DT 26075 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26075

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26075

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

More Magic from our Monday Maestro. Start the week with this relatively easy puzzle that should give a lot of satisfaction to many.

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 Mixed metaphors in Moliere play (11)
{MISANTHROPE} – an anagram (mixed) of METAPHORS IN gives a Moliere play

9a Eastern country lacking a prominent feature (4)
{CHIN} – remove the A (lacking a) from this vast Asian country to get a prominent feature of the face

10a Two members of the crew sailed round New Zealand (7,4)
{CAPTAIN COOK} – combine two crew members to get this English explorer – the first to circumnavigate New Zealand

11a Vivacity seen in Brazilian capital and port (4)
{BRIO} – this word meaning vivacity is constructed from B (Brazilian capital) and RIO (Brazilian port)

14a Cut and run (7)
{OPERATE} – a double definition – in a hospital or a business

16a Decoration of stone sculpture (7)
{FESTOON} – this decoration is a garland suspended between two points and it is generated from an anagram (sculpture) of OF STONE – I don’t recollect seeing this anagram indicator before, but it works well

17a Give in or give out (5)
{YIELD} – a double definition

18a Article about Kipling poem of unaffected simplicity (4)
{NAIF} – reverse (about) AN (the indefinite article) and add a well-known Kipling poem to get a word meaning unaffected simplicity

19a A venerable name in England’s illustrious past (4)
{BEDE} – a nearly-cryptic definition of this eighth century author and scholar

20a He may be found in a wrongful act (5)
{CHEAT} – a neat all-in-one clue – put HE inside an anagram (wrongful) of ACT and then read it all again to get the definition

22a Holiday camp worker is an old soldier (7)
{REDCOAT} – a double definition

23a No longer bound to deliver (3,4)
{SET FREE} – and another!

24a Blow on the foot for warmth (4)
{SOCK} – and a third in a row

28a Agreed about spiteful woman being involved (11)
{COMPLICATED} – agreed is COMPLIED with, put this around one of those derogatory terms for a woman and the result is a word meaning involved or complex

29a Blockhead student in a spot (4)
{DOLT} – this blockhead is constructed from L (Learner / student) inside a DOT (spot)

30a Buy drinks and loaf (5,6)
{STAND AROUND} – the first part of this double definition is cryptic, and if it was the answer it would be (5,1,5)


2d I’m a Muslim leader? Yes (4)
{IMAM} – I’M A M (Muslim leader) gives us another all-in-one clue, such luxury today

3d Not in favour of social worker being put over one (4)
{ANTI} – a word meaning not in favour of is derived from ANT (social worker) over (as it’s a down clue, this construct doesn’t work for across clues) I (one)

4d Essay I can write up in college (7)
{TRINITY} – take TRY (essay) and put I and TIN (can) reversed (write up – another down-clue only construct) inside to get this college, which could be the one at any of several universities

5d Paradoxical criterion of stability (4)
{ROCK} – a cryptic definition of this word which, paradoxically, could mean steady or unsteady

6d Go on — take legal action (7)
{PROCEED} – a double definition

7d Drivers making a commotion amid applause (11)
{CHARIOTEERS} – these drivers, that were featured in Ben Hur, are derived by putting A and a word meaning a commotion inside (amid) CHEERS (applause)

ARVE Error: need id and provider

8d Settlement of rent, once due, needs to be met (11)
{ENCOUNTERED} – an anagram (settlement) of RENT ONCE DUE gives a word meaning  met

12d Pleasant setting for the national team? (11)
{COUNTRYSIDE} – a double definition – on the one hand a word describing where I live and on the other, if you read it as (7,4) a national team

13d Magazines laid so price may be seen (11)
{PERIODICALS} – these magazines are an anagram (may be seen – a bit iffy? – may be would work, but that makes “seen” superfluous) of LAID SO PRICE

15d Soldier seen in the overturned boat (5)
{EIGHT} – put GI (American soldier) inside THE and then reverse it all (overturned – another down-clue construct!) to get this boat (or it’s crew)

16d Circus performers? Maybe true or false (5)
{FLEAS} – this is a cryptic definition based on this miniature circus which may or may not use these tiny creatures

20d Get rid of players on strike (4,3)
{CAST OUT} – a phrase meaning to get rid of is built from a charade of CAST (players) and OUT (on strike)

21d The French are after refreshing quiet drink (7)
{TEQUILA} – put LA (the, French) after an anagram (refreshing) of QUIET to get this Mexican drink

25d Duck and swan up in the air (4)
{OPEN} – a pleasant charade of O (duck) and PEN (female swan) gives a word meaning up in the air (in some contexts)

26d A light head-band (4)
{HALO} – a cryptic definition of a band of light that appears around the head, usually in religious paintings

27d Near average (4)
{MEAN} – I’m not sure if this is intended as a cryptic definition, as the mean is usually near the average, or a double definition – maybe a bit of both

I see from the early comments that not everyone found this easy – maybe getting 1 across straightaway, like I did, helps.

32 comments on “DT 26075

  1. Morning BD -nice puzzle for a Monday – looking forward to your explanation of 15d – Why?!! Can’t recall ever coming across the anagram indicator in 16a (but then again, the memory’s not so good these days!)

  2. I didn’t have my Rufus head on this morning. I always struggle to get into the mindset on Monday so fought for about twice as long as normal.
    1a and 16a were favourites

  3. Hiya nanagluggglug – I think 15 d is EIGHT because its “the” overturned (anagram) plus GI an American soldier put together to give an eight as in a rowing boat.

