DT 26230 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26230

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26230

Hints and tips by Libellule

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

First of all I would like to congratulate (as I suspect will many of his fans) Rufus on his achievement of having 1,000 puzzles printed in the Daily Telegraph.

Today’s crossword is the usual gentle start to the week, with its own nina.

If this was a normal Monday I might complain about the number of anagrams, and the double reference to a particular school, but because it’s a special day I am going to say nothing. Just sit back and enjoy!

As usual, if you cannot work out the answer from the hint, just highlight the space between the curly brackets. Please feel free to leave a comment and/or congratulate Rufus!


1. Inspectors’ appraisal fools people, in a way (10)
{ASSESSMENT} – A word used for evaluation consists of ASSES (fools) followed by MEN (people) inside (in) ST (the abbreviation for street – a way).

6. Young bird lacking the knowledge to be fashionable (4)
{CHIC} – Remove KEN (knowledge – scottish) from the young of birds, especially domestic fowl, to leave a word that means smart, elegant or fashionable. See Jezza’s comment below.

10. Quick trim (5)
{SMART} – A double definition.

11. Enter into an arrangement for storage (9)
{RETENTION} – An anagram (an arrangement) of ENTER INTO is the act of holding onto something.

12. A city to impress sailors (8)
{SHANGHAI} – You need to think about the definition of impress. In this case it refers to what a press gang might do. Another word for sending someone to sea as a sailor (against his will) is also a very large city in China.

13. Chopper blade going to and fro (5)
{ROTOR} – The reference to “going to and fro” infers that you might be looking for a palindrome, and indeed you are. The chopper here is a helicopter.

15. Fired with real reform and no exaggeration? (7)
{LITERAL} – Fired is LIT, followed by an anagram (reform) of REAL for a word that means matter of fact or refers to the exact meaning of a word.

17. Excellent publicity arranged by one of the family (7)
{GRANDAD} – The father of your father or mother is also a GRAND (excellent) AD (publicity).

19. Customers offer £1 in foreign money (7)
{CLIENTS} – Put L (libra – pound sterling) and I (one) inside the hundredth parts of a dollar and you should find that you have another word for customers.

21. Enigmatic, keen and in charge, set about exercising (7)
{CRYPTIC} – Keen in this case means to lament, follow it with IC (in charge) and then put the two around (set about) an abbreviation for physical exercise.

22. Lydia comes round regularly (5)
{DAILY} – A simple anagram (comes round) of LYDIA for something that happens everyday.

24. A large number of free handouts (8)
{THOUSAND} – Another anagram (free) this time of HANDOUTS is also a large(ish) number.

27. Great help at sea in rapid communication (9)
{TELEGRAPH} – Yet another anagram (at sea) of GREAT HELP is a newspaper.

28. Observed college is backed by deputy head (5)
{NOTED} – That well known Berkshire college is reversed and then followed by the first letter (head) of deputy for a word meaning marked or well known.

29. Place it within the borders of Singapore (4)
{SITE} – Follow the clue. Put IT inside the first and last letters of Singapore and you have another word for a specific area.

30. Angry expressions which call for solutions (10)
{CROSSWORDS} – A double definition, and the reference to solutions is a reference to what you are trying to solve now.


1. Seen in church when spring is over before Easter starts (4)
{APSE} – Another word for a spring is reversed (over) and is then followed by the first letter (starts) of Easter is (according to Chambers) “a semicircular or polygonal recess, especially at the east end of a church choir, and where, in the Roman basilica, the praetor’s chair stood”.

2. It’s the gap formed at the M6 No.6 Junction (9)
{SPAGHETTI} – An anagram (formed) of IT’S THE GAP is the “famous” complex interchange found in Birmingham.

3. It’s an odd sort of stuff (5)
{SATIN} – Another anagram (odd) of ITS AN is a closely woven silk.

4. Arrange a star part in a Western (7)
{MARSHAL} – Another word for arranging something in order, is also a cryptic reference to a “police officer” in a cowboy film. Wyatt Earp would be an example.

