DT 26236 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26236

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26236

Hints and tips by Libellule

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BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

I thought this crossword was a bit harder than we have had for the last couple of Monday’s, but that maybe because I stared at 1a for longer than I should have done before the penny dropped. All in all a very enjoyable crossword, although 8d seems like a clue you might see in the Quick crossword rather than the Cryptic.

If the hints aren’t enough to help you get the answer, just highlight the space between the curly brackets. Please leave us your comments!


1. Say what you will, the orator isn’t paid if he does (5,6)
{SPEAK FREELY} – A double definition, one cryptic.

9. There are strong links between its members (5,4)
{CHAIN GANG} – A cryptic definition of a gang of convicts wearing leg-irons.

10. Flooded a laundry (5)
{AWASH} – Double definition. Covered in water, or a place to clean clothes.

11. Is among those left to fight (6)
{RESIST} – Put IS inside another word for the remnants, and you have a word meaning to withstand or fight off.

12. Name in credit as thriller-writer (8)
{CHANDLER} – A slang term for a person’s name is put inside CR (credit) and you have the writer responsible for the Philip Marlowe detective stories.

13. Climbs and balances (6)
{SCALES} – A double definition to climb a mountain for example, or a weighing device.

15. Get over unkind act, that’s plain to see (5-3)
{CLEAR-CUT} – Another word for jumping over, usually associated with show jumping, followed by another word commonly associated with hurting someone’s feelings results in a phrase that means free from obscurity or definite.

18. Not usually the best of the entries (4,4)
{BACK DOOR} – A rear entry to a building that is not as “posh” as the alternative. For example deliveries are supposed to be made here.

19. Cloth worker? (6)
{CLERIC} – Cryptic definition, the worker here is a “man of the cloth”.

21. Debit one transferred, following orders (8)
{OBEDIENT} – An anagram (transferred) of DEBIT ONE for a person who obeys.

23. Hit with explosive — bandage needed (6)
{SWATHE} – Another word for hit, as of a fly for example, followed by HE (high explosive) means to wrap or bind with bandages.

26. Major eastern state of USA (5)
{MAINE} – A word for most important (major) is followed by E (eastern) gives you a north eastern state of America.

27. There’s worse to come out of this (6-3)
{FRYING PAN} – Out of the …. and into the fire.

28. Dolly confused English Saint and Welsh Wizard (5,6)
{LLOYD GEORGE} – The Welsh Wizard is a nickname for a British Prime Minister and his name is an anagram (confused) of DOLLY followed by the name of England’s patron saint.


1. Guards possibly effecting rescues (7)
{SECURES} – An anagram (possibly) of RESCUES is a word used to mean “to make safe or certain”.

2. Rising hack writing for papers (5)
{EXAMS} – Hack is used in this sense to mean cut, so reverse (rising) this word and then follow it with MS (manuscript – writing) for another word meaning tests.

3. Pub favoured by college principal (5,4)
{KINGS HEAD} – A typical pub name could also be what you might call the principal of a specific college in Cambridge.

4. Staff hold a course (4)
{ROAD} – Another word for a path on which anything moves (course) is made up from another word for a staff (a pole) around (hold) A.

5. High ground obtains early advantage in battle (8)
{EDGEHILL} – The battle referred to here is the first major conflict of the English Civil War. Another word for having an advantage is followed by another word for a natural elevation.

6. Long to reach agreement on service (5)
{YEARN} – The definition is long to. Put another word for yes, on top of the abbreviation for the Navy (service).

7. Succeed in getting a woman to take it on (7)
{INHERIT} – put HER (a woman) inside IN and IT.

8. Suspended uphill transport (5,3)
{CABLE CAR} – A cryptic definition (?) for a method of transport up mountains or across valleys for example.

14. Recognise Bill has surplus wealth (8)
{ACCREDIT} – AC (bill – account) followed by another word for a positive bank balance is a word that can mean “to accept as true”.

16. A cut limits inadequate grant (9)
{ALLOWANCE} – A is followed by LOW (inadequate) with another word for a medical cut around it (limits).

17. A Ford not involved in repeated journeys between places (2,3,3)
{TO AND FRO} – An anagram (involved) of A FORD NOT is a phrase used to describe going backwards and forwards.

18. Mistake made by a baker (7)
{BLOOMER} – A golden oldie. Another word for a blunder is also a longish crusty loaf of white bread.

20. Is inclined to enter the Church, subject to purification (7)
{CLEANSE} – A word for “is inclined”, as in sloping, is put inside CE (Church of England).

22. Conception many find immaculate (5)
{IDEAL} – A plan (conception) followed by the Roman numeral for 50 could also be considered to be perfect.

24. Gradually reduce the light (5)
{TAPER} – A double definition, to become gradually smaller towards one end, or according to Chambers “a long thin waxed wick or spill”.