    1. Roger

      If you select “reply” to the comment to which you are replying, your comment will appear under it (like Libellule’s) instead of at the bottom. Up to 10 levels are supported.

      1. A general note – you should select the comment to which your reply relates rather than one of the replies to that comment, like this one!

  4. I’m with Gnomethang this morning. I found this a tougher Rufus than usual. It may be that coming back to work after a week off, my train brain was not working. Still an excellent puzzle. 1a and 30a were my favourites. A bonus for Rufus fans this morning is that he also set today’s Guardian cryptic crossword. Unusually, I found his Guardian puzzle easier to complete than the DT. Perhaps they got put in the wrong envelopes!

    1. I’ve just had a run through the Grauniad Online – I agree, I found it much easier than this DT.

  5. Ref 1a why can’t he choose a play by Potter or Wilde or Bennett instead of a foreign playwright ? I fear I may be arrested soon for jingoism.
    The crossword itself was of high quality and very enjoyable.

  6. Nice, easy start to the week. To be pedantic (again) the title of the Moliere play has the definite article. I didn’t particularly loke the clue for that reason.

  7. All fine apart from ‘Bede’ who I’d never heard of. That’s a GCSE education for you, we didn’t cover him in my computing degree. :-)

    1. It seems amazing that the man who arguably made the biggest single contribution to the chronicling of English history should be omitted from the school syllabus. And they can’t even use political correctness as an excuse.

      1. We studied him in passing in History during 1st Year grammar – that was in 1981 so I guess this no longer applies!

  8. sorry Dave that comment went in entirely the wrong place – apologies

    …. I’ve moved it down here for you! …

    seems i’m alone so far in not finding this one too easy…..never heard of Bede 19a, or Brio 11a, went all wrong with 7d it? Though I understood 15d and the ref. to a crew of eight, an eight is not a boat – or is it??? be interesting to know what fellow ‘clueless club’ members think today :)

    1. An eight is used to refer to the boat crewed by this number of people in rowing circles – think of the Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race.

      Brio is often used in musical notation as “Con Brio” – with vigour (According to Flanders and Swann it is equivalent to mf – ‘German for mit feeling’!). I came across it first in a bawdy limerick..

      On Saturn the sexes are three
      Which is tricky, I think you will see
      To form a con brio
      You must have a trio
      And it even takes two for a pee.

    2. I’m with you Mary – found it pretty tricky today, especially after the two weekenders. Heard of Bede but not Brio(or only as a kiddies train track!) or Naif. Did like 1a, 10a and 30a though…. and thought I was doing so well!

    3. Mary, once I got going everything seemed to fall into place. I did know about an eight as I used to row!

  9. Very enjoyable, although I usually dislike too many 4 lettered answers.
    Favourites probably 1a and 16d .. thought the latter was very clever (although easily solved)
    Not keen on 27a, and needed your confirmation ref mean = near!

      1. An online Thesaurus gives this adjective:

        4. near – giving or spending with reluctance; “our cheeseparing administration”; “very close (or near) with his money”; “a penny-pinching miserly old man”
        cheeseparing, penny-pinching, skinny, close
        stingy, ungenerous – unwilling to spend; “she practices economy without being stingy”; “an ungenerous response to the appeal for funds”

        So I would go for a Double Definition.

        1. Thanks gnomethang … must remember that for future reference.
          Have just looked in Bradford’s, which also gives this as a synonym in “both directions”!

  10. Yes, a fairly easy one to start the week! I was on the wrong track with 14a, looking for a word meaning to cut or slice and to run or escape!!
    Whereas, as Big Dave points out the ‘run’ means to manage. And, initially, I thought 20d was bowl out but’cheat’ and ‘redcoat’ put me right.

  11. Another excellent Monday puzzle – a lot of double definitions but very enjoyable ones. My choice for clues of the day are 10a – which I got fairly early on and 30a.

    Took longer than it should have to get 28a so had to do the three 4 letters first!

    Enjoyable day – did Sunday’s this morning and this one this afternoon – nice way to spend the day.

  12. Didn’t like it, found it quite tricky. Still I have learned a new word NAIF, had to check it in chambers. Don’t like some of the anagram indicators, far too obscure.

  13. I didnt do too badly today but had to look up a couple – eg the moliere play. I would agree that it was trickier than most Mondays – I would rate it as a Wednesday! Haven’t we had the answer to 13d quite recently – I remember it as an anagram also. Never heard of 11a but easy to work out with crossing letters. I thought it was a good mix of some very easy clues and some very tricky ones. with 1a, 10a 12d and 13d in place it made things easier.
    well done compiler and thanks for the explanations BD. (Only downside was no cricketing clues!)

    1. to be fair Barrie has liked a few, like me he is relatively new to this and still finds many puzzles that more experienced setters find easy, difficult, I find somedays a puzzle is easy to ‘understand’ and other days I am really baffled as to what the setter is looking for and even when I get the answer, albeit with some help, i just do not like it, as we progress in this new world, with the help of people like yourselves, for which we are really grateful, we live in the hope that one day all will become clear :)

      1. Thank you Mary for your much appreciated support. I get very fed up with those sitting on the top of the mountain looking down in all ways on those of us struggling with the foothills. These things take time and I always thought crosswords puzzles were meant to be a fun way to pass the time, not a qualification for Bletchley Park.

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