DT 26248 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26248

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26248

Hints and tips by Libellule

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

A typical Monday morning crossword from Rufus gently easing everybody into a new crossword week. I’m now off to enjoy my bank holiday and reflect on the fact that I now need to replace my Toulouse rugby shirt.

If you cannot work out the answer from the hint just highlight the space between the curly brackets.


1. Slave-driver teacher after a job (10)
{TASKMASTER} – Another word for a teacher is placed after TASK (a job) for a person who hands out hard work.

9. Husband consumed with enmity (4)
{HATE} – To really dislike something is also an abbreviation for husband, followed by another word for consumed.

10. Sticking to principles, agree to include its reform (10)
{CONSISTENT} – Place an anagram (reform) of ITS inside (include) another word for to agree and you end up with an adjective that can mean keeping true to principles.

11. Car’s crashed by a learner — a culpable character (6)
{RASCAL} – An anagram of CARS (crashed) followed by A L (learner) is also a rogue or a scamp.

12. Chessmen in defensive situations (7)
{CASTLES} – A double definition. An alternative name for rooks in chess, or defensive structures or buildings.

15. Orchestra was taken aback by a wood instrument (4-3)
{BAND-SAW} – Another word for a group of players followed by WAS reversed (taken aback) is a tool that can be used to cut wood.

16. Such music is not bound to sell (5)
{SHEET} – Gentle cryptic definition, a hand-written or printed form of musical notation;

17. She was spurned by Narcissus, it’s recalled (4)
{ECHO} – Double definition, the repetition of sound by reflection, or a wood nymph who always had to have the last word.

18. Very keen to make a comeback as a singer (4)
{DIVA} – Reverse (to come back) a word for very keen and you have an operatic prima donna.

19. A short release from the army (5)
{DEMOB} – The shortened form of what happens when you are discharged from the army.

21. Having developed, went round topless (7)
{EVOLVED} – Think of word that means went round, and then remove the first letter (topless), the definition in this case is “developed”.

22. Chap comes in to work in the garden for a few days (7)
{WEEKEND} – You need a man’s first name (e.g. Mr Dodd), and place it inside a job that you would do in the garden. The few days in this case are actually another term for Saturday and Sunday.

24. Visible remains of an ancient undertaking (6)
{TUMULI} – The visible remains in this case are ancient burial grounds or barrows.

27. Suitable music for the hairdressers’ ball? (10)
{BARBERSHOP} – Music that originated in America, typically sung in close harmony and usually by a quartet.

28. Mark has school backing (4)
{NOTE} – Another word for a distinguishing mark is that school in Berkshire again – reversed.

29. Stevedore who doesn’t carry as much weight as others? (10)
{LIGHTERMAN} – Another gentle cryptic definition, another word for a person who loads or unloads ships could be less heavy than his compatriots.


2. People go crazy running it (4)
{AMOK} – Another word for frenzy – if you run it you would rush about wildly, attacking anyone in your path.

3. A thousand odd times is a lot (6)
{KISMET} – K (a thousand) followed by an anagram (odd) of TIMES is another word for fate or destiny.

4. Accepts birds are raised on board a ship (7)
{ASSUMES} – A word that can mean taking something for granted is the standard abbreviation for A steamship, placed around reversed (raised) large Australian birds.

5. Travel after star of film and TV (4)
{TREK} – That famous film and TV series created by Gene Roddenberry is also a long hard journey.

6. Go back to the nunnery (7)
{RETREAT} – A word for withdrawal is also a word used to describe a place of privacy or seclusion.

7. Charles I wandering round an English county (10)
{LANCASHIRE} – An anagram (wondering) of CHARLES I around AN is also northern English county.

8. Cowardly character shown up by a referee? (6,4)
{YELLOW CARD} – A warning shown by a referee to a player could also be a cowardly character.

12. Issue raised by a gold prospector (10)
{CLEMENTINE} – The issue in this case is the subject of a famous song by a forty-niner about his daughter who drowns.

13. Train officer, one of the same class (10)
{SCHOOLMATE} – Another word for train, and a ship’s officer when put together could be someone you studied with when you were younger.

14. A bit quiet and embarrassed (5)
{SHRED} – SH (quiet) followed by a the colour you might go when embarrassed is also a little bit.

15. Feel depressed and inferior? (5)
{BELOW} – Another word for being beneath something is also what you would be if you felt depressed.

19. A sound measure (7)
{DECIBEL} – It is indeed.

20. Will live on an exploratory expedition (7)
{BEQUEST} – The definition is will, but it’s will as instructions for what happens to your worldly goods when you die. Put another word for “to live” on top of the type of adventure you might find in a science fantasy book.

