DT 26066 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26066

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26066

Hints and tips by Libellule

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** and a half Enjoyment ***

I didn’t find this a particularly complicated puzzle, but I enjoyed doing it. A decent grid, a nice mix of clues, and a couple to make you smile. What more do you need whilst you are eating your breakfast, or enjoying the first cup of coffee for the day.

Any comments are appreciated.


1. Business that builds small country houses? (7,8)
{COTTAGE INDUSTRY} – A cryptic definition of where work is done usually by people in their own homes and where the work is also done on a relatively small scale.
9. Christian position about beer? No, the opposite (7)
{APOSTLE} – ALE (beer) about POST (position) not POST about ALE (the opposite). is a person sent to preach the gospel i.e a Christian.

10. Transport is raced to destruction (7)
{SIDECAR} – An anagram (to destruction) of IS RACED produces a small car that is attached to the side of a motorcycle or a cocktail made of orange liqueur with lemon juice and brandy.

11. Pigeon lover welcoming popular banker (9)
{FINANCIER} – Another term for banker can be derived from FANCIER (pigeon lover) with IN (popular) inside (welcoming).

12. Topping characteristic Australian dish with curry (5)
{RAITA} – Remove the first letter from (t)RAIT (characteristic) and then add A (Australian) and you have an Indian dish of chopped vegetables, e.g. cucumber, in yoghurt. Who else has tried Big Dave’s Chicken Tikka Masala?

13. Makes a mess of returning free bonds (7)
{DIRTIES} – The definition here is “makes a mess of”, reverse (returning) RID (free) and then add TIES (bonds).

15. Spoil vote — one’s dream at last of such political theory (7)
{MARXISM} – MAR (spoil) X (vote) IS (ones) and the last letter of (drea)M and you have a political theory that is the basis of communism.

17. Doctor should show cause of dehydration (7)
{DROUGHT} – DR (doctor) OUGHT (should) for what happens when we have a shortage of rain and the use of hosepipes and sprinklers are banned.

19. Soldiers given penalty for being civilized (7)
{REFINED} – RE (Royal Engineers – soldiers) plus FINED (given penalty).

21. Hardened against working, for a start (5)
{ONSET} – ON (working – e.g. the machine is on) and SET (hardened) is a beginning or a start.

23. Ways of getting round heart bypasses? (4,5)
{RING ROADS} – Take RING (round) and ROADS (ways) A cryptic reference to how you would drive round a city and miss out the centre. See J’s comment below.

25. Low storm fee for harbour? (7)
{MOORAGE} – MOO (low like a cow) and RAGE (storm) is a place for parking your ship or boat.

26. Base one? Good lord! (7)
{IGNOBLE} – I (one) G (good) NOBLE (lord) is base and is also mean or worthless.

27. Assumes freak trends go at random (5,3,7)
{TAKES FOR GRANTED} – An anagram (random) of FREAK TRENDS GO AT, produces a phrase normally associated with presupposition.


1. Very pleased having dropped university for academy, getting teased (7)
{CHAFFED} – The word used for very pleased in this case is CHUFFED, now drop the U (university) and replace it with A (academy) and you have verb that can be used for tease or banter.

2. North dealt — a problem for one’s side (5)
{THORN} – An anagram (dealt) of NORTH is a word commonly used in a phrase where something is an irritation.

3. Waiting on, but inclined to go after a time (9)
{ATTENDING} – TENDING (inclined) is placed after A T (time).

4. Places where people are lashed (7)
{EYELIDS} – A cryptic reference to where your eyelashes are found, not a reference to a whipping post.

5. Back on to play a few chords as a personal remedy (7)
{NOSTRUM} – Reverse (back) ON, then add STRUM (play a few chords) and you have a favourite remedy or scheme.

6. Subordinate exposed in compound error (5)
{UNDER} – Another word for subordinate is hidden (exposed) in (compo)UND ER(ror).

7. Planner’s diplomacy before ruling on one article (9)
{TACTICIAN} – TACT (diplomacy) is placed before IC (in charge or in command) followed by I (one) and AN (article) is also a term for a military planner.

8. Measure a marine’s support for canvas (7)
{YARDARM} – YARD (measure) and A RM (Royal Marine) is a spar on a mast from which the sails are set. This is also a very useful object to determine whether its time for a glass of wine or not!

14. Part of plant making radical basis for soup? (9)
{ROOTSTOCK} – ROOT (radical) plus STOCK (also the basis for soup) is the part of a plant, sometimes just the stump, which already has an established, root system, and is then used for grafting a cutting from another plant.

16. Match official has a long time to take in conclusion from public votes (9)
{REFERENDA} – REF (match official) plus ERA (long time) around (take in) END (conclusion) is the plural of submitting a question directly to the vote of the entire electorate.

17. One on the threshold of being taken advantage of? (7)
{DOORMAT} – Something that you wipe your shoes on when entering a house, and also an informal reference to a person who gets treated inconsiderately by other people but never complains.

18. Missile depot designed to conceal gold (7)
{TORPEDO} – An anagram (designed) of DEPOT around (conceal) OR (gold) is a weapon normally associated with submarines.

19. Putting in order for family, having called around (7)
{RANKING} – RANG (called) is placed around KIN (family) is another word used to describe assigning a particular class or grade to someone or something.