25. When found out, Eddy changed colour (4)
{DYED} – A simple anagram (when found out) of EDDY will give a new colour.

34 comments on “DT 26236

  1. It is rare for me to disagree with the assessment of a puzzle, but this was a doddle.

    I was caught on 5d as I could not recall Edgehill but other than that it was not problematical and holds no favourite clues.

    Yes it is Monday but I hope the difficulty rating increases over the week.

    Sorry but disappointed by this piece of cruciverbalism.

  2. I must have had a good morning as I did not find this harder than usual and whistled through this and Rufus’s Guardian puzzle. Lots of enjoyable clues today like 12a, 18a, 28a and the list goes on. Many thanks to Rufus for the puzzle and to Libellule for the notes.

  3. I would agree that the right half was much more difficult than the left but overall an excellent puzzle except for 2d which didn’t impress me at all. Fave clue was 28a when I got Cliff Jones out of my head (come on you Spurs fans, we made 4th!!)

    1. Yes well done Barrie and well done Spurs, better than us (Liverpool) worst for 11 years!!

  4. Good morning Libellule, did not need the blot today but it is always good to read through to see why the answers are what they are :) , lots of clues I enjoyed today, 28a, got me going for a while, 18a, 27a, 10a, lots…… a 3* rating for me definitely, I think i’ve said before I DO like Rufus puzzles, they are always ‘workable’ , thanks Rufus and Libelulle, good luck everyone, enjoy

  5. Like many others I didn’t break much of a sweat but thought that there were some very enjoyable clues (9a and 24a).
    Last in was the battleground as I was unfamiliar with it.
    Thanks to Libellule for the ‘blog and Rufus for the puzzles

  6. I also found this fairly easy.

    18a. Isn’t this also a reference to being accepted by devious or underhand means?

    7d. Is this another break with convention – “taking it ON” in a down clue???

    8d. Hardly a cryptic clue!?

  7. All done and also without the blog. I did enter 2 answers incorrectly, which caused a few problems at the end. Lots of good clues today, with 27a probably at the top.

    Very enjoyable, so thanks to Rufus and to Libellule for a very good set of hints that will keep some of us CC’ers thinking them through. 2d was a guess, although there wasn’t much else it could be, so glad you explained it as I didn’t understand it at all! Didn’t see LANCE in 16d or the roman numeral in 22d.

  8. I got a bit bogged down in the bottom right corner but apart from that there weren’t too many problems for me today.

  9. Something weird is going on here in Spain – I printed the cryptic earlier and it is 26,237. Now I’ve gone back to enter what I’ve done (not much – it’s a stinker) and find that 26,236 has come up and you’re all saying it’s easy. I’ll get stuck into the correct one now, and assume I have 24 hours more to complete the other one.

    1. It seems it was accidentally released. some of us solved it before it was withdrawn. If you need help, please use the Contact page rather than posting as a comment as this spoils it for others.

      1. Thanks, but I’ll plod on and come back for help tomorrow if I’m still stuck.

  10. Found this straightforward enough (apart from, like Mr Tub, the bottom right corner where I’d absent-mindedly put “FABRIC” in for 19a at first). Not sure if the help above for 25d reads correctly

  11. Thanks to Libellule for another fine blog, plus a note of appreciaton for all the comments – I assure you all setters do take note of what is said!

  12. A most enjoyable puzzle and I too liked 28a but I trawled through a plethora of rugby union players – most of whom didn’t fit the grid! I am almost ashamed to admit that, like Mary, I am a Liverpool supporter but I’ve enjoyed some of Spurs’ performances this season and wish them well in the Champions’ League.

  13. Enjoyable after a sluggish start and now all done. 2.5* for me in terms of difficulty.

  14. I can’t believe this was three stars. I finish this in 40 minutes a record for me, considering I rarely finish a cryptic on any dave. It must be down to mood.

  15. Me and my mother-in-law got through almost all of this without help. Came to the blog to find out what 2d was.
    Thanks to Rufus and Libellule.
    I enjoyed lots of the clues eg. 27a, 18a and 18a.
    Great start to the week (I don’t object to a slightly easier puzzle!!)

  16. Came accross this blog when looking for help with a couple of clues for Saturday’s prize crossword and love it :)
    Husband and I do it together (ooh-er) and found today’s a nice start to the week – not too taxing. Just needed to check up on 2d which seemed really easy when saw the solution (don’t they always…) so was happy to see that a couple of others got stuck on this one too.

  17. A very pleasant start to the week.
    Favourite clues for me were 9a, 27a & 28a. 3d & 5d.

    Back to the box today to carry on following the Hung Parliament Saga! As Nick Clegg knows,
    here in NL this is normal.
    Of course all politicians are ingrained liars!

  18. The problem I now find with working from home is that I can look at the blog before I’ve had to time to walk out & get the DT. Therefore when it comes to 5:00pm (& never a moment before), when I sit down with a G&T to complete the puzzle, I’ve completed some of the clues in my head thereby shortening the time before my next G&T!

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