23. Skiers may provide one with an oral greeting (6)
{KISSER} – An anagram (may provide) of SKIERS.

25. Boast about dress (4)
{BRAG} – Reverse (about) a word for dress and you have another word that means boast.

26. List of biblical books held by academy (4)
{ROTA} – Put the abbreviation for the first part of the bible, inside the abbreviation for Royal Academy and you have another word for list.

23 comments on “DT 26248

  1. Nice crossword from Rufus with one quibble. Positive points first, loved 5d and 12d (which was clue of the day for me). The minor quibble is with 24a – it was a cryptic definition of a more unusual word with a double unch that made it very difficult to solve unless you knew the word off the top of your head.

    1. As you say Prolixic,I was not keen on 24a, you either know the answer or you don’t. There is no chance of working it out from the clue, otherwise not a bad start to the week

    2. I would say the same of 12d “issue” is too broad a clue, especially if you didn’t know 24a. Now i know the answer I must agree with Vince about the clue of the day though.

  2. I’m not sure that 19d qualifies as a cryptic clue???

    23d. Wasn’t happy about this. If the definition is “oral greeting”, then the answer would be “kiss”. If you are in receipt of (may provide one) the oral greeting, then are you the kisser? Although, “may provide” is the anagram indicator. Or am I looking too deeply into this?

    1. 23d The definition is (I think) “one with an oral greeting”, i.e. one who greets orally.

      1. I think it could have been phrased better, gazza. The worst clue of the day, for me.

    2. Vince
      19d qualifies in that the answer is correct in the “literal” sense, yet the clue reads as a whole to mean a safe calculation.

    3. That one had me going for a while. The anagram was easy enough but working out the rest of it stumped me for a bit. Got it in the end though. Kind of like that clue.

      Unlike Gazza I was more under the impression that the clue referred to the physical body part(s) as opposed to the issuer.

  3. Great Monday morning puzzle! Loved 12d as Hotlips and I couldn’t agree on this one. Also liked 22a and 15a. Some very fresh clues in my opinion!

  4. Didn’t do too well with this one. Have to agree with the comments on 12d, 19d. There weren’t many moments of enjoyment here for me.

    16a: how is ‘to sell’ relevant in the clue? Just can’t see it.

  5. Yes, “Such music is not bound” itself might lead to SHEET but Rufus, puckish as ever, sees an opportunity to play with the word ‘bound’ and adds “to sell”.

    Music by a famous composer or band that is recorded in any form is bound to sell in large quantities but ‘sheet music’ is not only not bound but is not bound to sell: at best players buy it.

  6. That was a little hit and miss for me. There was no chance with 24a and 23d was a bit weak but I did enjoy 22a which probably balanced them out.

  7. Quite easy, but only found 12d because I had every other letter in it– then the penny dropped. I love reading the comments, some people are SO pernickety the clue has to be watertight. I’m so full of admiration for the setters, as long as it’s reasonably logical, I enjoy the cleverness.

    1. Brenda

      When we review these puzzles we do try not to be too pernickety, but open discussion is helpful to both solvers and setters alike. The new series on Crossword Rules by Anax, a setter for the Times, Independent and Financial Times (and this site!), will go into a lot of detail as to what is and is not, in his opinion, “fair”.

  8. Another gentle Monday morning (started Monday evening!)
    I must agree Prolixic re 24a. Racked my brains until I thought I remembered the word then went to the big red book to check I was right.
    Thanks to Libellule and Rufus.

    1. It’s a cryptic definition, playing on the dual meaning of undertaking as enterprise and burial.

  9. I know this got a ** rating but I’m finding this one tough. Done about two-thirds of it so far (not resorted to the answers here yet but I’ve read the hints). I really dislike clues like 25D – I frequently put in the wrong answer for these – and I did yet again until it twigged while I was sat on the loo (too much info p’r’aps? Sorry!). Once I’d corrected it I was able to get 29A (nice clue, that).

    Favourite clues so far – 22A and 29A (as I’ve alluded to). 20D was tricky, but (along with 29A) deserves an honourable mention as well.

    Worst? Well, 25D obviously – but I didn’t think a lot of 18D either. Ccryptic? Hmmm….

    1. Apologies for mentioning 29A twice – ’tis late and I’m knackered! 29A is a fave, not an hon. mention. Also add 5D to the faves as well – just got – very clever!

  10. I thought it was a horrid crossword. So much depended on knowing names and allusions, little cryptic. A cheat. If I want to do a general knowledge test I will go to a pub quiz. Sorry but.

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