5. What the poor man has and the rich man wants (7)
{NOTHING} – This should remind you of a famous W.C. Fields quote.

7. Uplift one gets in a crowd (5)
{HOIST} – Put I inside another word for a great multitude for a word that means to lift.

8. I’d turn up to break agreement in dispute (10)
{CONTRADICT} – A word often used when two people express the opposite opinion, is made by reversing ID (turn up) and then placing it inside (to break) another word for a written agreement.

9. Appeal for admittance when about to dine (8)
{ENTREATY} – The definition is appeal, put another word for “coming in” (admittance) around (about) EAT (to dine).

14. Edits a clue, perhaps — makes it clear (10)
{ELUCIDATES} – An anagram (perhaps) of EDITS A CLUE is also making something clear.

16. Marathon, say, around New York, running last, not yet set for breakfast (5,3)
{RUNNY EGG} – A marathon is a RUN, follow this with NY (New York), then EG (say) and the last letter of running and you should have a breakfast item that isn’t quite set after it has been boiled.

18. Cause of outburst as school roster is put up after first of December (9)
{DETONATOR} – Its that school again. Follow the first letter of December, with the appropriate school, and then reverse (put up) another word for roster and you have a device normally used to set off an explosive charge.

20. Weather forecast favourable — fear it’s incorrect (3,4)
{SET FAIR} – A term for continued good weather is an anagram (incorrect) of FEAR ITS.

21. Linen chest that’s new, look inside (7)
{CLOTHES} – An anagram (that’s new) of CHEST with LO (look) inside.

23. Not much land, in the main, but somebody’s leased it (5)
{ISLET} – Another word for a little island is a contraction of two words meaning that somebody has leased something.

25. Strength is rising afresh (5)
{SINEW} – Reverse IS (rising) and follow it with another word for “afresh” and you have another word for a tendon that can also mean physical strength or muscle.

26. Some poetry does need editing (4)
{ODES} – Another anagram (need editing) this time of DOES was originally a poem that was intended to be sung.

37 comments on “DT 26230

  1. Congratulations Rufus on a magnificent achievement.
    A gentle start to the week indeed and should be welcomed by many.

  2. A stroll in the park I suggest, even for the CC members.

    One or two topical clues but a “Rufus” puzzle to please all.

    What a terrific milestone for Rufus. Long may he continue to “live in his shed”!

  3. Thanks for blog Libelulle, though i didn’t need help today it is always good to read through and understand, congrats to Rufus, I do like his puzzles, I find them easier ‘to get into’ particularly liked 29a, have a good day everyone :)

  4. Another enjoyable Rufus puzzle. Well done on setting 1,000 puzzles…is there a book out just featuring Rufus’s puzzles?

    1. Guardian Books has brought out paperback collections called The Guardian Cryptic Setters Series – in which you have Rufus too.

      Edited by the paper’s crossword editor, it has an introduction by the setter and contains 100 puzzles.

      1. And if you go onto the Guardian website, you can print off 100s of Rufus’s puzzles, and get the anwers, too!!! All free.

  5. Very enjoyable and all done in slightly over an hour, without the blog. That’s the first Rufus puzzle I’ve completed!

    Congratulations and thanks to Rufus and to Libellule for explaining a few of the constructs I didn’t understand. Slightly disappointed at ‘that school’ cropping up twice, but had a good laugh 17a. Particularly liked 5d and, of course, the topical references at 22/24/27/30a.

  6. Re 6a, I wondered whether it was chicken (young bird) without ken (knowledge).

    1. Jezza

      You’re right.

      This word ‘ken’ I came across first in a line in a Keats’s poem: “…when a new planet suddenly swims into his ken…”

  7. Without any doubt the best crossword I have ever done, for me it had everything, somewhere to start, some tough clues, some very clever clues and a lot of humour. Well done, excellent.
    Hard to find a best clue there were so many but 12a, 6a, 16d and 21a were great but the best for me because it made me laugh out loud was 30a :-)

  8. Just like to add our congratulations to Rufus and thanks for many pleasant Monday solves! Lets hope for many more!
    Just one thing, Libellule, (and I’m sure I’ve missed the explanation in here previously) – what is a ‘nina’ ?