20. Swell up, seeing daughter first to finish (7)
{DISTEND} – D (daughter) IST (first) END (finish).

22. Send up neat forms of transport (5)
{TRAMS} – Reverse (send up) a word for neat and tidy and you have a word for electrically-powered public vehicles that run on rails in the road.

24. Religious man giving half of bottle to sailor (5)
{ABBOT} – Place half a BOT(tle) after AB (Able Seaman – sailor) for a person found in charge of an abbey.

36 comments on “DT 26066

  1. 4 down had me stumped. Even when I had all the letters in place I still took ages to get the answer. Must be fixated on whips!

  2. I notice that therew are a couple of mistakes here.

    27ac should be TAKES FOR GRANTED – a missing S.

    22dn is TRAMS – smart reversed.

  3. Very enjoyable puzzle. Not too sure about a few of your explanations, Libellule.

    9a. As I understand it, “the opposite” means that it’s not “position about beer”, but “beer about position”. Christian is, of course, “apostle”.

    14d. I think that “radical” is “root”, the “basis for soup” is “stock” and the “part of plant” is “rootstock”.

    22d. It’s “smart” that has to be reversed to give us “trams”.

    Sorry to be so critical!

  4. 8d All right for you Libellule but now I am back in England I have to wait an extra hour for my evening snifter. can’t wait to get back although the temp up here in northumberland is a bit of an Indian summer compared to where you are.
    Todays crossword had a calming influence after yeterday although with 2d I could not stop thinking North was just N and was away on a completely wrong tack.
    Thanks for the hints

  5. I enjoyed this, particularly 2d and 4d. However, (and I’m probably being dense), but I still don’t understand the relevance of “No, the opposite” as the definition in 9a and “radical” in 14d. Can anyone help?

  6. A good crossword which had one or two good clues.

    4d was an eye opener and 17d brought me a rush of blood.

    Enjoyment 3*

  7. A pleasant and entertaining start to the day. I particularly liked 4d but my favourite was 26a. There was some good surface readings for the clues as well, conjouring up some nice images. Not as difficult as yesterday’s but more rounded and entertaining.

  8. Enjoyable but not too taxing. I will confess that 12a had me stumped but I have heard of the word.
    No one clue really shone for me though

  9. I haven’t tried Big Dave’s CTM but I do cook curries for a curry club at a pub near Cirencester every Thursday. Curry and crosswords go together like love and marriage…?

  10. Really good puzzle today with some clever clues- 4d, 1a, 15a, 25a, 26a.
    Mary + Barrie – you’ll prefer this to yesterday’s!
    (Got them all right except 13a. Had D*R*I*S and put in “Darbies” which I knew to be a slang name for handcuffs which fitted with bonds but couldn’t work out how the rest fitted!)
    Many thanks to the compiler and also to Libellule for your explanations (I got a couple 23a, 5d, without knowing quite how they fitted with rest of the clue!)

    1. Also got 13d wrong. I managed to convince myself it was derails (made a mess of) but was too lazy to figure out the rest of the clue. For me this was perfect for an over lunch puzzle, so 4* enjoyment for me

  11. thanks Libellulle…..I was stuck on 9a, 4d & 13a, but compared to most of this weeks crosswords this was more on my wavelength….don’t know if anyone feels the same way but I haven’t liked many this week?? :(

  12. A little bit too easy today! Would of been better of setting this one on a Monday to gently ease us into the new week.

  13. I’m certainly not going to complain about this being too easy. It was such a pleasure after some of the others this week. I found 12a from the words down, but, as an Aussie, couldn’t think what it had to do with Australia.

    No special favourite, I just relaxed and enjoyed it :-)

  14. Setter here – many thanks for your comments, as always. Can’t wait to see how Barrie got on with it! (got to go out)

    1. Jeremy,
      Could you clarify 23a for me please….. it would be appreciated.
      Is the explanation correct?

  15. Light relief and enjoyable after the monthly Saga puzzle.
    The two 15 letter answers (top and bottom) were initially found, giving a good starting point for remainder of the grid.
    Favourite clue probably 26 across.

  16. I like the idea of a Clueless Club. Count me in. missed a couple of the easy ones today. really not my week. On to the toughie and another glass of wine.

  17. Found this a gentle challenge with some pleasant clues. Whizzed through save 25a as I was convinced it ended in “gate”. DER! In comparison to recent crosswords this week this was quite straightforward for me. Perhaps i was more in tune?

  18. I was really relieved when I finished this puzzle as I had a nightmare with the Tuesday and Wednesday puzzles.

    Thanks Jay for an enjoyable puzzle. Although I found most of this relatively straightforward, there were still a number of clues that I really had to think hard about so I thought there was a pretty good mix of clues.

    By the way does Jay set for any other papers and if yes what pseudonym does he use (I would like to try some more of his puzzles). Also when does Jay set for the DT – is it every second Thursday?

  19. Lillebule, 23ac was intended to be a cryptic definition, and the the round for RING and ways for ROADS is pure serendipity!
    NathanJ, yes Thursday is usually mine tho’ there’s no guarantee of that. I also set for the FT usually about once per month, as Orense, plus the Herald in Scotland as Jem and Dux, and the Yorkshire Post on Fridays under my own name

    1. Jeremy,
      Thanks for that, when I wrote up the blog first time, I had the following explanation for 23a.
      “A cryptic reference to how you would drive round a city and miss out the centre.” Looks like I was right originally :-)
      I will amend the blog accordingly.

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