:


      Word used by an ignorant person when asking you to loan them something

      “Dude, can you borrow me your dictionary?”

      “Yea, you obviously need it more than I do!”

      1. Lol my friends always ask if they can “lend” something off me. To which I reply “that depends. who do you want to lend it to?”

  10. Thanks BD took me blimmin ages with 13D but i can now get on with something productive, wasted much too much time on that one, why is it their is always one clue that takes so long?

  11. Found it to be one of those puzzles where one feels attuned to the setter and speeds through. However I wasn’t sure about 17a until I checked here. I failed to understand the boiled shirt reference in 26d, and had to learn another term for anger in 14a to make sense of my guess.
    I liked several clues that irked others: 8d, 13d,21d,22a. Thought 7d a bit too straight though.
    Nice change to do a puzzle in one sitting yet still feel the grey matter had a good work-out.

  12. Almost too easy apart from the hard ones if that makes sense. Ive seen stud before (28d) but could not remember it, although the answer had to be “stud”. 24a across gave me problems, why have I never come across “essay” in this form before, obviously I lead a sheltered life. 13d OK but Wanda is not the first name that springs to mind. Thats crosswords for you. If they were dead easy we surely wouldnt do them
    Bob H
    PS if anyone remembers my earlier comments ( a while back) about how difficult these crosswords can be, then be assured practice does make perfect. A big thank you to this blog which I log into about once a fortnight.

  13. This had some superb clues (16a, 19a, 13d), but I felt the lame anagrams (3d, 5d, 11a) let it down! All a matter of taste I suppose.

  14. I would never have got 13 down if I had lived till a hundred. The rest was pretty easy apart from 22 across.

    1. Yes I am, but didn’t think much to todays effort. Too many silly clues and daft anagram indicators for my liking. Never seen accident used like that before. And 13d is just plain stupid. Added to a difficult grid shape where you can’t get the first letters of very long words leaves me unimpressed with todays puzzle. Odd spellings too in 17a (got that from the reversal clues) and 20d which I always thought was spelt with a C. The only clue I liked was the first one when I had got the crash out of my head! Never mind, I really enjoyed Saturdays.

  15. Well I enjoyed it.
    Got 23 from 27 clues before I resorted to you guys.
    Seems I got stuck with the same one’s as everyone else.
    24a Still not sure where ‘essay’ fits in..
    13d Even after reading your explanation I still wouldn’t have guessed/worked it out.. Wanda?
    21d Ok, I get it but such a wonderful word it could have made a more interesting clue.. e.g Tomorrows World inside writers hits out
    25d Guessed this one but for some reason I spelt it ‘adge’ my mistake!
    Overall though, I thought it was a cracker.

    1. Essay, as a verb, means to try, to attempt, to make an effort, as in “The batsman essayed a shot but failed to connect the bat with the ball.”

  16. Had most of the puzzle done in an hour which is quite unusual so it must have been on the easy side. 16a had me stumped even though I had three letters and figured it must start with FUN. head hung in shame….

  17. Thanks to Rishi for another comprehensive and explanatory blog. There is a lot of work entailed in these blogs – not only do you have to download the crossword, solve it, spend time typing out explanations and hints for the clues and then supply suitable illustrations to enliven the text – and all for free! I can only sit back and express my admiration and thanks to all the bloggers!
    Big Dave asks me to clarify my ideas when clueing BOW AND ARROW. When I realised this could be a girl WANDA in BORROW my original clue was: “Girl in touch with weaponry”. However, the crossword editor thought “TOUCH” didn’t really mean “BORROW” and suggested “PIRATE”. I felt this improved the imagery of the clue, especially when I found PIRATE given as a synonym for BORROW (as well as TOUCH); in Collins thesaurus, in The New Penguin Thesaurus and also Rodale. I was very happy with the change, until I read the difficulty some of the solvers are experiencing! One can never tell in this business!

  18. I’m a little late to today’s party – hope there’s still some wine left! I found this passed the time nicely but personally not as tricky as some of the recent Rufus gems. Favourite clue was 21d.

  19. I started off at a gallop but went quickly to a trot and then a complete refusal at 21d, I didn’t spot the anagram indicator at all! Had to check the blog and then got 28a and 30a on my own so managed all but the one. Amazingly I got 13d but only by going through the alphabet in my head with the top three letter word. Is this allowed? Personally I like 1a to be an anagram, as a member of the CC it’s good to have a kick off point.

  20. Not bad although I failed to get 21a, 29a (DOH!), 13d and 21d. Otherwise zipped through then hit the buffers.

  21. Pretty straightforward puzzle Rufus! Actually finished it before I hit the sack – don’t get the DT until the afternoon. Usually start around 10PM.
    A dozen 4-letters mostly anagrams! 2d – I thought rout implied wipeout or extirpation rather than flight.
    Best clues for me were 10a &28a Down: 8d & 13d.
    Had no trouble with borrow for pirate.

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