    1. Glad you asked that, I was wondering the same thing. 26044 was before my time.

  9. Many thanks to Rufus for today’s crossword and congratulations once again on a magnificent milestone. In addition to the main nina, I wonder whether there was a reference towards the blog with the answers “noted site elucidates” or whether this is just a happy coincidence?

  10. Thanks Rufus for a great crossword and congratulations on a magnificent milestone!!
    A particularly pleasing solve for me as not only did I manage it (amazing in itself) but also understood all the constructs! Wasted a bit of time on 1a as I was trying to fit an inspector in somewhere – is it a bit superfluous or have I missed something?
    Fav clues, apart from those of the nina, were 1a (once I’d got past the inspector) 17a (made me laugh) 8d and 16d and, whether Rufus meant it or not, Prolixic’s ‘secondary nina’ gets my vote! – Thanks BD et al :-)

  11. Thanks, thanks, thanks, Rufus, for a crossword I completed without any help whatsoever :). First for a few weeks.Last corner to fall was the top left. I liked 2d but was confused for long time as I was convinced it ended in TVI. Why do they look so easy once you get them? Glad you got some Themed questions in it. Long may you reign.

  12. Hearty congratulations, Rufus!
    A pleasure to complete as always. Here’s to many more.
    Thanks also to Libellule for the review.

  13. What a lovely puzzle for your 1,000th – thank you Rufus – thoroughly enjoyable.

    My favourite was 5d but there were several others which made me smile.

    Libellule – thank you for the review. Solved it without your help but enjoyed reading your explanations (including the reminder of what a nina is).

  14. Thanks Rufus – and some answers in it to confirm your achievement. I found this very straightforward initially putting in a couple of answers waiting for Mrs LD to get ready then found I had done it. One of my quickest times to complete so personally pleasing on that score. Last to go in was 21a.

    5d my favourite.

  15. Very enjoyable – solved this with my sister-in-law today. Fave clue was 13a. Thanks to Rufus and Libellule.

  16. Congratulations to Rufus. A gentle Monday crossword which only took 5 minutes to complete but I loved all the references to the “special” crossword.

  17. Don’t usually do Monday but did today’s as its a Bank Holiday and because I knew it was a special day. Enjoyable – if swift to finish. Id is a useful word – often crops up in crosswords. Got it with the first letter before I worked out why. Bit naughty to use the same school twice unless Rufus is an alumnus of course. Found 4d took me longest because I was looking for an anagram or the name of a star! 6a and 7d were perhaps too simple although I did not get the “ken” .Congratulations and thanks!

  18. Like WW, I don’t normally attempt Monday’s puzzle but I have today and I’m glad that I did. My thanks to Rufus for the enjoyment he’s given me/us over the years and congratulations to him on reaching his milestone. If I’m not mistaken, he was the first compiler to come up with presbyterians as an anagram for Britney Spears.

  19. Thank you!
    Wonderful stuff!
    Brilliant cluing.
    Great humour.
    All accessible without aids.

  20. Many thanks and congratulations to Rufus from me too. I always enjoy his puzzles and here’s to many more! 27a, 21a and 30a particularly appropriate but my favourite was 12a.

    Well done again Rufus you’re a star!

  21. Congrats Rufus!
    Lovely, it’s what I call a breakfast crossword, serve 16d with soldiers and spend a rewarding half an hour on the crossie before tackling the rest of the day . Some nice clues, the references to the special event meant a trip to Big Dave’s for enlightenment.
    It means my evening puzzle will be a Toughie from last week. Perfick.

  22. Well done Rufus. This was most enjoyable.

    Could not get 10a and have learned two newmeanings of one word!

  23. Thank you to Libellule – the first time I have been able to thank him on the day – and to all the kind comments.
    I feel somewhat overwhelmed! It is greatly appreciated.

  24. Hi Rufus,kudos for your 1000TH milestone.Are your Guardian puzzles of the same difficulty as those of the DT? Are they as fiendish as Araucaria’s?I am in Kenya and an inverterate xword buff.Good day.

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